Photos of the Day
July 11 - Marseille, France
Today's Photo of the Day comes from Ken Burnap and Nancy Gaffney of Santa Cruz, who a few months ago took delivery of their new Amel Maramu 53 Notre Vie in La Rochelle, France. Since then they've sailed down the coasts of France, Spain, Portugal, past Gibraltar and into the Med, to the Balearic Islands, and are now loving the South of France. If you're like us, you've taken a million photos of jumping dolphins, but always ended up with disappointing results. Well, somewhere along the line either Ken or Nancy clicked at just the right second, catching this dolphin at the apex of its jump. Well done!
Notre Vie anchored at one of the calanques just to the east of Marseille. What a lovely spot.
Photos Courtesy Notre Vie
July 11 - Pacific Ocean
In yesterday's morning report, the fleet was reporting very slow going. Last night, however, Philippe Kahn on Pegasus 77 was reporting an improvement in conditions - see below. At this stage in the game, Stan Honey and Sally Lindsay have reclaimed corrected time honors with their Cal 40 Illusion, while Seafire, another Cal 40, has moved into third overall. The TransPac 52 Beau Geste is in second.
Rich Reports reports: "The slowest elapsed time ever in 41 previous TransPacific Yacht Races since 1906 was five minutes shy of 24 days by William Merry's Viking Childe, a 42-foot ketch from Long Beach, in 1939. That was the only TransPac to start in San Francisco, and actually was 140 miles shorter than the 2,225-nautical mile course from Los Angeles in play since 1941. For that route, the longest race was a bit over 21 1/2 days by Irving H. Baltzer and Verne Pemberton's Blue Jacket, a 50-foot ketch from the Aeolian Yacht Club, in 1953. One boat reported on the daily roll call that year: 'Out of wind, out of patience, out of beer.'
"The current race isn't that bad yet,
but the foregoing is mentioned because competitors are starting
to relate to those painful passages of the past. There was this
report Thursday from veteran Wendy Siegal's Cal 40, Willow
"Typically, Philippe Kahn's Pegasus 77 sailed only 249 miles but stretched its lead over Roy E. Disney's Pyewacket - now directly behind - from 8 to 43 miles. Pipe Dream, a Choate/Feo 37 being coaxed along by John Davis of Long Beach in the Aloha B class, has made only 56 and 65 miles the last two days of what looks like an 18-day trip.
"'The 24-hour runs are enough to make a grown man cry,' communications officer Grant Baldwin commented from Alaska Eagle. Only eight of the 54 boats made 200 miles - a bad day by normal standards. Four are now projected to reach the Diamond Head finish line as late as July 18, the day of the awards dinner. No boats are projected to finish before Monday, July 14.
"Through it all, Stan Honey, sailing his and wife Sally's Cal 40, Illusion, from Palo Alto, with veterans Skip Allan and Jon Andron as crew, has demonstrated his usual TransPac navigational wizardry - heretofore beneficial to Pyewacket - by putting this much slower boat in the right places at the right times. With 172 miles from Wednesday to Thursday, Illusion had a better day than most of the boats in Division 4 and below, and now lead the next Cal 40 by 68 miles."
For more info, visit www.transpacificyc.org.
Pegasus Skipper's Log
July 10 - Lat: 23 North, Lon: 137 West
Philippe Kahn reports from on board Pegasus 77, "It's beautiful sailing here: The trades are back up to 16-18 knots. We've got our 4A spinnaker up with a staysail. This is just what the brochure advertised and why California to Honolulu passages are probably some of the best offshore sailing in the world. This is my sixth trans-Pacific crossing and I'm hooked. Young Shark is just 13 and this is his third; he just loves it. The first couple of days tend to be cold, wet and wild and then the magic begins. We're experiencing that magic now.
