Photo of the Day
April 4 - Cabo San Lucas, BCS
Would it ever be appropriate to name a boat Turista? We think so.
What you see in the Photo of the Day is Casey Carter, General Manager of Cabo Yacht Center in Cabo San Lucas, standing in front of what used to be a 70-ft custom aluminum motoryacht from Newport Beach. We say used to be, because a little more than two years ago the owner was motoring around in the ocean a few miles to the east of Cabo when he reportedly got the runs. It must have been such a severe attack that it also affected his thinking, for the owner, who was alone, inexplicably left the boat running in gear at high speed, with the autopilot on, toward shore, while he made his made dash to the head. As you've probably guessed, once he completed his business, his beloved boat was only yards from the rocky shore. Although he throttled back immediately, it was too late to keep the custom yacht from piling onto the rocks, putting a huge hole in the bow and elsewhere. The insurance company totaled the boat, which was ultimately bought by the Cabo Yacht Center for not much more than the price of the materials. They are now completely redoing the yacht, including lengthening her for a new owner to over 90 feet.
The moral of the story is clear: Use your head before using your head.
By the way, we needed an alternator bracket welded back together before dashing north from Cabo. Casey's friendly crew got it done in just a couple of hours for a reasonable price.
Latitude Crew List Party Next Wednesday at Golden Gate YC
April 4 - San Francisco
Just a reminder that Wednesday, April 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. will be Latitude 38's spring Crew List Party at the Golden Gate YC on the Marina in San Francisco. The Golden Gate YC, you'll recall, is the Challenger of Record for the next America's Cup.
There'll be all kinds of great people looking to crew and for crew at the party. If you signed up for the Crew List, there is no charge. If you didn't sign up there's a $5 charge. These have been great events in the past, so you won't want to miss it. There will be lots of door prizes, a life raft and other demonstrations, munchies, and a no-host bar. The Golden Gate YC is located just past the St. Francis YC at the very outer tip of the S.F. Marina.
Left and above: Scenes from last year's Crew Party at GGYC
For directions and a map, visit www.latitude38.com/crewlist/Crew.html.
Back to a Real Bash
April 4 - Baja California
The great weather enjoyed by Profligate and several other boats at the start of a Baja Bash a few days ago has turned. As they approached Turtle Bay, the seas had built and turned sloppy, so the pounding started. Profligate, the Catana 431 New Focus, and the the 48-ft sportfisher Grand Slam pulled into Turtle Bay, fueled up, and took right off again hoping to get north of Cedros before things turned really bad. The three boats are currently about 175 miles south of San Diego, where bothersome but not completely evil seas have slowed them down and caused some damage. The repeated pounding, for example, knocked out a headlight and broke a hatch in the s/f Grand Slam. The powerboaters needed some silicon to stem the leaking, so Wayne Meretsky and the crew on Profligate put together a care package, sealed it, and put it in the lumpy water for the Slammers to pick up, which they did. Grand Slam will be putting into an anchorage to effect repairs while Profligate continues north.
April 4 - A Coastline on Planet Earth
Can you identify the location captured in the accompanying photographs? We know the photos aren't clear - what can you expect from pictures taken out of a commercial airliner window? - but a lot of 'Lectronic readers have been there. The answer is below.
A Boat Babysitter
April 4 - Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands
Blair Grinols and crew of the Vallejo-based Capricorn Cat have been at Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where they've been having a little tiff with a local official:
"We are leaving for Tarawa tomorrow morning, but did not like Jaluit very much. The water clarity was not nearly as good as the other atolls where we have been. Furthermore, they charged us $50 for entry and wanted to station a policeman on board while we visited the outer islands. I got slightly pissed, and finally told the mayor to just give us our money back and we would leave - which immediately changed his mind about the 'babysitter'. He also hinted that there was a $5 per person departure fee. When we stopped in to say goodbye today, I think he remembered our little encounter from a week before and didn't mention anything about the departure fee. He still wasn't overly friendly. I doubt if we would ever come back to Jaluit."
On a more positive note, Grinols reports that the coconut palm they planted in the cockpit is doing well: "When we first arrived down here, Jack and I were exploring on one of the islands and Jack picked up one of the coconuts on the beach, that had a sprout growing out of it. We sat it in a little round Tupperware container and put it out in the cockpit, and it has been flourishing every since. It is over 2.5 feet tall now and is trying to root to the bottom of the container."
Record Turnout at BVI Spring Regatta
April 4 - Tortola, BVI
Down in the sunny Caribbean latitudes, the spring racing season is in full bloom, with the focus this weekend on the 32nd annual BVI Spring Regatta. A record 139 boats will begin competition today in the Sir Francis Drake Channel, which separates the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. In recent years, the three-day event has grown to become the third largest Caribbean Regatta, attracting competitors from 'up island', 'down island', Europe and North America.
Photos from last year's regatta Latitude/Andy
Among the 'boats to beat' this year is Cosmic Warlord, a recently-refurbished Express 37 chartered from the Bitter End Yacht Club by San Francisco sailor Mike Schlens. In 2001, Schlens won Racing II with his own Express 37 Blade Runner. Another notable U.S. entry is Bill Alcott's Magnitude, which, in addition to Sotto Voce and Chippewa, is also competing for honors in the Caribbean Big Boat Series (CBBS), of which Spring Regatta is the second leg. (St. Maarten's Heineken Regatta and Antigua Sailing Week complete the series.)
In addition to the Regatta's several daily round-the-buoy races, an expanded format is being tried for the first time this year, incorporating a pre-regatta Sailing Festival which entails a fleet race to North Sound, Virgin Gorda, followed by an activity-filled lay day at the Bitter End YC and a fleet race back to the Regatta base at Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola.
Last year's event was plagued by changeable wind conditions, causing Day Three racing to be cancelled, but this year organizers hope that a strong high pressure system will provide building winds throughout the weekend, with as much as 25 knots anticipated on Sunday.
Look for a complete Spring Regatta report in the May edition of Latitude 38.
Photo Quiz Redux
April 4 - Baja California Sur
The headland you see in the quiz photos above is Cabo San Lazaro - Punta Hughes. The bay just to the left of it is Bahia Santa Maria, the second stop in the Baja Ha-Ha, about 180 miles north of Cabo. All the water in the foreground is part of the northern reaches of Mag Bay.
Another view of Bahia Santa Maria, as taken from on Punta Hughes during last year's Ha-Ha.
Photos Latitude/Richard and Wayne Meretsky
Speaking of the Ha-Ha, details for this year's event will be announced in May.
April 4 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace
Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to www.bitwrangler.com/psn.
April 4 - 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