Photos of the Day
March 12 - San Francisco Bay
This past weekend launched what turned out to be a fabulous week of sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures. Louis Kruk took advantage of the fine weather to take his new-to-him Hunter 31, Sunset Woman, out for a spin with friends.
"Lou used to race on Kialoa," says photographer Erik Simonson, "and Urban Guerrilla to mention a few. He recently sold his Cal 20, Junkyard Dog, and has come outta retirement, so to speak, to play on the Bay again after a long stint of avoiding sailing. He's in the process of rejuvenating the boat and giving her a second life on the Bay."
Crew for Sunday's daysail included Simonson, his daughter Annalise, Frank Goddard and Brad Besaw.
They Fear Work
March 12 - St. Barth, FWI
Maude I. Jones
We've been spending the last couple of days here in the French West Indies with Rob and Mary Messenger of the 46-ft Maude I. Jones, a boat whose hull was built by the same guys who built the wings for the Spruce Goose. Rob and Mary are veterans of the first Ha-Ha back in '94 - and have been out cruising ever since. About four years ago, a combination of a couple of nasty storms and Rob being face to face underwater with a 15-ft croc with a wide open mouth made them think they weren't having any fun cruising anymore. So they put the boat up for sale in Australia and came home. About six weeks later, they had a big change of heart. "I'd rather be eaten by a 15-ft croc than living back in Sacramento or Dallas," said Rob. "I'd rather you be eaten by a 15-ft croc than living back here," Mary agreed. So they took the boat off the market and sailed across the Indian Ocean to Africa, where they messed around for awhile, then sailed across the Atlantic to Brazil and up to the Caribbean. Their budget? $24,000 a year, $8,000 of which goes to boat stuff. "We've been able to live very comfortably on that," says Rob. Unfortunately, that's all coming to an end, and they've decided they have to head to Florida to do that nasty work thing. And they are most certainly not happy about it. Read all about their adventures in the April issue of Latitude 38.
Rob and Mary Messenger
Getting the Boats Figured Out
March 12 - St. Barth, FWI
Pyewacket (foreground) and Morning Glory in St. Barth before racing back to St. Martin
So what do the sizzling hot new MaxZ86s Morning Glory and Pyewacket do after the Heineken Regatta? The crews stick around and sail together to figure out how to get the most out of them. It's not glamor work, but it has to be done. We crossed paths with them in the channel to Gustavia, St. Barth, and yelled over to ask if they'd sailed over for lunch and to have a wild Bartian night. The answer was a desultory "No." "Want to trade places?" one of the crew asked. As we were headed to the beautiful blue waters of Baie St.Jean, where the big turtles swim and the young girls walk topless on the beach, and we had some great rosé on ice, we really didn't want to trade.
Baie St. John, with Profligate on the hook. The airport is in the background and the famous Eden Rock Hotel is to the left.
Tim Wright Captures the Instant at the Heinie
March 12 - St. Martin
For a terrific shot of perhaps the most dramatic instant at the recently completed Heineken Regatta, check out Tim Wright's www.photoaction.com. Go to the Regatta section [www.photoaction.com/regattas.htm], Heineken 2004 section, 'Best' section, and check out the second photo down. It's of our friends Rex and Celeste Conn's 50-ft tri Alacrity doing about 20 knots . . . with her crumpled mast falling off to leeward, almost on top of a Volvo 60. It's another great shot from one of the world's great sailing action photographers - and he does it all from a dinghy that he drives himself.
Jules Verne Update
March 12 - South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
At the end of Day 34 of her Jules Verne Trophy around the world attempt, Cheyenne ran 508 miles in 24 hours, averaging 21.17 knots. She is 2,000 miles ahead of Orange's 2002 record. Cheyenne is 1,922 miles W/NW of Cape Horn.
Driving towards the Cape of Good Hope, the 2004 attempt by the 110-ft trimaran Geronimo logged its best day yet yesterday at 609 miles as Olivier de Kersauson and team blasted through the 'roaring forties' in the South Atlantic on Day 15 of their record attempt.
