Photos of the Day
January 14 - San Francisco Bay
Today's Photos of the Day come courtesy of the Flieder family. "My husband Paul and I have read that reading to your infant, no matter what the content, helps enhance their verbal skills," writes Susan Flieder. "Paul took the advice to heart, and in the first photo can be seen giving our two-month-old Mateo an early start at verbal - and electronic - skills. The second photo of me with Mateo two weeks ago on his first sail aboard our Farr 44 Companera. The third photo is of our friends Stephen and Maria Pope with their 1-year-old Joaquin."
Photos Courtesy the Flieders
Tough Job Ahead for Golding
January 14 - Atlantic Ocean
For the second time in just a few days, Mike Golding, who came from way behind with Ecover to briefly take the lead in the Vendée Globe, is having trouble with his Vectran main halyard. It means that for the second time in a week, he'll have to go to the top of his towering rotating mast to relead the halyard. Last time he was able to do it in relatively calm downwind conditions, but now it's blowing 25 knots and the seas are 15 feet. How would you like to be a singlehander who has to go aloft in those conditions? But as Golding is now trailing Vincent Riou's PRB by 33 miles, he's not going to have much choice.
Ecover passed Cape Horn on January 4.
Photo Mike Golding
Pagurus II Adrift off Baja
"François Lavoie, a former berther here at Bruno's Island, got caught in a storm off Baja on January 4. His 'pan pan' call was answered by the Holland America cruise ship MV Ryndham, which rendezvoused and took him aboard, along with his girlfriend, her son and the ship's cat. The rescue took place northwest of Cedros, about 80 miles off the mainland coast.
"We were hoping that you could publish a notice in 'Lectronic Latitude so that the cruising community might be on the lookout for his boat and that perhaps François could recover her and continue his dream. The name of the boat is Pagurus II (through a miscommunication, the captain of the Ryndham refers to her as 'Tiger', so there is no Pagurus in his reports.) She is a Cheoy Lee 42 ketch with a white hull. François has spent the last 10 years restoring her to cruising condition. She was once owned by Albert Towle and was featured in his book, A Paguran Adventure.
"I can be reached at my office (916) 777 6084 or on my cell at (916) 203-6115. François can be reached by email. He is currently in San Diego."
- Sharon Skelton, Harbormaster
It's a Small Sailing World
January 14 - St. Barth, FWI
"I just got back from St. Barths," writes Steve Williams of the Santa Cruz-based SC 52 Natazak, "where I spent New Year's and then another week. We had a great time, but the weather was not as great as I had imagined. But every other day or so I would get online and check 'Lectronic Latitude - now there is a devoted reader - from the hotel lobby computer. The other day, I saw your item on Tom Conerly of the 42-ft cat HaPai in St. Barth, and had to laugh. Tom raced with me on Natazak on the '01 Coastal Cup when we set a new record to Ventura. He's a great guy and a really good sailor. If you recall, the weather was really rough that year, and Tom was one of the few people I trusted to drive in those conditions.
"I wished we'd run into the other Bay Area sailors while in St. Barth, as it would have been fun to have had a drink together. By the way, we're planning to join you for our first Ha-Ha this year, and then head down the coast to spend a few months in Mexico. As such, I enjoyed your Mexico/Caribbean comparisons - and look forward to the $5 dinners in Mexico after the $300 dinner at the Wall House in St. Barth. The latter was good, but expensive."
Steve - It was the worst weather we've ever experienced in St. Barth over Christmas and New Year's, and we've been going there for many years now. We've never had so little sun and such lack of blue colors. Nonetheless, we wished you and the others had tracked us down, as we certainly could have gotten you a ride on one of several 100+ footers for the Around the Island Race On New Year's Eve. After the parade, you could have come to the champagne party and gotten invited to visit the 297-ft Athena, as Clark had invited all race participants to stop by his new 297-ft clipper ship.
Naval architect Alan Andrews of Long Beach, it turns out, was also in St. Barth at the same time. He was there with his wife Molly and her father Frank on the Swan 56 Amerigo, which is run by our Aussie friend Murray, who is a terrific captain. Despite the less-than-ideal-weather, Andrews reports that, "We cruised six islands in our 10 days, and sailed every day but one."
Miracle at the Gustavia Dinghy Dock
January 14 - Gustavia, St. Barth
Just before New Year's, the fellow bailing the water from a dinghy - who actually looks a lot like the Wanderer - had unknowingly lost his wallet after he sat down on one of the dinghy tubes in the exact same spot. The wallet was full of credit and other cards, cash, and some important phone numbers. At the time, the fellow - all right, it was the Wanderer - ran all over St. Barth seeing if maybe he'd lost the wallet at a gas station, left it in a car, or misplaced it somewhere else. Nothing.
For three days the Wanderer thought about diving in and checking beneath the dinghy dock for the wallet, but thanks to the mega yachts in the harbor, the water was filthy, and the amount of dinghy traffic was too great.
Three days after losing the wallet, and a day after Ronald Perlman's megayacht Ultima III stirred up the whole area by motoring out, Yann Feutren, Jacky Le Corquille, and Phillipe Adenot volunteered to dive for the wallet. This trio spends most of their waking hours untangling chains so megayachts can get in and out of Gustavia. So far their record is finding 18 megayacht anchor chains lying on top of the anchor chain of the megayacht that wanted to leave.
As you probably guess from the photo, the trio were successful in finding the Wanderer's wallet. "First I found some of the credit cards, which were spread out over a distance of 30 feet," says Jacky. "Then I found the wallet itself." Incredible! And they returned it to the Wanderer with all the cash, checks, credit cards, and other very important stuff inside. It was like having a dream come true to start the year, especially since the Wanderer hadn't canceled anything yet.
Why Do People Cruise Mexico in the Winter?
January 14 - Banderas Bay, Mexico
Pretty chilly up here, isn't it? Well, a couple of days ago we got a report from Blair Grinols aboard his 46-ft Capricorn Cat in Banderas Bay. "Everything is fine here, and we're basking in the sun. It's about 83 to 85 degrees every day. Had a nice birthday party last night, and took a load of about 20 people across the bay to La Cruz to visit Philo's bar, grill, and music place. We ate and danced our a---s off for a few hours, and didn't get back to the marina until 1 a.m. I'm getting too old for this as I had leg cramps later that night. Actually, I just have to do it more often to get back in shape."
For inspirational purposes, Blair, who is a terrific dancer, and one of the most active sailors in the Pacific, is in his early 70s.
Yes, it's warm in Mexico
Tidal Currents for San Francisco Bay Entrance
January 14 - San Francisco
Scott Keck of the Ranger 23 Chaos out of Emeryville informed us that NOAA recently celebrated the 150 year anniversary of tidal observations at the Golden Gate. For some history, see www.noaa.gov/lautenbacher/tidalobs2004.htm.