Sunday, June 29, 2008

Loreto Nursery School Director and Motorized Kayaks

I wanted to share with you the great news of our friend Yolanda. She is now the Director of the only Nursery School in Loreto, and oversees staff responsible for 100 children from babies to 5 year olds. The staff and children love and respect her, and we are so happy for her success. Thank you to all our friends that contributed to her family and gave her the confidence to take on this high level position.

Animalandia is a rapidly growing organization in Loreto. Although I do not know first hand much about their activities, Jane Lurie filmed this fundraising video for Animalandia on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E6K6h1TxSY

This week we had a traditional clam bake in the sand complete with roaring fire in 90 degree heat at the old Whales Inn site, across the street from the tennis center in Nopolo. Jim Spano and Darryl Jones are major investors in Loreto, along with realtor Javier Mercado and I are toasting great days to come.

I went out with Ron Thierfelder on his motorized kayaks, along with David Valera, professional photographer and digital cinematographer. David was vacationing in Loreto after finishing his work on Kung Fu Panda. We were hands free and doing about 5 miles an hour, for over three hours. It was a bit overwhelming being the object of the photo shoot, but we had lots of laughs and certainly it was the highlight of the week.

The morning was beautiful with scattered clouds creating a dreamlike quality for photographs. The water was as still as I have ever seen except for the occasional school of jumping fish. Being on motorized kayaks is truly an amazing experience as there is not a trace of splashing water and it is completely tranquil and silent. Check out David’s photo website at www.davidvalera.com to see some emotionally moving imagery.

It has been exactly 2 years since I started my life down to Loreto, Baja California Sur and recorded my journey with this blog. I scrolled through the archives and read what I wrote on July 1, 2006, and there was an excitement and sense of adventure that I no longer feel. The long hours, the daily unknowns and surprises from left field have made these past few years quite a ride!! So many experiences that I would have surely forgotten or doubted ever happened had I not recorded the events each week with photos and my thoughts at the time. What started as a creative outlet has become a reporting responsibility for me and my site has had over 42,000 visitors, many of whom have never been to Loreto.

Dorado Properties Loreto and BajaBOSS’s summer office hours will be Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. We are happy to meet you, by appointment only, on weekends and evenings to accommodate your travel schedule. I will be available to clients, but spending little time in the office during the summer. www.doradoloreto.com

Velero Del Mar Boat Charters run everyday, and you can always call me 24x7 on my US cell at 602 628 2920 to book your fishing trip. I plan on spending more time on the boat learning as much as I can, so hopefully we will see you on the water. www.velerodelmar.com

My plans are to enjoy Loreto, travel and spend time with family and friends. I will be taking the summer off from writing the blog and will restart after Labor Day Weekend in September. Thank you to all those loyal readers that tune in every Monday, and I promise to have much more news in the fall.

Take care, travel safe, and have a wonderful summer.

Miss Nellie

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Livin' Large In Loreto - Fishing Ventures Show

This week on FOX Sports West, Ronnie Kovach's Fishing Ventures show will be dedicated to Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico. It will be shown on FSN West 9:30 A.M., Sunday, June 29 AND 2:30 P.M., Tuesday July 1. Check out this link for more information:

http://www.fishingexpeditions.com/html/viva_loreto.html

Don't forget our Dorado Loreto Fishing Tournament September 19 and 20, 2008. $30,000 USD in cash prizes and $10,000 USD in raffle prizes. For more info go to www.GoToLoreto.com or email info@doradoloreto.com

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Life in Loreto, Community Spirt, then and now…

In a few months, it will have been five years since I first came to Loreto. It was a regular vacation trip to a sun destination for a few days and I had no expectation that it would be anything more than some fun days of sun, drinking and a lot of laughs. Perhaps it was my subconscious that was seeking something more meaningful, perhaps I wanted to explore and take on a new challenge, and perhaps I was just simply ready for a change. In any event, I went with my gut feeling, listened to my inner child, and took a leap of faith and bought into the vision that Loreto Bay was offering.

A promise of community, of truly genuinely nice people, who did not intend to change the world, only to make a difference to where and how they live. The developer was in the business to sell homes, but their hook was to “tread lightly, live fully”. This was targeted at the environment, the local town, and our new community.

I found the simple pleasures of taking time to talk to people on the street very fulfilling. It would be rude not to take time to acknowledge friends, and everyone was a friend. The waiters, the new neighbors and the local business people. Life is good and I looked forward to coming to a place where I am not judged by the car I drive or where I live, rather on whether I am a “nice” person.

