Preparing for Blanca 2

Blanca wasn’t even spinning yet and we were already watching it’s development closely. Here’s how we prepared for it.

This is the third in a series of four posts covering our preparations and weathering of the remnants of Hurricane Blanca in 2015. Click here for the previous post on this series.

 

Hurricanes tend to reach the Baja California peninsula later in the season, normally between August and October. So, we were a bit surprised when the forecast predicted Blanca to move on this direction. But not unprepared.

As soon as the first forecasts suggested its trajectory, we started evaluating our options.

First off, location. Conveniently, we were already anchored inside one known “hurricane hole” of the Sea of Cortez – Puerto Escondido. We did map other potential safe harbors though, and set a cut-off date of Wednesday morning to decide whether to stay or move elsewhere.

At the same time, every new forecast confirmed that, irrespective of Blanca’s maximum strength and track, it would definitely weaken significantly before hitting Baja.

With that, we decided that Puerto Escondido was an adequate shelter, and shifted our focus to preparation.

After scouting the bay with our dinghy and speaking to a number of people who where here during hurricane Odile last year, we moved Pesto to a mooring. None of the bay’s moorings gave way during Odile. They are stout, and – better yet – where all renewed a few months ago. We inspected a number of moorings ourselves, picked one of our liking, and hired a diver to come make a more professional inspection and also attach a redundant set of lines to it.

Double lines to the mooring
Double lines to the mooring

 

Next up on the list was to ensure Pesto was strongly secured to the mooring. Our best mooring lines were used, and every potential chaffing point received a lot of protection.

Professional-grade firehose make up for some serious anti-chaffing gear
Professional-grade firehose make up for some serious anti-chaffing gear

 

With Pesto safely secured, we shifted our attention to lashing everything that might be affected by the wind, and also prepared to spend a couple of days inside the boat during the likely rain that Blanca’s remnants might bring to us.

If it might move, it is being lashed tightly
If it might move, it is being lashed tightly

 

When the weekend approached, the forecasts got increasingly favorable, and we may have “over-prepared” for it. But even if we did, it doesn’t matter. We feel safe, and this will be an opportunity to put some of our gear to test, and improve it.

Stay tuned. I will be posting updates.

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3 Replies to “Preparing for Blanca 2”

  1. Ahoy! dear family, when i prepared to ride out hurricane Richard at a dock in Belize in 2010…i reduced windage as much as i could: unrolled the genoa and took it down and stowed it below, removed and stowed the solar panels, didn’t remove the mainsail but didn’t trust its cover (wrapped it up with a long line), tensioned my running backstays, etc… Where you are is sheltered from seas but exposed to winds. Check the chafe often (there have been lots of creative ways to reduce it). I noticed in your photo where your blue line goes thru the eye of the mooring buoy line, you have chafing gear there. Good. Further, see if taking your blue twice thru that eye makes sense. Put your jack lines in place to clip in when you have to go on deck, have your own anchor and windlass ready, engine ready… Akimbo (my boat) sails back and forth pretty hard on a mooring or anchor line. I’ve learned how to “gently but firmly” motor her to one side to keep the wind on one side of the bow. In storms like this, nature puts on quite a show! Pay attention. I look forward to reading this chapter of your story after its over. Good luck.

  2. Great to hear from you, John!
    We are working on the windage. Like Akimbo, Pesto tends to sail quite a bit at anchor. The genoa came down today and is stowed. Same with the bimini. Still undecided regarding the solar panels ….
    As of now, the spot forecast for here is showing winds of up to 45kts. But i dont know if the high mountains around here will act to dampen, or accelerate it
    Anyway, i am preparing emotionally and physically to stand watch all through the night on Sunday, which is when most of the action will take place
    Will update the blog as long as it is feasible
    Cheers

  3. Hi Jon, by the way, I took your advice and just added a new set of lines to the mooring. Boy I am going to sleep better tonight. Thanks !!!

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