Photos of the Day
October 8 - Iles de Saintes
Winter's coming, which, if you have a sailing vacation planned for the tropics, is a good thing. Where to go? How about Iles de Saintes, a group of several small islands off the coast of Guadeloupe in the Eastern Caribbean? They're very small - sort of like a mini St. Barth - and very lovely. The photo above was taken from up at Fort Napoleon on Terre de Haut, the most populated of the islands. Note how small and short the runway is for the airport.
Catalina 30 Nationals
October 8 - San Francisco Bay
South Beach Yacht Club hosted 17 Catalina 30s competing for their National Championship October 1-3. Sailors hailed from as far away as Detroit and Connecticut.
Photo Emmanuel Uren
Jack McDermott from Santa Cruz sailing Adventure in the Racing Spinnaker division and Howard Churcher on Impulse in the Racing Jib & Main division pulled a horizon job on the fleet in the last race and took first place in their divisions. Dan Courter sailing Ross's Dream won the Handicap division. We'll have more in the November issue of Latitude 38.
Crew List Party
October 8 - Alameda
These sandwich boards were an effective marketing tool for Tom and Chris.
New cruising friends come in all shapes and sizes.
The ever-popular Sal's Inflatables liferaft demo
Misinformation about Changes to Clearing
Procedures in Mexico
Cruising Boats about to Be Seized in Mazatlan?
October 8 - Mazatlan, Mexico
"There is trouble here in Mazatlan," report Patrick and Paula Gallagher of the Ericson 35 Beyond Therapy, "so I want to alert all Latitude readers to potential legal dangers. As of this writing, our boat - and seven others - are about to be taken by the Mexican government.
"After cruising in Mexico since 2000, we arrived in Mazatlan a couple of years ago without a Temporary Import Permit - which we didn't know we needed and which no Mexican official had ever asked us for. During the summer of 2003, Aduana, which has control of all boats in Mexico, visited Isla Marina, and found the office to be without any paperwork for many of the boats. Once the dust settled, they found nine boats in the marina without the necessary import permit - and have fined me $37,000 U.S.! For some of the other boats, the fines are much higher. We'd expected fines of $100 to $500, as the permit is free if you do the paperwork yourself or about $35 if the marina does it.
"Growing weary of the problem, one of the boatowners moved his boat to El Cid Marina, which got him an Import Permit in two days. We followed suit, and got our permit in two days. But then Aduana revoked the Import Permits.
"Our boat has been prohibited from leaving the confines of the three marinas since August of 2003. Please advise all your readers to get a Temporary Import Permit upon initial check-in into Mexican waters."
We're a little confused by this situation, as it appears to have been going on for more than a year. We also find it hard to believe that the Mexican government would assess a $37,000 fine for a permit that doesn't cost anything. We recall something like this happening in La Paz about 20 years ago, and it being resolved.
Sylvia Mora of Marina Mazatlan, which as of October 1 took over Isla Marina, confirms that several boats have fines pending against them for not having Temporary Import Permits, and that two boats got new Import Permits and had them revoked, but by the Port Captain, not Aduana. "Tell all your readers to get a Temporary Import Permit right away, as it doesn't cost anything to do it themselves, and only about $35 if a marina does it for them."
Obviously, that's good advice, particularly since the Temporary Import Permit is good for 10 years, and most marinas require that you have the permit to check in. As for the Gallaghers and others, we're not sure we've got the full story, and we're pretty sure that this can be worked out with the help of an attorney. We don't think they are going to lose their boats.
Pain-Killers in Bahia Santa Maria?
October 8 - Bahia Santa Maria, BCS
If you've been on a charter in the Caribbean, you've probably had a Pusser's Pain-Killer. Well, if you're going on the Baja Ha-Ha, get ready to have one or two - for free - at the Bahia Santa Maria stop. For having signed on as the official rum of the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers), Pusser's has done the same with the Baja Ha-Ha, reports Honcho Lauren Spindler. And if you don't drink, don't worry, the folks from Pusser's will still have other goodies for you.
Pusser's, many of you know, was the official rum of the Royal Navy for centuries.
Photo Courtesy www.pussers.com
More Shots from the St. Francis Big Boat Series
October 8 - San Francisco Bay
It was great series, so we thought you'd like to see more - particularly a couple of knockdown shots. They were taken by Barb Whelan of San Diego.
Photos Barb Whelan
What's interesting is that Whelan shot them with one of the new Nikon D70 digital cameras. If you're headed south, are serious about your photographs, and have a bunch of Nikon lenses, this may be the camera for you. We've never seen a camera that got more superlative reviews for innovation and value for the money. It runs about $1,000 for just the body.
If you're looking for a much less expensive camera to drag around, we still favor the Fujifilm 3000 and other versions for their superb blues and greens. You can now get 3 million pixel ones for well under $300. What a superb bargain. Canon and other brands are terrific, too, but we love that Fuji color. Whatever you do, buy the latest and greatest, because last year's electronic stuff is always way behind the times.
Photo of the Week
October 8 - Two Harbors
Not wasting time in a cat fight, these wenches have instead drawn on each other's mates.