Dust Storms and Forest Fires

Location: Gran Peninsula Shipyard, Ensenada, Mexico

Comments: Well, we are still tied up to the dock in Ensenada in the middle of a hurried and unexpected refit. I took a deep breath and cancelled our last Guadalupe great white shark charter of the season last week when a large swell from up north was forecast to combine with very strong Santa Ana winds to give freak wave conditions out at Guadalupe Island. I’ve never before heard of 16 – 25 foot seas on an 11 second period in this area.

Locals here in Ensenada are telling us that they have never seen such sustained and strong Santa Ana outflow winds. The good news is that the downtime gave us an extra 5 days to catch up on painting, varnishing, carpentry, welding repairs and such. The bad news is that winds blew up such a choking dust storm that it was impossible to get any painting done until the winds finally died down this morning.

I have a pretty positive outlook on things and consoled myself with the thought “hey, all this dust and sand makes it a good time to recoat the decks as we won’t have to worry about adding anti-skid to the paint.” As well as the dust storm and high winds, we can see a big forest fire burning on the hill across the harbour.

We’ve also heard that 250,000 people have been evacuated from San Diego because of a huge forest fire, that the U.S./Mexico border was closed yesterday and that the San Diego airport might be closed today. All I can say is that I can’t wait to get back out to sea and slip into the beautiful, blue, soothing sea to go for a nice dive. Ahhh. We depart Ensenada late tonight for a 3 1/2 day steam down to Cabo San Lucas and the start of our Sea of Cortez season.

–Captain Mike


Weather: Air temperature high 70’s, clear, light winds and no more dust.

Water: Water temperature and visibility unknown.

By Nautilus Staff

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