Exactly the conditions that attract cruisers; warm water, warm air temperatures, tropical climate are the conditions that spawn hurricanes. The hurricane season for the eastern Pacific (including Mexico runs from May 15 through Nov 30 and although the draw to those climes is strong  we don’t want to be near where these storms form during those times, further, our insurance company  will not cover losses in Mexico south of 23 degrees N latitude (about 1/2 way up Baja Calif)  during the season.
So, we are in Alameda California for awhile; a prudent distance from where hurricanes form or wander.

Hurricanes are a thunderstorm type activity with  rotating winds in a counterclockwise (in the northern hemisphere) direction.  On the Beaufort Wind Scale, hurricanes are rated 12 on a scale of 0 to 12, anything over 64 knots is hurricane force, and described by Beaufort as:

History of Hurricanes in Eastern Pacific

History of Hurricanes in Eastern Pacific

“Huge waves. Sea is completely white with foam and spray. Air is filled with driving spray, greatly reducing visibility” ;

Sometimes, in spite of taking all reasonable precautions mariners find themselves in harms way.  So we learn if placed in a difficult situation to  mitigate the situation. Hurricanes can be very large but are typically about 300 mi in diameter with the strongest winds near the eye ( the eye being 5-50mi across). If given enough advanced warning mariners sail with the winds on the starboard side away from the storms path.  Forcaster talk about a cone of uncertainty when predicting potential paths.  So, the further away the boat from the hurricane the larger the potential for the hurricane to wonder off the forecasted path. We also learn of a favorable or navigable semicircle and dangerous semicircle. Since these storms are moving across the earth at some significant speed, winds on the left side (when facing the path) of the hurricane add to storm velocity so a yacht stuck there sees hurricane force winds plus forward velocity, while yachts in right or navigable semicircle will witness hurricane speed winds minus forward motion.  There are lessons we’ve learned but hope never to put to practical use.

We’ve learned our lessons but, we’re still staying away until the insurance company says its ok, meaning we could be in Mexico as soon as Oct 30. That is the plan. That is the plan. That is the plan.

On the other hand, there is a Yiddish proverb (or some sources say German): “Men tracht und Gott lacht.”. Roughly it  translates to:  “Men plan, God laughs”.

God is laughing.

We have recently been in the middle of our own familial hurricane when my father passed away on Sept 1. We don’t know if his passing will affect our plans; but it is likely. Alameda is not such a bad place.

Sunset at Grand Marina, Alameda

Alameda Sunset

Alameda is an island (and a City) along the east side of San Francisco Bay,  accessed from Oakland by submarine tunnel  at the north end of the island or by  bridge from the south end. Shopping is a short bike ride or walk from the marina, and there are marine services of all types; from sail makers and canvas works to  metal works and electrical or electronic services available everywhere and easily accessible. Being from Oregon I’m not happy about the Calif sales taxes since it makes prices significantly higher than the PNW but  I’m doing my part in easing the Calif financial crisis.

We took our folding bicycles out the other day to explore Alameda and the nearby Bay Farm Island. A wonderful bike trail runs along the bay on Alameda; past houses and condos on one side and the bay, with Sf in the background, on the other. The trail continues over a bridge separating Alameda from Bay Farm Island. Bay Farm Island used to be an island until land fill made it into a peninsula. The Oakland Airport now sits on the island along with a golf course.  It used to be called Asparagus Island because, well you can guess. Along with Asparagus, Bay Farm Island used to provide a significant quantity of oysters to San Francisco. Today Bay Farm Island is the Corporate home for the Oakland Raiders and Peet’s Coffee.

Our time in Alameda is supposed to be for working on boat projects. I want to build a water maker, finish wiring the new solar panels, get the monitor working properly, Judy will be making some new cloth storage areas to hold odd shaped pieces and another to gather all the spare diesel filters into one place.  But it’s been hard to get going and starting on the projects.  Iv’e ordered the parts for the projects  and hope to add the watermaker and solar  to the projects section of this website but time has a way of siding by.

We will be here until we aren’t.  Seems like a trite statement, but I can’t think of a better way of summing up our desire to go cruising with the magnetic pull of family and responsibility.  Que Sera,Sera or maybe “it is what it is“. Hurricane forces are huge, but the people and family forces are far larger.  Fair winds.