Posted on October 7, 2017
Tropical Storm Nate
We’re still cooling our heels a bit as we wait for the end of hurricane season, so we’ve been working on boat projects and trying to regain some routine. Meanwhile, the warm waters of the tropics keep hurling weather around, and we spent a bit of time feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Nate.
Being so far south, there was not much of a chance that we’d encounter Nate as a hurricane, but the storm did dump a whole bunch of water on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of Costa Rica. Being anchored up the tidal estuary, we were right downstream from all the detritus flowing off the mountains–branches, weeds, sticks, sometimes whole trees.
On the news, we watched reports of mudslides and bridges washing out. As far as we know, seven people have been reported dead, another dozen missing, and as many as 500 homeless; we hear the damage was worse on the Atlantic side of the country, but we also hear more rain fell on the Pacific side.
When the current from the river lined up with the outgoing tide, the water was a sight to see: furious and dark. The panga drivers in the marina were out for two days straight, pulling rafts off moorings and moving trees out of the way. One boat broke free of its mooring; one dock slid away, with two boats attached. All were recovered without damage, thanks to the panga drivers.
Originally, our boat had been tied with our stern facing upriver; back when the current was more mellow, this was no big deal, and it kept the gate on our lifelines accessible to the dock for the Abuelas. As soon as we saw what was happening with the river, however, we spun the Milou around, so our bow could deflect the logs and our prop and rudder would be protected.
Today, the waters have calmed. We’ve some concerns about the channel leaving the Yacht Club–things may have shifted significantly since our entrance; we’re also a bit anxious about all the logs and debris floating around in the bay. Fortunately, we have a friend scoping out the channel today; hopefully we’ll get an “all clear” and be on our way soon.