Like Herding Cats
Most agreed to stay at Loreto’s Desert Inn (desertinns.com/Loreto) on the north side of town, but Reinhardt and crew member Bill Toepfer insisted on staying at La Mision Hotel (lamisionloreto.com) near the middle of town. Reinhardt’s boat was still broken, and evidently so was his commitment to staying close to the group.
After hearing this, McGinnis was downhearted but philosophical. “Each one of these boat owners is an independent type,” McGinnis said as the caravan rumbled through the streets of Loreto, “and sometimes it goes against his nature to stick together. It’s like herding cats.”
The group reconvened that evening for drinks and dinner, but that was the last time we saw them all in one place.
We awoke the next morning to more wind and no hope of getting on the water. We also learned that another member of the caravan was splitting away.
David Hill informed McGinnis that he planned to trailer his rig solo to Bahia de Los Angeles about 380 miles north.
McGinnis tried to persuade the wiry, impatient Hill to stay, but he was gone before breakfast. Watching him drive away, McGinnis was again philosophical.
“There’s no signed agreement to stay together,” he said. “It’s real informal, but once you leave, you lose the support system. I hope he makes it OK.”
We spent the blustery day exploring Loreto and found the warmth and kindness of the Mexican people wherever we went. “You find this everywhere in lower Baja,” said American expatriot Bob Neal, who has a casa (house) near Juncalito, a small fishing village about 17 miles south of Loreto. “You can walk around down here day or night and always feel safe,” he said.
The next day, the wind was still up, but the two boats left in the group were committed to getting out. And yet another boat was set to join us.
Vagabundos del Mar members Dan and Shirley Atkinson, both in their late 60s, had cruised to the Loreto area two days earlier in their Safari 28 flybridge from their home in San Carlos on the Mexican mainland.
We met them in Puerto Escondido, a marina 25 miles south of Loreto. The Atkinsons are the archetypal Vagabundos and regularly cruise the Gulf of California along with their cat, Sugar.
“Even when we’re home, we live aboard this boat more than we stay in the house,” Dan Atkinson said.