'Lectronic Latitude

July 19 - 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 19 - Chagos Archipelago

You like lobster? A good place to find big ones is the Chagos Archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This young girl on a French cruising boat holds up a good example.

The idyllic Chagos were 'depopulated' about 25 years ago when the U.S. wanted to establish a military base at nearby Diego Garcia - without anyone around to spy on them. So the Brits, who controlled the land at the time, bought all the residents out and sent them packing. When cruisers arrived shortly thereafter, they found entire communities completely ready for day to day life - with nobody there. While the orchards, machine shops and such have now deteriorated, it's still one of the great cruising stops in the world.

University of Hawaii Meteorology Graphic

Click here to see enlarged graphic.

Weather Updates

July 19 - Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean Weather

Pacific Cup boats that are well south of the rhumb line are finally getting a decent breeze, while the trades are good and strong near the Islands. Finally most of the fleet should be moving.

California Coast Weather

Pity the poor Pacific Cup dropouts. After a week of no wind, they're heading back to the coast only to be getting nailed with steady 20 to 30 knots winds on the beam. If it wasn't for bad luck, they wouldn't have any luck at all.
For details see: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml

Pacific Sea State

With the wind up, the seas are building along the California coast, but nothing too bad yet. 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

All quiet in the Pacific. All quiet in the Atlantic. It's getting spooky.


July 19 - Alaska

'Nalu IV' Reported Overdue in Alaska

On July 15 an alert went out on Inmarsat C from the Coast Guard in Juneau advising that "the sailing vessel 'Nalu IV', a 48-foot wood sloop, has been reported overdue on a trip from Japan to Adak, Alaska. Their last known position was 50-39N 171-14W. All vessels are requested to keep a sharp lookout. If sighted, call RCC Juneau."

'Nalu IV', of course, is the sloop owned by Jim and Diana Jessie of the Oakland YC. They did a seven-year circumnavigation, and once that was done raced from Mexico to the Philippines. They've been in the Far East for the last three years. The Jessies have written several cruising books and have spoken at yacht clubs and boat shows.

The Coast Guard got on the case when 'Illywacker', an Aussie boat that had arrived in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and had been staying in touch with 'Nalu IV', reported a broken radio transmission. 'Nalu' had been telling 'Illywacker' they were in 40-knot winds and big seas when the transmission suddenly stopped.

The Coast Guard, usually willing to err on the side of safety, dispatched a C-130 from Kodiak, Alaska, to fly the 1,100 miles to 'Nalu's last known position. After flying along the boat's projected course, the Coasties spotted 'Nalu IV' 40 miles south of Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands, which is about halfway between Japan and the West Coast. After establishing radio contact, the Jessies reported everything was fine.

Whew! And a big thanks, once again, to the United States Coast Guard.


July 19 - 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 19 - Pacific Ocean

Finally! Just as terminal boredom was setting in, the wind has apparently reappeared in the middle of the Pacific. "We are now in 15 knot trade winds! Life is good again!" wrote 'Pegasus' owner Philippe Kahn yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon on his website http://www.starsail.com. The breeze filled in too late, however, for five more boats who dropped out yesterday: 'Wildflower', 'Victoria', 'Mystic', 'White Eagle', and 'Beyond'. Faced with dwindling supplies and perhaps even job responsibilities, these crews threw in the towel - and ironically may now be getting pasted on their return trip to California.

'La Diana' has fallen off her torrid pace, but still has a 170-mile cushion over the next boat in the fleet. Other class leaders in the slow race are: 'Diminished Capacity' (Div. A.); 'Alicante' (Div. B); 'Punk Dolphin' (Doublehanded II); 'Elan' (Div. C); 'Eric's Tuition' (Div. D); 'Osprey' (Div. E); 'Lina' (Div. F); 'Triumph' (Div. G); 'Rage' (Div. H). The overall projected winner is currently 'Lina', though the proverbial fat lady isn't even in the building yet, let alone begun singing. Surf to http://www.pacificcup.org/ for today's position reports, which should start showing the three big boats 'playing through' about now.

Grand Prix Circuit

July 19 - Planet Earth

Doug Baker's Andrews 70+ 'Magnitude' big-dogged a fleet of ULDB 70s in the Millennium 600 Race (Port Huron, Michigan, to Chicago), knocking 24 hours off the record in the process. Corrected time honors are still being computed and, according to tactician Dee Smith, aren't likely to go to 'Magnitude' . . . Meanwhile, Roy Disney is currently sailing his R/P 75 'Pyewacket' at Cork Week in Ireland, a 630-boat spectacle. . . 30 boats (including seven enduring the Pac Cup) are now descending on Honolulu to sail in the Kenwood Cup on Aug. 1-8. The defending Kiwis are looking like the team to beat again.

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