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Batten Down the Hatches

A doozy of a storm is set to wallop Northern California tomorrow so you’d better grab Toto and run for the cellar — but not before you check your boat. Forecasters have been watching the front, which was born in Russia, move closer to the West Coast. Initially, it was predicted to hit in earnest today but it appears to have lost a little oomph on its journey across the Pacific.

While the West Coast prepares to be hit by heavy winds and up to four inches of rain tomorrow, Baja is facing a thrashing from Tropical Storm Patricia.

© NOAA

As it stands, southerly winds should start picking up tonight, peaking tomorrow afternoon and evening, with highs between 30-40 knots and gusts to 60. The Coast Guard is warning all mariners to stay in port until at least Wednesday to allow winds and seas to mellow. Today would be a great time to run down to your boat and make sure she’s ready for the blow. Add a couple spring lines, dog down the portlights and hatches, throw a few extra wraps on your roller furler, add some chafe gear. Trust us, you don’t want to get a call telling you that your boat broke loose and is now lying on a beach.

The owner of this sailboat was devastated to find out his boat’s mooring line had chafed through in the relatively mild wind event that swept through the Bay two weekends ago. The boat was a total loss and was crushed this weekend.

© John Navas

Meanwhile, farther south, Tropical Storm Patricia is bearing down on Cabo with winds spinning up to 75 knots. It’s expected to hit land late tomorrow.

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