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No Official Reopening Date Set, Dependent on Virus Containment ~ May 16, 2020

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

May 16, 2020

Normally during this time frame of the later part of Springtime we would see bustling tourist activity, but of course nothing has been normal at all now for the past couple of months. Without any tourists in sight the Los Cabos area is now pleasantly receiving great weather conditions, progressively warming, though not too extreme yet, clear sunny skies, little wind and high temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s.

Orders are allowing fishing for personal consumption only, though this is not strictly being enforced, though no charters of any tourists is allowed. With the warming weather the fishing has been good for the limited personas venturing offshore. With ocean water temperatures now ranging from a chilly 68 degrees on the Pacific and up to 78 degrees in directions further towards the Sea of Cortez, the more consistent action is being found from the Gordo Banks and north towards Iman Bank.

A variety of action was found, from yellowtail, amberjack, bonito, red snapper and grouper off the structure, to striped marlin, wahoo and yellowfin tuna on the surface. Bait has been limited, though this past week there were sardinas being found near the Puerto Los Cabos Marina jetties. On a negative note there has been illegal pouching reported from inside the protected Cabo Pulmo Preserve, apparently authorities were ignoring enforcement and pirates were taking advantage. In addition there were juvenile roosterfish harvested in large numbers by commercial pirates that have no respect at all for exploiting these prized gamefish that are now jeopardized for future generations.

The Coronavirus has now infected some 3,500 cases in all of Baja, with 540 deaths related. Numbers of infections are still climbing, we have not seen the peak yet. No date has been set for reopening the Tourist Destination, on June 1 the three levels of Government will analysis containment at a National level and this will dictate when certain areas will be able to gradually reopen any tourist activity. Now into two months of confinement, people are anxious, many thinking this is all a hoax, fake news, not taking things serious.

This pandemic has created great problems, there is now an unprecedented economic crisis due to over 80% of the local population reliant on International tourists for their livelihood. The next 15 days will be critical not to relax restrictions, ignoring health authorities alerts of not to leave home, practice social isolation, healthy distancing, will make risk of contagion that much greater and will only delay any reopening of the area to tourists.

School sessions have been closed for the entire semester, now gearing up to open for the fall. Grocery and convenient stores are now ordered to close by 8 p.m. People are only supposed to be outside for basic necessities, no more than one person per vehicle is allowed, though actual enforcement of this rule has been lax enforced and they are still permitting public transportation to operate. All public beaches are still closed.

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Eric

Shut Down Continues, Through May at Least ~ April 25, 2020

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

April 25, 2020

Wanted to give an update of what is going on in Southern Baja. As we progress through this unprecedented spring season with no tourists in sight, it is now actually starting to feel a bit like summer the last few days, daytime highs of 85 degrees, clear sunny skies with very little wind. Baja California now has over 1300 confirmed cases and 136 deaths related to the Covid-19 Pandemic, consensus is that these figures are on the low side.

Mexico, including Baja, has now entered Phase 3 of the Pandemic, which means that we are now in the midst of highest chances of this virus spreading to out of control proportions. All schools, beaches, Resorts, restaurants and other non-essential businesses are shut down. There are now strict local orders to shelter in place, stay at home. Municipal, Federal and National Guard police forces will all be teaming up efforts to help control and enforce these lock downs. As of April 25 they say anyone out on the street for unjustified reasons will be subject to a $8,000 peso fine, jail time or forced community service.

Many locals still are not taking the situation that seriously, thinking that everything is way to over cautious and that it is still okay to socialize with family and friends, etc… hard to convince them otherwise. Authorities are having a difficult time enforcing imposed emergency regulations and their priorities do not always seem justified, while they confiscate surf boards and keep everyone off the beaches there are other groups of people gathering in many other areas that show no willingness to abide to social distancing, some of this does not make any sense.

It has just been announced that sportfishing will be allowed for people just for their personal consumption, no commercial or charter activity is authorized. These rules have been loosely regulated up to this point, but supposedly will become much stricter. As of now they have extended the present lockdown until the end of May. Also the International airport Terminal II has been closed down, the limited flights now arriving will use the original domestic Terminal I. They believe by July that Terminal II will be reopened, much of this will all depend on how the spread of this virus can be brought under control and the region can begin safely allowing the flow of tourists back into the country.

Local schools are just beginning to try teaching courses through the Internet and TV, slow process that local teachers do not really have the necessary training or technical support to do. They are thinking of reopening class rooms June 1, which many believe would not be a safe idea, but all of this is still just in the process of being planned out.

All in all, considering, things are going okay, everyone is ready to have this situation pass and get back to their normal lives, stress levels are high and financial crisis is evident. Who knows what the new normal will be like, people are becoming more anxious by the week.

Stay Home, be Safe, Eric

Virus Shuts down Tourism ~ April 4, 2020

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

April 4, 2020

We just wanted to give an update from Southern Baja. All tourism is shut down, hotels, restaurants, beaches, Marina activities etc. We have heard reports of some 20 confirmed cases of COVID 19 coronavirus, though reports are limited and actual testing even more so. Local schools are shut down until at least April 30, more likely the entire school year. Mexico is about one month behind of what the United States is dealing with as for progression of this extremely contagious virus. Many locals are not really taking the situation seriously, as for isolation, ignoring authority’s warnings of safe distancing, still gathering for social and family events.

Puerto Los Cabos Marina was officially closed to all activities, several days after the Port authority’s did the same in Cabo San Lucas, but apparently in our marina they are not strictly enforcing the no fishing aspect, locals are still fishing daily, a handful of pangeros, saying they are just fishing for food for their families, though are also making profit on the side.

As soon as our operations were shut down, just like the clock work the local fishing action  improved, very good catches now for wahoo, yellowfin tuna, some bottom action for cabrilla, amberjack and red snapper, as well as even a few dorado. Wahoo are congregated around the Iman Bank, striking on both rigged baitfish and Rapalas. The yellowfin were found also on these same grounds, mainly hitting while drift fishing with strips of squid and they were ranging in sizes up to 100 lb. The wahoo were averaging 25 to 50 lb.

So we are basically on home lock down, only making necessary trips for necessary provisions, gasoline prices have dropped some for the first time in memory, but does not really matter since we are not using much of that now. Great time to catch up on home maintenance projects, vehicles, boats, etc. More spare time than we are used to having

Stay Safe, Eric