Saturday, December 13, 2014

Surf's Up!

I have to say that I am pretty anal about weather. Weather takes on a whole new meaning when you are cruising. First, you can't just turn the TV on at 5:10PM and have someone tell you what you should wear to work tomorrow. Television is a luxury when you can get it, and certainly not something to rely on when on passage or at anchor. Second, when you live on a sailboat on the ocean, weather is a lot more than just a sweater and an umbrella tomorrow - it is your life and comfort. The Lord wasn't messing around when he created the oceans. This stuff is for real.

That being said, I do tend to get a bit lax when we are tied up in a marina. So I knew the surf was getting big (not a good time to take the dinghy out fishing) and I knew it was likely going to rain yesterday (I marked that off as one of the 10 days of rain I expect this *year*). My main concerns these days are: can we go fishing in our dinghy and will we have to close the port lights and hatches on the boat to keep the rain out. So I was caught a bit off guard when my mom called and asked if we were okay. I thought... yeah, I have enough sense to close the windows and leave fishing for another day. But then I got a couple of emails asking the same question. That is when it dawned on me that maybe I should check into this.

As it turns out, a major storm was ravaging California and was heading south. So that explains the growing ocean swell and the coming rain storm. Funny thing about ocean swell - it can grow to significant heights from storms hundreds if not thousands of miles away. So with this big storm just a couple of hundred miles north, we were definitely going to feel it.

The marina we have chosen only has a single breakwater. Don't get me wrong - I am REALLY happy to have it!!! But when the swell gets big, it still surges into the marina and causes the boat to "dance" quite a bit. It is not really a problem, it just makes Jan and I feel more at home.

The storm finally did hit Ensenada yesterday morning shortly after the net (VHF cruiser radio net - more on that later) closed down. I clocked 20 knots maximum wind here in the harbor. I estimate it was 30 to 35 outside the breakwater. We also saw heavy rain (sideways rain of course) associated with the cold front. The wind and rain lasted about 30 minutes and then went almost dead calm and showers the rest of the day. The big change was the temperature - we had been in the low 70s and now the coming week is forecast in the mid 60s... bbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrr (yeah, right!).

Today, the day after the storm, it is another beautiful sunny day. So Jan and I took the camera and went out exploring. There is a good 15 knot breeze blowing and the surf is pounding hard. The waves appear to be 8' to 10' on average.

I guess the birds still have to eat
This is one day that we are really happy to be tied up!!!

We found a little cove that has a gravel beach. After a big wave crashes up the beach it quickly retreats. We were amazed at the sound of the rolling gravel as the wave retreated. It was really loud! We sat there for quite a while taking in the sights and sounds of the raging ocean.

Beautiful afternoon at the beach... in DECEMBER!

Jan enjoying the breezy day


One of our favorite shots - the selfie

Being from the Pacific Northwest we have a certain view about things. And there is an architectural oddity here in Mexico that baffles both Jan and I. We first noticed it while riding our bikes in town. Neither one of us said anything at the time because we were riding in a line, but we both noticed it. Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures because we didn't have a camera with us. But while walking over at the university we came across another example so we took a picture. Can anyone from the Pacific Northwest tell us what is wrong with this picture?

I'll give you a hint - this is a gazebo with picnic tables and benches. The structure we saw downtown was a bus stop with a similar oddity. Any idea..... there is no roof! It is only slats. The bus stop benches had a structure over them without a roof also - just slats. Not only will this NOT keep the rain off of you, it will collect it and then drop much larger drops on your head. Holy cow man - what is the use of something like this? We just don't get it...

When it rains in the desert, everything comes to life! Last week it was just some cactus ground cover. This week...

I will leave with the shot of the day.. God bless you all!!

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