Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fun at the Loretofest

Fran's Scorpion.

Bill (Tanker) and Linda (Nurse Shark) at Mision hotel

Finally, a real shower....

Interesting sign on Isla Coronado....

Did I mention Beer?

1700, 30 April 2011, buoy 39, Puerto Escondido
We are at the Loreto Fest. What a hoot!! It began yesterday and will last thru Sunday with a variety of events tailored to cruisers. That includes everything from seminars on fishing topics to HF radio usage, lots of beer, silly events like dinghy racing, where the driver is blindfolded, craft making, lots of beer, chilli contest, board games, cards, raffles and the ever popular swap meet and did I mention beer? We are into day 2 already and it has been a blast so far.
We arrived on Wednesday afternoon after a nice motor-sail from Bahia Colorado with a short stop off of Loreto to replenish the larder. We were getting quite low on supplies so we took advantage of the proximity of the good stores in Loreto on the way by. We anchored off the town and took the dinghy in to the municipal docks just as a cruise ship was making its approach into the bay. We arrived back with our load of supplies as the Oosterdam was disgorging its passengers.
The buoy field at Puerto Escondido was filling up fast when we arrived but Bill and Linda (Tanque de Tiburon) were there to help us tie up to our buoy. By the end of the afternoon many of our friends from locations far removed from here had arrived. Steve and Pam (Full Quiver), Chris and Sandy (Faith), Gail and Jerry (Moshulu), Barb and Terry (Sunnyside) and many others. We were sorry to have missed Steve and Linda (Warren Peace) who are remaining in the Northern part of the sea for another week or so before heading to their haul-out rendezvous at San Carlos.
On Thursday we were treated with an unexpected bonus, a night out in an exclusive Mission hotel in Loreto. Bill and Linda had the winning bid on a 2-night stay at last year’s Loreto Fest and they offered us one of the nights. On top of that it was Bill’s birthday so we got to celebrate with them. The hotel is only 3 years old and very nice. It was such a treat to sleep in a comfortable King size bed and have a long shower with as much hot water as we wanted. Ohhh the little things in life....
We got back to Escondido too late for the swap meet but quickly got involved with some of the preparations and a few of the early events.
In a previous blog we wrote about our problems with bugs but nothing can compare to the one we found onboard last night. Having gotten back early from shore we decided to watch a movie in the salon. About halfway through Fran screamed that something had just bitten her. After an exhaustive search that turned up nothing and after treating the very painful bite site we resumed watching the movie but a short time later she screamed again that something was crawling up her arm. This time we saw something moving so J-G gathered up the seat cover trapping a critter. A careful peek revealed a small scorpion which we immediately bottled up in a jar. Knowing what had stung her we made a b-line to Bill and Linda’s boat hoping that Nurse Shark, Linda (retired Army nurse), would know how to treat it. A good cleaning, ice, anti-histamines and a couple of Tylenols later we were back aboard relieved that this was not a life/death event. By morning Fran was better but her finger was still numb. (Note: 72 hours later, all is well..) A fellow cruiser, Jim on Pochteca, a biologist ID'd the critter as a Centuroides Sculptuatasor bark scorpion, one of the more venemous species. Surprisingly quite a few of our friends recounted similar scorpion experiences. We make a good pair: J-G and his cone shell bite 3 years ago and now Fran with a scorpion sting... Oh, yes, we could also mention Rosie with a large tick that Steve found on her while they were dog sitting when we were at the hotel the other night. That’s 3!!
In a totally unrelated event our propane control module fried itself unexpectedly last night too. J-G was able to make it work partially so that we are able to get the propane flowing but that will have to be replaced for next season.
1500, 2 May 2011, still at buoy 39
It is blowing like hell and has been for the past 2 days. Yesterday they had to cancel some the Loreto Fest afternoon events because of the high winds. We had gone in early to participate in the breakfast and the wind was already beginning to pick up. The weather forecast was for gale force winds and by the early afternoon there were several of the anchored boats that had dragged and most of those at buoys headed back to their boats, worried that the moorings might fail. For several boats that precaution was borne out. Among those that broke free were Loomba Loomba and Tanque de Tiburon, both at about 6 AM this morning. The wind blew all night hitting velocities in the low 40’s. On the way back to the boat yesterday J-G managed to make it back by himself without mishap but Bill (TdT) flipped his and had to be rescued. The winds also played havoc on dinghies ties up astern of their boats. A few actually got airborne on their tethers and flipped over causing a great deal of work getting the outboards cleaned and running again.
With the wind howling and the boat wind-vaning wildly it was a near sleepless night but, even though we stayed aboard all day it was a busy one. Fran spent the time quilting while J-G made some repairs. The main task was to get the propane flowing again. It appears that the solenoid had become defective and was drawing too much current. We had a spare on board but it took most of the day to replace it. Getting to the components was the hard part. We will now have to use the propane very carefully as there is no longer an alarm or auto shut-off feature.
The last Loreto Fest event we attended was the silent auction results. We were successful in about half of our bids and managed to scoop 3 golf prizes at 3 magnificent golf courses along the mainland for next season. They include Punta Mita, near Puerto Vallarta, a course in Ixtapa and another in Huatulco.
The weather is supposed to improve by tomorrow but most of us have decided not to leave until Wednesday and most of our group of friends are heading north. Our late departure means less time exploring. We will have only a few more days to enjoy this side of the Sea this season as we are aiming to be back in Guaymas by the 7th. Bill and Linda have graciously agreed to take Rosie home with them to Sierra Vista while we put Gosling to bed. This will also give us the opportunity to visit the Copper Canyon, a trip we have been looking forward to since we first arrived in Mexico.
1000, 3 May, Still at the bouy.
It is still blowing about 15-18 kts but the gusts are not as frequent. We will be going into the marina to get some internet time this morning and hopefully publish this blog. We plan on leaving tomorrow morning after fuelling and make it to Coronado for tomorrow night. We plan on making the crossing by the weekend and will probably accompany Tanque across.

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