Last year, when we spent the summer in the Sea of Cortez on Rebel Heart, we left La Paz and spent some long weeks up in Puerto Escondido.
Puerto Escondido is, delicately speaking, a dump. But right or not I had it in my head that I didn't want to experience a strong hurricane in La Paz. In truth no sailor wants to experience a strong (or weak) hurricane anywhere, and even a "safe" hurricane hole in a strong upper category storm is going to be various shades of extremely dangeorus.
The weeks that followed for us became one of the more hilarious weather moments. "Dangerous" La Paz got a few drops of rain while up in "safe" Puerto Escondido we got slammed by half a dozen cyclones.
Hurricane Odile however decided not to play favorites and slammed directly into Cabo San Lucas, marching directly over the peninsula, laying waste to everything in its path in all directions. As I type this up in San Diego, a thousand miles north, we're having a hot and humid night because of the magnitude of this storm.
I finally got some first hand info and pictures tonight. These quotes, the text below, and the pictures are from Shell Ward at La Paz Yachts.
The big thing is that we are getting the Navy to help us search for 4 missing people. Gunther on Princess, was last heard from last night with water up to his knees saying he was leaving the boat.
Our good friends Paul and Simon on Tobasco II are missing as well. Their boat sunk sometimes in the night and all we can see the masts sticking up.
There are at least 20 boats up on the shore incliding my old one EROS.
We also saw an 8 man liferaft on the beach which we hoped belonged to Paul and Simone. No one was in the liferaft, so we are hoping they went and found a place to stay on the Magote.
Believe the winds were worst at 2am when Autum said her anchor chain parted.
Eventually I'm sure we'll see higher resolution photos of the mayhem caused by Hurricane Odile, but in the mean time there are some impressive shots on this twitter feed. Here's a PEMEX station completely leveled. Downtown La Paz.
Also picked up from Facebook, here's some news from Puerto Escondido. And remember, this is considered one of the safest places for a boat on the Baja peninsula. This was a great reminder for me that in a major cyclone, "safe" becomes very relative.
Lunacy - dismasted
Sea Toy - sunk
A 42' Tri (no name) hi and dry on the jetty
Estancia - sunk
Red Dolphins - on the rocks
Illusive - sunk
Angel - on the rocks
Nika (sic?) - dismasted
Equity - dismasted
Manta - holed hull but repairable
Rapscallions -on the rocks