We very much enjoyed Isla San Francisco and would have stayed longer. We left because the forecast told of strong winds looming. s/v Caesura www.facebook.com/SV Caesura gave us a heads up about the weather and using our satellite device, the Iridium Go, and PredictWind Offshore, we learned that there was a Norther coming. Until now, the weather had been so absolutely perfect we had not looked more than three days ahead.[Weather explanation note:
A little explanation due here…. A Norther is a wind event that affects the Sea of Cortez. We’ve learned that you can somewhat predict the Norther by looking at the air pressure of Salt Lake City, Yuma and the Puerto Vallarta area. If Salt Lake is at 1030mb or higher, and the spread between Yuma and PV is at least 10mb, this meets the criteria for a Norther… meaning the wind will rush down from the Salt Lake area and funnel into the Sea of Cortez. So… with this in mind and with our weather sources predicting a big wind, we went nine miles north to San Evaristo. The little bay would offer good Norther protection and the restaurant and tienda in the small town would offer diversion while there.]
We pulled into the protected cove, set the anchor hard, and payed out extra scope. We did what we could to reduce the windage and keep Volare from swinging side to side when the wind started. Our weather sources were a day off… but the wind came. It steadily built for two days and the full force of the storm hit us for 24 hours, forcing us to keep anchor watch for a time and preventing leaving the boat. Some boats reported over 45kts… the most we actually saw was 36kts… at least while we were looking at our wind gauge. Adam saw the boat behind us try to reset anchor a few times during the night as they had been dragging. They tried three times before getting it set. It was 0330 in the morning and it was blowing like stink. Most boats had lights on as they too were concerned. A few dinghies flipped and a gas can left on deck was washed out to sea. A small animal pen from the village actually took to the sea and made its way through the anchorage and onto the rocks. Luckily (and thanks to our preparation and Adam’s vigilance), everything aboard Volare stayed put. The wind continued to blow, but not as hard, for another couple of days before we could get going again. We learned after that this was an “exceptional” Norther. Great… lucky us.
Sometimes when you’re stuck at achor… there’s nothing else to do but fix broken things…. this time, a pump. It was making a horrible grinding noise prior to Adam rebuilding it.
As for San Evaristo… nice place. Great anchorage. Small tienda and a small beach restaurant called Lupe Sierras. Really good food and very cold beer. We hope to go back some day under better weather.
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