Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stormy weather

All of our research on cruising in Mexico, including numerous stories from veteran boaters, assured us that we could expect some of the most benign weather on the planet, at least during the non-hurricane season (winter and spring). Well, we didn't factor in the effect of a "moderate" El Nino.

So far we have had rain on at least 5 separate occasions (other cruisers have told us they never experienced a single day of rain all winter in previous years), large swells, and several freak windstorms.

Yesterday was Vicki's birthday. It rained all day, and we didn't leave the boat except for a swim and a walk on the beach.

Last night was the worst weather we have ever seen from our boat, and actually the worst weather I have ever experienced anywhere in the tropics (again, I'm talking outside of hurricane season). Luckily we had some advance warning, and were able to move to a relatively sheltered anchorage with good holding where we could lay out plenty of anchor chain.

Of course, the storm didn't really start until well after dark. Lightning strikes lit up the sky, at first at a distance, and then all around us. It was as bright as daylight at times, with multiple strikes in the same locations. Thunder added periodic reinforcement to the display. I've never seen so much lightning, ever. It went on for several hours.

After the worst of the lightning, the wind built to a steady 30 knots, with gusts to 40. Our anchor held us firmly in place, but our hearts were pounding nonetheless. After the wind peaked, the rain intensified. We could have easily filled our water tanks, but we weren't up to getting ourselves soaked in order to set up a water collecting system.

Once the wind died, it backed to a direction that held us beam-on to the wind chop. We were rolling from side to side, and it was very difficult to get any sleep for the rest of the night.

Once it was light this morning, we raised the anchor and came back across the bay to the inner anchorage at Tenacatita. Its calmer now, but still raining steadily, with a forecast for showers through tomorrow.

I know none of our friends back in Oregon are going to feel too sorry for us! :)

Here's a link to a Latitude 38 story about the storm.

1 comment:

jules said...

That's so scary! I'm glad you guys are ok!