Aug 112010

diving cabo diving cabo diving cabo diving cabo
Photos of Scuba diving Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas)

During our visit to the tip of Baja we enjoyed two days worth of diving. The first day of diving we stuck to relatively easy local sites. The first dive was at Pelican Rock, site of the famous (or not so famous?) sand falls. The sand falls were a mild curiosity for me, much more exciting were the huge schools of fish circling the rock walls. There were several large groupers hanging around, but none would let us get very close. Near the end of the dive we were able to get up close to some of the tangs, box, and butterfly fish that hung out around the rock’s walls. The walls are covered with some impressive fans and anemones and the site looks quite healthy. One thing to note – stay on the bottom until you are ready to join your dive boat as there is massive amount of boat traffic in the area. When we started the dive early in the morning we were the only boat around. When we finished and came up there were about 10 other boats anchored within a stones throw away.

The second dive was on a wall just south of Pelican Rock. The wall was interesting, but again the shallow critters were a bigger draw. Large schools of fish, including large trumpet-fish were milling about in the 10-30 foot range around the rocks, snacking on salp chains that drifted into the area. The sand flats around the rocks were full of life as well – quite a few rays and guitarfish had buried themselves in the sand channels.

The second day of diving was much more ambitious. We did some more advanced diving on an open water sea mount known as Gordo Banks (or Gorda Banks). The depth of the mount is about 115′, so we used 28% Nitrox for both dives. This site is known for the chance to see large open water critters like sharks, mantas, and tuna. Unfortunately for us, the visibility was quite poor for both dives. The water was green and less than 15 feet of visibility from 20-100 feet. Under 100 feet it cleared right up, it was a bit like stepping out of a fog. We saw some very large jacks (people sized) on both dives, in addition to some large schools of fish. We caught a glimpse of a small school of hammerhead sharks on the first dive, but they were in the pea soup green above us, and we couldn’t catch up to them. It would be a great dive site with better visibility.

We saw a marlin on the surface during one of our intervals, and I hopped in to try to snorkel with it. I missed my mark or it didn’t like me – it was long gone. The trip back to harbor was against the wind and it took us several hours to get back to the harbor. Make sure you bring sea sickness meds if you think you might need them – several people fed the fishes, including our captain.

I think our mixed diving results have a lot to do with the strange weather patterns in the pacific this year. The water was much colder than they are used to (water temp at depth was 63-64F) and it seemed like summer wasn’t quite there yet. It definitely warrants another attempt when we make it back down again, you never know what you will see in the open water.

Aug 092010

Now that jailbreaking is painless again, I’ve started to explore some of the jailbreak specific apps. The nicest surprise I’ve found so far is LockInfo. It has a number of plugins that show appointments, RSS feeds, new mail, and weather data on the iPhone’s lock screen. I find it quite useful; definitely worth $5 and a quick jailbreak. It is mind boggling why Apple hasn’t allowed this functionality in the default OS or via 3rd party apps the App Store.

Aug 082010

beach beach beach beach

Photos of Punta Perfecta and Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur

This was our first trip to Baja south of Bahia de los Angeles. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the Cabo area. It attracts a spring break crowd, so I was expecting a good part of the city to be similar to Tijuana’s Revolucion. Thankfully, my fears seem to be mostly unfounded. Booming with hotels and condos, but the vibe one got was was less party and more relaxed. Then again, perhaps that is more because we didn’t spend much time in Los Cabos – just time in the harbor to dive or stock up on goods. Outside of diving trips from Los Cabos, the first few days were spent north along the coast at low key hotel on the beach. We did some snorkeling at Playa Chileno (quite nice) and beach bummed around the area.

We finished out the bulk of our trip much further away from civilization. Punta Perfacta is a surfing break about an hour’s drive on (mostly) dirt roads from the Cabo airport. There are small small enclaves of condos and vacation homes, but the area still feels very isolated. There are no utilities or phones – water is trucked in, power is provided by solar panels. My days mostly consisted of reading in a hammock with the occasional sprinkling of beach and surf. Not a bad thing.

In between my marathon hammock sessions we took a 30 minute drive north to Playa Los Arbolitos, which is on the southern end of the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. The beach boasts some old coral reefs within a stones throw of the sand. Though there were a lot of fish on the reef, the visibility left much to be desired. I suspect this has a lot to do with the strange weather and currents we are having this year. We were lucky enough to visit the beach on a Sunday when a lot of Mexican families were enjoying the beach as well. We practiced our Spanish with Jorge (a young ranch worker we gave a ride to) and enjoyed guitar music and traditional songs from our neighbors. I now have yet another classification for a great day – a slice of watermelon, live music, a palapa, and a beautiful beach.