Loreto Fest 2006


Puerto Escondido or "Hidden Harbor"


Street by Plaza

Plaza at Loreto

Mission at Loreto

Church Interior

Loreto Fest 2006

Activities tent

Bocci ball

Dinghy Races

Steve working the dinghy dock watch

Loreto Fest is actually held in Puerto Escondido, which is also known as "Hidden Harbor." The reason for its name is that the entrance is very difficult to see as you go by. There is an outer harbor called "The Waiting Room" and then the inner harbor. The inner harbor is surrounded by land except for the channel entrance, and it is very secure. Many cruisers leave their boats here during hurricane season. We picked up a mooring ball in the inner harbor and then went to check in and pay our fees.

We had a few days before Loreto Fest would begin, so we shared a taxi ride into Loreto with Stan and Rhea on Vigari. We went to the Internet Cafe to catch up on some business, and then we walked to Cafe Olé so that we could have some lunch. From there we walked around the town square and to the Mission.

The Jesuit Mission was founded in 1697 by Padre Junipero Serra and in 1769 Padre Serra left Loreto and proceeded overland where he founded the San Diego mission. That established Loreto as the fountainhead for all Spanish development that took place on the Pacific coast of the United States. Not much remains of the original buildings although much of it is very old, and one of the bells in the tower dates from 1743.

Loreto is a quaint little town. There are the usual tourist shops but also quite a few art stores. We really enjoyed our tour of the downtown area.

On May 3 the preparations began for Loreto Fest. Everyone in the anchorage helped to get the area set up. There were tables and chairs to set up and wash down and serving tables for the food needed to be assembled. It took almost the whole day to get things ready. Everyone volunteered to take on different jobs during the fest.

On May 4 the Fest began. There were board games, horseshoes, beach volleyball, cabbage bowling, bocci ball, and over-the-line baseball. There was a chili cook off that evening. The next day the games continued, there were a variety of workshops, and a spaghetti dinner was held in the evening. On Saturday, a bay clean up was held with dinghies collecting trash from the water and people working on the shore. There were dinghy races with different classes depending on the dinghy type and size and the size of its engine. The games continued on. The dinner that evening was a Mexican dinner of stuffed Poblano chilis. Steve and I signed up for dinghy-dock watch from 6 to 8 p.m. We must had a lot of dinghies tied up to the dock, and we helped people tie up when they came in and retrieve their dinghies when they left. By 9 o'clock when someone came to relieve us, it was pretty entertaining watching people as they climbed over other dinghies in order to reach their own.  Sunday morning started with a pancake breakfast. There was also a Spam as Art and a Spam Toss competition. Some of the entries in the Art competition were very creative. A dinghy parade was held. Dinner that evening was a pot luck.

Every day the games were held as well as a silent auction. Every evening music was performed by Americans or Canadians who live in the area as well as by some of the cruisers. All the money that was raised, which was quite a bit, goes to different charities in the Loreto area. These people work very hard every year to hold this event and to help out the local residents.

On Sunday afternoon we went aboard Endless Summer. Steve wanted to buy a scrimshaw necklace that he had seen earlier at the swap meet. The man on board does beautiful work on walrus teeth and on whale bones that have been sliced to make thin pieces on which he can create pictures of sailing ships. Steve bought a walrus tooth that had a lovely sailing sloop with a sun carved into it.

Unfortunately, the dinner on Saturday night did not agree with me at all, and I began to feel sick late Sunday afternoon.  By that evening, I was too sick to go ashore, so I stayed on board while Steve went in to have a bite to eat.

All-in-all we had a good time during Loreto Fest, and we were able to meet more cruisers. Some of these cruisers had been on the Baja Ha-Ha with us, but we just didn't have time to meet them at that time. Betsy and Richard on the sailboat Qayaq were friends of a couple that we had met in British Columbia last summer. They told us to look for Qayaq on the Ha-Ha, but we weren't able to connect with them until this event. 

Now it's on to the Sea of Cortez.