January 11 - St. Barts
|As reported a couple of weeks ago, the Wanderer
flew to St. Barts in the Caribbean hoping to take 'Latitude 38'
readers 'along' for a sailing vacation. So what happened? After
two quick reports, a combination of computer problems, phone
problems, and a virtual collapse of island communications, the
Wanderer became frustrated and fed up - that he decided to concentrate
on vacationing while in the islands and on working while at home.
Back now, we've got lots to report. But we're jet-lagged, so we'll start slow with two photos. The first photo is of Susan Stromsland, formerly of Santa Barbara and San Francisco, but currently of Tampa. She's seen posing next to a Lewmar 122 winch on the brand new S&S designed 112-ft 'Zingaro'. The Lewmar was the Wanderer's battle station during the 6th annual St. Barts New Year's Eve Parade. Susan handled the runners on a winch almost as big. A 112-ft boat is huge to be sure, but as always, there were lots bigger boats racing in St. Barts. Anyway, the photo is for the IRS as proof that the Wanderer really was working in the Caribbean.
The second photo is of some of the holiday fleet that tied up at the St. Barts commercial dock for New Year's Eve. Normally, we're not much interested in powerboats, but this photo illustrates a couple of points. One is that today's private yachts are becoming as large as or even larger than some cruise ships. To appreciate the size of 'Tatoosh', which is in the foreground, check out the size of the cars on the dock and the sailboat on the far end. The sailboat that looks to be about 40-ft is actually the 112-ft 'Zingaro'. At about 300-ft, the Pacific Northwest based 'Tatoosh' is so big that she can carry plenty of toys - such as the owner's 43-ft sailboat - right on deck. Yet 'Tatoosh' was far from the largest yacht in the harbor. For example, the owner's brother was there with his 350-ft motoryacht 'Grand Bleu', anchored a short distance away. She carries a 67-ft sailboat, 'Bellatrix', on her deck. Here's a fun mini quiz for those who follow big boats and big money: Who are the two boat-loving brothers from the Pacific Northwest who own these boats? Two hints: One of them left his 118-ft daysailer - which won the St. Barts Parade last year - in Newport so she could get a complete refit. Two: One of them just sold his house in Tiburon to Andre Aggasi for $23 million.
If you got the names of the two brothers right, perhaps you'd like to go for some extra credit: Name the two other guys from the Pacific Northwest who were also in St. Barts for the holidays - and who have even more money? This illustrates yet another point, which is that lots of West Coast big boat guys have discovered the Caribbean in general, and St. Barts for New Years in particular. (Send your answers to Richard.)
A winch aboard Zingaro
Big and bigger boats in St. Barts
We'll have more tomorrow - including, perhaps, a somewhat shocking revelation: That boats over 65 feet aren't really that much fun.
January 11 - Atlantic Ocean
If you've been following The Race, you know that the lead
boats have crossed the equator.
Early this morning skipper Grant Dalton reported the following:
Aboard 'Club Med'
Photos Courtesy 'Club Med'
In a normal state of affairs on a circumnavigation this section
of the course, descending down the west side of the South Atlantic,
is relatively straight forward with few tactical choices to be
made. Approaching the bottom of the Saint Helena High is when
boats start to cut the corner and turn towards the southeast
and enter the Southern Ocean. The point at which the boats start
to turn left is the next big decision. But as Grant Dalton pointed
out this morning: "Nothing is straight forward when you
are doing 30 knots, and to cap it all the South Atlantic High
is moving around a lot at the moment. It is not stable. But this
is really neat racing; we are all loving it."
January 9 - Pacific Ocean
"A new year and new plans," report Sally Andrew and
Foster Goodfellow of the Alameda-based Yamaha 33 'Fellowship'.
After 10 years of cruising mostly the South Pacific, Foster and
I have decided we would like to return to the Pacific Northwest
for a few years of Alaskan and British Columbian cruising, or
alternatively move back to the Bay Area and a liveaboard/work
situation if the opportunity presented itself.
"Call us crazy, because we really love it here in the southwest Pacific, but Foster has been under the weather for a year with inner ear and balance problems. The doctors haven't been able to help, so ocean voyaging and rolly anchorages are off the agenda for the time being. It's a bit of a challenge after 10 years in the tropics, but hopefully we've stored up enough vitamin D. But it also means that we must seriously think about selling 'FellowShip'. We are now in New Caledonia and, at the end of cyclone season, I will find crew to help me sail her to Australia's east coast. We will cruise around Australia waters until a suitable offer comes our way.
"If anybody in Latitude land is interested, 'Fellowship' is a 1981 Yamaha 33, ten-year South Pacific veteran, well maintained and fully equipped, that will arrive in Australia mid-May 2001 looking for new foster-parents. We will consider a trade for boat or property." Contact Sally and Foster at by email.
January 11 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace
Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
January 11 - San Francisco Bay
"On Christmas morning, my girlfriend and I were motoring near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge with no particular place to go," reports John Mullany of the Brickyard Cove based 'Windsong', "when we heard the Coast Guard broadcast that someone had jumped from the 185-ft tall span of the bridge about an hour before. I was surprised that there were no Coast Guard boats or helicopters out looking for the person, so we skirted the abutments and nearby buoys hoping to find the jumper hanging on to something. The Coast Guard finally arrived about 2 1/2 hours after the initial report. While they were buzzing around by the bridge, we discovered the body floating about a mile north, drifting with the current. We got the attention of the Coast Guard by using a smoke flare, and within minutes of our sad discovery two tugs and a helicopter were on the scene. The helicopter provided a nice breeze on an otherwise very calm morning.
"I'm curious why the Coast Guard took so long to respond. Falling 185 feet into water is not a 'death on impact' fall. The man could have been alive for 30 minutes or longer before hypothermia kicked in. I read nothing in the papers about the incident the next day. Is there a policy not to report jumpers?"
We'll look into this a bit, but we know it's the policy of the Coast Guard to immediately respond to jumpers. Unfortunately, it's an all too common occurrence, as the Coasties regularly have to retrieve several bodies a month, mostly from the Golden Gate. Contrary to your statement, a 185-foot fall into the water often results in death on impact. When it doesn't, there are usually terrible injuries. On the other hand, a person in good health can often survive in the Bay for several hours.
January 11 - Pacific Ocean
To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/.
Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.
You can view the University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite picture by clicking here.
Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.
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