Photo of the Day
November 12 - Vollenhove, Holland
Photo Courtesy Royal Huisman
Today's Photo of the Day is of Athena, the 'world's largest private sailing yacht', which has been sailing for a few months now. She's owned by a Northern Californian, but in return for the use of the photo, we promised the builder, Royal Huisman, that we wouldn't reveal his name.
The 295-footer has a beam of 40 feet, and her three masts will just barely fit under the Bridge of the Americas on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal - and only at low tide! The rig has some 2,500 sq. meters of sail power and is complete with in-mast furling for the topsails and in-boom furling for the carbon fiber gaffs. Some 55 Rondal captive and drum winches allow lightning fast tacks under full sail whilst sails can be set and stowed at the press of a button (or two!)
"Departing Holland in less than ideal conditions on September 15, Athena made her maiden voyage to Spain's Mediterranean coast, where she met her owner and guests for some late summer cruising before going transatlantic to the Caribbean and Brazil."
It's unclear how long Athena will hold the title of 'world's largest private sailing yacht', for in early 2006, another Northern Californian will be launching the Perini Navi Maltese Falcon, which will be 289 feet. Depending on how you treat the bowsprit on Athena, Maltese Falcon might be even larger.
In other megayacht news, Yachting World magazine last month announced they'd have a full report on how the recently launched 247-ft Mirabella managed to find herself on the rocks near Beaulieu sur Mer, France. The report was anything but complete, as it didn't indicate how many crew were on watch or explain the inexplicable - how she could have ended up on the rocks.
Hendrix Now Restricted to Sailing on Rivers
November 10 - Turtle Bay, Baja California
"I'd like everyone who did the recently completed Baja Ha-Ha from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas - especially the crew of Wild Rose, the boat I was on - to know that I'm all right after my medical problems," writes Phil Hendrix of Stockton. "As some might already know, after being dehydrated, vomiting blood, and being in severe pain for over 24 hours, I had to be transferred on the open ocean near Punta Eugenia from Wild Rose to Megabyte, another Ha-Ha boat, to be rushed to the clinic in Turtle Bay. The next day I was flown to Tijuana and taken to a hospital in San Diego.
Doctors and other helpers boarding Megabyte in Turtle Bay for rescue run.
"I can't adequately express my thanks to the skipper of Megabyte, who volunteered to rush north to get me; to the doctors off Jellybean, who joined the rescue boat before they'd even had a chance to set their anchor in Turtle Bay; and for the others on the rescue boat, such as Roberto and particularly Sue, who helped me through the most painful time. I also hope that the Grand Poobah and everyone the Ha-Ha mothership Profligate, which made all the arrangements for the rescue and provided some of the crew, know they are the best!
"In addition, I'd like to thank Dr. Jesus Moreno and his nurse Elna at the small clinic in Turtle Bay, who were so kind and adept at stopping my internal bleeding.
Patient and Dr. Jesus Moreno at the Turtle Bay Clinic
Photos Latitude/Richard & Andy
"I also want to thank the Assistant Poobah, Banjo Andy Turpin, also of Profligate, for organizing my Medivac to Tijuana and getting me across the border. Not only did Andy handle all the very complicated arrangements, but he treated me as though I were a member of his family. I am deeply appreciative.
"My doctors have told me that from now on I am a river sailor, and ocean passages are a thing of the past for me."
We'll have more on the this incident, and the lessons to be learned from it, in the December issue of Latitude 38. We're also happy to report that the Ha-Ha fleet contributed over $1,200 to the Turtle Bay Clinic after the incident.
No Cha-Cha at Immigration in Cabo. No Meat Either.
November 12 - Cabo San Lucas, BCS
Several folks who used the Crew List form found in Pat and John Rains' Mexico Boating Guide tell us they were sent to the back of the line at Immigration in Cabo several times because the list says "Paperwork Cha Cha" at the top. It's unclear if the Immigration folks took the 'cha cha' as an insult or what, but things went better after the heading was whited out.
Some cruisers clearing into Cabo at Cabo Isle Marina also learned that agriculture inspectors confiscated all meat, chicken, eggs, and turkey, no matter if it was fresh or frozen. Mad cow and all that. To the best of our knowledge, the inspectors didn't visit any of the 100 or so Ha-Ha boats on the hook, so they got off scot free.
Joyon in Search of a New Record
November 12 - Canary Islands
Seventy-five miles into the start of his assault on Steve Fossett's Route of Discovery record attempt with the 90-ft trimaran IDEC, Francis Joyon had to return to Cadiz to replace a broken gennaker halyard. He restarted yesterday on the 3,384-mile route to San Salvador and is currently negotiating the Canaries.
Joyon, it will be remembered, stunned the sailing world earlier in the year by sailing solo around the world on the same tri in just 73 days, crushing the previous record and even bettering the time by Sir Peter Blake and crew with ENZA. It was one of the greatest achievements in sailing.
Little known factoid: IDEC started life way back in 1986, and has been through many incarnations. But she's obviously still very fast.
Tall Ship Semester for Girls
November 12 - San Francisco
Time was when a young woman went to sea it was either as a captain's wife or disguised as a man. Fortunately, things have changed for the better for women afloat, but the sea remains a proving ground for sailors of any gender. This is the guiding principle behind the Tall Ships Semester for Girls, a special project of San Francisco State University.
Founded in 1998 by an SFSU alumna, Tall Ships Semester for Girls mission is to provide socio-economically and racially diverse groups of high school girls (grades 10-12) with a hands-on opportunity to learn about their environment, their community and themselves. After half a college semester of land-based studies such as navigation, oceanography and maritime history, the girls take on the physical challenges of running and navigating a traditionally rigged sailing vessel at sea for the final six weeks. Upon their return, students intern at a variety of Bay Area maritime or charitable organizations in their communities.
This program used to be run aboard the state tallship Californian, but with that ship's ownership and mission changed - it's now owned by the San Diego Maritime Museum - it is no longer available. These days, the TSSG has to shop for ships. The next Semester for Girls, starting in January, will take place along the East Coast aboard the Boston-based Spirit of Massachusetts, a 125-ft Gloucester-type schooner.
To date, more than 60 young women have sailed the California and Mexican coastlines and the Caribbean as part of the Tall Ship Semester for Girls. But the tuition for each student is roughly $8,000, far beyond what most students can afford. In its effort to meet all students' financial needs and never turn a student away for lack of funds, the Tall Ships Semester for Girls invites the public to the 6th Annual Tall Ships Semester for Girls Scholarship benefit reception. The event will take place at the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco on November 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. and the fun will include a silent auction, live music, food and drink. The $50 admission is 60% tax deductible. For more information visit www.tallshipsemester.org.