Sailing Nakamal

San Jose del Cabo


Bye-bye, Cabo San Lucas

Monday 9 November – Friday 13 November

Cabo San Lucas Marina is very busy with lots of tour and fishing boat traffic, noisy with the surrounding restaurants and clubs playing loud music and expensive ($78/night), even though they have dropped their prices by about half in order to entice more sailboats. So after a few days to get our land legs back, do laundry and let someone else cook (and clean up) we headed out to San Jose del Cabo and another marina, Puerto de Cabo.


Entrance to Puerto de Cabo as seen from the rooftop infinity pool at the Hotel El Ganzo.


The rooftop see-through hot tub at Hotel El Ganzo.


It was only a 25 mile trip along the coast, and a great day for a sail. We hit the sweet spot (12-14 knots) of wind. Very peaceful.

Puerto de Cabo is cheaper ($58/night), much quieter and less touristy. There are still a lot of hotels and condos with ex-pats or winter visitors in them, but they are not near the marina. As a matter of fact, it was about a mile and a half walk across the bridge over the big ravine where the cows hang out just to get to the tourist area. One day we walked over for lunch, walked around the streets and then found the WalMart and walked around that to scout out what’s available. In all, about four and half miles of walking. My dogs were barkin’. We took a taxi back to the boat.


The Container – the restaurant at the marina is made from an old shipping container. Hopefully this is the closest I’ll ever get to one.

Wednesday we made sun shades to hang around the sides of the cockpit. Not fancy, not fitted, because you will note that my official job title (First Mate, Chief Provisioning Officer and Galley Wench) does NOT include Seamstress.

Thursday, just for kicks, we walked over for lunch again, John went to Oxxo (like a 7-11 without gas pumps) to refill his cell phone data, and I found another taxi. This time I managed in my pidgeon Spanish and the driver’s pidgeon English to agree that he would take me to the Mega Market (another big chain in Mexico), wait while I shopped, and then return me to the marina.


Marina art.

Shopping report:

  • What’s the same as the U.S. WalMarts? We went on a Tuesday. Many items were sold out and the aisles were stacked with boxes for re-stocking. Weekends must be big shopping days.
  • What’s different? There was a small booth where a woman was peeling nopales (the prickly pear leaves – you know – “Mickey Mouse” cactus). Napole is common here as a vegetable/side dish. Bet you don’t see THAT at your hometown WalMart.
  • At the Mega Market, a lot of the baggers are retirees. They work for tips only.
  • Oranges are green.



  • Eggs are kept at room temperature.
  • Most food is cheaper than in the U.S. Packaged goods that are imported from the U.S. can be very pricey. Or maybe they just seem pricey because other things are not.
  • Mexico is metric. So in addition to figuring out the peso to dollar exchange rate, I also have to calculate in my head the kilo to pound relationship to figure out if it’s a good deal or not. For example, pork chops are 79.90 pesos / kg. Yikes. (For the record, it works out to about $2.50 U.S. per pound. I got five thin-cut pork chops for just under $3. So yeah, that was a good deal. I think.)
  • There is no kale. None, nada. In Chula Vista the Albertson’s usually had three or four varieties.
  • There are no baby carrots. Just really long fat ones.
  • Celery is not common (WalMart yes, Mega Market, no).
  • Fresh milk is available in the large markets, probably not so much in the smaller villages. Instead many people use powdered or tetra packs (like juice boxes). For a quart of boxed milk:
    • Albertson’s in Chula Vista = $3.89
    • WalMart in Chula Vista = $1.86 (when it was on the shelf, about 50 % of the times I looked for it)
    • Mega Market = $1.03 and there were about 17 kinds to choose from.
  • The chicken skin is really yellow. Like, scarily so. I’m talking nuclear.
  • Christmas items are in the aisles already.

Don’t freak out over the egg thing. Apparently if they have never been refrigerated, they can be stored at room temp for (some say) up to a month. Many vegetables and fruits as well, hardy ones anyway (cabbage, carrots, apples, citrus). I’ve been experimenting with this room temp thing, because remember how I told you that our fridge is the size of your tail-gating cooler? So yeah, we need to carefully select what goes in there (beer, yogurt) and what can be left out for reasonable lengths of time (boxed milk until it’s opened, carrots, cabbage, and when I find them at room temp, eggs).

Thursday we had the opportunity to sit with the manager of a boutique hotel at the marina, Hotel El Ganzo (goose). They were destroyed in Sept. 2014 by Odile, a Category 5 Pacific hurricane that swept across the tip of the Baja Peninsula, and had just reopened a couple weeks before. From her, we learned that the Mexican minimum wage is 3,000 pesos / month, or the equivalent of about $187 U.S. Per month. Assuming a 5-day work week, that’s $9.35 U.S. per day.

The hotel and the marina are very arty, they are still working on restoring some of the art at the hotel but there is quite a bit on the walk around the marina.


Bluebird was with us for awhile! This is a 19-foot boat that sailed in the HaHa with us. I called it the “Fleet Pet” because we all looked out for him.

Are you still freaking out over the egg thing? Well how about this – mayo, mustard, and ketchup. We stopped refrigerating those a couple years ago after we first read that you could. As long as you don’t introduce bacteria, they are fine, so the squeeze bottles are made for the room temp thing. We’ll see how they hold up in the heat of the tropics vs. the colder winter climes of Tucson and California.


La Marina, a Mexican cantina – one woman cooking up fresh fish in the kitchen, a two man band playing Mexican love songs, dinner and beers for $25. Life is good.

Speaking of which, I read that there was snow on Mt. Lemmon over the weekend. As it was falling, we were sailing from San Juan del Cabo to Mazatlan. Naked.

There. That image should get you over the whole egg thing.


Another one of our marina neighbors.

This entry was published on November 18, 2015 at 7:24 pm and is filed under Mexico. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “San Jose del Cabo

  1. JUANITA C RYAN Owner on said:

    Very interesting!  Thanks for keeping us posted.  Have you had any problems with “drugs” there?  Everyone says Mazatlan is pretty heavy with them.  I’m flying to Missouri 11/24 to see family there, except Michelle & Korey won’t be able to meet me in West Plains.  She is on new job near Kansas City hospital taking care of babies and can’t get enough time off.  Hate to miss her!  I get Lexi & Alli Friday afternoon while Steph is at work and leave there Sat afternoon for home. Steph only  has 2 days off so can’t stay long.  Miss you both! Love, Mom


  2. Pingback: Just Add Water | Sailing Nakamal

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