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Old 03-02-2015, 12:49   #1
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Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

I am currently cruising Pacific Mexico, and am interested in advice or opinion from any sailors who have summered over here. Specifically, I am interested in Banderas Bay marinas, but also marinas, dry or wet, in the Sea of Cortez. General opinion of the different locations would be appreciated, but most importantly, reputation as hurricane holes.

Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:53   #2
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

If you have insurance perhaps giving them a call and see where they consider safe?
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Old 03-02-2015, 13:03   #3
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

Have left the boat for 4 summers in Mexico, 1 in Puerto Vallarta and 3 in Mazatlan. I would say the most secure marina wrt hurricanes that we have been in would be Paradise Village, in Nuevo Vallarta. The current harbour master, Mr. Dick Markie, was present and involved in the original construction and I discussed it with him. The steel pilings are large diameter, re-enforced with rebar and concrete, very tall so the floats could never come over the top of them, even with a major storm surge at high tide. It is located in a narrow estuary, behind a row of strong concrete building which act as a wind break. There is zero fetch that can build. At the end of the marina closest to the ocean entrance and breakwater, there can be considerable surge, so if thinking storm-wise farther up the row, farther up the estuary is probably best. Puerto Vallarta claims to have never been hit by a hurricane, may be true, but they have had wave damage from hurricanes passing close by. The downtown malecon was hit quite hard a number of years ago but I am not aware of any damage at Paradise Village. Let me know if you wish anything further. Hope this helps out.
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Old 03-02-2015, 13:27   #4
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

When I am on that side, Topolobampo is where I usually hole up. Plenty of places to tuck into. Some of the friendliest people you will ever encounter.
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Old 03-02-2015, 13:28   #5
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

Thanks for the replies. Yes, I have contacted my insurance carrier but have not yet heard back from them. And Paradise Village is near the top of my list for options in this area, thus I appreciate the endorsement!
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:21   #6
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

The previous suggestions are good. Here are some others: San Carlos boats are usually OK in the marinas, and Marina Seca, the dry storage of Marina San Carlos, is excellent. One of my boats has spent many years there.

On the Baja side, Puerto Escondido is a legendary hurricane hole. I sat out the eye of Hurricane Marty there, in 2003, as did quite a few others. Importantly, boats left unattended never fare as well as those with people aboard, even if they are "managed", so beware. What the anchorage/mooring situation there is currently, I have no idea. But geographically and geologically, it's a great place.

Cabo Marina is built at least as strong as Paradise. During the four and a half years I managed it, we had many close brushes with hurricanes, and a couple of direct hits, but never lost a boat. It was designed to withstand a hurricane, and that was before it was surrounded by tall buildings. Once we had a hurricane (Julliette) park over us for three days! But Cabo is pretty close to the hurricane track, and the one that hit a couple of years ago did some damage to the marina, and devastated the town. Probably the same thing would have happened at Paradise, but it is much less likely to get hit. Anyway, Marina Cabo San Lucas is a legitimate hurricane hole. The other Cabo San Lucas Marina is most definitely not, as it's exposed to waves. I am not sure of the one in San Jose del Cabo. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:02   #7
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

having been aboard thru furycame season now four years, one season in mazatlan marina,one season in la cruz marina,and 2 summers in barra de navidad, i am in a position of being able to receive barterable goods for my info.
if you have insurance, however, you are disallowed the best places to summer. is a sad thing, as i consider soc, aka gulf of california, to be a trap for boats. see hurricane odile, summer 2014.
each of the places i have summered have their advantages and disadvantages, so .. depends on what you seek,what your insurance allows you to do , and your b***s can handle.

i have not yet felt uncomfortable in summer in mazatlan or la cruz or barra de navidad.......
as ´canes form around latitude of acapulco, the farther south ye go the more mild the summer season. a friend said huatulco is beautiful and mild in summer, but, i think insurance precludes most from enjoying these areas.... which is good for some of us.
ixtapa, near zihuatenejo, is also a good place to summer, i have been advised. i do not know their summer rate. insurance is an issue there as well, as is, thank gods, barra de navidad.
this past summer of very intense `canes in our pacific, rapid intensification seems to occur in the latitudes between alcaputo and cabo corrientes, as odile performed her cat 2 to cat 4 growth just off latitude 19.1, before slamming the areas considered safe by insurance companies, which include the entire area odile hit so hard, which was entire baja peninsula.
as for my future summeringin mex, as i am a full timnelivinga board cruising under sail kinbda gal, ye cannot pay me enough to remain within thelatitudes insurance companies consider safe areas. ihave seen way too much destruction resulting from this demand made on sailing folks, even before i left cali for ever.
i started researcbhing weather patterns in kali since before 1973, and i been studying that which hits me now since 1990..... i began reading weather maps in 1956. was part of my sailing instructions. i started sailing in 1955.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:05   #8
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

