Photo of the Day
January 23 - Somewhere in the South Pacific
How are you at triangulation? While mucking through our files the other day, we came across this photo. We're not sure who took it or where it was taken from, but based on the information in the photo, somebody could figure it out. For example, the spot is 18,560 kilometers from London, 2,006 from Auckland, 901 from Apia and 4,050 from Sydney. In other words, it's in the South Pacific. But where?
January 23 - Atlantic Ocean
Thanks to a Caribbean vacation and the wild action in The Race, the Vendée Globe singlehanded around-the-world race has almost dropped off our radar. For which we apologize. In fact, the Vendée is getting very exciting with just 5,000 miles to the finish, and Ellen MacArthur of 'Kingfisher' has pulled to within 70 miles of leader Michel Desjoyeaux of 'PRB'. If MacArthur can overtake Desjoyeaux to win the Vendée, it would be the greatest achievement ever for women in offshore racing. Like a lot of folks, we're pulling for Ellen.
"In the last 12 hours on day 75 of the Vendée Globe, with less than 5,000 miles to the finish, the distance separating the two leaders, Michel Desjoyeaux and Ellen MacArthur, has decreased a further 60 miles from 130 to 70 miles. Michel Desjoyeaux, slowed up for a week now, has to cross another, even weaker zone of light airs ahead, and he's going to feel it in his boat speed. He has been clocking around 6.5 knots, nearly 3 knots slower than Ellen, who is becoming quite a real threat. The logical chain of events should, in theory, have it that the leader, slowed first by the high pressure center, is also the first to pick up the pace again on the other side, and his pursuers all have to undergo the same process. In reality Desjoyeaux has not made it through, and alone he has been paying the price heavily. However, slowly but surely, as the others creep into more similar weather conditions as him, the boat speeds will eventually equalize. But for now, the leader is in the worst of it still, and his rivals are hunting him down.
"Although the skippers are still in the clutches of Saint Helen, they are already analyzing the evolution of the weather forecasts afterwards. The Doldrums may not pose such a great threat in the west as the fleet hugs closer to the coast of Brazil on the way back up, but each mile is being fought over now. Each skipper is not only looking at every subtlety that the weather conditions throw up as a possibility, a card to play, but also keeping a careful eye on each other's progress as a means to consolidate on their strategy and weather analysis. As the weather continues to play tricks for all the Vendée Globe fleet, the unpredictable could still happen.
STANDINGS: 1. 'PRB', Michel Desjoyeaux, 4,649 miles from finish; 2. 'Kingfisher', Ellen MacArthur, 71 miles behind leader; 3. 'Active Wear', Marc Thiercelin, 254 mbl, 4. 'Sill Matines La Potagère', Roland Jourdain, 285 mbl; 5. 'Sodebo Savourons la Vie', Thomas Coville, 630 mbl. See www.vendeeglobe.com for more.
January 23 - Southern Ocean
Perhaps the biggest news of the day is that Cam Lewis' 'Team Adventure' has lost four crewmen during her repair stop in Cape Town, South Africa. The loss of Jeff Wargo and Mikael Lundh, both of whom were injured and require recuperation, was not a total surprise. However, both Rob Myles, the boat's rigger and foredeck man, from Newport, Rhode Island, and Rick Deppe, the cameraman and communications expert from Annapolis, Maryland, have also pulled out. They cited personal reasons. Cam handled the situation extremely well, thanking the men and complimenting them for their efforts. He noted that he'd done the same trip aboard 'Commodore Explorer' with just six crew, so they could handle 'Team Adventure' with 10. Indeed, Skip Novak on 'Innovation Explorer' said the giant cats really don't require much trimming, and it's just during jibes and sail changes that manpower is in great demand.
Grant Dalton's 'Club Med' and Loïck Peyron's 'Innovation Explorer' continue to be one-two, with both boats having covered more than 2,000 miles in the last four days of excellent sailing conditions. Nonetheless, things on the boats are breaking all the time. Skip Novak of 'Innovation Explorer' explains: "Although we have moved into second place with 'Team Adventure's decision to repair in Cape Town, we are so far behind 'Club Med' that we have decided to just disregard them for the moment and sail against the ocean. Our minds are focused on keeping our boat in one piece and getting through this section, and it is proving to be no mean feat. Almost daily something breaks: mainsail battens and padeyes are routine, the solent jib halyard has been jumping the sheave, this morning the bomb bay door on the main beam for the liferaft locker fell off after impact with a wave, various creaks, groans and bangs are investigated and noted. I have this vision of arriving in Marseilles patched up and in tatters like Kevin Costner's trimaran in Waterworld." Novak reported something else interesting. That even on pitch black moonless nights, big icebergs can be seen because they glow.
Rankings as of 23 Jan 2001 15:00:00 GMT:
1. Club Med / 16,088.0 distance to finish
2. Innovation Explorer / 720.9 distance to leader
3. Team Adventure / 1,853.1 distance to leader
4. Warta Polpharma / 2,884.3 distance to leader
5. Team Legato / 3,726.0 distance to leader
For more, see www.therace.org.
Small Works Fine, Too
January 23 - Puerto Penasco, Mexico
Think you need a big and expensive sailboat to enjoy cruising in Mexico? Patrick Cavanaugh says he sails his Hunter 23 - which he reports he purchased through a Classy Classified - at least once a week on a Fresno lake during the summer and "doesn't let Central Valley winters stop his sailing." That's because he trailers his boat down to Puerto Penasco in the very northern Sea of Cortez - it's only 60 miles south of Ajo, Arizona - where he leaves the boat until May.
"We make many trips down between November and May, and enjoy warm air sailing, including crossing over to San Felipe on the Baja side for a modest taste of open water cruising. We love to anchor in nice bays and do some fishing. As the sun sets every night, we have a BBQ then wait for the great show of bright stars. We're usually out for three to four days. Penasco is a fishing town with a growing tourist base because of the warm climate. You actually launch your boat at Cholla Bay, where the locals do it round-trip for $13, including the use of their special 'high-rise launchers'. Our boat isn't big, but she's adequate for our needs. And while our pockets aren't deep, we have sufficient means to sail with good supplies and really enjoy ourselves." Way to go Patrick!
Co-owner David Phillips relaxes
in the inflatable with a coveted copy
of Latitude 38.
Sunset in the Sea of Cortez
Photos Courtesy Patrick Cavanaugh
January 23 - Cyberspace
Looking for places to stop and points of interest in El Salvador? Check out Barillas Marina Club's excellent Web site at www.barillasmarina.com. This is one of the cleanest and most informative Web sites we've ever seen.
Some places of interest in El Salvador:
(1) Barillas Marina
Graphic and Photo Courtesy Barillas Marina
The gas dock at Barillas Marina
January 23 - 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 23 - 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.
Today's University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite was not available this morning. You can try it yourself at http://lumahai.soest.hawaii.edu/cgi-bin/satview.cgi?sat=g10®ion=hus&channel=uI4&anim=no&size=large. (See why we don't regularly just give you this URL?)
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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