Friday, March 11, 2011

Huatulco

We were getting everything ready and shipshape to leave Puerto Angel for Huatulco (with all of its bays) when another boater dinghied over and asked if we had heard of the tsunami that was expected to arrive at 13:00. We had not, so we tuned in the Ham radio to 14.300, the marine frequency, and it was a constant chatter, the Hams were abuzz with latest breaking news of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan - wow, what a big one! Up and down the coast, marinas were asking, and sometimes demanding, that boats head out to sea for safety.

Fortunately, we were far enough south that not too much was expected at Puerto Angel. But all the panga owners were moving their boats as far up on shore as possible. The beaches were deserted and all the chairs and tables had been removed. It really seemed eerie, as locals were expecting the worst.

Pangas are NEVER placed this far up onto the thin strip of shore

At 10:15, we headed out to sea towards Huatulco as originally planned, and had an unexpected great spinnaker run!

It was a little difficult to find a spot to anchor, as Bahia Santa Cruz (N15°45.015' W096°07.552') was full of pangas. The guidebook says that there is very little usable anchorage here as it is a tight cruise ship venue. And we later found out that as a result of the tsunami, the pangas and other boats had moved out of the wee inner harbour to deeper water as the harbour was having continual tsunami surges of 1 to 2 metres at intervals of about 5 minutes.

(Even the next day, the water was still surging. Within a few minutes, it would rise and fall about a metre as we watched it rushing in and then rushing out.)

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