Everyone was always welcome and naysayers were shamed into silence. The early days of Loreto Bay were insane as we desperately tried to keep up with our own success. No one imagined that the team assembled by David Butterfield and Jim Grogan would become such a force of commitment and determination to gain worldwide attention and sell hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate in just a couple of years.

I had the honor of working with some of the most dedictated people anywhere. Everyone was was passionate about their area and believed in the future of Loreto Bay. This ranged not only from the traditional sales, design, and marketing departments, but down to Dr. Ken and “dirt guy” Jim Hallack. Team Loreto Bay was a family, and everyone gave 110% for the good of the company. It was a very special time that few people are ever lucky enough to experience. It can not be planned or orchestrated; it is like love … and just happens when we are ready for it.

There were so many young people that were part of the explosion that have gone onto other jobs in different places, and I know they will be forever changed because of their experiences that they do not talk about, as no one would ever believe the long hours and commitment for little personal gain. We will always share a bond and they can always find me for advice or guidance, but most importantly friendship.

Visionary Buyers sensed this and bought into all of it, hoping for the opportunity to be part of something great. The local Loretanos watched with careful optimism and hoped that the dream would finally become a reality for them as well.

I wanted to be in a place where I felt people cared, time stood still and people mattered. I follow my heart and try to live my life doing what is right. I speak the truth as I know it, and am passionate about my beliefs. My choices are black and white, but the people in it are grey because we are human and subject to responsibility, conscience and personal ethics. Asi es la vida. It is life.

I am friends with many homeowners, who have undergone far more than they bargained for, yet they are still here, believing and loving this place. I am now part of the local community, which has taken time and hard work to be accepted. I appreciate all of these people very much as their random acts of kindness in this Wild Wild West environment is all we have when this is our home.

I am on a path in the fields of Baja basking in the sunshine. There are abundant opportunities and choices, each with their own level of risk and enticement. As I encounter these forks in the road, I make my assessment, determine the consequences and chose whether I go left or right. Win or lose, it does not matter. The only thing important is that I continue moving forward. This pertains to business, financial, social interactions as well as everyday decisions. What could be simpler?

Many of the original Loreto Bay team have now gone and it is a different place. This is inevitable, and I am optimistic and look forward to Replay taking an active management role. It is not their responsibility to create community. It is their business to sell and deliver houses, making money should be their objective.

For us pioneers, we must remember that we wanted a simpler life with time to make a difference to who we were and the differences we could make, not just that our houses were perfectly complete and fully furnished. Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, does it?

The purpose of me writing this at all is to give a gentle reminder to those that bought into the vision. Creating a community takes work. Life happens when we are too busy doing something else. In Loreto, there is nothing else … it is just Life.

I look forward to seeing my friends and neighbors again soon. This is our place, let’s enjoy it for all that it is and keep the dream of a better place alive.

I think I am too idealistic, perhaps somewhat na├»ve, but I do believe in karma and I sleep well at night. Next time you see someone on the street, stop and find out how they are, and really listen. Perhaps offer to share a cool drink or meal. It may make a huge difference to them, and in Loreto, you really don’t have anything more important to do anyways! Asi es la vida. It is life.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dorado Loreto Fishing Tournament with $30,000 USD cash prizes

We invite you to the First Annual Dorado Loreto Fishing Tournament to be held in Loreto, Mexico on September 19th and 20th, 2008. There will be $30,000 USD cash prizes PLUS over $10,000 of raffle prizes.

This event is sponsored by the Loreto Hotel Association and all are welcome to participate with the Tournament Entry fee being only $300 USD per person. Net Proceeds will go to a local community project. The Event will be hosted by Ronnie Kovach and televised on FOX SPORTS WEST NET and on Ronnie Kovach’s Fishing Ventures Show.

This is sports fishing at its best in Super Pangas for Dorado. Get extra bonuses for Grand Slams of Sailfish / Blue Marlin, Yellowtail and Yellowfin Tuna. Fish long hauls among the many islands in the Sea of Cortez and the World’s Aquarium! There will be 2 adults per panga, and one child allowed for free. This is a great way to spend time together among the beauty and wildlife!

