11 March 2011 | Bandaras Bay
We woke up this morning to the news of the big earthquake in Japan and the potential tsunami coming our way. We were at the marina at Nuevo Vallarta (Ian is racing with our friends on Tapatai and it was just more convenient to be at the dock than at anchor). Anyhow, the docks were alive with everyone out talking about the best course of action. Some said stay it would be fine, others thought the best course would be to head out to the bay. Ian at first decided to add extra lines to the boat which we did, but about an hour later, he changed his mind and decided that we should head out to deep water, so at about 11:30 am we headed out.
Channel 22 the cruisers channel, on the VHF radio was full of chatter, information and misinformation. One minute the ports were closed to all traffic and then they were only closed to commercial traffic. We decided that since our boat is our home we couldn't afford to take the chance on being caught at the dock in a big surge that could not only break the docks, but do lots of damage to our boat. So closed or not we left the marina.
It was a pleasant day with a light wind and very calm seas out there and we had a great day of sailing back and fourth across the bay. We made lots of fresh water and ran the engine a few hours to charge up the batteries.
Although the regatta was cancelled for the day, you would not have known it with all the boats out sailing.
We were hearing reports on the radio of surges of 2, 3 and 4 feet. A couple of docks broke in one marina and the outflow waters out of the estuaries (where most of the marinas are) was up to 14 knots. Around 5 pm we were tired of sailing and wishing we could go back to the dock but the ports at this point were really closed with the Mexican Navy guarding the entrance to our entry. So the only choice was to sail around all night or to anchor out. So despite the fact that we splurged on a marina for a few days, here we are back at anchor!
That being said, we are safe and sound and things could have been so much worse. Our hearts go out to the people who have been affected the most by todays disaster. We hope that things go back to normal for them as soon as possible.