May 4, 2008 — Loreto boat basin — N 26 degrees 00′ 54.1″/W 111 degrees 20′ 19.3″

9.7 nm for the day; 583.8 nm cruised on the trip overall

We rose early, in the hope that we could get underway before the bees revisited us. We learned that bees rise very early around here, and they have a good memory for fresh water sources. Several were searching the spot where we’d set out the water pan yesterday. We had a light easterly breeze, so I made ready to raise sails. Since the anchorage was too tight to comfortably sail off the anchor, I went to start the outboard. After nearly 600 miles of trouble free operation, the trusty Nissan balked. Specifically, when I turned the key, it turned over much slower than usual, and wouldn’t catch. I leaned over and gave the fuel primer bulb a couple of squeezes, and this time she caught. I later checked the ignition battery, and found it to be strong. I suspect a recurrance of a problem we had on the Alaska trip, when the motor occasionally would turn over very slowly. Suspicion is that somewhere in the wiring between battery and motor a wire connection has begun to corrode, causing a voltage loss. If it continues to be a problem, I’ll have to search for the troublesome spot.

We took our time crossing to Loreto, and reached the boat basin around 10:45 am. I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see a sport fishing boat tied to the floating dock where we had moored on our previous visit. With no other dock space available, I looked for an opening among the pangas, where I could set a stern anchor and tie to the rock jetty, Mediterranean style. I selected an open area along the seaward jetty, dropped the stern anchor, and went ashore in the dinghy with a bow line while Sandy stayed at the helm, boat hook in hand, to keep us out of trouble. We secured the boat without incident, had lunch on board, and prepared to walk into town.

I love serendipity, those quirky little paths we sometimes stumble down, which lend so much flavor and magic to life. For us, Loreto seems full of serendipity. If it hadn’t been for a spur of the moment decision, on our previous visit, to pop into a little bookstore and inquire about the location of an internet cafe, tonight could have never happened. The proprietor of the bookstore was chatting with another fellow, who gave us directions to a little place, called Biznaga, which had high speed WIFI, as well as refreshments and gifts for sale. He gave us good directions to the place. It turns out he was the owner, and he didn’t steer us wrong. It was the perfect place to do e’mail, and so, upon returning to Loreto today, the first thing we did was stroll up to Biznaga, laptop stuffed in the backpack. The same nice young woman was behind the counter, and she told me all about the grand opening of the new restaurant starting up in the back courtyard. A helpful young man assisted me as I set up the computer. They were both very enthused about the grand opening of this new restaurant. A man came around whom I recognized. He was the guitar player who had entertained us so well when we dined at Mita Gourmet a few weeks back. It turns out he and his family are starting up this new venture, with the grand opening set for tomorrow night, on Cinco de Mayo.

This presented us with a problem. We’d already set our hearts on a return to Mita Gourmet, which is closed today. Thus, if we attended the grand opening at Biznaga, we’d have to forego our dinner at Mita Gourmet. The problem was solved when we learned that Biznaga would be serving dinner tonight, a sort of pre-grand opening. And, to top it all, our guitar playing friend and owner of the new restaurant would be providing live musical entertainment. This was too good to pass up.

We arrived at 6 pm sharp. We were greeted by a neatly dressed boy, whom we later learned was the 11 year old son of Herzon, our guitar player and restaurant owner. The boy wore a clean white shirt, and his hair was carefully slicked up. In spite of the fact that there was only only other person seated in the open air dining area, he formally asked us if we had a reservation. We respectfully said no, and then he gave us our choice of tables. The company of diners was soon joined by another couple we’d met earlier, and had told about this newly opened restaurant. The five of us were treated to a memorable dining experience.

The mother was back in the kitchen, doing all the cooking. Our formal young waiter approached the table with measured stride, one hand held behind his back, and attended to our every need with style and class, well beyond his years. He gracefully set our margeritas down on the table, and when he poured my beer, not a drop flowed down the side of the mug. He promptly removed finished dishes, and periodicly checked our table to make sure everything was satisfactory. His English was very good, he being a student of the language since kindegarten. He obviously had been well instructed in the skills of waiter by his attentive parents. It was delightful to see such mature manners in this boy of 11. Our table was bussed by his 8 year old sister, a charming girl with bright eyes, full of personality.

The meal was excellent, and beautifully presented. Herzon provided musical entertainment, and it was music to be savored. He’s a remarkably talented musician, a guitarist equally comfortable playing intricate flamenco on acoustical guitar, as well as classic rock, soft jazz, and popular tunes. His technique is remarkable. His left hand is a blur, moving up and down the neck of the guitar, kapoing with finger only, and even occasionally tweeking a tuning screw in the midst of a tune. His right hand picks, plucks and strums with zest. He rarely sings, but he’s so completely focused on his music that his facial expressions are song in itself. I asked him if he knew Stairway to Heaven and he treated us to an enchanting rendition. Another highlight came when he asked his young daughter to join him as vocalist. The vision of the pair of them together will linger for a long time.

We hated to leave, since by that time we were his only audience. We tipped both our youthful waiter and Herzon generously, and wished them much success with their new restaurant. If we hadn’t stopped in that bookstore to ask directions to an internet cafe, tonight would never have happened. It reminds us to try being open to the little joys in life.

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