Photos of the Day
June 21 - San Francisco Bay
Today's Photos of the Day are from Rob and Lorraine Coleman, who left Berkeley to cruise in Mexico aboard their Columbia 30 Samba Pa Ti many years ago, and who have had many adventures since. In any event, they took these shots during the recent Tahiti Nui Cup in French Polynesia. We'll have a full report in the August issue of Latitude 38. The Colemans are still living aboard their Angelman ketch South Cross at the Ko Olina Marina on the tip of Oahu.
Tevea slicing the sapphire Pacific
Two Dufour 52s
Hugh Treharne and Tevea
It's the Summer Solstice
June 21 - Northern Hemisphere
That means it's the longest day of the year, because the sun has moved as far north - right over La Paz - as it ever will. Despite the fact that it's the first day of summer, the days now start getting shorter. In any event, get out there and enjoy it.
If it's summer here, it's the height of winter in Auckland, which is at 38º South. A few America's Cup teams are trying to get some practice in, but it's been very windy and nasty. In fact, the City of Sail just got nailed by a storm with gusts to 100 knots - well over hurricane force.
One Reason Baja Bashes May Have Been so Bad
June 21 - San Diego
Steve and Linda Dashew have just completed the Baja Bash with their 79-ft Beowulf, completing their return from the East Coast to California. Steve thinks he knows why it was such a nasty year for Bashing:
"We noticed abnormally cold water from about 75 miles southeast of Cabo to Ensenada. 60ºF right on the Baja tip, 53ºF 10 miles off Mag Bay, and nothing over 61ºF until just south of Ensenada. This really cool water would create a semi-permanent thermal low over the Baja peninsula, and/or the Sea of Cortez, which would reinforce the sea breeze gradient. This is probably why folks had so much wind."
We don't know about that, but we do know
the water off Baja was extremely cold - which is really odd given
that this was supposed to be an El Niño year.
Bad Blow in Polynesia
June 21 - Huahine, French Polynesia
Mark and Sandi Joiner sent the following report from their friends aboard Pura Vida in French Polynesia:
"We left Moorea yesterday evening for what we anticipated to be a quick overnight passage to Huahine. The weather reports we received indicated nothing out of the ordinary, and we were worried that there wouldn't be much wind and that we would have to motor most of the way. To our delight, the wind picked up to about 20 knots, and we made very fast progress, averaging about 7 1/2 knots. Because of this we got to Huahine just as the sun was coming up. I thought the prudent thing to do was to heave-to for several hours until the sun got higher in the sky before entering the pass.
"As we were preparing to approach the island, a band of clouds began to approach us that was pretty ominous looking. There was a lot of thunder and lightning, but it didn't look like anything we hadn't dealt with before. Boy were we wrong! We had a reefed mainsail and just our staysail, but when we saw the wind line approaching we wished we had even less sail up. We saw a line of whitecaps, froth, and spume coming from about a half mile away, and we knew we didn't have time to reduce sail before it hit us - so we sheeted out and waited. When the wind hit us, we were about as close to experiencing a knockdown as is possible without actually going over. Our mast was horizontal to the water and we were perched on the high side looking straight down into the water. When the boat righted itself, we were in full fledged storm conditions. Laura managed to furl the staysail. We had started the engine just before the wind hit and we tried to point into the wind to get more of the main down, but the wind was too strong. We did our best to maintain control and wait for the wind to subside, as we watched a small tear form in the sail, three battens go flying, and our dinghy take flight, never to be seen again.
"The winds calmed down a bit after a half hour and I asked Laura to have a look at the wind speed indicator. It was still blowing in the 40s!!! The wind slowly died down into the high 20s over the next three hours as we tacked back and forth in front of the pass. We finally entered the Huahine lagoon at around noon in 20 knots of wind. There was only one other boat at the anchorage and he immediately called us when he saw us. It was a man aboard his 52' boat Soujourner who had left Moorea when we did. He was within a couple of miles of us when the storm hit and said that according to his wind indicator, the wind peaked at 62 knots - just two shy of hurricane force. We're sure we experienced the same. Fortunately the worst of it lasted less than an hour. Needless to say, we're glad to be anchored in Huahine. Laura said it was about the most scared she's been in her life. By the way, Huahine is breathtaking." - Bradley of Pura Vida
All Brits at Sea
June 21 - Isle of Wight, UK
Tomorrow is the start of the Around the Island (Isle of Wight) Race in England, which is expected to attract more than 1,600 boats. Leading the way should be Tracy Edward's maxi cat Maiden II, fresh from establishing a new 24-hour record of 697 miles. The current course - 50 miles - record is held by maxi cat rival Steve Fossett - who is ballooning around the world again - in a time of 2 hours and 33 minutes.
While many Brits think their race is the biggest in the world, that honor goes to the Italians whose Gulf of Trieste Race attracted a staggering 1,968 boats last year. If you think that's amazing, here's the real shocker - they only have one start. Picture hitting the line with 2,000 other boats. Now that's Italian!
Not All Irish at Sea
June 21 - Ireland
The same days the Brits are racing around the Isle of Wight, 30 mostly Irish boats will start their Around Ireland Race. The record for the 700-mile course is 3 days and 7 hours by the Volvo 60 Toshiba.
June 21 - 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/
June 21 - 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/stuff/southwest/swstmap.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