Photos of the Day

December 14 - Banderas Bay, Mexico

 The Photo of the Day is of Jean of Mistress, Cherie of Scirocco, Rich of Still Searching, Anne of Cassiopeia, and Doña of Profligate dancing on the go-go deck of Profligate, which was having a fun spinnaker reach earlier this month in company with John Haste's Perry 52 Little Wing in the background on Banderas Bay.

A couple of days later, Blair and Joan Grinols joined the fun with their Capricorn Cat. It was such a kick having the three big cats carry chutes in company, that we smelled a fund-raising opportunity for just before the Banderas Bay Regatta March 14-17. We ran the idea by Terrance O'Rourke, the head of the Banderas Bay Regatta, who gave his enthusiastic support.

As such, we're inviting as many boats as possible to join Profligate, Little Wing, and Capricorn Cat at Punta de Mita, Banderas Bay, on the morning of March 12. After some surfing and then some lunch and cervezas at one of the terrific palapa restaurants on the beach, everyone will be shuttled out to the boats for the spinnaker run back to Paradise Marina. It's about 12 miles, and the afternoon wind usually blows at 10 to 15 knots. You can't imagine conditions that would be any more dreamlike, as the additional photos attest.

Profligate, Little Wing and Capricorn Cat intend to raise money by having each of their crew contribute $25 to the charity to be chosen by Terrance O'Rourke. As the event draws closer, we intend to have sign-up sheets for both crew and additional boats that may want to participate. We hope that you can join us! For it will not only be a worthy cause, but a booty-shaking spinnaker run on the warm, blue waters of Banderas Bay.

Photos Latitude/Richard

America's Cup Preview

December 14 - Auckland, NZ

There's going to be some interesting action in New Zealand February 11-17, as Team New Zealand will be part of an international regatta in America's Cup boats against Britain's GBR Challenge, Seattle's OneWorld Challenge, and Sweden's Victory Challenge. But folks will have to be careful not to make too much of it. For one thing, nobody will be using new boats or technology. Second, the most powerful challengers for the Cup, Oracle Racing, Prada, and Alinghi, have declined to participate. Still, it will be fun.

Racing Rules Too Complex?

December 14 - America's Race Courses

In a guest editorial in today's Scuttlebutt, ISAF President Paul Henderson said that he thinks the racing rules "are too complex" for sailors who just want to race for the fun of it. (And we think he's right.) As such, he said he cheered when he read a simple set of rules proposed by Don Becker, US Sailing Senior Judge. They are very similar to the Beer Can Ten Commandments created years ago by Rob Moore, Latitude 38's Racing Editor. Here are the 'Commandments' for strictly recreational racers, as proposed by Becker:

1) Port keeps clear of starboard. 2) Windward keeps clear of leeward 3) The boat astern keeps clear of the boat ahead. 4) A boat Tacking or Jibing keeps clear of one that is not. 5) Avoid collisions. Racing Rules are defensive to prevent collisions not offensive racing tactics. 6) If you gain right of way or change course, give the other boat time to keep clear. 7) The inside boat(s) at two boat lengths from the mark is entitled to room to round the mark. 8) A boat that is backing up or not racing keeps clear. 9) If you have violated a rule, take a penalty. 10) It is better to give way than to spend hours in a protest room.

Mystery Photo

December 14 - Mystery Location

Wednesday's 'Mystery Photo' where is it? and what's in the boxes? brought lots of responses, most of them wrong. A few folks got the location right, and one person got the contents of the boxes right, but neither got both right.

Mik Beattie, who is something like the head of all ferryboat captains on the Bay, guessed the photo had been taken at the Larkspur Ferry Landing, that the boat was the Fast Ferry Threehull, and that the boxes were for passengers - big for big people, small for small people. All wrong. David Butler of cyberspace said the photo had been taken in Chicago and that Jimmy Hoffa was in the box. No and we don't think so. Toby Riley wrote, "I don't care about the barge, check out the dory on the davits . . . it looks pretty good from an about to be snow-covered Massachusetts." Seems as though he's had too much winter already. Ed Shea, who added an aside, "I used to see your Ocean 71 Big O all the time in Gustavia, St. Barts, in '89 and '90," guessed that the photo was taken between Young Island and St. Vincent, and that the boxes contained either lobster, conch, or bananas from St. Lucia. Peter Detwiler guessed it was taken somewhere in the Caribbean, and that the boxes "obviously contained hives so honey bees can feast on the tropical flowers in the hills in the background . . . or caskets for the midgets who died during the particularly nasty knockdown during the '94 Antigua Sailing Week." Doug Thorne said it looks like Alcatraz and that the boxes contain party goodies for the 'Jail Parties' they have on the island. Doug, the next time you see that color water near Alcatraz, give us a call. Andy Johnson says, "It looks suspiciously like the barge stolen from Disneyland in Anaheim last month. Children, mice and large dogs have been looking for it all over the West Coast. The boxes contain Walt and Roy's personal doubloon stash, several small starter pistols, and one well-used eye patch with the initials L E on it. The photo was doctored to disguise the true location, but Petaluma comes to mind." Petaluma? Stuart from "pissing down rain Seattle" thought it might be somebody taking engine parts out to a boat in Z-town. Chris Longaker guessed the boxes had fireworks, and that it was taken at St. Vincent. Kaboom, you're half right, Chris. Bob Alderson guesses the boxes contained tea, and that the photo was taken at St. Barts. The tea is wrong, but the location is right.

Juan de Juanderer of Tampa is the only one to have gotten the correct answer, but only because he was there. "That's the photo of the fireworks barge taken in a rum haze from the Eden Rock Bar in St. Barths. The only mystery to the photo is how you managed, with such a rum hazed brain, to get it in focus. You must have done something later in PhotoShop." Actually, it was an autofocus camera.

Here's the true story of the photo. We were indeed about halfway through a monumental beach bar crawl at St. Jean, St. Barth, French West Indies, when we spotted this guy running a small boat up the beach. He obviously needed some help loading the heavy boxes, so we gave him a hand. When we asked what was in them, he told us fireworks for the New Year's Eve display over the harbor at Gustavia. So we asked him what had happened to the great fireworks show that was supposed to happen for the millennium New Year's. He explained to us that they had gotten the barge in position on the afternoon of the 31st, then came ashore for some drinks. About 9 p.m., they discovered that it had drifted 18 miles in the direction of Saba. They did the best they could towing the clumsy barge back toward St. Barts, but by midnight they were still six miles away and had to light the stuff off there. So it wasn't such a big show. They secured the barge better last year, and it was a fine fireworks display.

Here's a couple of more shots from St. Barth:

The harbor at Gustavia, a couple of days after New Year's,
after most of the boats have left.

St. Barth merchant of the century, Ernest, who will sell
you everything from goldfish to old lady's dresses to
motorcycles to a 40,000 unit string of firecrackers.

You want Caribbean blue? This photo was taken on the other
side of the Eden Rock from where the barge photo was taken.
Photos Latitude/Richard

Dalton Says Sail On

December 14 - Sydney, Australia

Saying he is quickly healing from broken ribs and fractured vertebrae, Grant Dalton of Amer Sports One says that he will sail in the Sydney to Auckland leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.


December 14 - 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 14 - 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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