Sail Into the Sunset

Cabo San Lucas III: Sunset Sailing and El Archo

If Cabo San Lucas is famous for anything other than drunkenness and debauchery, it is for the rock formation known as El Archo (The Arch.) We have seen other rock arches before this one, some even larger and more impressive. In fact, on a previous Nautical Hijink in Peru, our tour boat sped right through one enormous arch.

However, El Archo is still justifiably impressive.

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El Archo (The Arch)

Located the very extreme tip of the Baja, El Archo is probably the most photographed single spot in Cabo san Lucas. However, in order to do so you must approach it by boat…the Arch is extremely difficult (and dangerous) to approach by land, and even if you could, there would be no proper angle for photography.

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Our sailboat, which had a crew of three on deck and one apparently unseen below, and about sixteen passengers.

El Archo is the official spot where the waters of the convulsive Pacific transition into the calmer Gulf of California. However, our resort was 40 minutes away from Cabo by car, and the sea in that area STILL felt very much like open ocean. The Gulf of California would seem to assume its tranquil character many miles to the east, maybe closer to Pulmo. Here, the surf pounds the land with undeniable force.

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For the final of our three excursions in Cabo, we chose a sunset sailing cruise. It looked great, looked romantic, seemed to be a good way to beat the heat…and promised fantastic views of the arch.

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This excursion — which was also the one located closest to our resort, leaving right from the marine at Cabo — proved to be the best of the lot. In fact, both Brian and Sylvia would rate this one of the best Nautical Hijinks we’ve ever partaken in.

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We approach the jagged headland known as Land’s End…the Archo is beyond.

The tour begins with an easy transit out of Cabo San Lucas harbor with the boat under motive power and the sails furled. (As any captain knows, being under sail near a ‘lee’ shore is potentially very dangerous.) This leg of the tour takes the boat past some rugged cliffs, on to the modestly famous “Lovers Beach” (or one of about 250,000 beaches from the equator to Newfoundland with that name.) The other side of this beach, the one that faces the rip current, is nicknamed divorce beach…because, like marriage, its waters are easily entered into but not easily gotten out of. De-dum-dum.

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That narrow opening is divorce beach.

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After the bookend beaches El Archo heaves slowly into view. The surf and swell are quite impressive here…though again, they pale in comparison to what we saw in Paracas, Peru.

It made for some great picturesque photos though.

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Sylvia in designer hat purchased in a fu-fu haberdashers boutique.
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Brian in his cheap sunglasses and Cabo San Lucas hat purchased in a tourist shop in Cabo San Jose.
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Sylvia assists a very nice couple we met from Mexico City with a photo of El Archo.

After the close pass with El Archo, the boat set off from deeper and calmer waters beyond, which marked the first time we had seen the other side of Cabo (and the huge resorts located there.) Here we had yet another bento-box style lunch. Drinks were served too by some unknown bartender located in the bowels of the sailboat…the food was pretty good but the drinks were possibly the poorest we had on the trip.

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After lunch, the sails were unfurled, the boat came about and the sailing began in earnest. What a rush! Few pictures of this stage of the trip exist because, with the boat heeled over at a 45 degree angle, Brian and Sylvia were too busy clinging on for dear life…Sylvia also clinging steadfastly to her glass of chardonnay.

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As we sped, the crew turned the rudder over and came about. The sail crashed and snapped over our heads, the heeling boat steadied and then heeled over the other way, and those passengers who had selected that side to lie on clung like barnacles to the hull, feet braced in the scuppers just like you see in racing yachts. It was without any doubt totally cool.

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Later we sailed back toward the Archo as the sun set over Cabo. We caught a glimpse of what we believe was a mobula ray jumping clear out of the water.

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All too soon, we had to say goodbye to the Archo as the sun set and we re-entered the harbor.

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This might be the Bat Boat.

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We VERY much enjoyed this, the best of our three excursions in the Baja. We would in fact rate this as one of the finest Nautical Hijinks ever, comparable with out tour of the Islas Ballestas in Peru, our swim with sting ray adventure off Grand Cayman, and our outrigger canoe ride off Maui. The only complaint we had, apart from the poor mixed drinks, was that the expeditions young photographer botched the sunset shot of us. Had that been properly handled we might even have bought the overpriced prints; instead we walked away (quite literally) into the sunset. Left behind on the cutting room floor were some great shots of Sylvia and some more forgettable ones of Brian.

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Our trip to the Baja was coming to an end! It was a great success. We were sailing into the sunset in style.

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