Writen by Dario Orrico
White warm fiberglass, 1980s decore trying hard to evoke a modern flair, the faint (grant-ed maybe be imaginary) aroma of sweat and coconut sunblock permanently one with the ship. A vague superficial eye, worn outlines, cheesy jokes said so many times they’ve lost their meaning and become a sort of mantra that is said like the prayer of an empty soul. I’ve lived my whole life in a tourist trap. This is what I’ve come to expect from a boat tour.
Oppositional attitude, Check. Swimming trunks, Check. Camera, Check. Enough sunblock to walk in and out of Chernobyl, Check. I’m ready to go.
At 10 we’re guided from check-in to the catamaran by a tanned extrovert. We forgot to have our team email the photo consent form, that means: No photo consent. Now I’m interested. I’m out to capture the experience whilst hiding the identity of the tourist on board. A creative challenge to get the introvert involved. Good one.
In 1985, the Pez Gato I, a Hawaiian style catamaran was brought to these sunny shores, the dream of California fireman, Paul Murphy. She was the very first Tour Boat Excursion here in Cabo San Lucas. Back there weren’t as many tourists.
A lot has changed since then, an elegant 65´catamaran was added to the fleet and The Jazz & Wine Tour was born. Then Cabo Mar, a 65’ double-decker Power Catamaran, was also acquired and the nightly Fiesta Dinner Cruise began. Daily excursions include the Pez Gato Whale Watching Tour, The Pez Gato Snorkel Cruise, the Pez Gato Sunset Cruise, the Tropicat Jazz & Wine Tour and the Cabo Mar Fiesta Dinner Cruise.
My yellow, not white, warm fiberglass, not 80s, but early 2000s Catamaran disembarked from the prophetically expected gasoline fragrant dock. Sweating patiently amidst board shorts and bare feet to begin the sightseeing. For me, the sightseeing has already begun, from passengers I pic my favorite characters: The postcard-worthy, the odd ones, those dressed in color schemes beneficial to my photos, Those who exude something other than vague superficiality, those wearing too much sunblock. I’ll keep an eye on them.
The good thing about tours out of Cabo San Lucas dock is that they start off immediately. 2 minutes out of the dock, the sightseeing begins. To the left the adjacent Medano Beach, to the right the rocky spine of the larger mountainous structure to which The Arch belongs. Tourists scramble to prep their cameras, 5 minutes in, were experiencing the undeniably impressive sheer rock towers, three stories tall and formed from natural erosion. Like stone glaciers, amidst the waters. If it’s hard to imagine glaciers float, it’s further mindboggling that these don’t. These “stone glaciers” tower all the way down to the oceans floor. The spikes of the crown on the head of the continental mass that lies beneath the sea.
Everyone is now a wildlife photographer, so are we, we take the good ones, shoot some B-roll, avoid the selfies and conversely hunt for the most human of poses, the most human of interactions, the “fundamental images” of which were all a part of. Those where subject is no longer the individual but the collective. Those moments that are your memories had or to be had.
As we part ourselves from the bay we see a more pristine landscape. To the east, beaches become disconnected by sharp black mossy rock. From the now Sea Of Cortez, we get to see Mansions and Golf Courses upon cliffs waves rain back into the sea as they slam against the rocks. Fins, goggles, and Snorkels are handed out as we make our way towards Chileno Beach. I’m excited. I haven’t snorkeled in years. I’m a purist in many ways. I used to rarely take photos because I had nothing to do with them. Now, it’s my job to take photos so I can tell a story. I need photos that ring with ecstatic truth.
Deeply intrinsic images of the soul. Cinematographically coordinated and intertwined by narration to express a deep reality. This task of mine is enriching. It, unbeknownst to me, through carrying the task, cultivates a deep pleasure in activities that used to seem vain to me. To have to awake the poetic beauty in the ordinary. I’ve never once enjoyed indulging in the “extroverted” list of activities until now. Until I’m asked to write a poem about it.
Rushing to try to catch a picture as the anchor drops. We miss it.
Alas, we’ve arrived at Chileno Beach.
Eco-Cat Snorkeling tour was a good place to start. A nice middle ground between my disdain and reeindulging in the joy of my childhood fixation: Snorkeling. So hate it or not id get to snorkel at the least. Day two would be theoretically harder for me.
The Cabo Mar is a double-decker 65´power catamaran that fea-tures an open-air large upper deck that provides an unobstruct-ed view of the coastline. The downstairs area features built-in booth seating with a view from every vantage point.
Gloss white! I called it! It’s a white fiberglass floating dinner on the first floor and a canvas-topped terrace on the second. Following the success of our first shoot, I was excited. I was really excited to take my pictures, this catamaran somehow interacted more with the moment. It felt a bigger part of the day, and it had two stories! two scenarios for two different experiences.
This time I knew what I would be doing. How I would have fun. Immediately I ex-plored the lay of the land. The first floor was a sort of indoor seated area, not a really welcoming place to stand, it gives way to a second smaller open seating area at the bow. The second story has the dance floor, and DJ station.
I chose my favorite subjects, but there was also a sort of self-selection according to where they chose to sit. First or second floor. This decision has a notable impact on how you experience the cruise. The indoor area means you’ll deprive yourself of the breeze, you’ll be closer to the bar, but you’ll experience the wonderous bay that attracts millions of tourists a year through glass, as if at a tacky museum. The second story means you’ll at some point be in or around the “dance party”, you’re further from the bar, but waiters soften that inconvenience. The only reason not to go to the Dance Party Deck would be the scary steep stairs or the dance party itself. Best of both worlds is to go back and forth from the bow to the indoor area, taking over the nearest booth from the bow. The bow has no shade but being that it’s a sunset tour it won’t matter too much, here you get the most pristine, unobstructed view, the soothing breeze of the sea, and structural partition from the dance party, direct access to the bar and no scary-steep-stairs. Goldilocks would do fine with this many options.
The tour sets off with Cabo’s famous landmarks, Lover’s Beach, The Arch, and Land’s End. Next to the arch, the peak of a massive submerged stone tower manages to breach exposing itself just enough to serve as a mini island that the Sea Lion Colony call home.
We then venture into the Pacific for the sun to on cue make red out of blue, then pink and purple. Night and Anchor fall and before darkness can make you pensive the dancefloor lights reanimate every color of the rainbow strobing unapologetically.