Considering a sailing adventure to Mexico? Just look at how engrossed that guy is in the book! Grab a copy of the Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico, and you too can find yourself sitting on a Mexican dock with an oversized (but very attractive) hat.

Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico

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Monday
Sep152014

hurricane odile slams into la paz, baja sur

Hurricane Odile's eyewall an hour approaching the Baja coast. The outer bands were already lashing La Paz.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. 
By some miracle I have Internet. No phone and 110 only because we are running a generator. So this is the only way to get a message out. We are OK, and my boat is fine, but a lot of people are not. There are at least 20 boats up on the shore incliding my old one EROS. 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. Gabriel on Damiana, which is a Mexican kid on a steel boat, have not found him or the boat yet either. 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. When wind laid down some, earlier today Mike and I went out in the dinghy (wearing lifejackets!) and picked up 2 people stranded on the beach, Autum off of Rascel and Doug on Starduster. 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. There are some people over there in their houses, but we have not been able to reach anyone because the cell phone service is down. Tom on Colisto and Tim on Rock Bottom are both on the beach but OK as well as several other people. Tichard on Toloache and Paul on Cementress are both stranded on the sandbar without dinghies (blown away during the night). Believe the winds were worst at 2am when Autum said her anchor chain parted. 
We could use some help down here to get things cleaned up. It will be a long week! Thanks for all your prayers and please keep them coming for our missing friends. Over and Out.

 

Reader Comments (51)

I have my Rafiki 37 in Marina Palmar just down form the Navy base, dose anyone have any info on how the marina fared???
Thanks
Ted Hawkins
S/V Shangra La

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTed

Great job! I scoured the web, too, and didn't find near what you did Thank you so much for posting this! It's a relief to get some info.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGinger Clark

John Spicher on s/v timepiece and Tom and Jeannie (big left turn) are ok with minimum boat damage...was tied up at dock

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbob s.

Eric, thanks for the info. I really hope those missing folks are found alive and well. My boat, Odyssey, survived in Marina De La Paz. I understand the damage is just devastating. Flights seem to be canceled for at least a week, so there is no going down there at the moment. Another storm brewing to the south.
Cheers, Bill

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill

So sad to read this and see the pictures! We were slammed by Katrina in 2005, but we didn't own a boat at the time and were safe. Hoping the best for everyone involved, and just goes to show that sometimes staying close to shore isn't any safer than crossing an ocean. =(

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl @ Mid-Life Cruising!

Thank you so much for the info, like everyone else has said, it is hard to come by. We have our sailboat on the hard at Bercovich Boatyard and I have yet to be able to reach anyone to see how it/they faired. Anyone know??

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelly - S/V Reverence

Thanks for this info. I hope all are found safe & sound !

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuky

Thank you for posting...
We've been up for days wondering about everyone in Escondido and La Paz...
Our Thoughts and prayers are with all our friends down there.
Manta we have had everthing crossed for you and sweet Gunther on Princess...
Keeping positive that all those still missing are accounted for soon.
Love to all,
Jon, suki, Kai and Hunter- SV Pura Vida

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJonsuki Pura Vida

Thanks for the update and our thoughts are with all those affected. Take care!

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAstrolabe Sailing

Thank you for the update. So sad to see these pictures and read the reports of damage, but hopefully those who are lost will be found safe. Sending our thoughts and prayers.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Thank you for the update. So sad to see these pictures and read the reports of damage, but hopefully those who are lost will be found safe. Sending our thoughts and prayers.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Thank you so much for the update. Our boat, Indara, at Palmira is okay thanks to all the hard work of Tom and Jeannie of LaPaz Cruiser's supply. Thank you thank you. We feel so sad for all of the folks who were not so fortunate. Our hearts go out to you.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristine Stephan

Thank you so much for posting this. Hard to find any information about anywhere other than Cabo.
Kelly on S/V Reverence - Our boat is on the hard at Bercovich's as well. We'll let you know if/when we hear anything.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenney - S/V Alula

Thanks Eric, this is the best info available. You have skills!

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Willie

Any word on Bob Smith and his cat Pantera?

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWayne Gorrie

So grateful for the news, our boat is on the hard in Fonataur in La Paz, we like everyone else have had no word on how that Marina fared. If anyone knows anything or is able to pass by in a car to give us some info we would be very grateful. Keep safe everyone.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancy-S/V Hafa Adai

Thanks for this update. We cruised Mexico in 2006-2010 on S.V. Estrella and weathered Cat. 2 Hurricane Henriette at anchor in Puerto Escondido. It was pretty bad, but evidently not as bad as they got it this time. Hope everyone is accounted for before its all over.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris Yuret

Thanks for the info! Our boat, Restless, was on the 200 row at Marina de La Paz. We have had no word on how our marina or boat did. Any more posts in this regard would certainly be appreciated. Wish we could be there to help.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBritt Finley

Thanks all for the posts am looking for info on brother in law aboard s/v indiscretion last in LA Paz marina any info appreciated thks

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersilverspoon-not

Thank u for the posts on Jeanne and Tom. They are incredible. Not surprised that they helped protect others. So relieved to hear okay.

September 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJane

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