Home Find Us Our Weather Central America 2005 Mexico 2004 Van. Is. 2002 Alaska 2000 All Videos Kids Corner Our Boat Wisdom Plastic Guest Book Mailing List Contact Us About Us Favorite Links Southbounders


Departing Mexico for El Salvador

What follows is the mail we sent out as we departed Mexico for El Salvador.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2005 4:08 PM
Subject: Sula is south bound for El Salvador

Hi all.  Just a quick note to say that the weather window for this week looks good, so tomorrow we will be departing Huatulco, Mexico for the 500 mile passage to Bahia del Sol, El Salvador. 
The forecast calls for at least a 48 hour window with the 35+ knot, north winds currently blowing in the Gulf of Tehuantepec forecast to ease up beginning tomorrow night.  The 12 foot swells should also subside somewhat, hopefully giving us a good sailing breeze without the SW swell on the beam being too large.  Although it may take us as long as 5 days to make the passage, 48 hours is enough for us to get out of the main high-wind area in the Gulf, which basically rips right down 095 degrees west longitude, a mere 60 miles from where we are now.  If you find the town of Salina Cruz on the Southwest coast of Mexico, that is basically where we are talking about the high wind conditions being of potential concern.  But our window looks good, and we plan to take the more conservative, "one foot on the beach" route (as opposed to a direct rum line route) at least for the first 100 miles, to minimize the potential fetch should conditions change or the forecast not prove accurate.
Good weather information for this part of the world is hard to come by, but if you would like to check out the forecast for yourself, this link gives a reasonable forecast for near shore conditions off of Salina Cruz, near the center of the Tehuantepec Gulf:  http://buoyweather.com/wxnav.jsp?region=ME&program=nww3BW1&grb=enp&latitude=16.0&longitude=-94.75&zone=-6&units=e 
Once across the Gulf, we may also have an interesting challenge making the last few miles to our destination.  The entrance to Bahia del Sol in El Salvador can be tricky, depending upon conditions.  Arriving vessels sometimes need to surf on 6-8 foot breaking waves though a narrow entrance into the lagoon under the direction of a local pilot.  You only enter this place at high tide when the conditions are right and then only with local assistance, so its possible we may have to wait outside the entrance for a day or two before conditions are right for us to enter or perhaps even bypass this stop altogether and head for a different harbor in EL Salvador with an easier entrance if conditions warrant it.
Okay, now that I have sufficiently freaked out the grandmothers, I'll just close by saying the weather looks good and lots of boats do this all the time (we have friends there already) so we are looking forward to a comfortable, uneventful passage.  No worries folks, we will send mail in a week or so, upon our safe arrival!
Fair winds and following seas!
S/V Sula
Hallberg-Rassy 53 - 45