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Photo of the Day

March 23, 2015 – San Francisco Bay

Hawaiian Chieftain fires at Lady Washington
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Fire in the hole! Hawaiian Chieftain takes a shot at Lady Washington off Yellow Bluff. The cannons are fired with black powder, the same explosive used for hundreds of years on the high seas.

© 2017 Stuart Kiehl / www.sfboatphotos.com

If you heard the boom of cannon fire on San Francisco Bay this weekend, you weren't just imagining it. The tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are touring California and taking shots at each other in ports along their route.

Both vessels take paying passengers along for the fun. If booming cannons are not your thing, they also offer peacetime adventure sails and dockside tours. Tickets for passages from port to port are available too.

They'll be in Sausalito through March 30, then in Redwood City from April 1-13 before departing the Bay for Eureka on the 14th. The detailed schedule can be found at www.historicalseaport.org.

The Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority in Aberdeen, Washington, operates both ships. The 112-ft LOA brig Lady Washington is a replica, launched in 1989, of the original Lady Washington, which in 1788 rounded Cape Horn and became the first American vessel to make landfall on the West Coast of North America. The 104-ft LOA steel ketch Hawaiian Chieftain was built in Hawaii in 1988 and spent about 15 years in charter service in Sausalito.

- latitude / chris

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Beautiful Bucket Weather

March 23, 2015 – St, Barth, French West Indies


The Bucket provides a rare chance to get up close and personal with some of the world's greatest megayachts. This photo shows Jeff, one of our crew from Northern California, getting a close-up shot of Marie, a Hoek 180 that was the overall winner of last year's Bucket.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

About the only thing that could have made the 20th annual St. Barth Bucket for megayachts more perfect would have been another couple of knots of wind. After all, the 36 boats from 91 to 194 feet in length were diverse and fantastic, the skies were blue, and the seas were flat. The average wind speed decreased over the course of the three days of racing from about 16 knots to about 11 knots. Even the behemoths weighing up to 550 metric tons move surprisingly well in such light conditions, but another five knots would have been better.

As if the spectacle of yachts worth tens of millions of dollars going at it weren’t enough, for three days the fleet and spectators were treated to the sight — and one full-on show — of nine World War II planes recreating bombing runs and dogfights. They came within 300 feet of us on ’ti Profligate, their radial engines roaring.

If you're a sailor, the Bucket certainly belongs on your bucket list.


Marin's Paul Cayard was flown in to serve as tactician aboard the Perini Navi 148 Rosehearty. He told the press that advance planning was critical, as it took 15 minutes to carry out some of the most basic sailing maneuvers. If Rosehearty looks big, she is. Nonetheless, she was 40 feet shorter than some of the other entries. Other Marin sailors racing in the Bucket included Kenny Keefe of KKMI and Patrick Adams of Mill Valley.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


Overall honors this year went to Visione, an R/P 146 that must be a dozen years old now. Her owner once had — and maybe still does have — a home in Novato. 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


We're not going to say that the crews of the megayachts were coddled, but when the tropic heat was on, the spinnaker trimmer on the Perini Navi 194 Seahawk had another crewmember provide him with shade from a properly colored umbrella. 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


Our favorite yacht in the regatta was the 137-ft Herreshoff topsail schooner Elena of London. That's soul sailing.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


There is nothing dangerous about working the bow of Elena. As long as you don't fall overboard or get whipped off by a flogging spinnaker the size of Emeryville. 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


Our second favorite entry was the 185-foot schooner Adela, one of the most active racing boats in the Caribbean. Her original bones were laid in 1903!

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / richard

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Latitude 38 Online or Offline

March 23, 2015 – Mill Valley, CA

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© 2017 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC / www.latitude38.com

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© 2017 John Mann

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Did We Give Them Good Charter Advice?

March 23, 2015 – The World of Chartering

“My wife Pam and I met on Baja Ha-Ha #2 back in 1995,” writes Jim Yares. “Obviously it was a great experience for us. But now we’d love to get Latitude’s advice on where to charter with our family. Our son is 17 and our daughter is 15. This would be our last big family adventure before our son heads off to college. The kids have loved our two-week trips to the Delta and weekends at Angel Island, but they have never done a bareboat charter. So what should it be, the British Virgins, Tahiti or Croatia?”

Our first choice would be the British Virgins because: 1) There are so many islands so close together. 2) It’s mostly if not all flat-water sailing. 3) There are many other things to do. No wonder it’s the charter capital of the universe.


Although the British Virgins don't allow highrise hotels or mega-resorts, you'll find plenty of tasteful waterside development, such as Pusser's Landing, at Soper's Hole, Tortola.

Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Our second choice would be Croatia, once again because there are lots of places to visit that are relatively close together. But our feeling is that if you’re going to go all the way over there to charter, it would be better if it could be part of a longer visit, such as if your kids were doing a summer backpacking trip around Europe a few years from now. There is nothing wrong with Tahiti, but we’d still put it third for a first-time charter.

We know lots of Latitude readers charter all over the world. What do you think of our recommendations?

- latitude / richard

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