REEL TROUBLE will be the tournament boat used for filming with the best captain, Chino Yee. Our own Josh Swift will be the Tournament Director to assist in organizing and ensuring that everything goes smoothly all weekend long. Josh caught this Dorado last week, and the anglers will be glad that he will not be competing against them! www.VeleroDelMar.com



The BajaBOSS offices will be the official headquarters for this exciting tournament and you can Skype “fishdoradoloreto” or call skype number 619 822 2186 or email info@doradoloreto.com for more information on hotel packages which include 3 nights hotel accommodation (September 18 to 21st), Welcome Cocktail Party and Prize Dinner, 2 days fishing tournament on super pangas, all licenses, permits, transfers, fishing rods and reels. For more information visit www.GoToLoreto.com

Loreto is very quiet now as we are in the shoulder season before the fishermen, and Italian and Mexican tourists come for July and August. Daytime highs are in the low 90’s and there are still wonderful breezes in the evenings. This photo was taken this morning and I thought summed up the general mood of the area. Another quiet, lazy day among friends.

Enjoy life to the fullest, no matter where you are or who you are with! Sometimes when we can’t be with family, we are lucky to get to choose new ones.

Happy Father’s Day!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Nellie's Place Hotel and Tapas Bar now closed ... Owner gone fishing!

Michael Riley was the last guest of Nellie’s Place Hotel. I would like to personally thank ALL the Loreto Bay homeowners and travellers that have supported Nellie’s Place Hotel and Tapas Bar over the past 18 months. These two businesses started as a whim because “I could”. They were part of my Mexican business education, a great social network, fantastic promotion into my other ventures, and I have no regrets. When times get tough … the tough get going … and we need to focus our energies on our prime business objectives of Dorado Loreto Real Estate business and Baja BOSS services.

To keep my sanity, I am still involved in Velero Del Mar Boat Charters, which gives me the opportunity to spend time with members and make new friends. We were out with Tom Webber when he brought in a nice male Dorado within minutes of me handing him the line. Timing is everything!! It is true that a bad day fishing is still a great day on the water.

We caught several female Dorado and set them free. The fish counts have been down each successive year for the last few years and it is important that we release the smaller female dorado so they can go forth and replenish the waters with more Dorado! The female has a more rounded smoother head and easy to distinguish from the bull nose male. We saw many boats around us gafting females as the tourist fishermen love to take back as much fish as possible. There are plenty of fish in the water and it is a delicate ecosystem in the marine park. Please fish responsibly and treat these waters as you would your own backyard. Hopefully, this will be a good thing for all.

Another secret to Living in Loreto is to Get Out regularly. Brenda Calger, one of our sales associates has been working very hard lately, and I took her on a trip to Cabo San Lucas to get out of town. We turned off our emails, let all cell calls go to voicemail, and did not discuss anything pertaining to Loreto for 4 full days. We arrived at the Riu Palace Hotel with the expectation of being pampered, uninterrupted, and getting plenty of rest.

The Riu did not disappoint and I highly recommend it as a quick get away. It is an all inclusive resort, with premium liquors to satisfy the most discriminating tastes. They have 4 gourmet restaurants that require reservations in addition to the many buffets and snack bars open all day long. The pools and gardens surrounding this 660 room hotel located on a white sandy beach are magnificent and only surpassed by the friendly attentive service.

There were two large pools, one for activities and one for quiet, with large swim up bar and infinite pools between. Plenty of bars and seating areas to drink, relax and people watch. Napping in a chaise lounge by the pool is definitely NOT overrated! The pool waiters wheel a cart fully stocked with all your favorite refreshments so there is no anxiety waiting for them to walk to the bar and return. Yes, we were no longer in Kansas!

Cabo was 10 degrees cooler and no air conditioning was required. The junior suites were beautifully appointed, with small living room, lovely bathroom, full stocked mini bar and even room service for those that didn’t want to walk far. We preferred to start our mornings at the La Ventana Bar which had a full view of Los Arcos, the cruise ships, and Riu grounds below. A few Baileys and coffee to wake up, and then on to mimosas made with fresh squeezed lime juice. Yummy!

The main restaurant on the beach was a hub of activity all afternoon, where you could graze on a large variety of fresh fruits, cheese, deserts and ice cream, if you had enough fill of the seafood and meats continually being replenished by the team of non stop chefs. A great place to meet people and chat under the cool shade cover with gentle breezes blowing from the water.

Our most extraordinary meal was at the St. Lawrence Restaurant which offered gourmet cuisine. The vegetable ravioli was the best pasta I have ever had anywhere and worth the return visit for this one dish. I was most impressed with the first class service and presentation that was included in the package price. These restaurants require reservations and proper dress attire is required. This was a very nice change to the too often casual approach of “no shoes, no shirt, no service”.