"As we look at the weather charts, we see squalls ahead. Quite a few of them. Squalls in the northeast Pacific tend to become active as the air temperature cools in the evening, but the ocean water temperature stays warm. Then before daybreak they usually dissolve and leave hours of light air behind them. When racing we look for squalls and jibe to stay in front of them where the wind is considerably accelerated and usually shifted right. There can be more than a 50% increase in pressure at the front end of a squall. For example: if we're sailing in 20-knot trades, we could expect 35-knot wind speeds in the front of a squall, and we could also expect to find ourselves becalmed if we got caught behind a squall. So it's pretty simple: Stay in front of a squall as long as you can and escape quickly as soon as the squall starts overtaking you. Easy to say, tough execution."
For more, see www.pegasusracing.com.
Shark clipped in, drinking lots of water, "Mom, I'm 13 now, I'm doing great... I even had a couple of Cup-o-Noodles!" Hanging tough while Doogie is trimming the headsail, Crusty the main and Philippe trying to keep the Pegasus going better than windspeed.
Beautiful trade wind sailing halfway between California and Honolulu, the best in the world!
Mark Rudiger, expert navigator, old and new school
Wind-Spotting: After daybreak, sailing under cloud cover, Morgan Larson looking over the horizon. The roll-call confirmed the Pegasus strategy: Go south and sail more miles - it will pay off later, like a sound investment.
Photos Courtesy Pegasus 77
Lose Your Hobie Cat Main?
July 11 - Berkeley
If you think you might have lost your white Hobie Cat main around Highway 80 and Central St. in Berkeley, it's been picked up. Call Greg at (707) 745-1177 or (925) 323-3555 to identify and claim it.
Kicking Around the Boatyard
July 11 - Napa River
During our cruise to the Napa Valley Marina last weekend, we took a walk around the boatyard, and as always, met some great folks. First was George Ogihara, who was doing a bottom job on his Vallejo YC-based Valiant 32 Ryden. He's owned the boat for five years, and was dealing with some blisters that some Valiants became famous for.
The next guy we met was Dick Rudolph, who along with partner Gary Morley started building a Brown 40 Searunner trimaran back in '94. They launched Time Further Out in 2001, and have hauled her out again in preparation of sailing her to San Diego. But we got Rudolph to pose with the Danny Greene-designed 10'8" 'nesting dinghy' they also built. The idea behind a nesting dinghy is that it separates in half, with one half fitting inside of the other to take up as little space as possible. It also allows for the use of two small dinghies or one big one.
The last fellow we met was Mark Barmettler, who has been restoring the S&S-designed, Chris-Craft-built Apache 37 Kemo Sabe for the last five years. Check out his half-built hard dodger. He used his cabin house as a mold to retain the boat's style and lines.
Yep, there's a lot more than drinking going on in the wine country.
The Admiral's Cup Is Back. Sort of.
July 11 - Cowes, UK
From the early '70s up until about 10 years ago, the Admiral's Cup in England was like the World Series of international offshore racing. Three-boat teams from as far away as Australia and Hong Kong would gather for a series of short races, a medium distance race, and the famous Fastnet Race. It's the stage on which Dave Allen's Imp from Belvedere shone brightly, as well as Monroe Wingate's Scarlett O'Hara, Irv Loube's Bravura, and Randy Short's Sidewinders.
But for the last 10 years, the Admiral's Cup has been in the doldrums, the victim of a lack of an internationally accepted rating rule and a dramatic broadening of big time sailing events. It was even canceled for lack of interest last time around. After flirting with holding a new Admiral's Cup in Dublin, the event will still be based at Cowes, but with two-boat teams, and will no longer include the Fastnet Race. Eight teams are ready to start the new version tomorrow; one from Australia, four from England, one from France, and two from Spain. May it rise like a phoenix.
Did You Blow It?
July 11 - Belvedere
If you didn't sign up for late tomorrow's Midnight Moonlight Marathon Madness rabbit start race from Raccoon Strait to Vallejo and back, you may have really blown it. The forecast is for warm weather and a full moon!
If you call Anne McCormack at the San Francisco YC and beg like crazy, you still might be able to get into the race. But do it immediately.
July 11 - 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.
July 11 - Pacific Ocean
San Francisco Bay Weather
Check out this guide to San Francisco Bay Navigational Aids: http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/sfports.html.
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