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'Lectronic Bulletin! Some Marinas Totally Destroyed in La Paz by Hurricane Marty

September 22 - La Paz, BCS

- Marina de La Paz, 120 slips, is 95% destroyed.
- Abaroa Marina, 40 slips, is destroyed.
- Marina Palmira, 117 slips, and which has a big breakwater, is in excellent shape with very little damage to boats.
- Several boats in Astilleros Dry Storage have been knocked over.
- Cabo Isle Marina in Cabo San Lucas, 120 miles to the south, had strong winds and lots of rain, but no damage to boats. The town will be up and running again in a week.

Hurricane Marty, widely tracked for the last several days, blew through La Paz from two directions with unexpectedly ferocious winds early this morning. Neil Shroyer of Marina de La Paz estimates the winds at 125 knots, and called it a "once every 25 year hurricane." Shroyer has been in La Paz for 38 years, and said there hasn't been anything like Marty since Lisa in '76 - a storm that killed 10,000 in La Paz after an earthen dam broke.

Shroyer told Latitude 38 that Marina de La Paz, which has 120 slips and had 100 boats, "is 95% destroyed and all the boats have been damaged to some degree." One or two small ones may have sunk, a handful were dismasted, and something like 20 had roller furling jibs unfurl. "Almost all boats have some damage, most of it caused by the docks breaking and boats and rigging slamming into one another. You know the classic hurricane photo where all the boats are piled in a corner? That's what we have here."

Shroyer reports the the wind started at about 11 p.m. last night, blowing a steady 30 knots, and built to a steady 60 knots by 0400. Based on weather reports, they assumed that this was about as bad as it was going to get, sort of like Ignacio last month. But by 0500 it was suddenly blowing at an estimated 120 knots from the northeast. "We had to crawl off the docks," said Shroyer.

After two hours of wind from the northeast destroyed the docks from one direction, unfurling jibs on many boats, and causing six foot waves to break over the floating breakwater, there was an unusually long lull as the eye passed over. The marina crew ran down to the docks to try to make repairs, and some skippers tried to get their boats out.

Before long, however, it was blowing at about the same 120 knots, but from the opposite direction, the southwest. Any docks that hadn't broken before, broke under this onslaught from the other direction. Forty boats and parts of their docks from the Abaroa Marina to the west broke loose, slamming into the already loose boats in the corner of Marina de La Paz.

"The 35 boats on our A Dock are all in a pile," says Shroyer. "The 40 boats from Abaroa's Marina took out our B Dock and the 25 boats in her. All our docks are broken, with some boats still tied to pieces of dock or to bent pilings, but most are just pushed up against each other in a pile. A few docks may have survived at the very outside, but there's no way we can even get to them. All of the boats have been damaged to some extent, but in many cases it's scratches, broken rub rails, tangled rigging, and that kind of thing. One or two small boats may have sunk."

Neil's parents, Mac and Mary Shroyer, who built the marina, were in San Diego at the time, and hope to be able to fly back tomorrow. Neil expects the marina, with all the docks broken, to be out of commission for some time.

Most if not all boats anchored in La Paz Bay are believed to have gone ashore, but first hand accounts are hard to come by.

Norma Flores, Office Manager at Cabo Isle Marina in Cabo San Lucas, said they had strong wind from about midnight to 0400, but that it wasn't much stronger than 75 knots. "The marina and boats are fine, the road into town is fine, but there's lots of water all around and the electricity is off. We'll be back up and fine in a week."

Manuel Canto, "one of the team" at Marina Palmira in La Paz said that although there was lots of wind and water - much, much, much stronger than Ignacio - their large breakwater prevented seas from coming into the marina. There is some slight damage to the marina itself, but all the boats are fine. We had our crew run around all last night retying boats, so they all did fine."

Marty is continuing up the western shore of the Sea of Cortez, posing a severe threat to boats at Puerto Escondido. Hopefully it will blow out before it reaches the many other cruisers up in the Bahia de Los Angeles area. But if you're still in the hurricane's path, our hearts are with you.

We hope to have photos from La Paz tomorrow.

Photos of the Day: Moët Cup

September 22 - San Francisco Bay

In a cliffhanger til the end, software mogul Larry Ellison's Oracle BMW beat Swiss pharmaceutical mogul Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi in last week's Moët Cup. After a week of hard racing in beautiful conditions on the Bay, the two syndicates came into the final day, Saturday, tied in both the owner/driver and pro/driver divisions. Oracle BMW hung on to win both final races, ending with a 3-2 score in owner/driver and 4-3 in pro for the week-long series. Ellison and his team stepped onto the Golden Gate YC docks to the spray of champagne and the applause of hundreds of spectators.

Larry Ellison holds up the Moët Cup trophy
Photo Latitude/JR

But the real winners of this event were the ones doing the clapping. The Moët Cup was the first of a series of demonstration races planned by Ellison and Bertarelli to make the America's Cup more accessible to the general public, and from our point of view, they could not have done a better job. From the racing along the Cityfront, to the grandstands and hospitality tents in the GGYC parking lot (where you could even see the Auld Mug itself), to play-by-play by Dawn Riley, to a fireworks spectacular on Thursday that outshone any Fourth of July spectacle we've ever seen - it was a first class Event all the way.

Spectators were the big winners in last week's Moët Cup.

To the delight of onlookers, boats sometimes passed within a stone's throw of shore.

Alinghi rounds the leeward mark just ahead of Oracle.

IACC boats race the Bay: In the words of one spectator, "It's
not the America's Cup - but it is!"

Lynx Prowls the Bay This Week

September 22 - San Francisco Bay

The latest tallship to call in on San Francisco Bay is the privateer Lynx, a square topsail schooner launched two years ago in Maine, designed and built as a replica of the naval schooner Lynx from the War of 1812. Check out www.privateerlynx.org for more details.

Lynx will be visiting through this Friday the 26th, offering tours to the public and sunset sails Wednesday through Friday 6-9 pm. To reserve a spot or find out more, call organizers Sail San Francisco at (415) 447-9822 or see www.sailsanfrancisco.org.

During her visit, Lynx is berthed in Sausalito, right in front of the Bay Model.

Lynx sailed under the Gate on Friday.
Photo Latitude/JR

The boom of cannons, the haze of smoke, the smell of gunpowder - must be yesterday's battle with the Hawaiian Chieftain.
Photo David Demarest


September 22 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to www.bitwrangler.com/psn.

Weather Updates

September 22 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

Check out this guide to San Francisco Bay Navigational Aids: http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/sfports.html.

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind.

The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at www.wrh.noaa.gov/Monterey.

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/Maps/Southwest.shtml.

Pacific Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

The site for the Pacific Ocean sea states has moved to http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/PacRegSSA.shtml.
For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data.

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