Before and After
December 2 - Alameda
On May 9, Kame and Sally Richards of Pineapple Sails broke ground on this grassy field in Alameda, launching a construction project that would result in a large, light, airy sail loft near the Park Street Bridge and Stone Boat Yard. They moved into their new building in October, and are up and running at full steam.
Can Megayacht Owners Be Environmental Activists?
December 2 - Auckland, NZ
Last Wednesday, we ran a story titled, "Can Environmental Activists Own 300-ft Yachts and Private Jets?" The following are some of the responses we've received:
"Anybody - such as OneWorld's Craig McCaw and Paul Allen - who owns 300-ft megayachts and large personal jets, and calls themselves 'environmentalists', can only be described by one word - hypocrite! I'm sure that OneWorld is only associating with WaterKeeper for the PR. While I was in San Diego a few years ago getting ready for the '99 Ha-Ha, an attendant at the fuel dock pointed out Allen's motor yacht - which was much smaller than the one he has now - and told us they had just taken on 10,000 gallons of diesel. About 100 times more than we took on." David Cahak, Fremont.
"I think Latitude is wrong saying that the WaterKeeper Alliance should be ashamed of themselves for taking money from OneWorld. Environmental organizations should, and do, take money from everybody. There are several good reasons for doing so: 1) If they accept the money, then it's not being spent in a way that's damaging to the environment. 2) Money, like dice, has no memory. So it's not tainted because of who it once belonged to. 3) Vilifying the very rich - or anybody else, for that matter - just makes an enemy. Accepting the donation offers the chance to open a dialog that might lead to real and meaningful progress." John Pettitt, Sausalito.
"I readily agree with Latitude's position. OneWorld is as hypocritical as a militant vegetarian who wears leather shoes. WaterKeeper Alliance's position is as defensible as the NAACP accepting donations from pre-apartheid South Africa. In short, it stinks on both sides of the transaction." Kerry Myers, Mill Valley and Walnut Grove
"Excessive consumption and environmentalism certainly do seem to be incompatible. And what contribution is OneWorld going to make to WaterKeeper - I've yet to see them luff up in the middle of a race to pick up floating trash. The hypocrisy appears to run in the family. John McCaw's ex-wife Wendy, always referred to as "billionaire environmentalist and publisher of the Santa Barbara News Press," recently lost her legal battle to prevent the public from walking across her 500 feet of Hope Ranch beach frontage. On the other hand, it's a good thing that environmental causes don't have to depend solely on the Bush administration for funding and support, or there simply wouldn't be any. I say it's fine for the ultra-rich to assuage their guilt and reduce their taxes by giving generously to worthy environmental causes - as long as the rest of us recognize where they're really coming from." Bear Turpin, Santa Barbara.
ARC MOB Incident Ends Tragically
December 2 - Atlantic Ocean
The World Cruising Club, organizer of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers currently underway from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia in the Caribbean, announced the death of a participant following a man overboard incident on Saturday. The MOB, 47-year old Phillip Hitchcock from Sevenoaks in Kent, UK, was sailing aboard the Formosa 51 Toutazimut.
The yacht issued a Mayday at 1230 GMT. Falmouth Coastguard, who coordinated the incident with MRCC Ponta Delgada, were assisted by World Cruising Club, which immediately redirected the yachts in the area to Toutazimut's position. However, the distressing news of Phillip's death was confirmed later that afternoon. Phillip Hitchcock and his 52-year old brother David were the only crew aboard the yacht. The Hitchcock family has been informed of the loss.
At the time of the incident the yacht was mid-Atlantic at 24.06N 26.02W. Conditions were described as windy and rough, with big seas and 30 knots of wind.
Currently the yacht Mekia is standing by, ready to transfer crew to Toutazimut, once weather conditions permit a safe transfer. Lorrigray II is also set to rendezvous to assist. Yachts Jeu D'Esprit and Rapparee provided communications assistance throughout the period of the emergency.
The ARC race office is still investigating the incident and will release more information when the exact details of the incident are known. Read the full story at www.worldcruising.com.
Mystery Island Identified
December 2 - Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Photo Gene and Sheri Seybold
We got 28 wrong answers and one correct answer to our Mystery Island Quiz on Friday. Kent Benedict was the only one to have gotten it right:
"It's gotta be Cocos Island off Costa Rica. The Cousteau rock sculpture and the hammerheads - I think they're hammerheads, my computer image isn't that great - pretty much give it away. I've been there twice in the past three years and would love to go again. The Costa Rican government is working pretty hard to keep the sanctuary status for the island, but there are still commercial pressures to hunt the sharks. Paula, my wife, and I kayaked out to a pass between the main island and an offshore rock and went diving with the sharks. Being nose-to-nose with curious hammerheads up to 14 feet was one of the most unforgettable experiences in my life. Those sharks are right out of Jurassic Park. The rock sculpture was made during Cousteau's '87 filming expedition and can be seen near the ranger station. The video is worth renting if available - but be forewarned that the film is excessively dramatic about hidden treasures and the danger of the sharks."
More on Shadowy Photo
December 2 - Cabo Falso, BCS
As you can see from the full frame, the photo at the top of the page is of some of the Profligate crew 'jumping ship' as the cat crosses the Ha-Ha finish line at Cabo Falso near Cabo San Lucas. Was the crew jumping because they wanted to finish a split second early or because they'd had enough? We'll never tell.The final photo gives a more panoramic view of the lovely cape.
December 2 - 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 http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps.
December 2 - Pacific Ocean
San Francisco Bay Weather
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.
The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at www.wrh.noaa.gov/Monterey.
California Coast Weather
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/Maps/Southwest.shtml.
Pacific Winds and Pressure
The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.
Pacific Sea State