Photo of the Day

Quiz Time Again

December 15 -
Mystery Marina

It's photo quiz time again. Rock our world by identifying this famous sailing port. We can't think of anywhere in the world where a marina is so close to a major airport. And no, it's not Marina del Rey.


The Mother of All Carnivals

December 15 - Port of Spain, Trinidad

What's with the folks in this photo? Way back in 1991, cruisers Rich and Carol of Nomaer (left) and Lois and Merle of 'Interlude', were tied up at the Trinidad YC club. Like everyone else on the island in February, they got all dressed up for Carnival.

What's Carnival? It's the the final festivity before the commencement of the austere month and a half of Lent. The historical origin of carnival is obscure, but possibly has its roots in a primitive festival honoring the beginning of the new year and the rebirth of nature - although it is also possible that the beginnings of carnival in Italy may be linked to the pagan Saturnalian festival of ancient Rome. Although practiced in many different countries around the world, this festival takes on a distinctly Caribbean flavor in Trinidad, which hosts the Mother of all Caribbean Carnivals. Beginning with J'ouvert on the Sunday night before Ash Wednesday, the streets of Port of Spain, the capital city, fill with jubilant celebrants. J'ouvert is infamous for the appearance of large carts of mud, which participants fling all over themselves and each other.

Throughout the days of celebration, large trucks carrying bands playing soca music, or steel pan orchestras, drive slowly through the streets with costumed dancers following behind. People from all over the Caribbean pour in to listen to music, dance, drink, and enjoy the height of madness. Competitions for best band, best costume, best calypso and soca songs, best steel orchestra, etc., are also held during the festival. Near midnight on Tuesday, the religious observances begin for many, as Ash Wednesday signals the beginning of Lent and a significantly more subdued lifestyle.

Rich and Carol of Nomaer and Lois and Merle of Interlude sported 'oil spill' costumes for the '91 Carnival.

Photo Courtesy Interlude

A typical local's Carnival costume

Photo Trinidad and Tobago Tourist Board

The height of Carnival in Trinidad in 2001 will be February 26-27. Don't miss it! Say, does anybody know where the crews of 'Nomaer' and 'Interlude are now'?


December 15 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at


The Fate of 'Team Phillips'

December 15 - North Atlantic Ocean

Was the radical Adrian Thompson designed 120-foot wave piercing catamaran 'Team Phillips' - that Pete Goss and his six crew chose to abandon Sunday on the stormy North Atlantic - a design failure? At a news conference after arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia, aboard a German container ship, Goss told reporters that just the opposite was true. He said that the Force 12 winds and apartment house sized waves from conflicting directions were as bad as anything he'd seen in the Southern Ocean, and that were it not for the great design, he and his crew would have never made it. Despite having struck both sails and dragging all their lines and sea anchors, they were still hitting up to 29 knots and having to steer for their lives. Goss also said that at times they had a bow wave off the boat's central pod - which is normally 17 feet above sea level. Having been in everything from flat calm to Force 12, Goss used the word "brilliant" to describe the design.

What happens to 'Team Phillips' now? Part of her port bow was knocked off as a result of slamming into the container ship during the rescue, and one of her masts slapped against the ship, so it may be damaged also. Basically, the condition of the boat - which is valued at millions of dollars - is unknown. There have been rumors of private salvage attempts, but such attempts present major problems: First, the boat is more than 600 miles from land in terrible sea conditions that aren't expected to improve significantly for a week, and second, the lightning fast boat might be impossible to tow. Historically, salvage vessels haven't had much luck bringing in large multihulls.

For more information, see Tim Jeffery's interview with Goss for Quokka Sailing at, as well as Jeffery's and Philip Delves Broughton's report for Sport Telegraph at

'Team Legato' Photo Just In

December 15 - On The Race Circuit

Photo by Dave Giles/Team Legato/PPL

This just in, the first photos of Tony Bullimore's 'Team Legato' entry for The Race. Until very recently, Brit Tony Bullimore was considered a longshot to get the necessary funding to stretch the old 'ENZA' to 102 feet and get her a new rig to be halfway competitive. It didn't happen until nearly the very end, but Legato of Silicon Valley finally came
through for him. It's going to be a tall order to be competitive, however, as all the other boats have been shaken down quite a bit, while Tony and crew are only just now getting used to their boat. If there's any surprise from this photo, it's the lack of buoyancy in the bows, something that might be desperately needed when going down the mineshafts of the Southern Ocean.

Weather Updates

December 15 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.:

Pacific Ocean Weather

You can view the University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite picture by clicking here.

Pacific Sea State

Seas are normal in the Pacific. But you might check at:
For another view, see

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