TransPac 52 Class News
March 12 - Santa Cruz
Bill Turpin, just sold his TransPac-winning Davidson TP-52 Alta Vita to David Ford, a Swan 44 owner from Newport, RI. "It's kind of sad to sell such a great boat, but sometimes you have to make tough choices," said Turpin, who cited four reasons for letting go of AV: he's back at work as an entrepreneur working with several start-up companies; the TP-52 class isn't really happening on the West Coast this year; it's a good time to sell (TP-52s are in demand and the economy is better); and he wants to take a break from sailing for awhile.
The TransPac 52 Alta Vita prepares to leave Santa Cruz Harbor for her new home on the East Coast on Wednesday the 10th.
Photo Rich Carlson
With Alta Vita's departure to the East Coast, the TP-52 class seems to be finally coming together - ironically, however, on the 'wrong' coast. Four more TP-52s are about to join the East Coast fleet - a trio of Farr-designed, Goetz-built sisterships (Esmeralda, Sjambok, Brightstar) will hit the water starting in April, followed by Trader, a Jim Donovan design being built in Brazil for Great Lakes sailor Fred Detwiler. The class is targeting three races this year: Six TP-52s are planning on entering the June 18 Bermuda Race (AV, Rosebud, Beau Geste and the three Farrs), seven should be at July's Chicago-Mac (the same six, plus Trader), and as many as nine may show up at September's Big Boat Series (add some combination of Braveheart, Yassou, and Flash). See www.transpac52.org for the rest of the story.
A couple of weeks ago, Roger Sturgeon's Santa Cruz-based TP-52 Rosebud hitched a ride to the Caribbean. Brent Ruhne explains: "I just got to do something I had never done before today - put Rosebud on a submersible ship to send it from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Thomas. We sent the boat's cradle over to the port on a truck then motored the boat to the port where the ship was already submersed and waiting. With communication over the VHF, they guided us in via their loading plan. Our turn came and we slipped into the ship and reached the spot where our cradle was on the deck of the ship with about two meters of water over the tops of the bunks! (The cradle stands almost four meters off the ground.) Then with lines and the motor we moved Rosebud sideways over the cradle and tied it up to the inside of the ship, easy as that! The crew of the ship is from the Ukraine, and the shipping agents are Cloggies (Dutch) but with some hand signals communication wasn't much of a problem. The trickiest part was making sure we didn't whack the new bulb on one of the supports on the cradle. After they loaded all of the boats, about two dozen of them, the ship's crew lifted the 'tailgate' of the ship to keep waves and surge from smashing the boats about in the hold, and called it a night.
"Tomorrow at 6:00am six divers will get in the water and, according to the different boats' draft, they will shore the other boats and make sure Rosebud is properly in her cradle and strap her down for the trip. Rosebud is the deepest, so will be first to be shored. One small problem: the front bunk of the cradle floated when they sunk the ship - it's made of wood - and so the divers will have to wrestle it into place before they float the ship! We fly to St. Thomas next week to meet the ship and then deliver Rosebud to St. Martin for our first of four regattas in the Caribbean."
Photos Brent Ruhne
BVI Spring Festival, Last Call on Profligate
March 12 - British Virgin Islands
The last chance of the year for a 'shared expenses' sailing opportunity aboard Profligate in the Caribbean will be the BVI Spring Festival March 29 through April 5. If you think you've already done the BVIs, you haven't really done them until you've done the BVI Spring Festival. It's not as wild or as intense as the Heinie, but we'll still be racing with the likes of Pyewacket and other great boats, and there will be special courses for catamarans only - something the Heinie really needs to consider. Check out the BVI Spring Festival Web site.
Are shared expenses events in the Caribbean aboard Profligate fun? All we can say is that only one person who did the Heinie with us hasn't asked, with wife where applicable, to be part of the Profligate Ha-Ha crew this fall. And yes, we know the regatta starts in about two weeks.
Columbia Challenger 24 for Sale
March 12 - Stockton
COLUMBIA CHALLENGER 24. New Lewmar winches, new jib. Yamaha 6.0 hp motor, sleeps four. 1998 National Championship. Blue hull. Stockton Sailing Club, A Dock. $1,599/obo. Must sell. Call now! Shawn (209) 952-6608 or (209) 298-9241(cell).
March 12 - 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.
March 12 - 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 old link we had for the Pacific Ocean sea states is dead, so check out: www.oceanweather.com/data/NPAC-Eastern/index.html. Thanks to Keith Cress for calling this to our attention.
For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see www.oceanweather.com/data.