There was nightly entertainment for the entire family, which included music, dancing, skits, and Brenda got up to show them how we party in Loreto! After hours there was a disco open until 2 am. I heard that the Cabo businesses were not very happy with the Riu because the guests arrived and never left the hotel again, and I can fully understand why. Loreto is full of “Corona” moments of tranquility listening to the stillness and gentle splashing of the sea. This trip to Cabo was full of “Champaign wishes and caviar dreams”. A wonderful contrast that is only a six hour drive away. Check it out at www.riu.com and search for Hotel Riu Palace, Cabo San Lucas. Best rates if you call their reservations line directly.

Now I am back in Loreto …. back to my current reality … until next week …

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A special thank you to my friend Deborah Scanlon for being my guest blogger and sharing her experiences …

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE WATER – Part II

These few weeks have been full of special moments and you'd pretty much be a sleep walking zombie to miss the intense natural beauty of this area. It's easy to see in the contrast of an azure sea with desert landscape and towering mountain-scapes. Light constantly shifts and presents mother nature's palette. The subtle hues on the Sierra de la Gigantas at morning light is a delicious time of day. Then the table is set once again as the setting sun brings Islas Carmen alive and dazzling, popping off the blue sky canvas. Kodak moments. This week has been full of them. Having worked for Eastman Kodak for 13 years, the phrase 'Kodak moment' has at times been quite literal for me. Of course, branding aside, everyone understands it means something very special, typically visually and emotionally. An image that evokes a feeling for us...something that draws us into a captured moment. So powerful that we seem to experience it as if we were right there. Hmmmm...back to that idea of being present (again and again).

I believe for many Loreto provides ample 'Kodak moments' that we individually get to define as our perfect moment. Perhaps, a moment that can last a lifetime. Last week Rafa loaded up the family, the kayaks, and us on his specially rigged panga for a trip to Danzante Island. A quick ride from the Villages of Loreto Bay. The plan was to paddle as far as his girls were inclined and mostly to be together for lunch and fun. Other friends joined in and his wife Margarita got a day off to herself at home.

Pulling up to a favorite spot, Honeymoon Cove, I didn't really expect to see what we did. Just about a dozen or so bottlenose dolphin were meandering around the entrance to the rather small cove. We typically see hundreds or even thousands of dolphin when we are adventuring out at sea. So in a way I wondered, "where is the rest of the gang?" And I certainly didn't expect to be graced with their presence 30 minutes later when we were unloaded and paddling close to the shoreline.

I wondered if they were just waiting to see if we would come play. And play we did! For almost an hour! They would dive and disappear then pop up just far enough to make us paddle to catch them. A new version of hide and seek I think. And many times coming within arms length of the kayak. What a glorious experience for all of us.

After an exciting hour playing we then inched along the shore staring at the fish and activity in the water and all around the rocks. This hardly qualified as 'paddling' since we drifted a lot, least we create ripples from the paddles and obstruct the window into our underwater performance. Rays, fish, fish, and more fish. Every time I do this I recommit to learning to identify the plethora of species and to buy that new guide. But hey, they are pretty and maybe that's all I need to know!

After a filling our bellies with lunch and filling our quenching our thirsty souls, we decided to change perspectives and mosey up the rocky path for a birds eye view. I think the photo says it all here....

I love the fact that the sea is just another surface to explore. Above and below. Octopus photo by Kristin Hawkins.

I have had so many uncaptured 'Kodak moments' these three weeks in Loreto. Just this morning, I kayaked around Punta Nopolo and watched a sardine launch into the air 4 times the way water squirts from a clenched fist. Obviously something was in pursuit and then...WHAM! Right before my eyes an airborne sardine being swallowed whole by an equally airborne triggerfish. Nature at work. Everywhere.

It's no wonder that Fonatur created the golf course along the sea. We are all attracted to the edge. To live, to play, to enjoy. And although as a non-golfer I can't experience the nuances of the game and the course... I can certainly appreciate the beauty of the course as it has been transformed before my very eyes. With holes like these I think I may take up the game!

Maybe it's gazing out on a seemingly endless blue horizon or the pastel colors of Carmen at sunset. There are those places and experiences that strike a universal cord. Regardless, everyone can relate by simply looking at an image. A static image that captures a moment in time forever lost. As much as I love the analysis of composition, color, and light, there is nothing that can replace putting yourself right there. Experience it!! What better way to create your 'Kodak moments' then by living them!

I hope and trust that I, and we, never take for granted all the wonder and awe of this place. Please send your "Kodak Moments" to share so we can all be reminded of how blessed we are to be here.

Best,
Deborah
deborah@casaloretobay.com
centerpointe