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Ecuador Rebuilding; Caraquez Marina Open

June 3, 2016 – Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The Bahia de Caraquez peninsula, as it looked before the recent quakes. The entrance to the bay — the mouth of the Rio Chone — is seen beyond it.

© 2017 / ecuadorbeaches.org

As regular readers know, in recent years Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador, has become an important stopover point for international cruisers, many of whom  leave their boats in the secure marina there while they enjoy a stint of inland touring to such 'bucket list' sites as Machu Picchu and Cuzco, Peru.

As reported earlier, the area of Ecuador where this well-protected bay lies was rocked by a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 16, followed by at least two smaller quakes and an untold number of aftershocks, which left the whole region looking like a war zone, with many citizens so rattled they were reportedly afraid to be inside buildings for weeks after the temblors.


The quakes were devastating, but the rebuilding process in now well underway.

© 2017 Miquelitro

But today there's good news from Bahia Caraquez: Solo singlehander Jeff Hartjoy, who completed his nonstop lap around the planet there two weeks ago, reports: "We can already see the beginning of Bahia coming back with new construction occurring right behind the demolition of damaged buildings.   

"Puerto Amistad [marina] has reopened with a new owner, yet most of the old staff whom we like very much are still here. The good news is the cost of moorage has been reduced by almost $100 [per month] ... the dinner meal costs have been reduced by $2 each, and the cost of a 22-oz. beer is just $2.

"Of course, Bahia has a long way to go to get housing for everyone, yet we believe it will all happen over the next 5 years. We also want cruisers to be aware that we feel it is very safe here, and security for boats left here while you return to US or Canada, or travel inland, is very good."

- latitude / andy

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Classy Deadline the 15th


Not Rolling on the River

June 3, 2016 – Paris, France


Having risen 20 feet, the waters of the Seine have completely flooded one of the main thoroughfares on the Right Bank.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Normally you wouldn’t worry about weather's being a factor in sticking to a boat schedule — commercial or private — on the canals and rivers of France. But as anybody with a boat or commercial barge on the Seine, Marne and other rivers that feed into the Seine can tell you, these aren’t ordinary weather times.

After a brief spell of wonderfully warm weather, spring in Paris — and upriver — has consisted of either heavy rain and/or overcast. It seems as though the Wanderer and de Mallorca on Majestic Dalat haven’t seen much more than three hours of sun in three weeks. And it’s often been very cold — as in the low 40s at night and oftentimes not much warmer during the day.

But the continued heavy rain has been the devastating thing. As we write this on Friday afternoon, the Seine is running 20 feet over its normal height. This means the current flood conditions are tied for the fifth highest in recorded history, and not that many feet from the highest ever, which was back in 1910.

The result is the main thoroughfares that run along the Seine are up to 10 feet underwater. So are the lower embankments, used by so many for sitting in the sun, walking, biking, and making out. The many restaurant barges tied up along the Seine? All of them are inaccessible. You can’t get to the many tour boats either, and even if you could, the river is so high that they wouldn’t fit under the bridges.

Majestic Dalat is tied up to a floating dock in the Arsenal Marina just to the west of L’île Saint-Louis. Five days ago we took Greg Dorland and Debbie Macrorie of the Squaw Valley-based Catana 52 Escapade for a tour of Paris on our boat. In order to do that, we had to use the lock to lower our boat about 12 feet to the normal level of the Seine. And 12 feet up to get back into the Arsenal Marina.

Since then, the Seine has risen 20 feet, not only making it the same level as the water in the marina, but flooding it and then making it even higher.

As if that weren’t bad enough, some numbskull at the helm of a big tour boat rammed one of the brand new gates on the lock, something that will apparently take weeks to fix.


This is the écluse between the Arsenal Marina and the Seine, which is usually about 12 feet lower. The Seine has now risen so much it's flooding the marina. The green bits in the top right are the now-broken gates on the lock. 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Majestic Dalat and the other 200 or so boats tied up to the floating docks in the Arsenal are fine — assuming that the river doesn’t rise another four feet or so, which would have all the floating docks floating over the pilings. But the wide walkways around the marina are covered in three to six feet of water, so the terrific marina staff has had to build temporary bridges from the floating docks to the ladders that go up to street level. But the unisex bathrooms — male, female, transgender, whatever — on our side of the marina have been sealed in an attempt to keep the water from inundating them with about four feet of water.


We have no idea how debris this large — the blue thing is an overturned boat — had gotten past all the locks and debris nets upstream. It's seen here headed past Norte Dame.

