18 September 2014
September 18, 2014
It has been several days since Hurricane Odile soared through Baja and still the news is sketchy. Our media followed it through Cabo, a major tourist attraction for Americans, but after it moved on and up the peninsula, there has been little, if any information. But thanks to the boating network and our friends, KC Matlock and Holly Scott, details about La Paz have begun to emerge.
We are told Cadenza is in good condition, as well as the other boats in Marina Costa Baja. For this we are immensely grateful. Tom and Jeanne Brown of La Paz Cruiser's Supply took great care in preparing her for this monster. They battened down the hatches, tied up all loose ends, cleared the deck and then walked the docks watching over the boats. When the weather became too dangerous, a man whom we have never met, Bob of Nirvana, now berthed on our same dock, took over scouting duties. Bob told us via Sailmail that Cadeneza is in “perf condition.”
Thank you all.
Unfortunately, there is much news that breaks our hearts. Yesterday, we were informed that there were thirty-five boats either beached, dismasted, or sunk. Tom wrote that Jeanne is the point person for the recovery mission; organizing and delegating the volunteers to save what boats they can. We understand it will be a long week of many hours.
More importantly, there has been an ongoing search for several missing people. As of yesterday, there were still three people unaccounted for; Paul and Simone of Tabasco II and Gunther of Princess. Rumor has it that the last radio transmission from Gunther said he had six inches of water in his boat. This morning we awoke to the reports that they found Gunther in Princess which had sunk.
Never have we met Gunther, yet we were touched, ever so slightly, by his life, and are deeply saddened by his death.
Every Friday, Gunther would take to the airwaves to run the Cruiser's Net. There he showed signs of his personality and I drew a picture of him in my mind. Gunther was German, I presume, by both his name and his accent. His sentences were breathy and his voice quivery, hinting to his age. His sense of humor, as well as his impatience, came flying over the airwaves. And he was a great storyteller. Last Christmas, Jay and I sat on Cadenza, listening intently to Gunther spin his tale of being a baker's apprentice years past in Germany. We smiled and laughed and stay tuned while he rambled on. This man, by way of voice only, had entered our hearts.
No less important, of course, are Paul & Simone. Though we do not know them, they are someone's children, many people's friends. We are sending our prayers out that they are found safe.
And what about the many, many others who live scattered throughout the Baja peninsula? As the hurricane was making its way northward, the Weather Channel newscaster kept making a big point about how fortunate it is that beyond La Paz it is sparsely populated. But it is populated! There are many people to be concerned about and these are our neighbors.
I wonder about the small villages of San Evaristo and Agua Verde. What about those who live on that tiny island behind Isla San Francisco? Who will help them? And what about Manuel, the fisherman from Los Gatos? How did he and his family of seven fare?
These are troubling questions.
We do not wish to have been there for the hurricane, but it is difficult to not be there now, to help. These are our friends, our neighborhood, a community of wonderful people who are struggling to overcome a horrific event.
Please keep them in your prayers.