You may never plan to ride out a hurricane at anchor. But hurricanes have a habit of not performing as forecast, speeding up and causing all sorts of unanticipated problems. Our friends, Dave & Carolyn Shearlock, sv Que Tal, rode out a direct hit from Hurricane Marty at anchor in Puerto Escondido, Sea of Cortez. Carolyn wrote this comprehensive guide to preparing for a hurricane at anchor — things to do before the hurricane season, watching the weather, preparing for a storm, during the storm and the aftermath — for Blue Water Sailing, September 2005. This is indispensable information to have aboard, just in case…. Here’s an excerpt … be sure to read the entire article!
“About 80 boats were in Puerto Escondido for the storm. Of these, 24 had people aboard; the others had been left in the care of boat watchers while their owners traveled to the US or Canada. High hills and mountains almost completely surrounding the inner harbor made cruisers consider this the best hurricane hole in the Sea of Cortez. Although wind could come through two low-lying areas known as the windows, waves would be totally blocked as the narrow entrance channel made a 90º turn. In fact, most cruising guides saw the number of boats here as the only detriment to Puerto Escondido as a hurricane hole. However, no one could recall a direct hit on the bay.
That test was about to happen. Were our preparations sufficient? Would we be fouled by another boat? Our insurance required our boat to be in a marina during a named storm; we thought that Puerto Escondido offered more protection and had elected to stay near there during hurricane season. Had we made the right decision?”