Hurricane Odile Hits Celebration

They say San Carlos is the safest hurricane harbor in the Sea of Cortez and we are very happy that we decided to spend the hurricane /tropical storm season here. It’s already been a very active season and, until now, all of the tropical storms had moved out to the Pacific.

That is until Hurricane Odile. It was the worst hurricane to ever hit the Baja Peninsula and caused major damage in many of the places we visited. It’s still too early to determine the full extent of all the damage but in the boating community we’ve heard there are at least 22 boats aground in La Paz and 3 boaters missing plus damage to boats and/or marinas in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Escondido, Santa Rosalia and, sadly, right here in San Carlos. Fortunately, here in San Carlos nobody was hurt, the vast majority of boats are fine, and there was no major damage to infrastructure.
San Carlos Aground

But, we did have some personal experience as the dock that we were staying on got seriously damaged – while we were still attached to it. Funny enough, we didn’t know until one of our fellow boaters knocked on the hull at 6:30 in the morning and strongly “suggested” that we unplug the boat and get ready to move. There was a lot of wind and the boat was blowing around but it didn’t seem any worse than other storms we’d experienced so when we asked why he said we need to come out and take a look.
Well, they say a picture says a thousand words so these pics and short video will give you an idea of what we experienced.

San Carlos Marina2

San Carlos Marina4

Obviously, we weren’t hurt and the boat is fine but it was a harrowing experience because our boat was still attached to the dock while it was breaking up around us. As a matter of fact, we (along with other boaters) spent most of the day using our own ropes and extra lines to hold the docks together until the storm passed.
San Carlos Marina1

The good news is, by the end of the day, the marina was able to move a number of boats into safe spots, accommodate us on the fuel dock for the night, and move us into a new slip this morning. And, in an incredible display of their resilience, the marina has already fixed one of the two docks that were damaged and it appears that the other dock will be repaired very soon.
San Carlos Marina 6

And, in an even more incredible display of resilience, we hosted a happy hour for all the boaters who helped while we were still temporarily tied to the fuel dock.
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Seriously though, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that was impacted by this major storm, especially the less fortunate in Cabo San Lucas and on the Baja Peninsula. We don’t have any details yet but we’ll be making a donation to the Red Cross and hope you and all our fellow boaters will do the same.

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Chillin In San Carlos

As you know we wimped out, bought an air conditioner and have been Chillin in San Carlos where it has been a steady 95-100 degrees every day. And, due to the hassle involved in removing the AC and getting off our comfortable, safe dock that has unlimited water and electricity, we’ve only taken the boat off the dock once.
R&A Algadones

So, what have we been doing? We’d love to say we’ve been practicing our Spanish, learning to play the guitar (yes, we have one onboard), completing boat projects, and getting lots of exercise but if we did you know we’d be lying – although we have been taking vigorous 1-hour walks almost every morning.
San Carlos Walk1

San Carlos Walk2

San Carlos Walk3

To be honest, thanks to our friends on Delphinia, who let us copy their movies and TV shows, we’ve spent a lot of the time watching shows we didn’t have time to watch when we were in the working world. Who knew you could get so caught up in Dexter, The Good Wife, Game of Thrones and Grey’s Anatomy? Apparently it’s easy when you can watch an entire season in a few days with no commercials…

Besides our daily walks and hibernating in front of the TV, we’ve become very familiar with the San Carlos/Guaymas area including its restaurants, local markets and grocery stores as well as the Beach Club with a pool that is included in our marina fees. Heck, Audrey’s even been to the dermatologist. Nothing serious, just a beauty mark – as they used to call them in the old days!
Beach Club2

Beach Club1

Guaymas1

Guaymas Doc

As I said, we did take the boat off the dock once for a “mini-vacation” from our sabbatical. First, we sailed to beautiful Bahia Algadones, which is where we anchored for a few days before we came to the marina. We didn’t get a chance to hit the Soggy Peso bar again but we were very happy to be back in the water swimming, snorkeling and scraping the barnacles off the bottom of the boat.
Soggy Peso

Algadones Audrey

Bahia Algadones 1

Then we headed north to Bahia San Pedro, which is a remote anchorage with no bars, palapas or restaurants that reminded us of being back on the Baja side. It even had sea caves and palm trees that seemed to grow out of the rocks, which is unusual as there aren’t as many palm trees around here as you might think.
Bahia San Pedro3

Bahia San Pedro1

Bahia San Pedro2

Unfortunately, we only got to spend one night in Bahia San Pedro as the forecast called for afternoon thunderstorms, which we know can be more than just a little rain, so we decided to head back to the marina. Fortunately, we got back just in time because the minute we finished tying up, the winds piped up to over 45 knots, visibility went to near zero and the skies opened up giving us more rain than we’d seen in a long, long time. Needless to say, it’s the middle of the hurricane and tropical storm season so we’re now staying put for a while.

We also celebrated my 25th (I’m dyslexic) birthday by taking a road trip to Phoenix, which is only seven and half hour’s drive from here. We’re on a budget so we rented the smallest, cheapest car we could get, piled in with our friends from Cake (who were sharing the ride), then proceeded to blow most of the “budget” I just mentioned hitting all the stores in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, including two West Marine stores, and picking up the stuff we’d ordered online to be delivered directly to the hotel.
Phoenix Road Trip

So there you have it. Hours of television, daily walks, regular happy hours (of course) and regular trips to local markets or restaurants. Add a sailing “vacation” and a road trip to Phoenix along with a visit from our friends Diane and Julio from Mexico City, who we’re expecting next weekend and this is us “Chillin in San Carlos”. I’m sure it’s not as exciting as you imagined but, funny enough, it’s been kind of a nice break for us.