Latitude home Latitude 38


Previous 'Lectronic

'Lectronic Latitude Latest 'Lectronic
Subscribe to LectronicLatitude to receive emails when 'Lectronic Latitude is updated.

'Pirate' Attack in Western Carib

February 5, 2016 – Offshore of Nicaragua's East Coast

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Isolated incident or new trouble spot? Colombia's Isla Providencia lies 120 miles off the Nicaraguan coast. In the interest of keeping plenty of sea room off the lee shore of Nicaragua's east coast, many mariners on north-south transits pass near Providencia and its sister island San Andreas. 

Photo Courtesy Google Earth
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Many Eastern Caribbean sailors were shocked in late December by reports of two separate incidents of modern-day piracy that took place off Trinidad. Last Wednesday, another attempted act of 'piracy' was reported, this time in the Western Caribbean off Nicaragua, near the Colombian island of Providencia.

According to the professional mariners' website,, while en route from Colón, Panama, to Roatan, Honduras, the Nordlund 70 motoryacht Golden Eagle thwarted an attempted attack by outrunning her pursuers.

"We are all fortunately okay, but the 60-ft steel fishing vessel tried to ram and board us," Golden Eagle's owner Andrea Peterson explained. "A chase ensued, and we were able to outrun them going full speed at 14 knots. I think we lull[ed] ourselves into a false sense of security cruising the Caribbean Sea." The motoryacht's crew included Peterson’s four-year-old son. US Coast Guard District 7 in Miami, FL, is investigating. 

- latitude / andy

Bookmark and Share

Latitude 38 Crew List

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Training Ship Used to Smuggle Drugs

February 5, 2016 – Cartagena, Colombia

Here on the West Coast, a great variety of high-volume smuggling attempts have been discovered — including open panga-style fishing boats with bales of pot piled higher than their gunwales and semi-submersible submarines carrying tons of cocaine. But a recent smuggling attempt on the East Coast took an entirely new approach: According to Reuters, Colombian smugglers paid $32,000 in bribes to two midshipmen aboard the Royal Spanish Navy's 371-ft tall ship Juan Sebastián de Elcano for their role in bringing 17 lbs of coke and heroin from Cartagena, Colombia, to New York City.

Juan Sebastián Elcano

The 3,673-ton Juan Sebastián de Elcano under sail. According to Wikipedia she has covered more distance than any other sailing vessel — more than 2,000,000 miles.

© 2018 /

Although the incident took place in 2014, the former midshipmen, Jorge Luis Hoayeck and Jorge Alberto Siado-Alvarez, were arrested late last month in Colombia and are expected to be extradited to the US soon. Seven other participants in the smuggling scheme were charged in 2014. Reuters reports that an additional 280 lbs of coke were recovered from the ship when it returned from New York to its Spanish homeport of San Fernando, Cádiz.

The third largest tall ship in the world, the Elcano was launched in 1928 and has logged more than two million ocean miles since — probably more than any other cadet-training vessel. Named after the captain who completed the first circumnavigation of the earth after Ferdinand Magellan died, the Elcano's four-masted rig makes her one of the most stunningly beautiful sailing vessels in the world. Her plans were used to construct the Chilean Navy's sistership Esmeralda in 1954.

- latitude / andy

Bookmark and Share

Ad: BAMA Doublehanded Farallones

February 5, 2016 – San Francisco, CA

 BAMA's Doublehanded Farallones Race is a simple yet challenging course with only one mark to round. The deadline to enter is March 24; 'sweet' early registration ends Feb. 14!

© 2018 Jan Roletto /

There's plenty of time to make plans and prepare your crew and boat for BAMA's 37th Doublehanded Farallones Race on Saturday, March 26, to the (MORC friendly!) requirements defined in the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions including online education for both crew. No need to worry about the absence of Safety at Sea Seminars before the race — they are recommended but not required. The sweet early registration discount ends February 14. The skippers' meeting, on March 23, 7 p.m., at Oakland YC, will focus on lessons learned from the past and how new requirements help to address them. For details on the agenda and speakers from the US Coast Guard Waterways, VTS and Command Center, see the 37th Doublehanded Farallones web page.

The popular demo workshop on DSC will be repeated, so bring your DSC-VHF handheld. Help with GPS downloads, Jibeset, and a review of new resources to improve safety will be available when the doors open at 5:30 p.m. DHF 2016 shirts will be at the awards meeting.

Check the 15-day forecast here. See for updates and details. Contact us by email or at (650) 394-6343.

Bookmark and Share

Investigation in Megayacht Mishap

February 5, 2016 – Cayman Islands

The bigger the boat, the bigger the ground tackle, and the bigger the ground tackle the bigger the potential for environmental damage. At least that seems to have been the case on January 14 when billionaire Paul Allen's 303-ft yacht Tatoosh reportedly destroyed 14,000 square feet of "protected" coral reef in the Cayman Islands — an area a third the size of a football field. 


Tatoosh at anchor.

© 2018 Seastar357 / Wikimedia Commons

A statement from Allen's Seattle-based company, Vulcan, explained that the yacht's anchoring position was "explicitly directed" by local port personnel. His crew claims that they relocated the yacht immediately when alerted by a diver that Tatoosh's chain was damaging coral. Allen's people are said to be cooperating with local authorities as an investigation into the incident continues. One report claims that 80% of the coral in that section of the environmental preserve was damaged. 

The sad irony to this report is that just last year Allen pledged ongoing support to "stabilize and restore coral reefs" through Vulcan's philanthropic efforts. It is unclear whether Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, was aboard at the time of the incident. Like many of the world's most expensive yachts, Tatoosh is registered in the Cayman Islands.

- latitude / andy

Bookmark and Share

Ad: Sale Boat of the Day

February 5, 2016 – San Diego, CA

The 1930 John Alden Schooner {Design No. 458}
Offered At $395,000

On the market after 30 years of ownership, this meticulously maintained schooner is available for sale. Owner recently invested in structural upgrades including a new stern, frames, floors and new chain plates. Dauntless has been featured on covers and issues of Sailing Magazine, Wooden Boat, Nautical Quarterly and Santana magazines.

For specs, photos and opportunity to view this classic yacht, please contact:

Wayne Emme, 619-756-5170 •

© 2018 Ensign Yachts /

Bookmark and Share

Top | Index of Stories | Previous 'Lectronic Edition
Copy this link and paste it into your RSS reader 'Lectronic RSS feed
How to submit your own story, visit here


'Lectronic Latitude | Download the Magazine | Crew List & Party
Calendar | Letters | Changes in Latitudes | Features
Classy Classifieds | Place a Classy Ad | Advertisers' Links | Display Advertising
Links | New Stuff | Subscriptions | Distribution | Contact Us | Home
  The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine.
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC. All rights reserved.