Tropical Storm Octave

Right up front I should say that the storm was not all that bad, in fact, it was kind of puny as these things go. While we did not have any significant issues because of the storm, it was our first “named” storm event and we didn’t get through it entirely unscathed.

In the protected harbor of Puerto Escondido boats gather to wait out significant weather events and so they did this time. As more boats settled around us in the anchorage we decided to relocate to one of the permanent mooring balls instead. Not that we had any concerns regarding the ability of our ground tackle to handle the expected conditions because we didn’t. With 300′ of chain available and a well set 55# Rocna anchor we were in good shape. It was more our concern that the boats anchored upwind from us could drag in strong winds. Plus, we had a choice as there were moorings available. In fact, one boat did end up dragging through the anchorage later.

It rained all night Sunday and about midday on Monday the rain became very heavy while the wind built to 15-20 knots, gusting to 25 or so. Several nearby boats reported gusts of 32 knots. A few of our opening hatches developed leaks so we set drip pans for the worst ones and managed the others with mop rags. Funny that we lived aboard during many rainy San Francisco winters and nothing ever leaked a drop. Maybe it was the strong winds driving the rainwater into places it wouldn’t normally go. And there was plenty of rainwater to push around too as 7.12″ of rain fell at nearby Loreto in this 24 hour period. While the leakage was pretty minor and no real big deal, it was irritating.

Coincidental to the first wind gust over 20 knots our instrumentation interface decided to take a holiday. Consequently we were not able to observe details like the actual wind speed just when it was blowing the most. Again, not really a big deal but definitely disappointing plus a little irritating.

But fortune was not done with us just yet.

Monday was our second cloudy day in a row and we had not seen much production from the solar array in that time. Time to whip out the trusty ole Honda generator – that’s exactly why we drag it around, isn’t it? well, it only ran a few minutes before running out of fuel (no, I didn’t put it away full!) and then it was done. I mean, done. After refueling it simply refused to join the party. I was in the middle of troubleshooting (water in the fuel? Wet ignition?) when I had to put it aside and go help someone with bigger troubles than us.

Rebel Heart, a Hans Christian 36 nearby us had developed a problem. They are a “kid” boat and dad and the 3 year old had gone ashore early in the day to do laundry and pick up some provisions. As the wind was now up and the rain very heavy they were now stranded ashore with water in their fuel. They were unable to row against these conditions and mom and their infant were alone on the mother ship with no way to help. All the boats in the harbor had long before secured their dinghys and there didn’t seem to be anyone in a position to help. Soooooo, we jumped in. It took a few minutes longer than normal to launch our dinghy in the conditions but we got it done and off we went. By the time the dinghy was in the water we couldn’t have been wetter if we’d jumped into the pool and we stayed that wet until the drying off after project was over. The family was reunited after towing the shore party to their boat and we set about recovering and securing the dinghy for the storm.


puttering around Pto. Escondido in the calm before the storm

puttering around Pto. Escondido in the calm before the storm

Our imitation "South Pacific Island"

Our imitation “South Pacific Island”

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