September 19, 2007

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

Yes, it took 52 days from the Galapagos, but who cares?

© Liz Clark

Today’s Photo of the Day is of ‘Aron’, a young Hungarian man who has sailed his modest little 19-footer all the way from Europe. She may not be the most luxurious boat, and the Galapagos to Marquesas leg might have taken him 52 days, but we’ll be darned if he isn’t both living life to the hilt and making the most of what he’s got. The photo was taken by Liz Clark of the Santa Barbara-based Cal 40 Swell, whose reaction was, "And I thought I was brave!"

Aron came across the Pacific in that little boat?!

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Speaking of Liz, we suspect she’s gone a little bit ‘native’, as her surfing and local adventuring seem to have increased dramatically at the expense of her writing. Plus, she’s gone from lengthy, logical Western-type pieces to more lyrical, stream of consciousness stuff. Check it out in the October 1 Latitude 38.

Jessica Cup Dates Changed

The Master Mariners always put on a good show, and the Jessica Cup will be worth the wait.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While we strive for perfection here at Latitude (we’ll give you a second to wipe the coffee off your screen), sometimes we fall short. Way back in January, we published the Northern California Sailing Calendar, in it listing the dates for the Master Mariners’ Jessica Cup for this weekend, September 22-23. At some point in the last nine months, the dates changed to October 20-21 and we just now learned of it. Most likely, if you’re planning to race, you already knew this, but if you were looking forward to watching some good old fashioned woodie racing this weekend . . . well, you’re just going to have to wait.

Saving The Turtle Eggs

Kati and the marines collect the turtle eggs at Punta Mita.

© Karen Milleson

"On September 3, a friend told me that he’d seen turtles on the beach to the east of the panga harbor at Punta Mita, Banderas Bay," writes young Kati Milleson, who lives in the El Faro condo project nearby. "So I went to the beach to check it out, and found that other turtles had come ashore to lay their eggs. Over the next 24 hours, we found 15 nests that held over 1,500 eggs. This was even more than we found last time.  After collecting the eggs from these nests, some local marines and I took them to a private section of beach where they will be protected until they hatch. It’s important that there be a turtle egg sanctuary, because if they weren’t protected, the locals would take the eggs and sell them. They are supposed to be a great aphrodisiac, so they are worth a lot of money. You think people would use Viagra instead, which is available all over Mexico. I can’t wait until the eggs hatch so I can return to the sanctuary to help release them back to the wild."

Kati helps mama make it back to the waters of Banderas Bay.

© Karen Milleson

Thanks to efforts such as Kati’s, turtles have made such a great comeback on Banderas Bay that it’s not uncommon to see them swimming around. It’s a beautiful sight. Richard Bernard of the Valiant 40 Surf Ride says he’s seeing a lot more in the waters off of Hawaii, too, again thanks to the turtle eggs being protected.

Kati and the Punta Mita marines, getting ready to take the eggs to the sanctuary. Saving the eggs is critical, because young turtles have a mortality rate of over 95%.

© Karen Milleson

Shooting Fish – And Photos

Cruisers are always looking for ways to save money and be self sufficient. In the October issue of Latitude, an article on the art of spearfishing sheds light on both these issues — even if you’re no good with a rod and reel, you may find that you’re a sure-shot underwater. Be sure to check it out.

In the meantime, we’re looking for some great spearfishing photos to run with the piece. Anyone out there have any? Not so much the holding-the-caught-fish ones. What we’d really like is underwater photos of snorkel divers (no scuba) with spear guns, either looking for fish or with speared fish. We also need them quickly — which means electronically (at high-resolution, please) — in the next few days. There’s a Latitude T-shirt in it for any that we use. Email them to John.

Google Earth is More Detailed Than Ever

This isn’t nearly the maximum resolution available on Google Earth, nonetheless, it’s ideal for orientation of Marina Cabo San Lucas

Google Earth
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Bill Finkelstein of the Valiant 50 Raptor Dance informed us that Google has just added a bunch of new countries and detail to their Maps/Earth feature, including more detailed images of Mexico. "I discovered it by looking at our position report," Finkelstein wrote, "and noticed that the map of PV now has streets on it! Not everything is in great detail. For example, La Cruz isn’t detailed, but cities like Cabo, Mazatlan, PV, La Paz are. Just go to and enter the city name (e.g. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico) and have at it! And things should improve even more, as they launched a new ‘WorldView I’ satellite yesterday."

Once again, this isn’t the maximum resolution available, but it’s just perfect for finding your way into and around the lagoon at Barra.

Google Earth
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Google Earth is a great resource for checking out anchorages and entrances you haven’t visited before and, as Finkelstein reminded us, finding businesses ashore — such as your favorite sushi restaurant.

If you zoomed in on this image of Nuevo Vallarta on Google Earth, you’d also get a directory of restaurants and other services. Would this take some of the fun out of exploring?

Google Earth
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC