December 8 - Sausalito
The Richardson Bay anchorage is getting a little crowded again, as evidenced by the above picture. It was shot on Sunday afternoon, after a storm front on Saturday reshuffled the anchor-out deck. Best caption before Friday morning wins a Latitude 38 T-shirt!
Richmond YC Small Boat Midwinters
December 8 - Richmond Riviera
The first of four Richmond YC Small Boat Midwinters was held yesterday, with over 100 dinghies competing on three different circles. It was a splendid day for sailing, with sunny skies and a steady 12-15 knot northwesterly which gusted higher by the end of the day. There were lots of capsizes near the end of the day, when winds approached 20 knots. At least one boat, a Laser, broke its mast, and a Byte sailor and a Banshee sailor were rescued by crash boats and taken to safety (their boats were retrieved later). Aboard the Latitude photoboat, we picked up (and subsequently returned) a swimmer, a Wylie Wabbit crewmember who had gotten ejected in a violent round-up. He reported that, yes, the water was very chilly.
December 8 - San Francisco
Golden Gate YC served up the second helping of their Manny Fagundes Seaweed Soup Midwinters on Saturday, which was devoured by 73 boats in nine classes. The bigger boats reached around the Bay on an 8.4-mile course, while the little ones did a 6.8-mile parade up and down the Cityfront.
Course options were once again limited by the southerly breeze and the fixed starting line off the GGYC deck (for the pricey $80 entry, why not at least provide a race committee boat?). Fortunately, the race was over by about 1 p.m., and most competitors were already home when torrential rains and winds blew through.
Class winners were Mr. Magoo (J/120, Steve Madeira), Bodacious (Farr One Ton, Bobbi Tosse), Yucca (8-Meter, Hank Easom), Good Timin' (J/105, Wilson/Perkins), Chorus (Kettenburg 38, Peter English), Crew's Nest (Catalina 34), Narcissus (Knarr, John Jenkins), Elaine (Santana 22, Pat Broderick), and Frihed (Folkboat, Bill Madison).
Profligate's Progress: Mission Accomplished!
December 8 - Antigua
Profligate, Latitude 38's 63-ft catamaran, arrived in Antigua at 0900 on December 6, completing a 29-day, 3,402-mile passage from Cabo San Lucas to the Eastern Caribbean via the Panama Canal. Twenty-four of those days were underway. Strictly a delivery trip, much of it upwind, required 1,397 gallons of diesel, plus or minus 10% to take into account the margin of error when buying fuel from 55-gallon drums in Central America for the 540 total hours of motoring. The fuel stops were short and to the point: Barra for 45 minutes; Acapulco for six hours; Puesto del Sol, Nicaragua for three hours; Panama was scheduled for two days to transit the Canal, but four more days had to be added to haul the boat to install new saildrives sent down from Florida; 24 hours in Cartagena, Colombia; and four hours in Aruba.
Congratulations to the crew: Doña de Mallorca, Wayne Meretsky, Paul Biery, Mike Highfield, Steve Arehart - and Sarah Terry, who did the trip from Cabo to her home in Panama. A new addition to the boat in Cabo was a Spectra watermaker. It was run for 160 hours to create 2,720 gallons of water - resulting in the best smelling Profligate crew ever. It proved the point that you'll use as much water as you can make.
The Wanderer arrived in Antigua the day before Profligate, and snagged accommodations for the night aboard Richard and Grace's Vancouver-based 39-ft Crocodile Rock. The Ha-Ha vets had spent 17 long days sailing to the Caribbean from Virginia. Both Profligate and the Wanderer arrived in the middle of the Antigua Crewed Charterboat Show, home to many of the great yachts of the world. One of the first people the Wanderer bumped into was Mark, who had once filled in as Captain for Big O many years ago. Mark gave a tour of his new command, Islander, a 209-ft sailboat that charters for - sit down - $135,000 a week. The Wanderer was chuffed when Mark, while backing down the giant yacht to the dock between two other $20 million yachts, interrupted his attention to flash the old hands over head in an O sign of Big O. We'll have more on the Charterboat Show in an upcoming issue.
Mark takes a minute to flash old 'Big O' sign.
It's seasonally warm in the Caribbean, with varying amounts of wind, rain, and sun. As always, Sunday night was a big one at Shirely Heights overlooking English and Falmouth Harbors. Over 1,000 people gathered for a cloudy sunset, steel drum music, rock 'n roll, and millions of rum drinks. The Wanderer hadn't been back to Antigua in seven years, and found he missed it greatly. But there's no time for pleasure. We leave immediately for St. Barts, then St. Martin for a quick haul out to repair leaks caused by haulout mistakes in Panama. Then there's the matter of having to rush home to finish the January issue.
The kind of yachts you'll see floating around in Antigua during early December: Juliet, a 156-footer in front, with the dark hulled Victoria, which must also be over 150 feet, in back. We've never seen so many flawless mega yachts in one place.
Profligate hauled at Vocamante to have the saildrives replaced.
Some of the crew and the boatyard workers at the Vocamante Yard give the thumbs up on the saildrive replacement.
Mike points out an interesting bit of weather along the way.
Photos above Wayne Meretsky
Doña holds up the prop, new in Cabo, that was damaged hitting something off the coast of Mexico. Repaired in Panama, it fell apart again during the 1,100-miles upwind across the Caribbean.
Traditional pan music is still popular in Antigua.
Profligate, resting on the hook in Falmouth Harbor after the long journey.
except as noted
December 8 - 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.
December 8 - 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
The site for the Pacific Ocean sea states
has moved to http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/PacRegSSA.shtml.