Aug 1, 2013

Loreto, from Corn to Fish and 5 Amps Worth of Poop

Do what you feel in your heart to be right,
For you'll be criticized anyway.
Eleanor Roosevelt 

View of Loreto from the boat
From ‘V’ Cove we stopped over at the south anchorage of Islas Coronados even though very light winds were coming from that direction making it a lee shore.  We did not have enough wind to get all the way into the beautiful crescent shaped bay but knew we were nearby should winds pick up and we needed more protection.  Already we had ghosted there taking nearly all afternoon to sail the twelve mile distance that felt like a hundred, and were more than happy to anchor.

Even though it is not as pretty and does not have a nice sandy beach, we didn’t have to deal with the biting insects – mostly bees the folks in the bay were battling with and complaining about.  We could access that nicer beach via a nicely maintained short trail and did so many times so Nikki could acquaint herself with the local crabs.

We kayaked to the bay to visit a couple of the folks we knew not realizing just how far it really was.  Two and a half miles later we were glad to rest while visiting but were also happy to return ‘home’ after watching them incessantly swatting bees away from their boats.

Volcano, blue waters, white beaches.  Need I say more?
We hiked the island near a nesting area since it was not in use at the moment; we wouldn’t chance disturbing any nesting birds.  We saw a lone tall cardon cactus, about 8 feet tall.  At its base are hundreds of needle-nose fish heads.  A bird of prey must use this cactus as its perch when feeding.  It’s amazing to see all these heads.  I had watched a couple of ospreys within the past nearly 2 years with what I thought were sea snakes or eels in their talons, now I’m rethinking they were probably needle-nose fish.

It was a nice stop over before heading to Loreto for provisions, a new Mexican flag, and a nice dinner.

Loreto does not have a protected anchorage so we lucked out having three days and nights of calm weather to enjoy the town without having to hire a taxi, take a bus, or hitchhike.  Finally, we were only a kayak ride away.  Locals are helpful and friendly and we were able to trust that our kayaks would be safe on a busy beach full of swimmers, sunbathers, picnickers, runners, etc.
The last time we visited Loreto, the waterfront part of town was under heavy construction.  This time, we were blessed with a brand new malecón following the beach on one side and a new divided frontage road on the other.  Many seating areas, sculptures, and varied landscaping give it a great finishing touch.  Everything is very clean.  Early morning, they groom the beach closest to the marina, and many palm covered umbrellas offer visitors welcome shade.  People show up very early to save one for their day on the beach.

White sandy nose - the hunt continues
For every improvement there seem to be losses.  Our favorite store, Dali, is closed down and Baja Book may soon follow.  The transient nature of businesses in Mexico is astounding but more than that; it always seems to be the businesses we like, receive great reviews, and seem to do well.  We just can’t figure this one out. 
We enjoy the Sunday Farmers' Market and even bought what we thought was sweet corn on the cob but it turned out to be young cow corn.  Thankfully we just purchased two ears.  We have been looking for sweet corn on the cob and in our eagerness, we got duped into thinking this was finally it after nearly two years of looking.  NOT! 
While I shucked the corn, I found a cut worm in the silk at the end of the first ear and gave it to Mike in the cockpit to throw overboard.  As you may know from following this blog; we are never lucky with fishing, only lucky enough to encounter folks who usually have too many fish and give it away or we have to purchase from the local fishermen.  Mike threw the 1” worm over the side to see two 18” fish fight for it.  It was gone in the blink of an eye, too bad there was neither hook nor line attached to the worm.  Will we ever learn?
We enjoyed excellent (for Mexico) micro-brewed beers at a bar/resto called 1697.   Mike had an IPA and a red beer, he cannot even recall the last time he drank a good beer.  For dessert, we shared the house special, an orange cake that was truly amazing.  It was like eating several whole oranges at once followed by a taste of luxurious orange syrup but without the heaviness.  It was light and refreshing.
As we got ready to leave Loreto and while putting things away before heading to Marquer, the last easterly anchorage we hadn’t visited on Isla Carmen, Mike noticed a huge bird poop on one of the back-end solar panels.  Since we rely on solar it is important we keep the panels clean to hopefully get every ounce of energy we can out of them.  The previous day we had wondered why we hadn’t reached our maximum of about 25.4 Amps at noon – mystery solved.  We had to chuckle for we should’ve done the obvious and checked the panels – we just thought that possibly there was a haze in the sky.  We now like to refer to the size of the poops (or other objects clouding the solar panels) by how many Amps it steals away from us, hence the 5 Amp-poop.

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