Photo of the Day

June 14 - Cat Harbor,
Santa Catalina Island

Today's Photo of the Day is a mystery boat part, discovered about 150 feet up a bluff at Cat Harbor on Catalina. The outside was smooth fiberglass, and appeared as though it might be part of a keel for a small boat. Sure enough, on the 'inside', there was an irregular mixture of epoxy, lead chunks, and junk. Back in the old days, second tier boatbuilders used to sweep up the shop floor, mix it with epoxy, and use it as 'filler' in the keel. It looks as though that was the case with this boat part. But what was such a heavy piece of junk doing so far up the bluff?

Photo Latitude/Richard

Tracy's Women-Led Maxi-Cat Smashes 24-Hour Record!

June 14 - Atlantic Ocean

Although owner Tracy Edwards wasn't aboard, her 110-ft maxi cat Maiden II (ex-Club Med) yesterday established a staggering new 24-hour sailing record of 697 miles in 24 hours - an average speed of 29 knots. The cat's coed crew was headed by skipper Helena Darvelid, navigator Adrienne Cahalan and watch captain Brian Thompson. Thompson, known to many folks in Sausalito from his days aboard the trimaran Lakota, was also aboard as a driver. A specific attempt was made at the record during a 'delivery' east across the Atlantic. A top speed of 44 knots was clocked on a GPS.

Helena Darvelid, skipper of 24-hour record
Photos Courtesy

The previous record of 687 miles had been set last year by Steve Fossett and the maxi cat PlayStation. Fossett was quick to congratulate the new record holders: "Congratulations! You have won a real prize. We knew the competition would heat up for this 24-hour record. There are five boats that can contend for it, and we didn't think our record would last for more than about a year. But this is one time I wish we hadn't been right; it would have been nice to keep it a little longer! I wasn't really interested in improving our own record before, but now we'll have to reconsider whether we target this 24-hour record - for a third time. This record really defines the fastest sailboat - and the fastest sailors - in the world, and you should be extremely proud. Enjoy your success."

The new record is entirely a function of the new generation of maxi cats. The 500-mile record was first set in 1984 by the 70-ft Ollier cat Credit Agricole. The 600-mile barrier wasn't broken until June of 2000 by the 110-ft Ollier cat Club Med - now Maiden II. Now the question is, who will be the first to join the 700-mile club?

The new record should provide terrific inspiration for women sailors everywhere. Although it may seem counterintuitive at first because maxi cats are so big and powerful, it's far easier for women to be competitive with them than the boat used in the Volvo Ocean race, because once the boat is set up and going, raw muscle isn't so constantly in demand.

Mexico Really Is Inexpensive

June 14 - Mexico

In the last couple of issues of Latitude 38, some folks have been shooting down Mexico, claiming that it's very expensive. Those claims are now being severely challenged, however, by people who've kept receipts and compared prices in the U.S. and Mexico. We think folks headed to Mexico this winter will be pleasantly surprised. Check the feature in the July Latitude.


It's least expensive to eat where the locals eat, although it may not be as healthy.
Photo Latitude/Richard

Ha-Ha Entry Packets Sent Out

June 14 - Tiburon

They were a few days late, but the folks at the Ha-Ha report they mailed out the first 110 entry packets for this fall's Baja Ha-Ha. It's good to return them quickly, as the earlier a boat signs up, the better chance they have - usually - of getting a berth in Cabo.

If you're interested in signing up for the 750-mile cruisers' rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas with stops at Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria, send a $15 check and 9x12 envelope to Baja Ha-Ha, Inc., 21 Apollo Rd., Tiburon, CA 94920. For more information, see

Monday is also the last call for anyone interested in doing the Ha-Ha aboard Profligate on a "shared expenses" basis. If you're interested, email Richard. Mind you, expenses for big boats and long deliveries are considerable.

Profligate at the start of her fifth Ha-Ha
Photo Tom Lyon

Is El Salvador Safe?

June 14 - El Salvador

Cruisers are saying great things about El Salvador, thanks to the hospitality shown by folks at Bahia Del Sol and Barillas Marina. So far cruisers haven't reported any trouble; however, the honchos at Barillas Marina have long urged their guests not to travel without guards, something most of the cruisers have ignored. Nonetheless, El Salvador is on the State Department's 'critical' list for being a potentially dangerous place for American citizens. And just yesterday, 68-year old Mauricio Gonzalez of San Ramon, CA, was kidnapped and murdered at he and his wife's modest beachfront vacation place in El Salvador. There was a demand for $500,000 in ransom, but some suggest that this was merely an afterthought to cover up an ordinary robbery and murder. If it really was a kidnapping, it would have been the fourth of an American since January of 2000. None of them are believed to be politically motivated. And now, a cruising boat gets ransacked in Corinto.

San Diego Yacht Ransacked at Corinto, El Salvador

June 12 - Corinto, El Salvador

Here's the report that Bob Willmann of the San Diego-based Islander 37 Viva sent to friends:

"I've been promising to tell you all about this strange place, but there's too much, both good and bad, to do at one sitting. This place is fascinating. It is by far the poorest place I've ever seen, and that's saying something. Many people are hollow-eyed and approach you with their hand out, making hand-to-mouth gestures asking for food. There are very few cars, so everybody is walking, riding bikes - police, rich guys, etc - or just sitting around. There is very little work, so they just sit around hungry. Everyone warned me about crime and said that getting robbed would be a given, happens to everybody. So I've been careful to lock up the boat, leave a light or radio on inside, and not keep any regular patterns. When I go to town for provisions, I don't flash bills around or buy too much at any one time.

"So one night last week I was sitting in the cockpit reading 'til about 10 PM, and then lay down to sleep. About four hours later, I got up to visit the head - and found that my boat had been ransacked! While I was sleeping in the cockpit, some guys came aboard and stole my radio/CD player (auto variety, pried it out of the bulkhead which was about 6 feet from me), lots of little things, a hanging net full of crackers and bread, some towels, my backpack, and all my T-shirts. When I realized what had happened, I wished that I had awoken and caught them. Then I looked further and saw that my machete was laying right next to where I had been sleeping. The police explained that one guy was standing over me with the machete, and that if I had stirred, he would have done me wrong. I have always thought I was a light sleeper, but I'm glad I slept soundly that night.

"There's no chance of getting anything back, and in a way I hope the jerks don't get caught. After all, they didn't hurt me when certainly they could have, and they didn't take anything - other than the CD player - that they didn't need. They didn't take the laptop, my binoculars, HAM radio, or anything to sell. Isn't it ironic to get robbed while you're home rather than while the boat is unattended?"


June 14 - 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

Weather Updates

June 14 - 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 The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at

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.:

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

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see

Top / Index of Stories / Subscriptions / Classifieds / Home

©2002 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.