Photos of the Day: West Marine Pacific Cup
June 30 - San Francisco
Today's Photos of the Day are from the first two starts of the West Marine Pacific Cup from San Francisco to Hawaii. Boats will also be starting today and tomorrow, with the big boats taking off on Friday. Rob Moore reports:
The first two waves of Pac Cuppers left from St. Francis YC on Monday and Tuesday, with a total of 29 boats presently at sea. Conditions for both starts were pleasant - enough wind that a few boats were reefed, but nothing the fleet couldn't handle. Two boats, the Bavaria 34 Victoria and the S&S 47 Chimaera, were no-shows, bringing the total number of boats down to 50, making it the smallest fleet since 1992.
As of roll call yesterday, the Pretorian
35 Bravo was leading
For more on the Pac Cup, check their Web site every day around noon. Also, see our preview in the July issue of Latitude 38, which hits the docks tomorrow.
First Light, an Island packet 380 (foreground) and Ghost, a Morgan 38-2 (background)
Bravo from Long Beach
Cayenne, a Passport 40 with a crew from Corinthian YC, chases Bravo out the Gate.
Another Yachtie Murdered on Boat in Venezuela
June 30 - Piritu Peninsula, Venezuela
"A yacht was found floating in a small bay on the Piritu Peninsula of Venezuela," writes John Haste of the San Diego-based Perry 52 Cat Little Wing, currently in Cartagena, Colombia. "The only person aboard had been shot in the head and killed. About a week before, a Venezuelan boat had been attacked in the same area. The Venezuelan Coast Guard has taken the unusual step of declaring the entire peninsula unsafe for yachts. All winter I've heard of yachties having security problems east of Isla Margarita, but virtually none to the west."
Eastern Venezuela has always been dangerous, but mostly because of thefts. Now some of the locals seem to have no compunction about killing people. We'd certainly avoid the area, as we would all but the Cartagena part of the Colombian coastline.
Stella Rosa Overdue Between Tahiti and Tonga
June 30 - Tonga
Rolly Rosic reports that he was supposed to meet his brother Nesha and his 55-ft ferro ketch Stella Rosa in Tonga with a new transmission by now, but he hasn't heard from his brother since he left Tahiti about five weeks ago. If you know of the whereabouts of Stella Rosa, or you can put the word out the vessel is overdue, it would be greatly appreciated.
Nesha, who is in his 50s, bought a ferrocement hull, finished her off in Sausalito, and sailed to Cabo where he spent about 18 months on a mooring. Three months ago he left for the Marquesas and Tahiti, arriving safely in both places. He was, however, having transmission problems in Tahiti.
If you've seen the boat in the last month, please contact a concerned Rolly at (415) 389-6447 or us here at Latitude 38. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Singlehanded TransPac Update
June 30 - Pacific Ocean
Most of the gear-busting heavy winds and big seas are finally behind the 21 boats still racing the Singlehanded TransPac from San Francisco to Hanalei Bay, Kauai. But much of the fleet are walking wounded, as they patch up their boats and the skippers recover from mal de mer.
Three boats had to drop out. Greg Nelson on the Black Soo Starbuck was the first to go on Sunday. Having blown out too many sails to be competitive, he pulled in to Monterey. Next was Wen Lin aboard the Swan 47 Wenlemir. Wen began to have medical problems bought on by a combination of seasickness and his diabetes medication. The Coast Guard had to airlift him off his boat 50 miles from Morro Bay. Two Coasties were put aboard his boat to motor her in. Finally, Alan Hebert aboard Wisdom reported a forward bulkhead tore loose inside his Santana 3030, and the unsupported hull was oilcanning. He elected to drop out - ironically in a patch of calm 120 miles off Morro Bay.
Various acrobatics have helped other competitors tough it out. Cancer survivor Ryan Finn on the J/90 Surfinn has already broken three halyards, which required two trips up the mast in two days. Erik Schwartz's task at deck level was no less trying: a broken furler drum required Erik to lie on his back on the bow and screw small allen screws into the bottom of the furler drum while his SC40 punched through waves, drenching him with icy water every few seconds. Fun stuff!
Jim Kellam's main problem seems to be below. When his stomach finally calmed down enough that he could eat more than fruit and water, he found that the dry ice and cube ice he had added to his freezer on Haulback had turned into a glacier. "Everything is frozen solid," he reported in an email. "All I could chip out was some yogurt and cheese. I guess I'll have to wait for the rest to thaw."
Now that the fleet is through the initial nasty conditions, everyone is drying out, settling in, and strategizing. The big question, as always, is how far south to go to get around the bottom of the high and still keep good breeze. Al Hughes on Dog Bark, a 60-ft former BOC racer that is this year's biggest boat, is farthest south. Most of the rest of the fleet is physically closer to Hawaii than Dog Bark, but if they call it wrong and Al calls it right, better wind will allow him to make up the extra miles to get to Kauai first. Only time will tell who picked the best time to 'turn the corner'.
Today's quote from the fleet comes from Mark Deppe of Alchera: "They say the difference between an ordeal and adventure is your attitude. I've got plenty of attitude right now, so I guess this is an adventure."
To follow the race - which started Saturday morning - including twice-daily position reports and emails from some of the boats, log onto www.sfbaysss.org.
Watch Out for Booby-Trapped Explosives in and Around Marinas
June 30 - Washington, DC
That's the warning from the FBI, suggesting it's a possible tactic that terrorists might use. The bulletin says plastic-foam containers, inner tubes, and even buoys could be rigged to blow up on contact. On the other hand, a homeland security official told CNN that there wasn't any intelligence that terrorists were actually planning to do something as ineffective as that.
While we feel fairly certain there will be terrorists attacks in the United States prior to the presidential election in November - look how effective they were in Spain - we're not lying awake at night worrying about exploding inner tubes.
MacArthur Comes Up Short
June 30 - Lizard Point, Cornwall, UK
Despite a superb effort and the fact she had to sail an extra 400 or so miles, Ellen MacArthur came up just 75 minutes short of Laurent Bourgnon's decade old 7-day, 3-hour New York to England singlehanded record. MacArthur was sailing her new Irens-designed 75-ft trimaran B&Q. She had several days with runs in excess of 500 miles.