Let me just say how glad I am that we are not currently in La Paz, BCS. They got hit by Hurricane Odile, one of the strongest, if not the strongest hurricanes to hit La Paz since they’ve been keeping modern records. All of Baja got smacked but we’re mostly concerned with La Paz, Puerto Escondido, Loreto, Mulege, Santa Rosalia and, of course, San Carlos. The news from La Paz was bad. Our friend Aimee, along with her friend Brett, opted to stay aboard and ride out the storm and hopefully, be there to do whatever needed doing should her boat be in danger. Aimee described it as “the scariest, most stressful night of her life”. They realized that there was virtually nothing they could do to help the boat if the power of the hurricane decided to screw around with it. As it turns out, they drug anchor and ended up on the beach. Since then, her boat has been refloated with, apparently, minimal damage. Our friend Frank’s boat, Island Seeker, was washed ashore but Frank is in the States so he’ll have to count on the goodness of the cruising community to take care of it. And they will. The worst news from La Paz so far is that long-time cruiser and La Paz fixture, Gunther went down with his boat Princess. Gunther’s body was found onboard when divers examined the wreck. Gunther was well-known in the the fleet. He gave a personal touch whenever he was net control for the cruiser’s net and occasionally entertained the fleet with stories he would read or tell over the VHF radio on Sunday mornings. We were very saddened to hear of his passing. Another couple from Tabasco II are also missing. We didn’t know them personally but they were part of the La Paz family. They may still turn up OK but it’s not looking good.
In Puerto Escondido, our friend Bill’s boat Cloud Nine was sunk and is a total loss as was Sea Toy, owned by folks we met last time we were there. The trimaran Manta, owned by the guy who took Lulu and I on our first scuba dive, got a hole in one ama but is apparently salvageable. There were other losses in PE but we don’t know the owners of the boats personally.
We’ve heard nothing from Mulege or Bahía Concepción. Also haven’t heard from Jay on Wind Raven in Guaymas to see how he fared.
In Santa Rosalia, the docks at the old marina were destroyed as was Toby’s boat, Pear-D, a Westsail 32 that was tied to the dock. Jim’s boat Sun Seeker was damaged but is probably salvageable.
We got an e-mail from Marina San Carlos today that said that no boats in either the marina or dry storage were damaged so I guess Siempre Sabado, and about 1000 other boats are fine. Whew!
So, again, we’re really glad we weren’t down there for this hurricane and we feel bad for everyone who got hurt in one way or another. Reading Aimee’s e-mails, we’ve come to a conclusion, though. If we do find ourselves with a hurricane bearing down on us, I believe we’ll secure the boat as well as possible, throw out as much ground tackle as we can, and then GET THE HELL OFF THE BOAT! There’d be little to nothing we’d be able to do on the boat and our lives are worth a whole bunch more, at least to us, than our boat is. That’s the lesson Aimee and Brett learned and what they plan to do if Tropical Storm Polo turns into a hurricane and smacks La Paz. If we were there, we would too.