A series of stories about Rocky Point, Mexico wouldn’t be complete without the severe thunderstorm we endured, tented out on the beach there. These storms are called chubascos, a chubasco, according to Marquez and Wold’s “Compilation Of Colonial Spanish Terms”, is a violent summer storm common to the Sea of Cortes (El Golfo) and surrounding lands.
These storms are much like our “Purple Thunderers” along the Texas Gulf Coast. Having been caught on the water in 3 of these monsters and until safely reaching shore, I was scared to death each time! During a trip to Rocky Point, Mexico, one caught my family and I and my in-laws on land and it was a doozy!
My family, 3 kids and ex-wife and her parents, “Memaw” and “Papaw” Buck, drove down on a Friday to Rocky Point to camp in our tent for the weekend. Friday night we cooked on the beach and enjoyed a restful, caressed by a light breeze, sleep. Saturday was spent sight seeing, 4 wheeling and, when the tide was out, gathering shellfish from the numerous rocks.
We cooked the mussels and oysters on Saturday night and the gentle lapping of the surf provided a background for the magnificent star show overhead. As we were turning in, we noticed lightning flashes on the horizon, and thought, a nice exclamation point for a fun day.
Crack! Boom! Crack! Boom! The lightning was striking close by. Crack! Boom! Closer still. The wind was picking up as I unzipped the tents front door, and was greeted by a mix of sand and rain and quickly zipping up, Crack Boom right down the beach lightning hit something! Everyone was awake and a collective “What’s the noise? Is it a storm? What can we do?” My reply was, “Nothing, were stuck here until it blows over.” And, it almost blew us over.
Sleep was impossible, but everyone hunkered down and waited. Lightning flashed, thunder roared, rain and sand slammed into the tent and the wind blew with a frightening velocity, bending all the tent poles. Soon it passed, we went back to sleep, not even bothering to unzip the tent flap and look outside.
Waking up early, we went and surveyed the area. Almost everything, except for our tent and cars, was blown off of the beach. A sign was shattered, probably, by the lightning and our tent, the poles being bent from the wind was tilted at a funny angle. Closer inspection revealed that the tent poles were all bent in the same direction, I’m sure by the wind. Hopefully, the combined weight of 4 adults and 3 kids helped to anchor us to the ground?
How far we would have rolled? I’ve thought about this many times, if our tent pins would have come loose, we probably would have rolled back to Phoenix!