Thursday, May 26, 2011

Loreto Fest Hoedown

Our Lady of Loreto Church
After 6 or 7 months of buddy boating with a variety of fun folks and a seemingly endless circuit of cocktail parties, delicious potlucks, and group excursions into town for more food and drink we joined in one last social extravaganza before winding down the sailing season. What started in San Diego with 170 boats for the Baja Ha-Ha culminated with 200 boats partying it up for one last big bang of fun and games for the 15th annual and largest to date Loreto Fest. The only thing is, Loreto Fest is not in Loreto. Loreta is a quaint town, with a lovely plaza filled with big shade trees and good restaurants, but it's anchorage is an open road stand. Thus, the festival is held in Puerto Escondido, which is a large Bay with a secure anchorage. In fact, some boats choose to stay there for hurricane season.
Here's a picture of the entrance to Puerto Escondido, where the Loreto Fest was actually held.
Puerto Escondido is a lovely and secure Bay, sometimes used as a hurricane hole.
Boats from all directions come to Puerto Escondido to eat, drink, and be merry, as well as raise funds to help support local scholarship programs. Proceeds from a raffle and an auction are used to buy computers and school supplies, and tuition. Bocce Ball and Horseshoe tournaments last for 3 days. Darrell finally got to dust off the rust from his father's set of horseshoes, that yes, we carried aboard El Tib from San Francisco! Charlie, I hope you saw that! Dominos and canasta games under the shade of big tents were popular with the more relaxed crowd. There was also a blindfolded dinghy race for those not faint of heart. Hamburgers, hotdogs, a spaghetti feed, and a pancake breakfast all served up Bloody Mary's, wine, and beer kept sailors and stinkpotters well fed and watered. Evenings were whiled away dancing to local bands under a blanket of bright stars. A pretty fantastic gathering, and very well organized too. Mucho Kudos to the Hidden Port Yacht Club for sponsoring the shindig.
Ready, Get Set, Go! All's quiet the morning before the Festival starts.
Hidden Port Yacht Club did a fantastic job of orchestrating the event.
            Darrell, David, and Rick pitch Charlie's horseshoes                      
 The grand finale, an unplanned event, was a BIG blow from the north. Called Northers, these winds can reach gale force rather quickly. Thirty to more than 50 knots of wind screamed through the anchorage wreaking havoc for 3 days and 3 nights. We chafed through 2 secondary lines before we were able to get a shackle hooked through the bouncing mooring ball. Other boats experienced similar troubles with their lines, while others dragged their anchors. Foul weather gear which hadn't seen the light of day in many months suddenly appeared to keep boaters dry as they traveled in dinghies across waters with a nasty fetch to land-based festivities. Some folks stayed on board in order to protect their floating homes.   Fun and games. 
On the fourth day the winds mellowed, we swept off tons of sand and dirt deposited on El Tiburon from the wind blowing across the desert, cut loose the mooring lines, and headed south in lumpy seas in search of solitude and more lobsters.

1 comment:

  1. And a good time was had by all (when we weren't on anchor watch). Nice job, Sarah!