As reported earlier, Hurricane Odile struck a devastating blow to Cabo San Lucas, although as far as we know, yachts in marinas there suffered only minimal damage. A number of first-hand accounts have confirmed that boats in La Paz marinas, 80 miles to the north, fared equally well. But in the open anchorage opposite the downtown waterfront, many boats dragged ashore or sank, while many boats in dry storage toppled.
Within the boating community, the most tragic news thus far is that well-known cruiser Guenter Trebbow perished during the storm after his boat Princess was blown ashore from La Paz’ Mogote anchorage at roughly 2 a.m. on Monday.
On the popular website www.bajainsider.com Tom Zyber refers to Trebbow as "a local fixture" who was a longtime Friday Net host and Christmas story reader. According to Zyber, "Gunther’s health had been failing for the last year or so, and after trying to save his holed vessel he was too weak to make it to shore. He will be missed."
As reported earlier, Paul Whithouse and Simone Wood of Tabasco II are also still unaccounted for. According to BajaInsider, navy divers confirmed Wednesday that they were not found within their sunken boat during a search Wednesday.
Correspondents Bob and Sherry Davis of the Shell Beach-based Irwin 44 Nirvana sent this comprehensive tally last night:
"The word ‘aground’ below, generally means beached on a sand bottom or washed up against mangroves, unless otherwise noted:
- Star Duster – aground
- Rock Bottom – aground with water intrusion
- Beyond – aground
- Maia – aground
- Om – aground
- Callisto II – aground
- Island Seeker – aground
- Steel Breeze – aground
- Ocean Light – aground and awash
- Last Hurrah – aground and awash
- Dolphin – aground
- Dorikam (Honolulu, HI) on the rocks and piled up with Aspara
- Aspara – on the rocks and piled up with Dorikam
- Tabasco II – sunk
- Timberlake – aground
- Luci – aground
- Oceanis ARC – aground
- Damiana – aground
- Satori – aground
- Satin – aground
- Pampered Lady – aground
- Princess – sunk
- Cementress – aground
- Andariego – sunk/aground/awash
"In addition to the vessels named above, three other vessels that were initially aground have been successfully refloated and are doing fine.
"Vessels in the Atalanta Dry Storage boatyard that were damaged in varying degrees include:
- Drifter (Baba 30)
- Dulcinea (Seattle)
- Cool Breeze (San Diego)
- Sea Gypsy (Kin, Alaska)
- Tahomah (Portland)
- Maufri (Unknown)
- Phoenix (Unknown)
- Genesis III (Edmonton, AB)
- Marlena (Waimea, HI)
- Drifter (Ventura, CA)
"There are several other unnamed boats that either toppled over or are partially atop or under adjacent boats, thus this should not be considered the complete list of affected vessels. Again, please note that specific damage varies. Some vessels, while lying atop, or partially under, etc. adjacent boats may only have incurred superficial-to-minor damage, largely as a result of toppling over in the wind on rain-softened ground in the yard. The good news is that some of the force of the wind that swept across the yard was diminished by the newly constructed multi-story City Express Hotel that lies between the yard and the street that passes between the La Paz Malecon and the communities out in Costa Baja, Pichilingue, and beyond.
"It appears TelCel telephone and Internet services are up and operating well at this point. By mid-afternoon today, increasing numbers of food stores, restaurants, and other essential service providers were open and operating, albeit on a limited basis in some cases. As is no surprise, the industriousness of the city’s residents is unfailing. Already vast quantities of downed trees, light standards, power lines, etc., have been cut away and are being expediently removed; almost all roads in town are now passable.
"As I described on the phone, the cruising community here in La Paz and its well-known day-to-day leaders were Johnny-on-the-spot before, throughout and after the storm in organizing rescue, recovery and salvage activities on behalf of all boats and boaters who have been adversely affected by the storm. These are the very same folks who routinely support many established causes on behalf of the citizenry of La Paz throughout the year. I am reluctant to name specific folks, even when they have being doing yeomen’s work ashore and out on the Bay, lest I overlook one or more who equally and justly deserve recognition for their efforts. I will invite the principal leaders of this effort to pass along this information if they so choose after things settle back down to a manageable level.
"The above information on boats and their status is reasonably accurate, but may not be perfect, given the fluidity of the post-hurricane recovery circumstances as we all endeavor to get things back to a normal footing."
Naturally, we greatly appreciate the Davis’ efforts. We encourage them and others who are onsite in storm-ravaged areas to update us by email with additional info and photos. We anticipate running an overview of the storm’s effects on the Baja and Sea of Cortez boating communities in the October issue of Latitude 38.