Casa de Catalina
About 2/3 down the long length of the stunningly stark Baja Pennisula is the city of Loreto, once the capital of California. Home to the first mission in Baja in 1697, the town has grown from a small fishing village to a city of approximately 12,000 residents. The economic focus remains on tourism and fishing, but a healthy school system and a campus of the University of Baja California insure continued growth of intellectual resources.
Approximately one mile north of the city near the water’s edge sits Casa de Catalina. This is where I’m headed …..
Palapa on the beach...
…. so i’m not in mex .. and it’s always weird .. buds are spread all over this summer … cynthia’s been in idaho putting fine touches on the best kitchens .. george has been trying to catch up to both daughter’s weddings … carol was here to help me pack up stuff .. alexander was up .. val was in alaska with husband, barry .. on pam and kent’s boat chasing BIG fish .. jeanne was north for a bit .. then in SJ with Mark .. he and i played in the surf .. mikey’s left for brazil (lucky dog) .. martin is building a new palapa in todos santos .. norm is spending the summer in bandon and SUP’ing his heart out .. dennis has been in/out .. hopefully catching some waves … james has been passing on real estate info .. and the world keeps spinning …
Captain Barry Wilkerson
Barry, my life-long friend Val’s husband, told me that he has the best friends of his entire lifetime in Loreto.
I thought long and hard about what he had said, and why it was in fact, true. I think it’s because like personalities are drawn to the area for similar reasons.
In fact, it was friendship that drew me to Loreto in the first place. Val and Barry had finished building their new home and Val invited the ‘girls’ to come down for a long weekend. It only took 4 days – I had never been in Loreto before – but I fell in love with the charm of the town and the warmth and caring of the residents.
Fishing is one of the great draws. In fact, anything that has to do with the bounty of the Sea of Cortez serves as a backdrop for gathering friends.
Val as a Sea Bird
Scuba diving, snorkeling, island hopping, swimming, sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking … All related to the beauty and wealth of this pristine sea.
And on a second note, the majority of the “gringos” in Loreto are retired, so the tension and rat maze of making a living have fallen off the radar. Life is easier, choices are simpler. A game of afternoon cards? Why not? Spanish lessons three times a week? Good idea. Help you paint that wall? Sure, come on over.
Neighbors are special. Everyone looks out for everyone else, and when there is a need, everyone rushes in to help. Yes.. friendships based on choices surrounding the desert and the sea and the activities that they provide. Common ground that draws us together.
During my ‘second’ surfing session in San Juanico in 2009, I had the pleasure of meeting James Seixas who has another ‘home’ in San Pedro. He was kind, encouraging .. and a whole lot of fun in the water. I was able to catch a few stills of him at second point, and have turned them into this short kind of funky video.