Hurricane Odile

Message from the Commodore - September 22, 2014

It is with great sadness that I must report to you that in Hurricane Odile last Sunday night September 14th, we lost 3 club members.

Guenther Trebbow

Guenter Trebbow, of “Princess”, who has long been the Friday morning net host and amazing Sunday story teller, went down with his ship. Many heard his cries for help, but conditions did not permit anyone to come to his rescue. He will be deeply missed by everyone who ever had the pleasure to know his kind soul. A Memorial Service will be held this Friday, September 26, 2014 (Fish day as Guenter would say) on the Magote Beach at 4:30pm. Hope to see a lot of you there. Gunter's son Mike will be flying into La Paz the day before and will be there.

Paul Whitehouse

Paul Whitehouse and Simone Wood came to La Paz a little over one year ago on their 50 foot cement yacht “Tabasco II”.

They had set up a diving and yacht repair business. Simone also worked in her marketing specialty at Baja Expeditions promoting their tours. Paul and Simone were also very close to me personally, as we were anchored beside each other for most of the last year. Paul had also been working on the electrical system on my boat “Avatar”.

Simone Wood

Endless searching this past week by many club and fleet members, Paul and Simone’s bodies were recovered from deep in the Mangroves.

Rosey of the sailing vessel “Yellow Star” and owner of a local favorite cruiser pub “The Shack”, found Simone on Friday. Today, Sunday, another searcher, Maria Theresa who has been staying on her friend's boat “Double Overhead”, was the one who found Paul. These girls are my heroes. We know that Paul and Simone would never give up on us and we were not going to give up until we found them. I have informed the families and the British Embassy and we expect the families of Guenter, Paul and Simone will begin to arrive next week when things start to return to normal. They are very grateful to everyone who has helped.

I would also like to thank very much Captain Victor Gutierrez Zamora STATION SAR Commander of the Mexican Navy's Search and Rescue team. He has been very helpful and made an emotionally painful job go very smoothly. They recovered Guenther in his boat and their scuba team dove half the bay trying to find the others. Thank you, sir!

Much of the city now has been restored to power. Marina Palmira just got theirs today. There are CFE trucks everywhere around the city working as hard and as fast as they can.

We ask that you please keep prayers coming for our beloved big guy and treasurer, Don Mitchell of the vessel “Sarah Ann”. He fell and hit his head while trying to clean up debris at home. The fall created a blood clot, which emergency surgery has already helped. He is still in the hospital.

The fleet sustained a lot of damage with our yachts too. Many people chose not to stay on their boats, but several did ride out the storm. There were still 5 boats left anchored on Monday morning. All the rest had gone up on the beach, or sunk. It is horrifying to see the carnage. Several people have asked where their boat is and what condition it is in. Al Marchand of “Tuna Tamer” took most of the salvageable boats photos last Tuesday morning. Since then we pulled three boats back to floating on Tuesday afternoon and at this morning’s high tide we pulled in three more. The next highest tides, when we hope to get as many back floating as possible, will be Friday and Saturday, later this coming week. If you were not here and want to see your boat floating again, please contact us or just get your butts down here and start making a plan of what to do.

We so much appreciate all of the generous donations. The Club Cruceros board members will be discussing the best means of distributing your amazing gifts. Anyone who is driving down and willing to bring supplies or anyone here who needs supplies brought down, please contact Susan on Two Can Play for the master coordination list on this big effort.

Hurricane Odile has given us a mighty blow (120 plus knots to be exact), but we will carry on, clean ourselves up and keep on living the dream of being aboard a boat in the beautiful Sea of Cortez and the city of La Paz, Baja California Sur. Some of you land lubbers may not understand why we sailors feel the lure of the sea. It is not really anything that can be explained. Although we lost some very good people this week, they were living their dream and know that they were where they wanted and chose to be. Only God knows when it is our time to move on. Each day is precious, so tell those you love that you do, and get out there and live your dream!!

When the new fleet arrives this fall, we hope that they will learn and see what internal fortitude a cruiser has, especially when it comes to helping our neighbors. Remember “We are all in the same boat together”, it is just that we each have our own ships to sail.

8 Bells for Guenther, Paul and Simone, may you rest in peace knowing that we will continue to Sail On!


Your Commodore,
Shelly Rothery Ward