Hello, Loreto! Saturday, 3/19/16
Generally speaking, you know that if you go to bed early, you wake up early, so I was treated to one more spiffy sunrise! The Sea of Cortez is still choppy, but less so. I watched as Loreto came into view ... a green panorama caught between a turquoise sea and yonder brown hills.
Time to get up!
While standing on our balcony, even before Ruby dropped her anchor at 7am, Jimmy and I kept hearing what sounded like popcorn kernels exploding, not all at one time as it does in our air popper, but now here -- pop -- now over there -- pop. Jimmy discovered what it was. Manta Rays leaping clear out of the water and falling back in -- splat! -- sort of a belly flop pop! All day, repeatedly, both sides of the ship. No one seemed to know WHY they leaped as they did, but the suggestion I favored was that they were leaping for joy. Whales were spotted aft off the port side, too.
I mentioned in yesterday's post that we had no excursion planned for today; we're taking a rest from snorkeling in cold waters two days in a row. Ruby is anchored in the clear blue bay; those orange and white tenders (above) will take us across the glassy Sea of Cortez into Loreto, about ten minutes from the ship. Warm and sunny feels good!
Loreto invested in a good, clean harbor for fishing boats and tenders.
Loreto is a tourist resort, catering mainly to sport fishermen and cruise ships. It's a small city, about 14,000+ people. The melancon (boardwalk) that hugs the waterfront is manicured with palms and drought-tolerant vegetation and invited a pleasant stroll. The main draw is the charming, pedestrian-only leafy ficus arcade that welcomes tourists to the commercial district. Shops offer handmade crafts and clothing. Restaurants feature lots of margaritas and al fresco dining. We fail as buying tourists ... we came away empty-handed (who needs more stuff?), but we had fun looking. We enjoyed our time in Loreto, quietly walking the melancon and the quaint "downtown." We could easily return.
When we went ashore, dancers in bright costumes were in full swing in the plaza.
Red must be the "in" color!
Jesuit priests built the Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto (Our Lady of Loreto) in 1697 ... the first mission to be built in the Californias. It's well-preserved, and still stands as an active parish. The bell tower rises high above the center of town and has been lovingly restored. We stepped inside the narrow church, with its cool, dark interior, and sat for a few minutes. Below is a pic of the original sculpture of Our Lady of Loreto.
Honestly, who would've guessed? We didn't follow the arrow to see how the RV Park looked, but if a person felt safe driving down here, wouldn't it be fun to spend a month or so in picturesque Loreto? Answer: Yes!
Fishing must have been good in the harbor. Pelicans were relentless in their power dives to scoop up a snack! The last tender left town at 5:15 and Ruby set sail shortly thereafter, setting courses out into the Gulf of California. Again, we were early to bed. Guess I'll see another sunrise tomorrow!
Next stop? Puerto Vallarta on mainland Mexico!