 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Even if the river starts going down fairly quickly, we don’t imagine operations on the Seine and Marne are going to get back to normal anytime soon. Right now the current on the river is ferocious, and even if the Fluvial Police didn’t prevent you from going on the river, it would be suicidal. Then there is the matter of all the debris coming downstream. All you need is a little bit of it to jam the lock doors and the lock is out of operation until a diver can come and clear it out. If that weren’t enough, all the locks and lock motors are submerged, so it’s unclear how long it’s going to be before they are operational. And remember, it just takes one inoperable lock to clog up the whole canal/river system. Once the river system becomes operational, commercial traffic has absolute priority, and they are all way behind schedule.


These are highway stop signs and light signals on what's normally the dry Right Bank across from L’île Saint-Louis. 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The bottom line is if you’re coming over to your canal boat in northern France, or if you’ve booked one of those boat-and-bike tours, or a cruise on a big river boat, don’t expect to be able to stick to any previous schedule. Whatever was planned isn't going to happen soon.


All the restaurant boats that usually have gangways from shore, as well as all the tour boats, are out of action for an undetermined amount of time. 

Photo Courtesy Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While the Wanderer and de Mallorca would prefer that it was sunny and we could be on our way to Switzerland, we’re counting our blessings. After all, we’re ‘stuck’ in Paris, as great a place as there is in the world to be stuck — provided ISIS doesn’t start blowing up crowds of people when the Euro Cup starts on June 10.


Doña walks across the makeshift bridge between our floating dock and the base of the steps that lead up to the roadway. While doing so at a later time, she met a couple who have had a 15-meter barge in the Arsenal Marina for 15 years. Former members of the Corinthian YC, they are from Sausalito and found out about the barge from a Classy Classified in Latitude 38. And they had to beat out another couple from Marin to get it.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


The plaques on the right side of the half circle represent the highest levels of the Seine in modern times. The highest was in 1910, more than 100 years ago. The current flood is tied for fifth.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / richard

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Ad: Pirates Lair

June 3, 2016 – Sonora, CA



© 2017 Pirates Lair / store.pirateslair.com/MGR

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Delta Ditch Run Forecast

June 3, 2016 – Richmond-Stockton, CA

San Joaquin River from SSC

This is what the San Joaquin River looked like from Stockton Sailing Club yesterday, with 10 knots of breeze from the north in the noon hour.

© 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

As we write this, boats from all up and down the West Coast are converging on Richmond Yacht Club. The 151-boat fleet is massing in preparation for tomorrow's Delta Ditch Run from Richmond to Stockton Sailing Club. Among the entries are 24 multihulls, 14 cruisers, and 6 doublehanders.

Wind Map of San Pablo Bay

Moderate winds will be found in some parts of San Pablo Bay around noon. "Watch the fleets ahead to capitalize on better pressure," advises Mike Dvorak.

© 2017 Sail Tactics / www.sailtactics.com

"The 2016 Delta Ditch is going to be a hot one," predicts Mike Dvorak of Sail Tactics, "with Delta temperatures in the 90s. For the start of the race around 10:30-11:00 a.m., winds will be streaky and patchy, ranging from 5 to 10 knots out of the south." Dvorak recommends using the building flood between Point San Pablo and Point Pinole to get through the light spots. "In San Pablo Bay (SPB), winds will range between 6 and 13 knots, generally southerly but right-shifting to the SSW as you approach the Carquinez Strait. Due to the variable wind speeds in SPB, keep an eye on the fleets in front to find the best breeze."

Current map (noon)

Almost 0.7 knots of favorable current can be found near Point Pinole by choosing the right course, according to Sail Tactic's new tide forecast for San Pablo Bay.

© 2017 Sail Tactics / www.sailtactics.com

Dvorak thinks that winds in the Carquinez Strait will be a moderate 10-12 knots. "Our Outlook forecast shows generally stronger winds on the right (south) side of the Strait. Winds can possibly lighten to around 5-7 knots around Benicia due to topographic effects, so make sure to set your boat in a tactical position to get clear air through this section. Although the Sail Tactics forecast only extends to Martinez, the NOAA forecast is calling for only moderate winds on your way to Stockton. Due to the heatwave in the Delta, it probably won't be a romper of a year. Ice, sunscreen, shade, and cold beverages will be in high demand. As always, the Sail Tactics forecasts will be updated around 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning to make the most accurate forecast possible."

- latitude / chris

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