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Photo of the Day

February 1 - San Francisco Bay Area

Photo Latitude/Annie

The February issue of Latitude 38 hit the streets today! (We hope not literally, since the streets are soaking wet.)

Transponders to Be Required on Cruising Boats in Mexico?

February 1 - Los Cabos, BCS

We know that it sounds absolutely insane, but Capt. Jim Elfers, who is the Marina Manager at the under-construction The Marina at Puerto Los Cabos, reports that the powerful SCT Ministry wants all foreign boats over 34-ft in Mexico to carry transponders. The way SCT figures it, it would cost about $80 a month, and the fee would have to be collected by marina operators. Why the SCT want to require them on small boats is a mystery to everyone. Apparently, they are under the impression that's what is required in the States.

As you can imagine, marina operators and cruisers aren't thrilled at the prospect. Many members of the Mexican Marina Owners Association will be flying to Mexico City next week for a meeting with the SCT to try to derail the proposal. We'll have more as it becomes available.

Better Late than Never

February 1 - San Diego

Captains John and Patricia Rains have finally gotten their most recent edition of Mexico Boating Guide published and on the streets. We'll have a review after we've had time to look it over.

Photo Courtesy

Mexico Is Still Mexico

February 1 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Business dealings in Mexico have been becoming more fair and transparent in recent years - but they still have a long way to go. For example, last year we reported that the Mexican government had awarded a concession to a company to tear down and rebuild the Nuevo Vallarta Marina - which had been a disaster from the first day. Well, it turns out there had been some funny business between a government agency and the outfit that was awarded the contract. So there was a lawsuit against the government - and the plaintiffs won. That means the concession to the marina will come up for bid once again.

And over at the Yacht Club Marina project at La Cruz, there seems to be all kinds of legal problems with respect to the project taking land that didn't belong to them, not having the right permits, and infringing on the property rights of a bunch of homeowners. If that wasn't enough, the first decent swell of the winter reportedly destroyed the project's temporary seawall, and broke the boom on the project's main crane.

Meanwhile, in Alaska

February 1 - Alaska

If you've had enough of reading about the tropics for awhile, check out the sailing scene in Alaska, where Rick and Jen Fleischman inexplicably spend the winter minding a summer resort with their Catalina 50 charterboat Bob tied up to the dock. December, they report, was warm and wet, so they were able to set Christmas lights on Bob. January was a different story, however, as they've had 45 inches of snow. That meant Rick has had to get out and shovel several feet of snow off the deck. What a horrible thought!

Photos Courtesy the Fleischmans

While We're Up North

February 1 - Saltsjöbaden, Sweden

We've never seen a wake quite like that on San Francisco Bay.

Not content to just keep their boats at the dock, these sailors take their Lasers out on frozen Scandinavian waters. The photos come from the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, and give a whole new meaning to 'midwinter racing'.

Doesn't look too fast.

Saltsjöbaden is near Stockholm on an inlet of the Baltic Sea, at about 59.5 degrees north latitude. The yacht club's Web site can be viewed at www.ksss.se. Thanks to our friend Tom Goodwin for sending us this link.


February 1 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

In the last 'Lectronic, we showed a photo of a turtle being tended to by the crew of a boat. We reported that the turtle had gotten tangled in some fishing line. Actually, somebody had been trolling with a baited hook and somehow the line and hook had snagged between the turtle's body and his flipper. Fortunately, he should be all better now.

Photo Courtesy the Millesons

Paid Advertisement: Just You and the Sea

February 1 - Punta Mita, Mexico

The American owner-developer - and full-time resident - of the 12-unit El Faro condo complex at Punta Mita, Mexico, (40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta) is offering his 2,840 sq. ft. sixth and seventh story three-bedroom penthouse for sale. Why? Because he's moving into the penthouse of his new 18-unit condo complex just 30 feet to the east - where he will continue to be a year-round resident.

If you're interested in owning an extremely large condo right on the water in Mexico, where the views in all directions are spectacular, where you can anchor your boat right out front for the entire winter, and where there is great surfing, this might be the place for you. The complex is located one-quarter mile west of Rancho Estates, where villas rent for up to $10,000/night, and about a quarter of a mile east of the gated Four Seasons Resort complex, where lots on the water sell for $2 to $3 million.

Looking for the shopping and pulsing nightlife of Puerto Vallarta, or thrill to the huge crowds at mega condo resorts? Then this is not the place for you. The El Faro complex is all about tranquility and nature, where most days you'll see more whales in the bay than people in the pool. There are, however, several excellent restaurants on the beach one-eighth of a mile to the east past the panga harbor, and more nightlife up the brand new highway through the thick jungle to 10-mile distant Sayulita. A new four-lane highway to Puerto Vallarta is also under construction.

The price for the two-story penthouse is $699,000. There are two other units from $525,000 to $550,000 that are also available. They are the best on-the-water values in the Punta Mita area, and won't last long. Email for further information.

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