Isla Coronados and Loreto

Posted:  March 24, 2024
👁 581   8

When I think of my 2023 cruising season the main memories that come to mind are our engine woes, finding a family in La Cruz, and wakeboarding in Isla Coronados – which is why it was SO cool to be back! After a lovely day’s sail from Pulpito, Chris and I were the first boat to set our hook in the west anchorage of the island, followed by Kessel, and I’mua. Just as we were settling in, the unmistakable 100+ foot expedition vessel, Infinity, dropped anchor just outside of us. Reid was quick to dinghy over and say hello, while Chris was too star struck. “That’s the Sea Gypsies! The big boat that sailed the arctic circle! They’ve been around the world!” and so on. While admiring the expedition vessel, dolphins swam around us in the anchorage, a good omen of what was to come. 

Missa’s Lost Boys in Loreto

After sailing through the desert with Chris, Peter and Reid, I hadn’t been in the presence of another female in about a month. When I shared this with our dear friend Quincey, she responded with “It’s like you’re Wendy and they are your lost boys!” which was a funny and sweet sentiment that stuck like glue; and we weren’t done adding lost boys to the mix. 

Chris and I buttoned up Avocet for the day and kissed Cleo on the forehead before jumping aboard Kessel and pointing her bow towards Loreto. It was a quick 8 nm motor across from the island, and where we would replenish our food stocks and pick up Peter’s friend Stephen who we had met on New Years back in 2023. Once reunited, we stopped for lunch at Peter’s favorite place, Mi Loreto, where I had the best chicken mole in the world. It was so good, we bought mole salsa to go and carefully carried it around in our backpack while we continued with the rest of our shopping. 

“Isn’t this place amazing?” Peter asked as we walked down the tree-lined street. The greenery, architecture and general vibe was reminiscent of the mainland, getting me excited to return and share those special places with Peter who had never sailed south of Baja. 

Loreto

Loreto was the first Spanish colonial settlement of the Viceroyalty of New Spain on the Baja California Peninsula. The town was founded in 1697 by Jesuit missionaries, who found a steady spring of fresh water on this site, as the Misión Nuestra Señora de Loreto. The Jesuits were expelled in 1767, and control of the Baja California missions was given to the Franciscans – but you’ll learn more about this later. The town served as the capital of the province of Las Californias from its founding until the capital was moved to Monterey (yes, that Monterey)  on February 3, 1777. In 1768, the province had been split into Alta California (today’s U.S. state of California) and Baja California. At first, the two provinces continued with a single governor. Later, the town became the headquarters for the Lieutenant Governor of California Viejo (the province of Baja California).

Today, the city is a tourist resort, catering mostly to American travelers, with daily flights from California to Loreto International Airport. Many American tourists enjoy fishing in pangas for “dorado” (Mahi-mahi or Dolphin Fish) and local restaurants willingly prepare the daily catch of the tourists. Loreto has a museum that coexists alongside the historic, but still active, parish and the seaside town has an active sister city relationship with the California cities of Hermosa Beach, Cerritos, and Ventura – no wonder we loved it!

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With a bunch of groceries and full bellies we returned to the dock where Jabba was tied up waiting for us. We were hassled by the municipality to pay a dinghy fee, but once paid up we motored out to Kessel and I got to work stowing Peter’s groceries. It was his first year single-handing his vessel, and I realized I needed to teach him a few things about storing produce to increase longevity – you can learn these tips and tricks the same way I did, from the legend herself: Lin Pardey

We arrived back in the Isla Coronados anchorage just in time for sunset. We decided to raft up to Avocet, making the jumps between Kessel and our boat much easier. Stephen quickly realized he had made a mistake by only buying himself one coconut water for the duration of his week-long-stay, which we would listen to him (mostly) jokingly complain about in the following days.

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Blustery Days Incoming

I woke up on the morning of February 7th to the most beautiful red sky that painted the nearby mountain range in hues of pinks and purples. It was around 6:30 am, and Chris was still fast asleep but I had to get up and participate in the show that Mother Nature was putting on. Luckily, Reid shared in my early morning antics, giving me the opportunity to shoot some photos of him and his pup Ellie aboard I’Mua which have become some of my favorite photos from this season. However, as pretty as it was, the ol’ tale “Red Skies in the Morning, Sailors Take Warning” rang true as we got blasted with some serious wind right as I was starting to hand wash our (very) dirty laundry. 

Chris and Peter acted fast to disconnect our boats as Kessel quickly blew away from us with the wind. Avocet was bucking, and at the trough we had maybe only 3 feet beneath our keel. We quickly pulled our hook and made our way to the south side of the anchorage where there was deeper water to wait out the blow before catching the next southerly to our next better-protected anchorage where Chris spent his 26th birthday with friends. 

Reid, Ellie and I'Mua

Reid, Ellie and I’Mua

Fair winds, 

Marissa, Chris and Cleocatra






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