Photo of the Day

August 9 - Mexico

When somebody at Marina Paradise, just north of Puerto Vallarta, asked Rick and Liz Strand of the Ericson 37 what they should do about the snake on their docklines, the couple assumed they were talking about rubber snakes. Then it moved its head and flicked its tongue! Sixty more berths are being added at Paradise Marina, and it's apparently displacing some snakes. They slither up the pilings, onto the docks, and onto docklines. To our knowledge, nobody has found a snake in their boat yet - but they had found iguanas.

Photo Courtesy Rick Strand

Bad News Leads To Good News from Dana Point and Newport Beach

August 9 - Newport Beach

In the September issue of Latitude, you'll be able to read a letter from a Marina del Rey sailor who had a bad experience at Dana Point Harbor. He pulled in late one night with a bad engine, tied up at the pump-out station dock, then went looking for the Harbor Patrol. While he was off looking for them, they came by. After a short search for the skipper, they towed his boat away to impound. In our view, it was a case of mistakes being made by both the skipper and the Harbor Patrol, and a premature tow. But we'll cover that in Latitude.

There's good that's come of it, however. Because of the incident, we had a very long and pleasant conversation with Captain Marty Kasules, who is the head of the Orange County Sheriff Department's Marine Divison - and therefore oversees the Harbor Patrols in Newport Beach and Dana Point. Kasules told us in no uncertain terms that he's a boating advocate, and wants all mariners to feel as welcome in Dana Point as they traditionally have in Newport Beach. Here's the good part. He says that he's been trying to think of ways that Newport and Dana Point can be doing something for Mexico-bound cruisers in the fall and winter. He's not sure what yet, but in the short term he wants all southbound cruisers to know they'll have a place to stay in either Newport or Dana Point.

Photo Latitude/Richard

"Between our guest berths and moorings, we've never had to turn anyone away at Newport Beach - not even before the start of the Newport-Ensenada Race. There's also a free anchorage. In addition, we've got 48 guest slips at Dana Point, which are the most reasonably priced on the coast. They are usually all taken in the summer, but come October and November there is often room. It's about $14 a night for a 34-footer, and it's possible to stay for 10 days. It's also possible to anchor inside Dana Point and to the south of the harbor - although the latter wouldn't be pleasant in the summer because of all the jet-skis."

Captain Kasules also wants everyone to know that if they feel they weren't treated well at Newport Beach or Dana Point, they should contact him directly at either or (949) 673-1025. Or if they happen to stop by Newport, to feel free to swing by his office and say 'hello'. When the head honcho has an attitude like that, you can be sure we'll be stopping at either Newport or Dana Point on our way south.


August 9 - Newport

See the above photo of Newport Beach? We just realized that the blue boat on the right hand side is Bonaire, the Moody 65 that was recently abandoned by her Orange Coast College Sailing Program crew on the way back from Hawaii after the mast step failed. Her fate is currently unknown. Has the mast finally punched a hole in the bottom of the boat, causing her to sink? Or is she still afloat? Nobody knows.

In the days after the boat was abandoned, a number of folks have wondered why the crew just didn't cut the mast down. A number of delivery skippers have explained that's the kind of thing that sounds easy, but is not only very difficult, but also very dangerous. We think any suggestion that the skipper and crew bailed prematurely are out of line. It needs to be remembered that they all stayed with the boat for two days after the step failed, and the skipper and mate stayed at least another day. This was clearly not a case of the skipper chickening out and running at the first sign of danger. We'll have the full story in the September issue.

Ten Year Circumnavigation

August 9 - Seattle

"The other day we saw our first Latitude in a long time - because we just returned from a 10-year circumnavigation," write Jim and Lyn Foley of the Valiant 40 Sanctuary. "We saw a note about West Coast circumnavigators, and since we qualify, here are some details: We sailed under the Golden Gate from Alameda in April 1991. Instead of immediately heading south, we turned right and spent from April until September going north. We slowly made our way to Desolation Sound, where we decided we didn't want to winter in British Colombia, so we headed south and celebrated Christmas of '91 in Turtle Bay, Baja.

From then on, one thing led to another, and our 'east about' route eventually included all of Central America, the Panama Canal, San Blas Islands, Colombia, up to the Yucatan, Texas, Florida, across the Atlantic to the Azores, and then on to Ireland. From then on, we followed a winding path into the Med, parts of Europe and North Africa, the Middle East, down the Red Sea, over to Southeast Asia via India, then back to USA from Japan via the Aleutians. We spent the winter of 2000 at Yakutat, Alaska, and sailed down the Inside Passage this spring. Having sailed to 40 countries, we crossed our track at Lund, British Colombia, completing the circle on June 29. It was 10 years and two months after we'd set out. Sanctuary is now in Shilshole Marina, Seattle. We are thankful to have had this adventure/cruise/voyage of a lifetime."

Oracle Racing

August 9 - Southern California

As we were down in Southern California last week, we decided to drive by Oracle Racing's compound at Ventura. There was no indication they were sluffing off, as both of the old AmericaOne boats and their support boats were out doing more testing. In addition, one of the old Aloha syndicate boats with the Wyland painted hull was also on site.

Photo Latitude/Richard

Two Harbors

August 9 - Catalina

This is what Two Harbors looked like in April of this year. We sure hope business has picked up. Just kidding, of course.

Photo Latitude/Richard


August 9 - 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

Weather Updates

August 9 - 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 Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For another view, see

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