Our Mexico trip began about a year and a half ago as a conversation with our friends Julie & Craig Dietrich. Craig was telling us about an amazing dive trip he’d done to the Socorro Islands off the coast of Baja California in Mexico: “Manta Rays! Humpback Whales! Sharks! I’m telling you. You GOTTA go!”.
At the time, Karen and were still dating and she’d started working on her Master’s degree. She was very interested in going, so it was mentioned that if she graduated with honors, the trip would be her graduation present. Sure enough, she graduated, but with highest honors. Fast forward to February of 2016 and my now wife (and Phi Kappa Phi member) and I were going.
The gateway to the Socorro Islands is Cabo San Lucas, MX. Located at the southern tip of Baja California, ‘Cabo’ has a great marina the major live-aboard dive vessels use as their home port during this time of year. Roughly November thru June, the boats operate out of Cabo for the Socorro Islands, then July through October they are north in Gaudalupe for white shark season.
We departed Tampa very early in the morning. When United moved our outbound flight up 30 minutes, I was thankful for the additional time for us and the luggage to make our connection in Houston. Aside, from the usual issues of dive gear just skirting under the 50lb baggage weight limit, our flights were uneventful. Everything arrived in San Jose Del Cabo Airport as expected (phew!).
We stayed at the Tesoro Los Cabo. Overlooking the marina, our room and the location were great. Close to the restaurants and the usual tourist shopping it worked out well. The staff was always friendly and helpful. The grounds appeared to be well maintained. We saw several rooms being updated, but noise was not a problem.
Our first night in Cabo we had dinner reservations at Sunset Da Mona Lisa. It’s unique in that the west facing view and terraced seating ensures everyone has a great view when the sun goes down.
We wandered around the marina area. It was clear that fishing & tourism are big business here, the marina was quite nice and very busy. We dropped by some of the tourist hot spots and just enjoyed being someplace new.
The random art pieces surrounding the marina were interesting.
The night life was fun too.
Our final full day in Cabo was lazy. Our only task was waiting for the arrival of our live-aboard, the Nautilus Explorer (our home for the next 10 days) to dock and prepare to take on a new set of guests. By pure co-incidence, Julie & Craig, were arriving with some of their South Florida dive friends for a trip on the Explorer’s sister ship, the Nautilus Belle Amie. They arrived on time, so we grabbed some lunch, caught up, shared dive stories and made new friends.
Around 7:00PM, we met up with the Nautilus Explorer & Belle Amie crews, who introduced themselves and started checking us in. We said our goodbye’s to Julie & Craig and boarded our temporary homes. We left port a couple hours later and started motoring to the Socorro Islands.