Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Log 10A - Loreto Fest 2003 Puerto Escondido, BCS, Mexico

"In the end, kids won't remember that fancy toy you bought them, they will remember the time you spent with them." - Kevin Heath

This blog highlights Loreto Fest (May 2-5, 2003)
 an annual "cruisers'" festival held in Puerto Escondido, about one-third the way up the Sea of Cortez on the Baha Peninsula side and just south of the historic town of Loreto.

Puerto Escondido is a beautiful protected bay (actual hurricane hold-out bay if needed) with the majestic “Sierra De Le Giganta” Mountains as a backdrop. It is really quite spectacular.

Puerto Escondido - Baha California South, Mexico

For the 8th year, cruisers (and now an increasing number of RVers) congregated for 4 days of music, crafts, events, games and contests, and general comradery. The original purpose and a continuing event of Loreto Fest was and remains cleaning up garbage, which somehow continues to collect throughout the immediate area. We had heard, as did other family cruisers, that the festival was a family event and, in self-fulfilling prophesy style, showed up to complete a complement of 5 family boats harnessing the energy of 11 cruiser-kids.

Great rendezvous for the cruiser kids.

Here s/v Tioga reunites with s/v Atalanta - just in time for the Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves Ball!!

Ginny, Michael, Rhiannon & Vienna w/ Sheila, Chris Joel and Gerrit

The snorkel performers anxiously await their turn on stage.

'Old Macdonald' sung through snorkel tubes is a great hit with the crowd.

Yikes! What's this show coming to??

Winners of the spam and bimbo bread carving contest.

Kids from s/v Tioga, Altanta & Chika

The annual Pigs Game Competition is in full swing.

The great flying pig watches over the play.

Musician Travis from s/v Mystery Tramp teaches his song 'Naked Canadian' to the kids for the evening performance.

Low and behold real naked Canadians appear on stage during the performance...Chris and Michael up to their tricks again!!

A little after performance hug...Travis was such a great guy.

Travis and some of the band.

The annual dingy parade is so fun.  Everyone dresses up and shows off in style. 

Jimmy the Pirate Boy.

Go figure...Uncle Sam appears to have relocated to Mexico.

Hey, what have you done with Joel and Vienna??

Ahh, cleaning chicken and drinkin' beer - does life get any better?

Joel joins in on a late night jam session. It's rumored that Carlos Santan's current drummer is in on this little session....pretty cool company if it's true.

Chris and MJ from s/v Island Sonata jamming together.

1 hour and 57 minutes and still going???

Gerrit the crazy hula kid

Joel wins 'Grand Pig' honors in the Pigs' Tournament.  His name forever engraved on the Loreto Fest Trophy.

2003 Loreto Fest Pigs Champion

Rattle snake minding his own business

The Crew of SV Tioga Reports on Loreto Fest:

What a great rendezvous for all! The event was well organized with a general gathering area complete with tables, chairs and beer-tents, a stage area and sound system, and a food preparation area for the various dinners and pancake breakfast. In addition, there where latrine facilities (absent in prior years), potable water and lots of room to tie up your dinghy, sentry on hand. There were numerous opportunities for the kids to participate, for their parents to visit, and in the evening for all to enjoy the wealth and breadth of musical talent within the cruising community. One evening, I recall, the artist on stage paused in mid-song and directed the audience to all look over our shoulders. We all turned to marvel at a magnificent sunset and to ponder and give thanks for the wonderful opportunity we all had to cruise and to gather here together in Puerto Escondido.    -cr


Loreto Fest will forever be emblazoned in my memory as one of the best family festivals out there.  So many different activities providing fun for all.  Great to reconnect with many of the cruising families we have met along the way.  Good friends, good food, great music...what more can you ask for.      -sr


Loreto Fest is fun when you participate. Lots of adults and kids were involved. In the dinghy parade, my friend Vienna and I were Indians. My dad and my brother were pirates. People could come in a costume for the potluck supper. There were prizes for the best costume in the dinghy parade. My dad and his friend got into their underpants for the song that a bunch of us kids did on stage called Naked Canadian. You get out what you put in from Loreto Fest and I had a lot of fun.

