'Lectronic Latitude

July 18 - Mill Valley

It's deadline here at the print version, so there will be minimalist 'Lectronic Latitudes for this week. Before sure to check out the 'back issues' of 'Lectronic, most of which have timeless material.

Photo of the Day

July 18 - Fiji

Everything is tranquil down in Fiji judging from the look of 'What's Up Doc', a Crowther cat on the hook in the beautiful blue waters. Looks can be deceiving, however. While the coup is over, the future remains uncertain. The democratically elected ethnic government has been ousted, but the coup leaders are ready to take up arms again if they don't like the new government appointed by the Council of Chiefs. Meanwhile, New Zealand, one of Fiji's biggest partners, has imposed sanctions, and Australia and the U.S. might well follow.

While Fiji remains in chaos politically, it's peaceful on the hook at any one of the thousands of the islands.

Photo Courtesy 'What's Up Doc'

University of Hawaii Meteorology Graphic

Click here to see enlarged graphic.

Weather Updates

July 18 - Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean Weather

Yesterday crews from Pacific Cup boats racing to Hawaii reported that it was so calm they were swimming off their boats. It's going to be that light again for boats on the rhumb line.

California Coast Weather

Some of the Pacific Cup boats have dropped out and are heading back to San Francisco. They may be facing 25-knot headwinds trying to do it. For details see: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml

Pacific Sea State

The seas are very large in the Southern Ocean, but flat on the way to Hawaii and off Mexico. Check it out at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, check out: http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.

Tropical Disturbances

It's still quiet in the tropics.


July 18 - PV to PV

The Cost of Cruising

Roy Wessbecher of the Columbia 34 'Breta' kept an exact record of all expenses during his circumnavigation. "In the four years, nine months and nine days it took me to sail from Puerto Vallarta to Puerto Vallarta, I spent an average of $14.66 a day. That's $445 a month, $5,350 a year, or a total of $25,300. I had budgeted $20 day, so I came out way ahead. Those numbers include every single expenditure. I did two bottom jobs, one in New Zealand and one in Thailand. I had no major breakdowns and didn't fly home." Not surprisingly, Wessbecher is about to take off on a second circumnavigation. See the August issue of Latitude 38 for the whole story.


July 18 - Cyberspace and the Pacific Ocean

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - yacht reports - at http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/


West Marine Pacific Cup

July 18 - Pacific Ocean

Seventy-one boats out of 80 starters are still crawling along in the eleventh Pacific Cup. Five more boats pulled the plug yesterday: four are motorsailing back to the coast ('Omega 1', 'Tango', 'Farallone Flyer' and 'Stray Cat Blues'), while 'El Tiburon' is motoring to Hawaii. With some boats still only a quarter of the way across after a week - and with no sign of wind on the horizon - we'd bet the ranch that several more boats will withdraw by today's roll call. The Kaneohe YC only wanted 70 boats in their harbor anyway, so it looks like they'll get their wish!

The doublehanded Contessa 35 'La Diana' continues along at the head of the pack - as the only boat to have broken free of the Great Pacific Parking Lot, she's now up to 250 miles ahead of the pack and is listed as first overall. What a feeling that must be for Fred and Brendan Huffman! The lead in the other nine classes changes daily, and remains of dubious value anyway until the boats begin converging on the finish line - which at this rate will be more than a week from now. Check out http://www.pacificcup.org/ for details on this slooooow race - good stuff such as catching a 30-pound tuna and going swimming in the middle of the ocean.

Will the Kaneohe YC have to postpone the July 27 awards ceremony? Will this be the slowest Pac Cup ever? Will this rival the epic '79 TransPac, which was the grimmest ocean race ever? Stay tuned!

The 'Pegasus' gang had time to cool off in the ocean yesterday.
Photo courtesy 'Pegasus'
Click on photo for link to their Website for more.

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