[050520; 2022 UTC,
Estero de Jaltepeque y Rio Lempe, El Salvador
N 13 degrees 18.2/W 088 degrees 53.9]
You probably saw on the news that El Salvador took a direct hit from hurricane Adrian last evening. The eye passed onto land about 42 miles north of here not far from Acajutla, heading northeast towards Honduras and the Caribbean. We learned today that 19 people died in El Salvador primarily as the result of rain, flooding and landslides.
At the time of landfall winds were projected to be 80 knots with higher gusts; the airport about thirty miles from here was reporting these winds. We saw sustained winds in the thirties with a gust or two in the low to mid forties; much lower than we'd feared and manageable in our protected estuary. Oddly our winds came from the east/northeast during the entire storm, including after the eye passed. Barometers didn't fall much and actually climbed as the storm made landfall. We received 7.8" of rain!
All boats in the anchorage were ready. Sahika, on Comfort Zone, worked through a plan for dealing with medical emergencies including a plan for triage at the nearby hotel, emergency contact numbers, etc. Terazed was providing bags of sand for sentinels to be tied to anchor rodes to add weight. Carina and others compiled a list of all boats here including numbers of crew (POB), children and pets, and then Royce of RDreamz put together a map of the estuary with boat locations so that a boat could be found in an emergency. These documents were transferred to the "outside world" via ham nets. Carina also helped to collect ongoing weather information to report to the fleet and participated in ongoing reports to the outside world via the Hurricane Watch Net on 14.325 on the HF radio.
Of our fleet no one dragged anchor and no one sustained any injuries or damage. There may have been a few serious cases of cabin fever, but these were treated with healthy doses of VHF radio chatter. One cruiser staying in the hotel with his boat on a mooring ran into a plate glass door but thankfully only the door suffered. This morning everyone was tired from the preparation effort and anchor watches but thankful the hurricane's path spared us. The sky is beginning to peek through as boat pieces (solar panels, sails, biminis, etc.) are slowly emerging from crowded cabins for re-mounting or re-assembly. A debrief and celebration is planned for the pool at happy hour.
Sus amigos del velero Carina,
Philip, Leslie and el gato guapo, Jake