Photo of the Day: Burning Man
September 15 - Black Rock, NV
Photo John Pettitt
In case you missed it, today's Photo of the Day, by John Pettitt, is of the yachting scene at Burning Man in the Nevada desert. Who needs water in fantasyland?
Like to Dress Up Like a Pirate? Or a Wench?
September 15 - Two Harbors, Catalina Island
Doña de Mallorca does. So there's no way in the world she's going to miss Buccaneer Day October 2 at Two Harbors, Catalina. Officially, everyone dresses up in their best pirate era attire, and there's "lots of fun games and activities for all ages, with great food and dancing the night away." Unofficially, we're told, it's the one day of the year when the workers on Catalina let their fantasies run wild and they can't be held against them. "What happens during Buccaneer Day," they say, "stays at Buccaneer Day."
If you're coming to Buccaneer Day, you just don't put on a pirate hat - unless you want to be a loser.
If you like to dress up - no voyeurs and no feeble efforts - and have a good time, there may be a couple of spots aboard Profligate on a shared-expenses bases for a three-day Buccaneer and wenches weekend, starting Friday at noon on the mainland, spending Friday and Saturday night at Two Harbors, and sailing back to the mainland on Sunday afternoon. Arrrrr! Sure it's short notice - but that wouldn't bother a real pirate, would it? For more information, email wench Doña.
Yes, there's always a few casualties. But so what, pirates and wenches realize it's the price you have to pay for a colorful life.
Act II? It Doesn't Look Like It.
September 15 - Valencia, Spain
Thanks to the three America's Cup boats knocked over in Marseille, it looks very unlikely that Act II will be held as scheduled in early October in Valencia. Oracle has another boat and can go, but the Kiwis would have to spend $1 million to fly a boat from New Zealand, and Alinghi's boat needs a lot of repairs.
Answer to the Mystery Photo
September 15 - California Coast
We got a ton of responses to last week's Mystery Photo. Paul Goyke of the Caliber 38 Cariad guessed it was what the beach at Capitola must look like after the Begonia Festival. "The flower-covered floats drift down the river and must shed their flowers into the ocean," he explained.
Mike Miller, like a lot of folks, thought it might be an oil slick. "Is it from the old navy tanker that sank in '55?" he wondered.
Scott and Cindy Stolnitz of the Switch 51 cat Beach House suggest that it's a color enhanced chart of sea surface temperature for "the obvious El Niño event that is beginning here in Southern California. The water is 6-10 degrees warmer than normal, which means a big time wet winter for Southern California." It's not the correct answer, but there is indeed a weak El Niño condition developing, which suggests there might be more rain in the Southland this winter - and in the southwest where it's so desperately needed.
Mike and Marylyn Morehouse of the Mariner 50 Lady Hawke say, "It looks like oil that has leaked out of one of those offshore oil rigs in the Santa Barbara Channel." Close, but not quite correct.
The majority of the respondents knew exactly what it was because they've been there. Ed Hoff of Sorina and Heathcliff put it most scientifically: "It's of the oily ocean surface off Coal Oil Point near Santa Barbara. The natural oil seep creates a slick on the water, and different thicknesses of oil reflect different wavelengths of light."
We got the photo from a brochure by Venoco, Inc., of Carpinteria, which is probably in the oil business. According to their brochure, 6,000 gallons of oil seep into the ocean each day(!) in just the Coal Oil Point area just west of Goleta. There are more than 1,000 other seep sights within 50 miles, most of them in the ocean, and many of them by Point Conception. In addition to all the oil that comes up, 5,000,000 cubic feet of natural gas is released each day, putting 16 tons of reactive organic gases into the air each day. At one time the seeps and gas being released accounted for something like 25% of air pollution in Santa Barbara County.
Natural gas seeping up
Photos Courtesy Venoco, Inc.
It's not like the seeping of oil and the releasing of natural gas is new. The Chumash Indians reportedly had many uses for it 7,000 years ago. Much later Spanish explorer Juan Carillo saw them using the tar to caulk their canoes, and did the same with his own ships. The great Captain James Cook noted, in 1792, that the ocean near Goleta was covered in a thick, oily substance.
Want a free Seep Tour? Visit www.venocoinc.com.
Ha-Ha Entries Absolutely Close on the 17th
September 15 - Tiburon
"Given that we expect to have a record 160 paid entries by Friday, we will not be accepting any late entries," announced Lauren Spindler of the Baja Ha-Ha. What follows is the complete list - except for two folks who didn't follow directions and sent entries Express Mail. They'll be included, but that's it!
/ Valiant 50 / Bill Finkelstein & Mary Mack / Santa Rosa