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It's that time if year again!

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So Cal
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It's that time if year again!

Just a precautionary FYI for anyone already in or traveling to PV for the next few weeks.

The ocean currents are changing, it happens twice a year. Around Oct. the currents change and flow from North to South, cooler waters start flowing South. In March/April the currents change direction and flow from South to North bringing warmer waters and the conditions that allow for tropical storms and Hurricanes to form in the Pacific Ocean. If you look at the dates they also coincide with the whales migration. They swim with the current, not against it.

This time every year (around Semana Santa) there is an increase in drownings. Underneath the surface the currents are churning like a raging river as they are changing direction, everything looks smooth on the surface but it creates rip tides and undertows. Undertows pull you under, rip tides pull you along perpindicular to the shoreline and unless you are a very strong swimmer you can't get out if them. If you get caught in a riptide you need to relax, not fight it, yell for help and swim with it, you will know when it stops and you can then swim to shore. Why the increase in drownings? It is high season = more tourists, some have never begin in the ocean before, many Mexican Nationals come for vacation and can't swim. When it changes in Oct. it is still slow season = less tourists swimming in the ocean.

This is also the reason several people posted how rough the bay was coming back in the afternoon on the water taxis from Boca, Yelapa, etc., and the reason the waves can be bigger around Los Muertos (it is the way the waves break in that particular area).

Can you still swim in the ocean, of course you can, just be aware and don't swim out far from shore. Don't let the fact that you are in a bay fool you, the currents still flow through the bay.

Great Neck, NY
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1. Re: It's that time if year again!

Thanks for posting that! Good info -

Puerto Vallarta...
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2. Re: It's that time if year again!

Even if it's inaccurate?

We do not have reversing currents, in the bay or outside it. Sorry, I've sailed the whole Pacific coast for many years and know about currents. Just do a little research re; the position of the North Pacific High and the North Pacific Gyre.

Within the bay the general current is anti-clockwise.

Puerto Vallarta...
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3. Re: It's that time if year again!

the red tides are in too

check out the local news

new york
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4. Re: It's that time if year again!

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone. All I know is that in October, whether I'm on Los Muertos or Conchas Chinas or at Dreams PV, the waves always knock me down. The furtherest I go out in the water is on the lower end of chest high. And I'm 5'7".

Can anyone tell me what happens to the water in October?

Great Neck, NY
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5. Re: It's that time if year again!

JR - i've no idea if it's accurate or not but it sounded informative - LOL!! Even if it's not true with regard to the bay in PV, what about the info on what to do if caught in a riptide??

Puerto Vallarta...
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6. Re: It's that time if year again!

The sea in the bay is alway calmer in the summer. It's winter storms in the North Pacific that generat the swells that enter the bay.

Rip tides have little to do with general currents, they are caused by wind and the accompanying waves.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: It's that time if year again!

It's been my experience and limited understanding that undertow occurs much more often/stronger beside large rock areas like is common on the west coast up here in Canada. So during tidal change we just don't swim too close to them.

Bays I've always presumed to be fairly safe, if they're as wide as the bay in Nuevo Vallarta is supposed to be (dunno the name, I have a bazillion Mexican names in my head atm).

As far as what to do, the same advice applies (as far as I've been told). Undertow, anyway, you want to relax and hope that you float up to the surface. Hope, anyway, as it's not guaranteed.

Twin Bridges...
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8. Re: It's that time if year again!

Thanks for the great info, Kat. I could not remember ever having such a rough ride to and from as I did recently.

Edited: 15 March 2013, 20:47
Puerto Vallarta...
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9. Re: It's that time if year again!

At our Latitude we have very little tidal change compared to you way up there:)

Riviera Nayarit...
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10. Re: It's that time if year again!

Jazzdragon, Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta are located in the same bay, the Bay of Banderas (the Bay of Flags).