Monday, July 16, 2007

Fishin For the Mission Tournament

Restaurants and Bars were busier this week as many people were coming into town for the Fishin For the Mission Tournament this weekend. This is a local event that was started 16 years ago by Americans living and visiting this area to support the Loreto community. It happens in the “July dark moon” which is about the 3rd week each year.

It was a private event until six years ago when it became public and attracted some big sponsors. Last year they raised $25,000 USD which was donated to the Mission, the local orphanage, and buying books for the library. The generous donation of the many sponsors raises about 40 to 50 prices in addition to money. The registration fee is $150 for a boat with 4 people. Very cheap for 3 days of fun and a good charitable project!

This is the President Jim Duggins(left) and Vice President Troy Cline of the event. They were very happy to share information about their event and look forward to many more participants next year. One of the things that came through was that this event is real appreciation for the locals and all they do to help the fishermen all year long. At the beginning of each event is a party at the Marina for all the local boat captains and ponga drivers and their families with food, beer, and lots of good laughs.

This is an annual “not to be missed event" for many people that live here and come back just to “Fishin For the Mission … where the Mission is Fishing”. My friend Brenda Calger has been part of this group for the last 10 years and is well established in the local culture. She is between two very nice young local Loreto men, Andres who works for me and J.D. who will be working with her on Brenda's new “concierge” business to take care of foreigners’ homes and events so they do not need to. More to come in the next few months…

There are shirts and souvenirs donated and all money raised goes towards the local community. Check out their website at www.fishinforthemission.com and see how you can participate next year!

I did not fish this weekend as I had made plans to explore the west coast of Baja California Sur to find the freshest seafood available. My motto is to always seek assistance from the experts for things that I do not do so well myself. We went over to the West Coast to see the different beaches and was surprised how much cooler it was. It was a very pleasant 85 degrees, when it was over 100 degrees in Loreto.

We found an abalone depot where the many ponga captains brought in their fresh catches each day. They were shelled and cleaned and sold for about 600 pesos per kilo, or $29 USD per pound. Abalone is illegal to harvest in Canada and is on the black market for over $100 a pound if you can get it.

The shells were beautiful and large, and hopefully sold for crafts and jewelry. This is big business and I hope that they do not over harvest the abundance now available.

You can buy fresh fish off many beaches in remote destinations if you time it right. Usually between 11 am to 2 pm, depending upon weather. There was a little shop with this truck full of ice and fish waiting for the right buyers to come along. There was grouper, halibut and some mahi mahi, all very fresh. I am sure that it would be delivered to the bigger cities and sold for higher prices.

Another little spot we found was scallops by the boat full. The whole family, including kids about 8 years old, was shelling scallops on this restful Sunday afternoon. The little house was all equipped with weighing machines, freezers, and everything needed to do business. Not sure what they did with the shells, but there were many mobiles and crafts, as well as shells in the pavement for decoration scattered all through this little town.

I apologize to my many friends for being late with this weeks’ update, but I have some spectacular scenery pictures to share with you next week once I get some rest! Covered a lot of ground in a very short time, and I always encourage everyone to take the road less traveled and see what surprises you may find. Have a great week!

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