November 1, 2009

Jacaranda Passage Note #36: We survived another summer in the Sea,

Part 3: Heat and Hurricanes

Finally, we left Don Juan on October 20 and traveled south directly to Santa Rosalia in a brisk northerly breeze (20-25 knots) in seas of 4-5 feet  a wonderful rollicking overnight sail that definitely got our sea legs working again after a summer of most benign conditions. We arrived at the Singular Marina in Santa Rosalia about 7am the next morning and could begin to see the damage from Hurricane Jimena on Sept. 2. The old marina, a fixture for many many years, is no longer there and the inner harbor looks strange without it. The adjacent headquarters for the fishing and squiding fleet was also washed away. When we walked past the red cross relief packages stacked high at Singular and into town to get our famous Santa Rosalia hotdog fix, we saw that many streets were torn up and some shops were no longer in the same place from earlier in the season. But we were amazed, given the photos we had seen on the web, at how normal the town looked; our Mexican friends told us it took a lot of hard work but the residents pulled together and cleared out all the mud and debris. We heard the Mexican Navy was there with bulldozers and generators BEFORE the storm actually hit so that the impact was dealt with immediately. The U.S. could have learned a lot for New Orleans from the Mexicans.

Friends Alex & Sue from Mai Tai Roa were in the marina during the hurricane and posted some photos here.

I renewed my visa, we said hello to our friends there, bought homemade tamales from Frans madre, did the laundry, gave the boat a quick fresh water bath, and departed for San Marcos Island. After stopping at Punta Chivato for a night we are now anchored at Santispac in Bahia Concepcion, a large bay that slices into the Baja about 12 miles long, waiting for the current Norther of 30-35 knots to blow itself out. We are now on our way south in earnest while still keeping an eye on the hurricane formations.

The weather has cooled, water temperatures have dropped, we are sleeping with light blankets on at night, and Linda is once again using the oven. Our goal is to be in La Paz by Nov. 15 so Linda can fly back to the states for Thanksgiving with the family. We have survived another Summer in the Sea of Cortez  one of the most wonderful and magical places on earth! By the way  this has been some great sailing too  in 3 months we have only used 12 gallons of diesel!