Photos of the Day

Small Vessels Must Give Way

October 3 - San Francisco Bay
As everyone knows, small recreational vessels have to give way to large commercial vessels in restricted waters - such as San Francisco Bay. As everyone also knows, skippers of small boats often don't give way.

For instance, we were out sailing along the Cityfront last Saturday when we saw the skipper of the 26-foot Pearson Ariel in the accompanying photograph sail right in front of the very large container vessel 'Madison Mærsk', seen in the second accompanying photograph. In order to warn the small boat of the danger he was creating, the bar pilot aboard the 'Madison Mærsk' sounded the ship's horn five times. Put bluntly, this means "Stay the f--k out of my way!" But still the little boat kept coming. So the bar pilot sounded his horn another five times. And another five times and still another five times. But nothing would prevent the small boat skipper from maintaining his ill-advised course. We can only assume that the skipper of the small boat thought five toots of a ship's horn means, "Your boat is looking especially lovely today."

Despite having to sail through the big ship's wind shadow, the little boat crossed about 100 feet in front of the huge ship. Nonetheless, it had been a very dumb move, one that jeopardized the safety of the sailboat's crew, the ship's crew if they had to make an emergency stop, and the ability of recreational boats to continue to enjoy the use of the Central Bay for recreational purposes. Avoiding all of the above was a simple as the skipper of the sailboat either pointing a little higher starting a mile before, or throwing in a short tack.

The big mistake that small boat skippers make when sailing in front of large ships is thinking they are the only boat on the Bay. In truth, pilots on the big ships often have to work their way through a number of recreational boats heading across their path. If two or three small boats refuse to give way as required by law, the pilot can be put into an almost impossible situation.

We went out sailing on Sunday, too, and once again saw some strange behavior on what also appeared to be a 26-ft Pearson Ariel - it may have even been the same one - this time at the mouth of Raccoon Strait. One or more males, appearing to be in state of complete buck nakedness, and perhaps even extreme inebriation, seemed to be running from bow to stern of the boat, yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs. We don't think anybody has anything against sailing naked, but there's a time and place for everything. The mouth of Raccoon Strait late on a Sunday afternoon, when many families are heading back to their berths, isn't the best place.

Photos Latitude/Richard

The Pearson Ariel is a great little boat, but some folks are beginning to soil their reputations.

Weather Updates

October 3 - Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

Tropical Weather

Former Hurricane Joyce is now moving across the waters of the Southern Caribbean with 25 knots or less. Rain is now the biggest danger. Meanwhile, former hurricane Keith is stalled over Belize where it is dumping prodigious amounts of rain. If Keith gets back over water again, he may be re-energized and head for Texas, perhaps with hurricane force winds. For more on the Atlantic hurricane season, go to

Tropical Storm Olivia has formed at 15°N, well off the coast of Mexico, and appears to be headed to the northwest and more open water. She is currently blowing at 40 knots.

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay 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 new University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite picture by clicking here.

Pacific Sea State

Seas are normal in the Eastern Pacific. Check out today's sea state at:
For another view, see


Mexico-Only Crew List Party

October 3 - Alameda

Don't forget the Mexico-Only Crew List and Ha-Ha Kick-Off and Reunion Party tonight at the Encinal YC in Alameda starting at 6 p.m. The Coast Guard will give an in-the-water helicopter rescue demonstration, we'll be setting off liferafts, 'Profligate' will be available for boarding, and several vendors will be there, including Qualcomm-Globalstar, which will be demonstrating their satellite telephone. Oh yeah, there will be lots of skippers looking for crew and crew looking for skippers. See you there!

For more details on the Crew Party and directions on how to get there, see


October 3 - 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


'AmericaTrue' to One World Challenge

October 3 - Tiburon

In what isn't much of surprise, AmericaTrue announced yesterday that they are selling 'AmericaTrue', USA-51 to Craig MacCaw's Seattle-based One World Challenge for the 2003 America's Cup. The AmericaTrue non-profit organization, however, will continue. With proceeds from the sale of USA-51, AmericaTrue will be able to expand its True Youth program and its support of other professional sailing programs. Plans also include a new America's Cup campaign in 2006.

"Our mission has always been to win professional sailing events with co-ed teams while giving back to society through our work with at-risk kids and promoting sailing at a grass roots level," said Dawn Riley, who was the first woman to lead an America's Cup syndicate. AmericaTrue COO and supporter, Chris Coffin added, "With the sale of our 2000 AC assets, we will have additional funds available to expand our non-America's Cup efforts."

Riley's one-boat AmericaTrue effort representing the San Francisco YC was a surprising success right up until the challenger semi-finals in Auckland, and attracted a large and enthusiastic following. It will be a shame they won't be in Auckland in 2003 for the next Cup, but with the billionaires such as MacCaw and Oracle's Larry Ellison willing to fund syndicates to the tune of $100 million, even traditional corporate sponsorship isn't enough. There will be far fewer syndicates in Auckland for the next cup.

AmericaTrue team members Phil Kaiko, Heiner Meldner and Kurt Jordan, technicians Martin Dack and Richard Whitaker as well as boat builders Peter Sowman and his building team, and sailor Kelvin Harrap, have also signed up with One World Challenge. "We are very fortunate to have these experienced individuals from AmericaTrue's historic 2000 effort added to our Team" said Gary Wright, CEO of One World Challenge. The Seattle-based effort purchased Dennis Connor's 'Stars 'n Stripes' in May.

For complete details, visit:

AmericaTrue in Auckland
Photo Tom Zinn

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