What does it take to get a boat ready to haul out in a hot, dry climate? Tin foil and clothes line. We started by removing the lines we weren’t using and rinsing them out in fresh water. Living in a salt water environment means that everything gets saturated in salt. Off came preventers, jacklines, spinnaker sheets, soft shackles and into a bucket they all went. They dried in the sun and got labeled so we’d know what they were when we get back to Gypsy after this is all over.
Meanwhile, San Evaristo closed to cruisers. The navy was hailing boats in Los Muertos to try to prevent recreational sailing and gathering. Ports were officially closing to recreational traffic. We headed into the marina and got enough internet to book plane tickets home. Alaska Airlines wasn’t flying out of Loreto so Bill booked us tickets on Calafia to Tijuana. They were flying out three flights a week. Since we weren’t driving, we had to figure out some luggage beyond our day packs to pack stuff into to get it home. The laundry bag, the only decent sized bag we had on board, wasn’t going to work. A suitcase was needed and Puerto Escondido has no stores beyond the marina tienda. We rented a car and headed into Loreto, a town about 30 miles up the road. The drive into Loreto has spectacular, mountains on one side, the Sea of Cortez on the other. The town itself is picturesque. Grocery stores were still open, but restaurants were mostly closed. Nothing touristy was open, including the beaches. Coppel, the department store in town, was open only for online order pick up, so buying a suitcase there wasn’t going to work. For some reason, one of the grocery stores had a display of picnic gear, including coolers. Our new Samsonite would be a bright blue Coleman. Sometimes you just have to be creative. Our trip to town was timely. The next day, Loreto was closed to outsiders.
We filled the fuel tank, washed the boat, waiting to get hauled out. Puerto Escondido closed to recreational traffic. If you came in, you were here to stay, unless you were in transit to a haul out destination or provisioning. The navy made a daily circuit of the mooring field with a stay at home message. It was in English, so all the gringos would finally understand.
Being a cruiser in a foreign country during a pandemic is a very strange experience. On one hand, you can argue that we social distance no matter where we are. On the other, while all those incredible anchorages, beaches and parks are closed to the local population, there are all of us rich gringos in our boats, playing with our water toys in places that locals can’t go, enjoying ourselves in ways no longer allowed the locals. As things shut down, it looks like we’re still out having fun, even if we are staying on our boats, trying to respect the local restrictions. Many of the communities are pretty isolated, and were beginning to feel the need to make sure the needs of their communities were met as supplies became more difficult to obtain. Tense moments were relayed on the net. Understandably, cruisers were asked to leave some locations.
We got everything cleaned out, the cooler packed, and the taxi arrived to take us to the airport. We shared a cab with Mike, whose flight out the previous week on Volaris had been cancelled. We got to the Loreto airport in plenty of time, as there was a total of maybe a dozen people in the whole airport. The flight was maybe a third full. Crossed the border in Tijuana and discovered our CBX didn’t cover the shuttle to the San Diego airport. Just as well, since our flight to Portland was the next day. Cabs were desperate for business so we ended up with an extremely discounted fare to our motel. The desk staff at the motel recommended a nearby Mexican restaurant for takeout, a recommendation that was seconded by a scooter club that pulled in right after we got there. Dinner was Thai.