Photos of the Day

December 11 - Sea of Cortez, Mexico

It's been our good fortune to have visited many of the best sailing areas in the world, and there's none we know of that has better sunsets than the Sea of Cortez. They are spectacular! And the sunrises aren't bad, either. Check out this one captured by Mike Miller of the Vanguard 32 Uhuru as he was leaving Agua Verde to sail across the Sea to the mainland.

Here's Mike later in the day, singlehanding in pleasant breezes.

Photos Courtesy Mike Miller

Big Yard for Really Big Boats

December 11 - Richmond

Bill Bodle, past owner of Stone Boat Yard, and Rick Wood, past owner of Sanford Wood Boat Yard, have teamed up to open the Bay's first dedicated large yacht facility. Located on the Richmond Canal, the two have improved 760 feet of shoreline that was once a transshipment point for sugar barges offloading on the Bay. The sugar dock, once serviced by rail for bulk sugar deliveries, burned to the water in a large fire over a decade ago.

The facilities will provide docking for boats up to any length - over 200 feet - and a draft of up to 34 feet. That should take care of most sailboats. While not a boatyard, the facility has a large crane to facilitate the stepping and unstepping of masts, the loading of engines and cargo, and that kind of thing. With an increasing number of large yachts being built worldwide, and more of those visiting the West Coast, San Francisco Bay has been one of the more difficult layovers because of limited deep water berthing.

Photos Latitude/John Arndt

Sydney to Hobart Healthy

December 11 - New South Wales, Australia

Despite several years of rough - even tragic - Sydney to Hobart Races, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia reports that they've received 76 entries for the 57th running of their prestigious event. The race starts on Boxing Day, December 26. This year's fleet is of very high quality, with yachts entered from many foreign countries. It will also include the boats participating in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Bentley's Opinions No Longer Needed by Volvo

December 11 - Sydney, Australia

As reported in 'Lectronic Latitude on November 30, Peter Bentley raised a ruckus by writing an opinion piece suggesting that Amer Sports Too - the women's entry in the Volvo Ocean Race - were "cruising" rather than "racing." Bentley's piece appeared in, for which he writes. It just so happens that has a contract with the Volvo Race for providing editorial coverage, and there's the rub.

Apparently, the piece got Amer Sports Too skipper Lisa MacDonald - whom Bentley had accused of wasting time on cooking rather than running the boat - bent out of shape. According to dock talk, MacDonald - after enlisting the help of Nautor, which has two of the seven boats in the event - immediately began to lean on the Volvo Race to do something about Bentley. She was apparently successful, for Bentley, despite having excellent nautical journalism credentials, has been sacked from the Volvo editorial team. Not for anything he wrote for the Volvo site, mind you, but for what he wrote for Assuming that all the dock talk is accurate, this is a major gaffe and embarrassment for all involved, from MacDonald, to Nautor, to Volvo to

The real irony is that many people - including some of the crew aboard MacDonald's boat - think Bentley was correct. Two months ago we published an excerpt of a letter from Melissa Purdy of Tiburon and Amer Sports Too, in which she expressed displeasure that they were sometimes "sailing like girls." And in an interview on the Volvo Web site last weekend, our old friend Emma Westmacott said that in the last Volvo (then known as the Whitbread) the women aboard EF Language pushed their boat harder. "I'm quite a pushy person," said Emma, "and Lisa often says 'chill'." Westmacott says she would have liked to have seen Amer Sports Too pushed harder in the Southern Ocean.

Fossett on Full Bore

December 11 - St. Malo, France

It was the case of 'another sail and another world record' on Monday for Steve Fossett and his 125-ft maxi cat PlayStation. After Fossett and his crew had been honored at an awards dinner in Paris on Sunday night, they decided to go after the 138-mile Cowes, England, to St. Malo, France, record of 6 hours and 49 minutes - held by Tracy Edwards of Royal & Sun Alliance (ex-ENZA). Despite lighter than ideal weather at the start, and missing some of their key crew, they averaged 21.69 knots to break the old record by by almost an hour.

"The weather wasn't quite ideal," said Fossett. "Especially at the start when we had a 10-kt NE wind that meant we were slow out of the Solent jibing eight times. We only averaged 16 kts for the first hour and so spent the rest of the trip catching up to the record. But the mild sea state and average winds of 18 knots meant it worked out well in the end."


December 11 - 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

December 11 - 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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