     Joel Richards (9)


Loreto Fest is a family festival. Kids had the opportunity to go up on stage and sing. There were lots of games and contests for the kids and adults. For example, a Bimbo bread building and Spam carving contest. You have more fun if you participate, and that's what the kids of 2003 did.

     Gerrit Richards (7)

And that's a wrap on Loreto Fest 2003.  Join us in log 11 where we travel from Loreto to San Carlos, Mexico.

Saturday, May 3, 2003

Log 10 - Mexico's Sea of Cortez from La Paz to Puerto Escondido

This blog covers our travels over the month of April 2003 in the Sea of Cortez from La Paz to Puerto Escondido. The weather is warm and winds fantastic for sailing.  We are enjoying our pirate life.

Our cruise of the Sea of Cortez - April 3rd to June 30th, 2003

We crossed from Mazatlan on the Mexican mainland to the Baja Peninsula in early April and thus began our 3 month cruise of the lower and middle sections of the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California.
The lower and mid Sea of Cortez

Monday, April 7th 2003 - Welcome to La Paz ("The Peace")

After a long day working ourselves against wind and current, we finally arrived in La Paz, a popular destination for vessels cruising Mexico's Sea of Cortez.  It has a huge anchorage area and a choice of several modern marinas.  It is also great for provisions and has many attractions in its pleasant and convenient downtown.  The malecon along the waterfront shown here was a daily walk or scooter for our family.
Front street in beautiful La Paz

Tuesday, April 8th - Contemporary Ballet at Teatro de la Ciudad

We met up with our friends from s/v Swallow at Marina La Paz, where we ultimately ended up staying for 2 weeks.  At the local theatre, there was a performance for kids that they planned to attend.  It turns out to be really weird with a man doing contemporary ballet.  To us, it looked like he basically wrapped himself in newspaper, pretended to cry via shredded newspaper pieces to the sound of alarm clocks going off….odd. The boys laughed but also kept saying, "There must be more to come?" There wasn't! We joked the whole way back.
Contemporary ballet ala s/v Swallow and Tioga

Wednesday, April 9th - New Battery Arrives

Arrival in La Paz also had us finally catch up to a replacement battery for our battery bank.  One of our batteries had developed a dead short necessitating a new one under warranty.  As Rolls/Surrette doesn't deliver to Mexico, friends Scott and Sonja and their kids aboard s/v Perrigrinata transported it for us all the way from San Diego and left it here in La Paz.  We got it and Chris began the task of the big switch. The batteries weigh 125 lbs. each so it's a big job to extract the old (2nd from the back) and install the new.
The heart of our boat's electrical system

Friday, April 11, 2003 - Feed the Kids Program

While marinas are relatively expensive to stay in, they do have the advantage of letting you meet a lot of great people in a compressed time.  One of the people we met was Tom, a very friendly guy who's been at Marina de La Paz for 5 years.  This morning we awoke early in order to meet Tom at 6:30am, our ride to the "feed-the-kids" program he's involved with. He has an old Dodge van and waves to people everywhere he drives. The road we are on takes us through town and past the cathedral we saw yesterday.  Tom points out the last house with electricity on the now bumpy road out of La Paz.  Beyond that lies colonia Marquez de Leon, and many more dusty, poor neighborhoods.
Dusty street of Mexican pueblo
We arrive at the village and help to prepare breakfast before kids start arriving at around 7:30 am.
Kids arriving at school and lining up for breakfast
 Prior to eating, the kids line up and get their hands washed.  Since this village has no electricity or running water, and most of the kids' homes have dirt floors, this is often the one time of day their hands are washed and is often the largest meal eaten in a day.   Here Sheila pours fresh water over the kids hands as they roll a bar of soap through their fingers and then head in to eat.
Sheila helps get the kids cleaned up
 It is a great program that continues to require outside funding and organization.  However, the program is in place and now the mothers of the children alternate the food preparation and serving which allows us some time to spend with younger siblings of the school kids.
Joel plays his flute for a little boy

Thursday, April 17th - Dentist!

