Monthly Archives: September 2016

Surviving a hurricane

After a very long break from the water and losing half my crew, Anna and I made it back down to Guaymas, MX and started preparing for a re-launch. Little did we know that about the same time a disturbance forming a 1000 miles away was going to turn into a hurricane and head for the same spot. I’ve done a lot of traveling in my life and have seen many storms . But I will be the first to admit that I have been blessed to miss any major storms.

We booked a room on Airbnb knowing it would be hot and uncomfortable staying on Stray Catz, but what we didn’t know was how much safer it would be.   It had been raining all day and the wind was blowing, but nothing serious. Watching the news it looked like Newton was going to turn north and spare us, but I think it turned north and slapped Guaymas pretty hard.

At about 9 pm we lost power, so all we could do was sit in the dark and listen to the howling wind and vibrating roof. Of course a prayer was said. As we bedded down, I was prepared to wake up to the roof being ripped off the top of the house. We are in a decent house, but I’m not sure the codes are as strict here as they are in the USA. Every time I started to doze off a new round of clatter woke me up. Needless to say it was a long night.

When the sun finally  rose in the morning we were all able to see the mayhem right here in the yard. Even though the two houses fared quite well here the flora did not do so well. Six trees here all either tumbled or snapped.  Oranges, branches, flowers and yard debris everywhere.dscf1800 dscf1798 dscf1797 dscf1796

A tree in front and one right behind our car toppled. Luckily a direction that kept the car safe.  Other places in town did not do so well. Power was out. A whole section of road about a mile long where every power pole had either  uprooted or actually snapped in half. dscf1816 There were multiple house roofs laying in tangled messes here and there. Some entire homes destroyed. Remember the building codes.  We had to clear out trees before we could get our car out, but luckily our host offered her vehicle which was not trapped so we could go check on Stray Catz. dscf1803

What a relief it was to see her right where we left her the day before and without any signs of damage. Other boats in the yard did not fare so well.

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It wasn’t for a few days that I even thought about the boats in the water at the marina across the bay. You may recall, Stray Catz spent a month over there when we first got to town and before we could have her hauled out of the water.  Wow! how terrifying to see the boats there that had sunk. Some were trapped under the docks so they can’t be easily re-floated.  Those that didn’t sink suffered damage from the others that had come loose. dscf1820 dscf1821dscf1824   Needless to say, there are going to be some very sad boat owners when they come down to find what is left of their boats.

The amazing part is Newton was not even a hurricane when it made landfall here. According to the National Hurricane Center the maximum recorded gust in Guaymas was only 64 mph. I’m saying “only” because it’s not officially hurricane force. I don’t believe you’ll find anybody here in Guaymas who will say Newton was anything less than a hurricane.

These are amazing people here though. After just a few days, other than some traffic lights still being out, life has pretty much returned to normal. Even our favorite roadside diner has opened back up after having its roof ripped off.

Anna and I will be returning to the states shortly having done about all we can do for Stray Catz. Our re-launch was delayed for a couple of months to take care of some more business back north, but having spent this time on Stray Catz sure has made me miss her even more. And that’s working on her in 100 degree heat.