San Felipe Banana Boats


San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

In San Felipe, Baja, Mexico nobody asks --What IS a banana boat? When you see one, you don't have to ask. But for those of you who aren't standing on the shore here, it's a long, yellow, soft, buoyant gizmo in the shape of well, a banana. You can't really call it a boat. It's not self powered. It has no keel, frame, sails, motor, tiller, cockpit or anything like that. It has places to sit, well above the water line, and places for you to hang on. Hanging on is what banana boats are all about.

Your introduction to one will certainly occur while you are tanning on the beach during one of the busy holiday weekends. It's more likely to happen if there is a group of you. Group on a banana boat at san felipeA panga will swing up near the shore trailing the appendage in question --the banana. Someone will call to the group, asking who wants a ride? Negotiations will arrive at a fair price and the intrepid few or many will wade out to the banana and swing their legs over it. A lot like mounting a horse, or seahorse in this case.

The panga is going to cut a path through the water that will sand the sea against the grain. Banana boats don't like going against the grain so the ride is going to be pretty bouncy, especially when your fellow passengers take it in mind to liven the movement by bouncing up and down, passing the buck, in effect. The banana will be trailered across the bay several times and on the return run home, just when you thought it was safe to relax your grip a little, the panga will execute a hairpin turn to demonstrate the effect of angular motion on a banana. No one wins this log-rolling contest. You are going to get wet. And if the water is sufficiently deep, you are also going to forfeit your dignity trying to get back on the thing. But for many the fun is enough to give plenty of appeal to the idea of a second banana.