Another item on our La Paz to-do list was a dental checkup and cleaning for all.  We asked around and heard great reviews about a local dentista.  After a bit of a struggle finding the place, we found the husband and wife dental practice set up in the front of their home.  There was only one dental chair so we all waited our turn.  We were amazed to have all the work done by an actual dentist. It cost about a 1/3 of similar services back in Canada.
 Open wide, por favor

Super Burro --  our favorite eatery

This was our favorite eatery while in La Paz.  We couldn't get enough of these masterpieces or the friendly people.  Their specialties where pastor (spit-grilled pork), aracherro (marinated beef ), and carne asada ( BBQ'd beef ) on a wheat tortilla.  We'd then garnish them with spicy salsas, pickled onions, guacamole, diced tomatoes, cabbage, and grilled peppers to name just a few.   They didn't keep beer on hand, but every time we walked in, one of the gals would run over to the store down the street and bring us back a few ice-cold cervezas!
Our favorite spot to eat in La Paz

Sunday, April 20, 2003 - Easter Dinner

...roast chicken with potatoes and gravy, cranberries, couscous salad and fresh bread.  One of many fine meals prepared on Tioga.  We thought this may be of interest to those of you who envision us eating canned beans every day  heated over a one burner camp stove!
Sheila prepares Easter dinner in the galley

Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - Stanley Cup Playoffs

We had planned to leave La Paz today, but decided to hang around one last night to watch Game 7 of the Vancouver/St Louis hockey series with some cruising friends.  Vancouver won 4-1 to the delight of our compatriots.  The boys were more interested in shooting pool and playing darts.   We left La Paz first thing the next morning heading north further into the Sea.
Red ball, corner pocket

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2003 - Isla San Francisco

We arrive in Isla San Francisco on a glorious afternoon. The boys love to be out front of the bow on arrival to a new harbor.
Bow watch
This is a great little island to explore and do some snorkeling.  We all really enjoy the colorful fish and waters.  We will have to buy the boys special gloves for diving as they love to touch everything!
Joel swims up to the underwater camera.
After a great day exploring we enjoy Tioga's cockpit and listen to Chris sing some tunes.
Mother, Mother Ocean...I have heard you call...

Saturday, April 26, 2003 - Happy 7th Birthday Gerrit

We celebrate Gerrit's 7th birthday on Isla San Francisco.  After serving him breakfast in bed, we head out on another excellent adventure day.
7th birthday breakfast in bed for Gerrit
Prior to leaving La Paz, Sheila found ingredients for lasagna so we enjoyed Gerrit's favorite meal before sharing chocolate brownies with some friendly cruisers in the anchorage.  Notice Gerrit's birthday helicopter hovering in the background of this photo. (P.S. Chris just turned 40 the other day, too!).
Happy 7th Birthday Gerrit

Sunday, April 27, 2003 - Nopolo

Our friends on s/v Atalanta had emailed us about the wonderful time they had had at a place called Nopolo on the Baja coast. We decided to check it out for a night and anchored in the southerly of three anchorages, which provided more protection from the southerly component winds we have been enjoying, and went ashore. We came upon a young women, very pregnant, who invited us up to her house. Our Spanish was stretched to the max as we tried to talk with her and her Grandmother. Very proud of their family, the photo albums came out as did the stories.
Friendly family

Monday, April 28, 2003 - Lobsters in Los Gatos

Manual the fisherman says "燉angosta mi amigo?" (Lobster my friend?).  Chris says "︾or supuesto! 澧uanto cuesta?" (Of course! How much?).  The negotiations begin and end quickly.  Chris knows the going rate and gets six for $100 pesos or about $14 CAD for all.
Manual the fisherman selling his catch
Grilled lobster in garlic butter, fresh salsa, cheese chili reanos, and a tasty Shiraz.
Oh, how we suffer... The Meal

Puerto Escondido Thursday, May 1, 2003 

We've whizzed by some pretty awesome cruising grounds in the 8 days since we left La Paz. Too fast for us, but we had made commitments to meet up with a number of friends in Puerto Escondido for the four-day 8th Annual Loreto Festival, which starts this evening. We don’t even have our anchor down and the crew from s/v Atlanta speeds over excited for more adventures together.
s/v Atalanta crew 
We moved quickly to get here but we'll be retracing our wake in November, the start of the next cruising season, so we'll get to travel slower and see all those places we've short-changed. Was it worth it? Come and view our LOG-10A MINI-TOUR of Loreto Fest 2003!