By Rebecca Ehrenberg
Pisces Sportfishing & Yacht Charters is the most prestigious charter company in Los Cabos, Mexico. With an impressive history spanning over 40 years, their team offers exceptional personalized charters throughout Cabo San Lucas and the Sea of Cortez. Here, Rebecca Ehrenberg shares her live-aboard excursion on a luxury yacht charter – an unforgettable way to see the sights of Baja Sur.
I sat there with my legs stretched out in front of me; the salt on my face clung to my brows and tickled my lips. The warmth of the sun caressed my skin as I leaned forward and looked down at my toes, which I wiggled through the calmest, most turquoise water I had ever seen. I plopped myself back under the shade of my umbrella in a perfect beach set up which I didn’t contribute one minute of work to. I simply showed up and received a glass of champagne in exchange. “Heaven on Earth”, I said to myself out loud. It was then, I decided, Isla San José was my favorite.
We had begun our journey only two days prior, embarking on the beautiful 120’ Maranatha yacht the city of La Paz; only two hours north, by car, of my hometown, Cabo San Lucas. And now, as I sat on this island, I thought to myself, “How is it possible that after 25 years in Cabo I have never ventured out to the islands of the Sea of Cortez?” All in all, in seven days we visited seven islands and spanned nearly 500 km of the waters of the Baja peninsula. The best seven days of all of our lives.
Isla San José is a vast island only a few hours from Espiritu Santo Island, which is found just outside of the bay of La Paz. At cruising speed and in about an hour or so time, you will find yourself arriving in your yacht charter at Espiritu Santo, which boasts dare I say, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Uninhabited, deserted beaches, walking trails, calm waters and views of a lifetime. You can camp on a few of the bays on Espiritu Santo, take a kayak tour along the coves or head to the Islotes and swim with the colony of sea lions.
When doing this on a luxury yacht though, the experience becomes similar to none. The service was exceptional, everything was taken care of before we could even think of it and the food, prepared by our private chef, was exquisite. A few members of our group headed out one morning on the yacht’s fishing tender and came back, only 3 hours later, with a boat full of mahi-mahi and snapper. Dinner that night was as fresh as worldly possible. We, of course ended the night by dancing under the full moon on the top deck of the yacht, where many tequilas were consumed. We would wake up the next day in the bay of a completely new island, with the sunrises, so beautiful, words cannot describe.
San Francisco Island, known also as Hook Island because of its shape, is also not too far from La Paz. Actually neighboring San José Island closely, this was once used as an area to harvest sea salt. Still now, the flats continue to produce amazing pink sea salt which you can walk through and pick up to take with you. The island has only a sliver of land separating it from East to West, and can be crossed by foot in under 20 minutes. La Paz and these neighboring islands were also harvested years ago for pearls, and you can still find many mother of pearl, clams and shells along their coasts (a beachcomber’s dream). Actually, the Queen of England boasts the largest pearl ever found in her Royal Crown, which was harvested in La Paz in 1883. The pearl was described at the time as being “the size and shape of a lemon fruit”… but that’s a different story.
The natural beauty and the richness of the Sea of Cortez has been admired by many an explorer before us. But it was now, on this short journey, that we understood why Jacques Cousteau described it as the “World’s aquarium.” We saw manta rays, marlin and even a large blue whale and her calf while underway.
The waters were so calm and clear that at one point we encountered a superpod of dolphins, numbering in the hundreds. We must have had at least 20 foot visibility just from the bow of the boat. Clearly, we could see layer upon layer of them darting through the sea and then breaking the surface, playfully riding our wake.
An especially unforgettable experience was when a few dolphin greeted us one morning as we woke at Isla San José (you’ll now see why I quickly decided it was my favorite). The three of them were curious about the large yacht they found in the bay, and I couldn’t control my curiosity either. Quickly, the crew had a paddle board ready for me and I was off. I paddled towards them and they swam towards me, one swooped quickly under, and the other went around. I saw a little sparkling eye look up at me, and in an instant, a flick of the tail had the dolphin down and away.
For two hours, this cat and mouse game continued. Sometimes I sat there in awe, legs dangling on either side of my board with the dolphins poking their heads completely out of the water to get a good look at me. I jumped in the water once the dolphins decided they were bored of me and swam to shore, making it to the entrance of the mangrove system of the island. There, a beach canopy and umbrellas, chairs, a cooler full of drinks and lunch were served and waiting for me, along with our yacht stewardess who had set everything up perfectly.
As I took my first steps onto the beach, the yacht stewardess handed me a glass of cold champagne. “¿Te gusta señorita?” How could I say no? I sat there with my legs stretched out in front of me; the salt on my face clung to my brows and tickled my lips. The warmth of the sun caressed my skin as I leaned forward and looked down at my toes, which I wiggled through the calmest, most turquoise water I had ever seen. “Heaven on Earth”, I said to myself out loud, and then took a sip of my champagne.
By Rebecca Ehrenberg