Friday, March 11, 2011


Apparently there has been a large earthquake in Japan that has sent a tsunami our way. The word on the VHF radio is that it has just passed Hawaii generating a 4-6ft rise and that they are currently trying to assess the damage level and that the swell is currently headed for California and, later, on down to us in Mexico. The rest of the word is that Mexico has closed all of its west coast ports, which means nobody is allowed in or out of the harbors. That's a bit of an inconvenience for us because we were supposed to go to Nueva Vallarta to do some paperwork for our international exit but the good news is that we were in the anchorage so we are not stuck inside the marina. There's other good news (for us) as well. If this thing does hit hard here, we are in about the best possible situation. Since we have been preparing to leave on our long trip, we are loaded to the gills with food and fresh water. We can be completely self sufficient for at least a month and, since I just finished installing our ham radio two days ago, we will be able to communicate (but not email or post on this blog) even if normal communication infrastructure were to get hosed.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say here is that there is no need for friends and family to worry even if Mexico gets clobbered by this thing (and it probably won't - the coast is pretty mountainous here), we will be fine. The tsunami is supposed to hit sometime a bit after noon and we are going to make sure we are in deep water when it does. (Just in case you don't know it already - tsunamis are long low swells before they hit shallow water so, if you're in deep enough water, they are almost imperceptible.)

...Now hopefully we'll be able to pick up an internet signal and post this before we head offshore so that our people back home don't have to freak out at all... ...If you're reading this, we found one.


jkibele said...

Just a clarification here. As I understand it, what is predicted as being possible for Mexico is NOT the giant wall of water that you think of when you hear about tsunamis. It's more likely to just be a lot of surge and an extra high tide. That stuff could damage boats in shallow water (like in the marina) but I don't think it'll do much more than that.

Anonymous said...

Im glad that you guys are prepare and knew about it. its not as bad in mexico as people in the US think it is. I got phone calls from my relatives back in the states worryng about me. I am in the regata and I did sail all day today and had a blast. Other than marinas been closed and had to circle for hours untill we were allowed back in paradise village everything went perfect. Hope you and Christine are doing well. Wish you two a Safe journey .

Bret said...

Glad to hear you didn't have any serious troubles. Looks like Santa Cruz got pretty well slammed. And I was able to speak with Dennis last night. He and Yuriko are fine, but things sound pretty dicey there. Take care! Love you guys ---Bret

jkibele said...

Bret: I'm really glad to hear that Dennis and Yuriko are okay. I haven't seen a whole lot of the news but I've seen enough to get the general impression that things are really bad over there. We heard about Santa Cruz too. A friend of ours posted videos of the harbor ( That's right where the UCSC research boat that we used to work on typically gets docked. Luckily, it was out of the water for repairs that day.

Oscar: Yeah, considering what's happening in Japan, I feel sort of guilty about it but we went out sailing and had a lot of fun on tsunami day.