Hola family, friends and fellow blog followers!
We wanted to send a quick blog post to let everyone know that both Maluhia and crew are ok after the passing of Hurricane Odile over Baja. We survived and are still processing many emotions. As hurricane Odile passed we were away from La Paz and the dock at Marina Costa Baja. Instead we ended up in Puerto Escondido tied to a mooring ball. It was a very scary experience as Odile’s eye passed within 50 miles or less from us. We are a little sketchy on just how close the eye passed as we have been without adequate Internet.
Speaking of inadequate Internet, please understand that we will slowly respond to emails and Facebook posts when we have a faster Internet connection. Right now we are anchored off of Loreto at Isla Coronado and yes while there is a connection it is extremely slow and comes and goes with the rocking of our boat! Posting a blog post is the fastest way I know to kill two birds with one stone right now. I know a great majority of our family and friends follow our blog via email and hope the rest will find this post via Facebook.
The storm blasted us with extremely high winds for approximately 21 hours from 3 AM Monday Morning 9/15 until about 1 AM Tuesday Morning 9/16 with the majority of the worst part of the storm hitting us during the daylight. (something we are extremely thankful for) Maluhia’s onboard barometer dropped from 1014 mb to 996 mb as the storm approached and intensified. Wind speeds within the Puerto Escondido anchorage (which is also deemed a hurricane hole) were steadily recorded above 45 knots for many hours during the storm and gusting up to 70 to over 100 knots recorded by some of the bigger power boats who had joined us in the safe harbor. During the high winds many sailboats in the anchorage suffered knock downs seeing fish in their windows as their boat heeled violently in either direction, or having the spreaders on their mast touch the water. Maluhia would rock a consistent 10 degree heel depending on which way the wind was blowing. At times we would heel 20 degrees from the force of the wind alone. We prayed throughout the entire storm and waited for many hours of relief, at the same time we vigilantly kept watch at what was happening around us and to our boat. We actively worked throughout the storm to save our boat as many boats inside the anchorage broke free from their moorings by chafing through their mooring lines. Two 50 foot boats almost took us out as they broke free and started barreling down upon us. Both boats missed crashing into us within feet of our bow and stern. We also chafed through one of our mooring lines but were on top of it to fix it in time. We are nauseated to think about what would have happened to us and Maluhia if the storm had hit during the night and we were unable to see the madness happening around us.
We continue to stay in the Puerto Escondido and Loreto area as we survey the damage and help our new friends as best we can with moral support and clean up efforts. Within the anchorage my rough estimate has about 12 boats that suffered severe damage including, a dismasting, washed ashore or were smashed by other boats that broke free and took them out. There was even an unbelievable man over board recovery that happened in the Waiting Room area of Puerto Escondido during the storm. The man in the water was rescued by his wife at the helm of the boat after he fell overboard while trying to fix something topside during the storm. He did not have his life jacket on. The water was no place to be during the storm. There were complete white outs from water spray within the anchorage, mini water spouts, as well as 3 to 4 foot breaking waves. When the wind died down to about 35 knots for about a half hour we believe the eye of the storm was passing parallel to our position.
We are still in shock. Many were unprepared for Odile because she didn’t behave as they expected or was predicted. Many long time residences of Puerto Escondido stated that riding out Odile was worse than riding out hurricane Marty. We are also saddened as we slowly hear reports of boats and life lost in La Paz harbor. A long time cruiser and resident of La Paz, Gunther on the boat Princess did not weather through the storm. We will have a more complete blog post when we have more adequate internet.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your positive thoughts, well wishes and prayers during this time.
Grant & Denise