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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 23, 2014-Hurricane Hell, Hurricane Safe

Latitude 38 images-2014 Shelly Ward
Hurricane hits La Paz

The community of cruising sailors is surprisingly small and when a storm hits somewhere and devastates a fleet, as they too often do, not only do we hear about it though friends on the scene, but sometimes, too often really, someone we know is touched, not usually in a good way.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Our friend Venus, Safe in Chiapas

So last week when Hurricane Odile tracked Baja like a sidewinder missile and made direct hits on Cabo San Lucas and La Paz we heard the terrible news immediately; neighbors of ours here in Marina Chiapas were in touch with cruisers from La Paz. Venus on SeaRenity gave us the first report: Twenty or more boats were on the rocks or sunk. People were missing including her friend Guenter Trebbow from the yacht Princess and his dog Fritz. His boat was sunk and Guenter had not been seen. His body was later found in the sunken boat. Venus recounted how they had walked their dogs together and how she will miss Guenter, as will many in the cruising community. Paul and Simone of the ketch Tabasco also went missing after their yacht went down too. They have not been seen. Another friend of Venus’, Tim Nobbs, lost his boat, Rock Bottom, (what a name!) on the rocks of the Mogote which bounds the anchorage of La Paz. It is holed and filled with water. Venus told us Tim had just finished paying the boat off. Now he will have to start over but at least he is alive. The likelihood of recovering Tim's boat and others is not strong. We heard that the Mexican Navy, which has been on the scene helping and even pulling boats off the rocks, will now focus on missing people and boat owners will need to organize further salvage efforts themselves. It will be a long haul for many. Boats were also lost in Puerto Escondito and across the Sea in San Carlos. All in all the news was not good. But in general, boats in the marinas were OK. Boats which had to ride out the storm on anchor got the worst of it.

Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Hurricane tracks

But we’re lucky: we are in Chiapas Marina in the far south of Mexico and hurricanes don’t generally hit here. In fact, there has been no recorded strike of a hurricane here since records have been kept. Look in the lower right corner for the red "X" in the image above (that’s where we are and that's why we have stayed here during hurricane season). So, while Baja has been through hurricane hell, we have been safe. We are thankful. Next year, when we have moved north, we might be closer to the hurricane areas. We hope our luck holds.

Click here for a couple more photos.

Click here , here and here for the 'Lectronic Latitude stories.

Click here and here for our 1997 hurricane reports when we were in the Sea of Cortez.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Chiapas

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know which is worse - not knowing if someone is safe - or knowing they are not.
I feel a certain amount of guilt at being so happy you guys are ok
The destruction , not just physical but mental, is life changing not only to those who were in the storm, but all who knew someone who was, or know it could have been.
Still ......... I'm very glad it wasn't you.
Love n hugs
lil sis

12 October, 2014 10:36  

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