It's ironic that our last post was about being flexible, and rolling with the plans that the weather gods send us, because here we are in Puerto Don Juan once again. This time, it's not just inclement conditions but a bona fide hurricane sending us once again to the protection of what is popularly considered the best hurricane hole in the northern Sea of Cortez.
These last few days, hurricane Rick was for some time among the worst hurricanes in Pacific Mexico's history. It rapidly cranked from being a named storm to a category 5 hurricane. We feel for the communities in Mexico who are just recovering from last month's hurricane Jimena, and facing the prospect of being battered again by severe weather.
Historically, hurricanes in in Pacific Mexico which make it our way lose most of their energy in southern Baja, and so the northern Sea of Cortez where we are has typically been spared. That's exactly why Totem, and a couple of dozen other boats, have been spending the hurricane season up here above 27 deg N. Like many others, we believe the best way to avoid a hurricane is to stay well outside historical tracks! It's why we're still in the northern Sea, and happy to be able to tuck into a good spot with almost a dozen other boats. It's really surprising how many boats had already started south, but that's fodder for another post. We don't have Internet access right now so it's impossible to include a photo with this post, but the picture in the prior post shows a pretty good view of the near 360 protection in this bay.
Things have changed quickly. When Rick was designated a hurricane a few days ago, it was projected to make landfall on the Pacific side of Baja around Thursday. Now, the eye is not even hitting the peninsula, and is expected instead to cross below the southern tip of Baja on Tuesday. At this writing, it has gone from beyond ugly (category 5) and moving fast (about 12 knots) to category 4, half the speed, and indications of beginning to break up. Trust me, there is a collective sigh of relief with the co-captains on Totem!
The various projection models currently seem to be in agreement on the track's path and rapid dissolution over the mainland, which gives us additional peace of mind. On the other hand, nobody can perfectly predict the weather. We'll stay put in this safe location until it's clear how Rick will spin out.
If you're interested in seeing the forecast cones and models, we think http://www.eebmike.com has a good collection of data and pictures. For Totem's current location, check our last SPOT signal at http://tinyurl.com/svtotem.