Friday, March 9, 2012

Wind Wind Wind!

Wind Blog….


All I could think of during the BIG BLOW in Puerto Escondido was just how I could ever describe the wind attacking us. It was a Déjà vu of last year’s wind there – adding to the anxiety. Howling through the Puerto Escondido “windows” to the north, it seemed to sweep through with gusto. The blustery blow built up quickly. And there is not a damn thing you can do about it, sit tight and wait it out and hope for no damage.

The Baja mountain spine became a virtual dust bowl, hazy and ugly. One of my favorite mountain formations above Puerto Escondido always appears to me like King Kong, climbing over the craggy, steep hills. He looked mean during the blow and I half expected him to come on down to the water’s edge and laugh at us. Or jump up and down and pound his chest.

The water turning out of the north inlets and coves in the bay seemed alive, dropping over the hills surrounding the bay and moving around, chopping the water, creating white caps throughout the 2-mile bay. Boats on balls would churn left, then right and pull hard on their balls. Dinghies were floating, tied aft, or, like ours, pulled up davits and flowing with ship’s movement. No one was out and about, no dinghies running. Just wind.

As we returned to the boat when the winds began, we were crossed by a gaggle of Kayakers, eleven in total, heading for shelter across the bay. They looked non-pulsed as they rowed by, watching us in a motorized- dinghy, becoming very wet as we made our way into the wind and back to the boat. Funny, the wind didn’t seem to bother them at all. But they were headed to get out of the wind, off their little boats and into someplace perhaps quiet – a home, a restaurant….

At night with no wind or noise reprieve, we could hear the gusts howl thru the masts, jangling the halyards that had come loose as well as the waves slapping the side of the boat. We caught site of 40 knots before I quit looking. If I don’t look, maybe it will stop. No such luck. It felt like a hurricane, sitting on a boat. Trying to sleep was impossible as the boat was constantly moving, riding the waves and opposing the air wind. All while pulling on the anchor ball, attached to us by less-than-two- inch line. Sitting in the cockpit, always aware if the line pops what to do. Start the engine, hope it starts, pull away from the ball although more likely dropping off the ball rapidly and into boats near us….all a very frightening thought. I can tell you, all my nails were nubs before the first night was over!

So there’s wind for you. Every sailor wants some wind to make the boat go; but not too much and perhaps in the right direction, too. Seems we usually catch it on our nose and Bill threatened to change the name of Tanque de Tiburon to “Weathervane”. But Mother Nature has a funny, cruel side at times. Even though we watch weather predictions and try to find the perfect sail weather, you just can’t fool Ma Nature. She laughs and says, “Perhaps those sailors need a little bit of humbling today” and throws some not-so-nice weather our way.

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