You asked about marinas in the Sea of Cortez that provide good protection from summer storms. Last Summer, we left our trawler in Marina Palmira (La Paz), and in September hurricane Odile, which was one of the strongest hurricanes La Paz has experienced, passed close by. Our boat had no damage, and most other vessels there didn't either. Quite a few anchored boats in the open anchorage dragged ashore.

We have also spent a few years in Marina Real in San Carlos. A few tropical storms have come that far north, but generally, San Carlos is a bit off the hurricane track in the SOC. Additionally, Marina Real has only a narrow entrance channel, so only storm surge would work its way into the marina basin, and is sheltered somewhat by the surrounding hills. Marina San Carlos has a similar layout.

We find it advantageous to pay a boat watcher in our absence. Usually the fee is minimal, the boat gets washed, the bottom cleaned, the bilges checked, and maybe most importantly, before a storm they can check the integrity of lines, shore power cords, canvas etc. Marina personnel usually will not go to that extent.
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Old 20-02-2016, 08:14   #9
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

during storm patricia here in isla navidad where the eye came post initial landfall, succeeded by 200 mph winds, clocked, the marina tenants each watched over unattended boats. marina staff could not assist in any way as they were not here. one boat, a hunter, repeatedly broke her 1/2 inch lines.
please use REAL lines, not string, when you tie for canes.
half inch is like twine in the winds presented.
i did not pop lines but i DID pop a cleat. good i had 6 lines to initial windward side.
i do not like the idea of alleged safety being in the high wind adult cane zone. this area, southwezt coast, is generally in the growth area, not generally having huge winds. every 4-5 years we have a cane. safer here.

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Old 20-02-2016, 09:16   #10
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
repeatedly broke her 1/2 inch lines.
How does one repeatedly break a line?
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Old 20-02-2016, 09:38   #11
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

If you are a real summer time cruiser in the Sea of Cortez you'll probably be north of Santa Rosalia.

Puerto Don Juan (at the SE entrance to Bahia de Los Angeles) is a superb anchorage for riding out a hurricane. There are two sharp turns in the channel leading to the inner anchorage thus the swell and waves never get into there. There are 750 foot hills around the SE to the WNW that deflect the wind. The bottom is good deep sand that holds very well.

30 boats rode out Hurricane Marty in Puerto Don Juan with no damage.

I've spent several months in the anchorage over three summers and it is a beautiful place to hang out. There are dozens of islands close by that have great fishing and diving. The village is just 6 NM west where you can get food, water, and visit a couple nice restaurants.
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Old 20-02-2016, 10:29   #12
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

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How does one repeatedly break a line?
repeatedly breaking lines means the neighbors on spiritus changed the lines and repeatedly. they went out i to 200 mph winds endangering selves to change them using his strings to reconnect to dock cleats .
there is NO ONE other than neighbors who cruise who will check your lines, no matter what you pay them , once hit by storm, all hands are HOME, not at work in marinas.
insurance companies insist boats be above xx lat in cane season. we usually have self insureds here.

folks need to post pix of soc in anger. is not a fun sail. i much prefer ocean and tropics. mar de cortes is desert, not tropics. BIG boxy seas when angry. no thanks.
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Old 29-02-2016, 19:10   #13
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

La Cruz is protected by Sierra Madres but expensive.



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Old 29-02-2016, 19:31   #14
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Re: Pacific Mexico Hurricane Holes

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La Cruz is protected by Sierra Madres but expensive.



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la cruz is open to ocean and protected only on one side.
nuevo vallarta was torn up by a TROPICAL SORM.
i would not wish to be there in a cat 5 cane.
the pirts south of acapulco are sqfest, huatulco and chiapas, as storms are babies as they pass. not canes.
isla navidadcis good as it was designed to protect from storms. they did a great job.
sea of cortez is hidey hole for the folks who actuallybelieve insurance companies, but i call it a hoax, because there is some nasty pktential, should a cane docas odile was predicted to do, which 2as center self entire length of soc. what a mess that woulda been.
ye pays yer money, you takes uour chances.
this is not for the weak of heart. or mind or body.
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