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Mexican Tall Ship Arrives Monday

July 8, 2009 – San Francisco Bay

Cuauhtemoc in Bay
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The 270-ft Cuauhtemoc was one of the stars of Sail San Francisco during her last visit in 2005 Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One the the world's largest tall ships will grace the Bay next week. Mexico's 270-ft cadet training vessel Cuauhtemoc is scheduled to sail beneath the Golden Gate Monday morning at 9 a.m., after completing a North Pacific passage from Asia. 

San Francisco is the final stop of a 19,000-mile, six-month goodwill mission to China, South Korea, Russia and Japan, before she returns to her Acapulco homeport. The public is invited to tour the ship and meet her crew, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at Pier 27 on the San Francisco waterfront.

Cuauhtemoc salute
It's a custom aboard this school ship, that all cadets salute each new port from high atop the yardarms. © 2018 Mexican Navy

We hope to be out on the water to greet her Monday, and if you can break away from the rat race, we'd encourage you to join us. With nearly 100 cadets saluting from atop the ship's many yardarms, her arrival is always a spectacular sight.

- latitude / at

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'Criminals' On The Lam

July 8, 2009 – North Pacific

What a difference three days makes. For the Sunday starters in the top-right corner, it's been more of a rhumb line race. For everyone else, getting way South is paying big for those with enough resolve to hang in there. © 2018 /

Chip "Dr. Megadeath" Megeath's R/P 45 Criminal Mischief is blasting toward Honolulu like a scalded cat. The 'Criminals' posted the third highest mileage in the fleet on their southerly track called by navigator Jeff Thorpe. Neville Crichton's R/P 100 Alfa Romeo upped the TransPac daily-run record it set the previous day — 399 miles — by tacking on another 21. Doug Baker's Andrews 80 Magnitude 80 put up 335 miles. Other than those two, no one else in the fleet — including ULDB 70s, TP 52s, an Open 50, R/P 77, and an Andrews 63 — could match Megeath and crew for the day's run.

The boats in Divisions 1 and 2 — the maxis, TP 52s and sleds — have benefitted from a more stable weather picture than the boats who started on June 29 and July 2, and are already taking a much more direct course toward Honolulu. Tom Akin's TP 52 Flash has been holding onto the top spot in Division 1 pretty much since the start; overnight, Flash also vaulted from about sixth to second overall, only 19 minutes behind the overall leader, James McDowell's SC 70 Grand Illusion.

- latitude / rg

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Ad: West Marine Foul Weather Gear

July 8, 2009 – At a West Marine Near You

West Marine Third Reef Foul Weather Gear
West Marine Third Reef Foul Weather Gear
© 2018 West Marine /

“Dry” is why West Marine’s Third Reef is the country’s best-selling foul weather gear. Waterproof, breathable, affordable, durable – pretty much everything foul weather gear ought to be. Jackets $119.99 and Bibs $99.99 in Men’s and Women’s sizes. Available at all West Marine stores. Log onto to find the store nearest you.

West Marine
© 2018 West Marine /

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Underwater Invader Arrives From Asia

July 8, 2009 – Here and There In Northern California

This innocent-looking plant is a maritime menace. © 2018 NOAA

According to Chela Zabin, PhD, the waters of Northern California are being invaded, so to speak, by undaria pinnatifida, which a very fast growing kelp native to Asia. It was first noticed in the Los Angeles - Long Beach Area in 2000, and has now spread as far south as Ensenada. Until recently, it hadn't been seen north of Monterey. But now it's been found in several places around San Francisco Bay.

At this point, it's unclear how severe a threat undaria presents. But if it were to strongly compete with or interfere with giant kelp, which is our dominant kelp, and which plays a critical role in our underwater ecosystem, it would be bad news. At this point, it seems to be like a few weeds on a lawn. If it's not checked now, the consequences are uncertain, but they could be bad.

Zabin and her colleagues at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center &
University of California, Davis, which is located in Tiburon, would love to hear from anyone who notices any such kelp. They would particularly appreciate it if you could email them a cell phone photo of what you find. The address is An flyer giving more in-depth info can be found on the Latitude 38 website.

- latitude / rs

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Nick Jaffe Arrives in Hawaii

July 8, 2009 – Honolulu, Hawaii

Wing on wing
Nick Jaffe tried several sail combinations to get a comfortable ride downwind but nothing really stopped the rolling. © 2018 Nick Jaffe /

Solo sailor Nick Jaffe, who left Half Moon Bay on June 7 and who we featured in this month's issue of Latitude 38, arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 5 aboard his Contessa 26 Constellation. Jaffe blogged and Twittered his way across the Pacific, to the delight of hundreds — if not thousands — of folks following his progress toward his homeland of Australia.

Shower time
Squalls are a blessing when you have limited water tankage - you can fill your tanks and take a shower. © 2018 Nick Jaffe /

The 27-day voyage was longer than an average Pacific crossing — Constellation was becalmed for a frustrating number of days — but, from his posts, Jaffe clearly enjoyed himself. Read them for yourself — and keep up with Jaffe's plans — at

Landfall in Honolulu was so sweet. © 2018 Nick Jaffe /

- latitude / ld

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