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Boats and Marinas Awash in Hurricane Norma Aftermath

The sun is back out in La Paz, and the cleanup from Hurricane Norma is underway. Heidi Benson Stagg of the Tayana Vancouver 42 Sonho (featured in our October Sightings) was safe at Marina de La Paz. She and her husband ventured out yesterday and sent us photos from their tour of the harbor. The sunset shot from Monday shows two of the very few boats that managed to ride out the storm under anchor.

Heidi wrote, “The one in the foreground is Caracolita, owned by our friend Henri Fabroyovich. He is a former Alameda resident, Alameda YC member and retired cameraman for one of the Bay Area news channels. He was away when it hit, but his Westsail 32 rode it out. It broke through three-strand bridle and was hanging on by the safety line. My husband re-secured it yesterday. He’ll be back on Thurs. to get a diver to look at it.”

Hurricane Norma Heidi Benson
Sunset in La Paz, two days after Hurricane Norma, with Henri Fabroyovich’s Westsail 32 Caracolita — one of the few boats that rode out the storm at anchor.
© 2023 Heidi Benson

Heidi shared information on her Facebook page, stating, “Today the winds died, the waves [lay] down and we were able to go check on our friends’ boats that survived the hurricane on mooring balls. Sukha, which I crewed on from Cabo to Muertos in 2021, was the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Lucy, and she rode out Norma like a champ. Caracolita belongs to our Alameda YC friend, Henri, and she broke her bridle but was hanging on by her safety line. My skilled hubby deployed her anchor and she should be fine until a diver can check out her mooring. After the devastation and stress of the last few days, seeing our friends’ boats safe was a ray of sunshine! Our new friend Finn took us out on his aluminum skiff and we counted 43 … yes FORTY-THREE … boats that were beached or sunk. This doesn’t include the probably 20 boats that had major damage in Costa Baja and Marina Cortez. Our La Paz cruising community is amazing. So many people banded together to look out for each other. We are grateful and blessed.”

Below is a roundup of the devastation in La Paz. All photo credits go to Heidi Benson Stagg.

Hurricane Norma Heidi Benson
Hurricane Norma certainly left her mark.
© 2023 Heidi Benson

We also heard back from Neil Shroyer of Marina de La Paz. We were hoping to see him this weekend at the Baja Ha-Ha Kick-Off Party in San Diego, but he wrote that despite having a ticket ready to come there’s just too much going on that needs attention in La Paz. He added, “A total of about 60 boats lost, 40 run aground, 15 or more sunk in marinas, and 5 or so sunk in the bay. It’s very sad.

“We have structural damage to our large outer breakwater dock and lost many panels of our fixed breakwater from boats crashing into them and tearing them up. At least it kept the boats away from the marina.”

While there will be a shortage of slips following the storm, there is the Baja Beach party scheduled for Sunday, November 19, following the Baja Ha-Ha. We’ll have to await updates with the hope that it will go forward. It’s very likely the businesses and locals would appreciate visitors to help rebuild the local economy and contribute however they can.

1 Comment

  1. Jeff Cook 8 months ago

    Catamaran capsizes in La Paz
    Photo by my friend Jason Kopps

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