Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tropical Storm Rick Takes Measure of Blogger and Boat

The California Stem Cell Report is a bit damp and tired from preparations for what is now Tropical Storm Rick, which is scheduled to hit our berth here in Mazatlan late Wednesday morning.

Currently (11 p.m. MDT), Rick is predicted to have maximum sustained winds of about 60 miles an hour with higher gusts. That is down sharply from a couple of days ago. Then forecasters from the National Hurricane Center predicted that a hurricane would slam into mainland Mexico 100 miles or so to our north. Now Rick is much farther south and severely downgraded in intensity. But such are the vagaries of science.

Winds are currently about 20 miles an hour. The temperature is 72 degrees. Rain is falling steadily with four to six inches or more expected. Mazatlan does not handle rain well. The water collects in many streets and runs off very slowly, closing them to traffic. Normal services, such as electricity and running, potable water, may suffer outages. Also the Internet, if you consider that a normal service. Outlying towns could be hit much harder.

Our preparations involved removing everything from the boat that could fly away in the wind and storing it on land. That included such things as sails, awnings, shades and five-gallon jugs filled with diesel. We added extra lines to secure our vessel, Hopalong, to the dock. All hatches and ports were checked for leaks. The preparations, including adding food and water, took the better part of three days, partly because of the heat.

One interesting sidelight of the hurricane was an increase in traffic on the California Stem Cell Report. Our web statistics service, WebStat, reported some odd upticks. When we dug deeper into the numbers, we found the jumps were coming from searches on the terms “hurricane” and “Mazatlan.” Guess it pays to talk about the weather even if you can't do anything about it. Sphere: Related Content

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