I've noticed somewhere along the way that the hip phrase to use in cruising circles when talking about an upcoming wind storm is to call it a "wind event". It does sound so hip and unconcerned - and isn't that what sailors are all about? We don't worry about the weather - we use hurricanes to dry our clothes!
Meanwhile, we've been sitting out the last "wind event" on a mooring ball at Puerto Escondido. Yesterday we had mid-30's pretty consistent with gusts up to the 40's - some boats saying they have recorded up to 50 knots of wind. The"event" is continuing on today since there is an 18 millibar gradient difference encompassing the 900 miles of the Baja Peninsula from tip to tip. Don Anderson of Summer Passage Radio (the weatherman for the Amigo and Southbound nets) is calling for winds from 50 to 60 knots today - even higher than yesterday.
Am I worried? Truthfully, no. More grumpy than anything else. It's no danger, as long as the system anchoring you in place remains true. It's just lumpy, and loud and it makes it hard to sleep. Puerto Escondido is a large bay nearly perfectly enclosed by surrounding hills. It is supposed to be the perfect hidey hole for all big blows and boaters come here during the hurricane months to sit them out in safety. Unfortunately the problem I am having is that since the bay is so big, you still get a lot of fetch. The bay has white caps with the tops being blown off. The waves are only about 1 foot, but they are very closely spaced. And I do not like relying on the marina's anchoring system. How do I know what their line looks like that is attaching me to the mooring ball? Or what about the one attaching my next door neighbor to his?
I know a lot of people would disagree, but I would much rather be anchored in some tiny cove all by ourselves with good NW protection for this "wind event." We've been anchored in 88 knots (for those of you new to the blog check out the Feb 4, 2010 blog - scary stuff) and the only thing I was really worried about were all the boats with failing anchors that were trying to hit us. My advice for any new cruiser - get a good anchor, have lots of big chain, supersize your ground tackle and always take the time to really set your anchor well. Then the next time there's a "Wind Event" coming, set yourself up in a good little cove, close to the sheltering shore and get your movies and popcorn ready. I'll be sure to follow my own advice next time around, too.
5 days ago