The Two Faces of This Week’s Storms, and the Loss of a Shrimp Boat

First this week came “Miriam,” a beautiful storm in my eyes. She never quite made it to “tropical” proportions, fortunately. She brought us lots of rain and a heavy, dense, flat layer of clouds overhead.

Next came Stormin’ Norman, below, who qualified as a tropical storm, though fortunately we didn’t experience his full effects as his center was quite a ways off shore. He brought a lot of wind, rain, and a whole lot of fog. To me not as thrilling, but definitely more energy and excitement.

Norman also caused the sinking of a shrimp boat that tried to take shelter in port. Eight crew members made it safely to shore, though it was far from easy, as you can see, and it was sadly a complete loss of boat and equipment.

Photo ©Moises Romero

Norman sadly caused loads of flooding of streets and houses, and the closing of most schools on Friday, and these boys seem to be making the best of it.

The Mexican National Surf Championships are here in Mazatlán this weekend. For those who love large, out-of-control waves, I guess the storms have been good news. Fortunately for us, today, Saturday, has dawned sunny and clear — perfect weather for viewing a surfing championship!

High Tides/High Sands


The last 2-3 weeks have seen tides higher than we’ve seen in a long time here. Often this time of year the waves splash up over the seawall near Valentino’s, sometimes even onto Avenida del Mar. But this year, the waves have even been splashing onto the Avenida in Olas Altas.

Last Thursday we were taking our morning walk and we had to turn back because we were getting sand blasted. We’ve noticed the last week or so that there are 2-3 inches of sand all along the malecón in various places, as well as onto the street.

The surfers are of course happy with these waves, as are the body boarders. Though the waves are too high for some. The fishermen have not generally been pleased. The waves have overturned quite a few of the pangas, and the port as well as the beaches have been closed a few times due to the high seas. The fishermen have had to put their pangas up on the malecón several times for safe keeping. Shrimp season this year is predicted to be fantastic, thanks to all the high seas plus the rain.

Today we bicycled down to the Pedro Infante statue. We were, gratefully, splashed by waves a few times as we rode. What was most remarkable, however, is that the beach is AT LEAST ONE METER HIGHER than it normally is! There are places where you can now almost walk from the malecón onto the beach. There are numerous palapas into which the waves are now entering freely. The few palapas that have laid concrete flooring, that are normally a foot or two above sea level, they now have sand for flooring. La Corriente and other palapas near the Hotel De Cima have had to bring in bulldozers to dig their spaces and furniture out from under the sand.

In the photo at left, note that the round table is normally about one meter ABOVE the sand. The lower part of this palapa, normally, is well above head height. Not this week!

In this next photo, please note that the sign normally has a pole that keeps it a couple of feet/half meter or so ABOVE the sand.

And all this, with no hurricane, and with no real horrific storm. It’s eerie.

In addition to all the high seas, of course, we have had heavy rains. It is rainy season. Saturday a week ago we received in one day one-third of the rain we normally get in one year! Nine inches poured down in seven hours. Thousands if not tens of thousands of homes have been flooded repeatedly, and most of those families have lost all their furniture. It rained high in the Sierras as well, and as the rivers brought all that rain down to the sea, the rivers carried in them tree trunks, dead cows and pigs, silt, sediment, and trash of every sort. The tides were just right that the rivers washed it all out to sea, and then the waves came in and washed it all up to the beach. Everyone has spent the last two weeks cleaning up wood and other items from the beaches. It’s been a remarkable, community-wide effort.


Sunsets in Mazatlán/Atardeceres en Mazatlán


Many of you know how much we LOVE sitting on our terrace and watching the incredible light shows that God blesses us with each and every day. I often share the “sunset of the day” on my Facebook page, and they are some of the most-liked posts. So, I thought you might like to watch a slideshow of some of my favorite Mazatlán sunset shots. Enjoy! You can watch it in full screen and high definition if you’d like.


Sky on Fire – Time Lapse


29 January 2011, photos taken from our terrace

5:42:12 pm
5:42:43 pm
5:43:39 pm (note the yate fiesta/party boat)
5:44:05 pm (note the yate fiesta/party boat)
5:51:38 pm
5:53:32 pm (clouds moving quickly though there is no wind)
5:54:21 pm
5:54:51 pm
5:55:34 pm (almost set)
5:55:52 pm
5:56:07 pm
5:56:26 pm
5:56:40 pm (and set)
5:56:52 pm
5:57:45 pm
5:57:54 pm
5:58:22 pm
5:58:42 pm
5:59:40 pm (we feel the best is usually after the sunset…)
6:00:42 pm
6:02:18 pm
6:02:30 pm

6:02:48 pm

6:03:47 pm
6:04:01 pm
6:04:14 pm
6:05:06 pm


Tropical Storm Rick

We were VERY fortunate that Rick was no longer a hurricane when it reached us. The huge rough waves (all day on 20th October 2009 and the morning of the 21st), rain and sustained strong winds (from 10 pm till about 11 am) were definitely significant.

Click to see individual photos in the storm slideshow above.The damage around town was still fairly significant. Trees, signs and beachside restaurants were especially hard hit. The beaches ended up with far less sand than they started with, as you can see in several of the photos. Click to see individual photos.

The calm after the storm: sunset on Wednesday the 21st. Moon set with some of the fishing boats in the bay, trying to make up for lost fishing time. Click to see individual photos.

Our local newspaper, the Noroeste, posted some short videos on the storm:
During the storm.
A look at property damage in the wake of Rick.
A look at Stone Island.