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Fear a Chubasco Almost as Much as a Hurricane

"Morning chubascos are a little unusual here, but not unheard of," write Jake and Sharon Howard from aboard the Hunter Legend 45 Jake in the Sea of Cortez. A chubasco is a violent storm, usually of less than three hour’s duration, which is often accompanied by lots of lightning and rain.

"When we got up on the morning of July 25, we checked the Internet for the infrared satellite picture of the Sea of Cortez, and noticed this very large chubasco coming up from the south. Word was put out on the morning nets, but not everyone got it. We had winds of 35 to 38 knots, with gusts to 42 knots, here in sheltered Puerto Escondido. But boats a few miles to the south at Candeleros Bay had 50-knot gusts. One of the sailboats anchored there dragged onto the rocks and is still there. Another boat was sailing along the south side of Isla Coronado when the chubasco hit. She was driven onto the beach on the south side of the island. Another sailboat dragged anchor onto the beach at San Evaristo, about 25 miles north of La Paz. We don’t have the names of these boats. 

"Three boat owners in our immediate area had the unpleasant experience of having their dinghies, with outboards attached, flip over. We came through it OK, with the only damage being our parted flag halyard. We were able to replace it this morning with a new one, so we can now again proudly display our Mexican courtesy flag.

"Since we are talking about weather, I can also advise that we are on the ‘G’ storm (Genevieve) right now. It is closer to Hawaii than it is to us, so it is a non-issue. We have another potential storm that will probably become Tropical Storm Herman tomorrow. It should also stay 300-400 miles south and southwest of the tip of Baja and not be a problem for us. We are almost to the ‘meat’ of the hurricane season (mid-August to mid-October), so the serious hurricane watching is about to begin. Beware of the ‘J’ storm."

The Seattle couple is spending something like their sixth consecutive summer in the Sea.

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