As previously mentioned, Sans Souci arrived in Hualtulco Mexico around 9am this morning.
I also mentioned in yesterday’s update that there were hurricanes and tropical storms in the area, one of which seemed to be approaching Sans Souci from the south.
After consultation with our weather router, the decision was made to run ahead of the storm, heading north to Barra or Puerto Vallarta. Specifically, our weather router advised Jeff to run north: “Get north of latitude 20 as fast as you can.”
But, first, the boat needed to clear into Mexico. Hualtulco is an entry port, and getting clearance can be a slow painful process. The harbor master at Hualtulco was on vacation, which complicates the process. Plus, someone needed to personally inspect the boat from customs, which meant the person had to be found and convinced to come to the port. Jeff explained the urgency of getting the boat moving immediately, to about everyone he could find, and when that didn’t work, he tried passing around $20 bills. That worked.
Although the weather router and I were telling Jeff this was a good time to make a run for it, Jeff’s eyes were telling a completely different story. Jeff is a seasoned mariner, and has seen rough seas. When I spoke with him earlier today, he said “Ken, it is blowing 30 knots here in the marina, and looks ugly. I know we need to go, but I’m glad I’m not out there right now.”
Above is a picture from the National Weather site. Sans Souci is currently at 16 degrees north. Here’s the text version of the forecast:
HIGH SEAS FORECAST
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
0430 UTC SAT OCT 04 2008
SUPERSEDED BY NEXT ISSUANCE IN 6 HOURS
SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT…WHICH IS THE AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.
E PACIFIC FROM THE EQUATOR TO 30N E OF 140W
SYNOPSIS VALID 0000 UTC SAT OCT 04.
24 HOUR FORECAST VALID 0000 UTC SUN OCT 05.
48 HOUR FORECAST VALID 0000 UTC MON OCT 06.
…TROPICAL STORM WARNING…
.TROPICAL DEPRESSION-E FIFTEEN E NEAR 13.6N 99.4W 1006 MB AT
0300 UTC OCT 04 MOVING N OR 05 DEG AT 2 KT. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
WINDS 30 KT GUSTS 40 KT. SEAS TO 12 FT.
.24 HOUR FORECAST TROPICAL STORM NEAR 13.9N 100.3W. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS 40 KT GUSTS 50 KT. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS
WITHIN 35 NM OF CENTER. SEAS 12 FT OR GREATER WITHIN 60 NM E AND
30 NM W SEMICIRCLES WITH SEAS TO 14 FT.
.48 HOUR FORECAST TROPICAL STORM NEAR 14.7N 102.5W. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS 55 KT GUSTS 65 KT. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS
WITHIN 45 NM OF CENTER. SEAS 12 FT OR GREATER WITHIN 90 NM E AND
60 NM W SEMICIRCLES WITH SEAS TO 18 FT.
.72 HOUR FORECAST HURRICANE NEAR 15.3N 103.7W. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
WINDS 65 KT GUSTS 80 KT.
EXTENDED OUTLOOK…USE FOR GUIDANCE ONLY…ERRORS MAY BE LARGE.
.96 HOUR FORECAST HURRICANE NEAR 16.0N 105.0W. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
WINDS 65 KT GUSTS 80 KT.
.120 HOUR FORECAST HURRICANE NEAR 17.0N 106.5W. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS 65 KT GUSTS 80 KT.
The good news is that the storm is at 13.6 degrees north, and Sans Souci is roughly 200 miles north at 16 degrees north. Jeff should have plenty of time to make Barra before the storm catches him.