Spread; The rudderless Hylas 46 'Sea Silk' being towed from Mag Bay with a harness to distribute the tow load. Insets left; The sloop's protective skeg very likely prevented greater damage to the rudder. While the hull and keel were damaged, it was only superficial in both cases.
Cruise Notes: If you're unlucky enough to be caught in a remote area when a hurricane blows through, and your boat gets driven ashore, you're going to need a lot of things going for you in order to have a good outcome. Among them are decent weather, a responsive insurance company, a good rescue company, a powerful tow vessel, and helpful local authorities. Fortunately for Craig Blasingame and Sue Steven of the Coronado-based Hylas 46 Sea Silk, who were aboard with three friends when their big sloop was driven ashore at Mag Bay by October's hurricane Paul, they got all of them. "Markel, the insurance company for the boat, was very responsive, as they called us the next day and told us to do whatever we needed to do to save the boat," explains Ari Kreiss of the Cabo Yacht Center. It was Kreiss and his
team who ultimately pulled Sea Silk free, towed her 170 miles to Cabo San Lucas, and are now repairing her. As the boat was stranded at Isla Santa Margarita, an island that forms the western shore of Mag Bay, they weren't able to use a backhoe to dig a trench for the boat to deep water, so they blew and dug the dirt out of the way. "We then rigged a harness to distribute the tow loads all around the boat, and pulled Sea Silk off with a powerful triple-screw 110ft work boat," says Kreiss. "Sea Sea Silk came off in better shape than any big boat we've pulled off a shore. The greatest damage was to the rudder, which had broken in half. There was also some relatively minor damage around the keel, some cosmetic damage,
and a little water inside. But in three weeks she'll be repaired and her owners can continue the one-year cruise they had started." Kreiss noted that Sea Silk had gone up in about as ideal a spot as possible, and that the Mexican Navy, which has a base half a mile away, took extraordinarily good care of the boat and the five people who came off it in the storm. "The Navy put the crew up, fed them, and did everything they could for the owners." Viva Mexico! While we were having a cerveza in the Baja Cantina in Cabo, a man sat down next to us and said "hello." It was Bob Barry, who knew us because he'd done the '06 Ha-Ha with his Beneteau 523 Latitude 23. When we asked him where he'd sailed since the Ha-Ha, he told us mostly around Cabo San Lucas. "I started a day charter business out of Cabo in '07 with a Mexican partner, and two years later I bought him out. Despite all the competition, and the fact that I'm not Mexican, it's been a good business for me. A lot of my friends told me that I'd go crazy after I was in Cabo for a month, but I have a lot of friends and I like it here." Barry tells us that he gets most of his business from TripAdvisor, where his charters are ranked high on the list of popular activities in Cabo. Nonetheless, when the onetime Merrill Lynch employee gets his boat paid off in a couple of years, he says he'd like to buy a catamaran and sail the Caribbean. Is hoisting your dinghy and outboard for the night no longer enough? "On November 12 we had our grey Achilles inflatable and her 9.8-hp Tohatsu outboard stolen while we were anchored at Isla de Piedra outside Mazatlan," report John Gratton and Linda Hill of the San Francisco-based Hans Christian 33 Nakia. "The theft One way to lose your dinghy/outboard in Mexico is to ride it into a wave. Another is to have it stolen. Both are expensive propositions. CHERIE SOGSTI
PHOTOS COURTESY CABO YACHT CENTER
The December 2012 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.