OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUgh. Yesterday evening we experienced the worst ocean storm either of us has ever seen. It was fast and furious. It appeared out of nowhere, clobbered us for a couple hours, and then left just as quickly as it arrived. It wasn’t in the forecast, but after the storm Brian found websites to view satellite images of weather which clearly showed a horrible storm was headed our way. We’ll be monitoring these satellite images closely in the future. The Mexicans refer to this type of storm as a Chubasco. We’re nearing the end of the summer monsoon season, which is when these storms are active.

Hurricane season. Chubasco season. What an adrenaline filled honeymoon it’s been.

It had been a calm day. The breeze was light and the ocean was nearly flat. I stayed on Magic and worked while Brian went scuba diving. He returned and the sky clouded over. I took a short nap on the trampoline and woke up to a light rain. We ran around closing hatches and bringing things inside. Within an hour, the light breeze had increased to a tropical storm force wind (39+ MPH). Our wind meter is broken so we will never know just how strong the winds were, but we both agree they were well above 40 MPH.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe rain became so heavy it stung my skin painfully. There was thunder and lightning. A few brave pelicans rode up and down the huge crests and troughs of the waves. Some of the waves smacked the bottom of the catamaran with a loud boom, which has never happened before. A few things fell over inside the boat, which has also never happened before. Magic rode out the storm with grace, her four corners dipping into the ocean occasionally. She’s a blue water boat made for crossing oceans and she felt safe and stable in these waves.

However, we were anchored only about 300 feet away from a very rocky shoreline and we didn’t have a lot of options if the anchor started moving. In the worst of the storm, Brian adjusted the anchor to let out more chain. This brought us a little closer to the rocks but it was the best thing to do because it made the anchor hold more securely. When I watched him at the bow of Magic, leaning over to adjust the anchor with the boat pitching forward so much his arms were in the water, I felt pretty nervous.

He returned to the cockpit and said, “I’ll be really glad when this is over.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe storm was over within a couple hours, and then the huge, rolling waves continued into the night. We haven’t seen any other cruising boats out here, which is eerie. Last season we saw a lot of cruising boats all over the sea. Does everyone else know something we don’t? Are we out on the Sea of Cortez a little too early? We were so eager to get out on Magic and begin diving that now we’ve gotten to experience both hurricane and chubasco season. Lucky us!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe love remote anchorages, and the photo to the right is our current location on a calm, sunny day. We’re surrounded by mountains, beaches, and cactus and we’re close to nice places to dive. However, after this storm we talked about tying up at a marina until these extreme weather seasons calm down. We can use the dingy to go diving when the forecast looks good, and enjoy the safety of the marina when things get ugly.

Lisa Hackett

About the Author

Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m a tall, blonde superhero and I live in a van. I do it all. I rappel big waterfalls, drive from Idaho to Alaska solo, live and work in a van in the wilderness and dodge encounters with wolves and bears. Seriously. More

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m a tall, blonde superhero and I live in a van and on a sailboat with my superhero husband, Brian. I do it all. I rappel big waterfalls, scuba dive with sharks, dodge encounters with bears and wolves, and work remotely as a full time computer programmer.
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About the Van

Hi, I’m Vanifest. I’m a big, 4x4, off-the-grid van complete with solar panel for power. I'm a 2000 Dodge Ram Van and Lisa has had me since 2009. Read more about me here.


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