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In the Wake of Jimena

"I am convinced that had the U.S. government hired Mexico to handle the post Katrina clean up in New Orleans, that city would have been up and running in three weeks," writes Charlie Bloomer, a yacht broker at Sea of Cortez Yachts in San Carlos, Mexico. "Because Jimena sat over San Carlos/Guaymas for nearly 24 hours, both towns suffered tremendous damage. Nonetheless, San Carlos and Guaymas got power just a few days later, and the water system is slowly being repaired. The government’s power system, CFE, and the regional water system, CEA, as well as TelMex, are performing miracles here daily."

Twenty-seven inches of rain in 24 hours will do this to a dirt (rather than paved) boat storage area. Can you believe the number of sailboats hauled at Marina Seca?

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Kiki Grossman, Director of Grupo Marine San Carlos, including the massive Marina Seca dry storage area, echoed the sentiment. Three days after the remnants of Jimena left, having dumped a record 27 inches of water in just 24 hours(!), she had four backhoes and one bulldozer cleaning up the massive mounds of water and reorganizing the boats that had been in the path of the torrent. The next day she was pleasantly surprised when TelMex crews showed up asking where to place the new telephone poles, and noting the electric company had a team of 200 workers getting the service back online in the area. Mariners in the area complimented Grossman on the job she and her staff were doing at the marina. While some mostly smaller boats got washed into one another, there was reportedly very little major damage to larger boats.

It was worse on the water, however, as Les Sutton and Diane Grant of the Alameda-based Albin Nimbus 42 Gemini reported from San Carlos. While there was no damage to boats in the San Carlos Marina, 18 boats went aground out in the Bay. It’s unclear how badly they were damaged.

Two trimarans and a yellow monohull were among the 18 boats that went aground at San Carlos.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The amazingly quick recovery of basic services seemed to be the same story over on the Baja side at hard-hit Santa Rosalia and Loreto/Puerto Escondido. Dave Wallace of the Redwood City-based Amel Maramu Air Ops flew out of Loreto on a commercial flight just two days after Jimena had left. And despite a number of tremendous wash-outs of the TransPeninsular Highway, the resourceful Mexicans soon had it reopened to traffic, albeit often just one lane at a time. These, however, were/are just the first steps necessary to restore services and living conditions in Jimena‘s wake, and the people and places still need help. Dave Wallace, along with his wife Merry, cares deeply about the Sea of Cortez and the people who live along it. Here is his plea for assistance:

"The extent of the devastation to the Mexican people on Baja and across the Sea in the Guaymas area is still unfolding, but it’s significant. The affected people are linked in many ways to those of us who cruise the Sea of Cortez, and they are now in great need. Many have lost everything. Unfortunately, the mainstream media dropped the story once they reported that the availability of Jello shooters was unaffected by the hurricane in Cabo. But the need for relief is still there, and urgent. 

"This website lists locations in southern Arizona to drop off relief goods for transportation to the San Carlos/Guaymas area. It also lists points of contact at San Carlos for the relief effort, and includes a link to enable cash donations to be made via PayPal.

"The Baja Bush Pilots website lists drop-off locations in California, including ones in Los Gatos and and East Bay, plus San Diego. It also provides an address for mailing cash donations."

The single primary roads on both sides of the Sea were washed out in many places, but quickly restored for basic use. This is downtown San Carlos.

© 2009 Dennis & Lynn Cannon

And just to remind everyone, it’s not necessarily over. There are still six weeks left in the hurricane season. So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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Trekka wasn’t too roomy, but this Laurent Giles-designed sloop took the young singlehander safely around the world.