Photo of the Day

February 7 - SoCal

Ouch! Susan and Peter Wagner report that a freighter hit a sailboat that was anchored in The Flats off Colon, Panama - which is on the Caribbean end of the Canal.

"At about 3:30 pm on February 1, 2001, the freighter 'Sierra Leyre' pulled away from the dock near The Flats anchorage in Colon, Panama. A tug pulled the bow of the freighter around in order to position the freighter to head to the Panama Canal. The line from the tugboat came off. The 20-knot wind pushed the empty freighter sideways toward The Flats anchorage. The freighter hit an anchored sailboat. When we saw the boats, the freighter was dragging the sailboat. No one was aboard the sailboat, 'Diana', from France. The anchor chain of the sailboat was caught on the bulb of the bow of the freighter. Andy from the sailboat 'Webegone' boarded the sailing vessel. The anchor chain became tight and the sailboat began to be dragged under the bow of the freighter. Andy let out the anchor chain and then cut the line at the end of the chain to free the sailboat. The freighter then went on to catch the anchor chain of two other sailing vessels before departing The Flats for the Panama Canal. Five or six dinghies from other sailboats in the anchorage arrived and towed the sailboat to an anchorage zone buoy. They tied the sailboat to the buoy before the owners returned and reanchored the boat.

Photo Susan Wagner

"The sailing vessel 'Diana' sustained damage, but the Panama Canal Commission decided that 'Diana' will not be compensated for damage because 'Diana' was anchored just outside of the designated anchorage called The Flats. The Flats anchorage held nearly 40 closely anchored boats at the time."

New Transatlantic Record

February 7 - Atlantic Ocean

If you're a person who favors 'small' boats to big ones, you've got reason to cheer. It started last year, when Yvan Bourgnon and crew covered 625.24 nautical miles during a 24-hour period in the Quebec to St. Malo Race with the 60-foot trimaran 'Bayer en France'. That was just 700 yards short of the then 24-hour record held by Grant Dalton's 110-foot maxi cat 'Club Med' - a record that has been increased to 629 miles by sistership 'Innovation Explorer'. When a boat half the size of the big guys can come that close to the all time speed record, small boats sailors have to cheer.

Now small boat lovers have even more to cheer about. Bernard Stamm, a Swiss citizen and former lumberjack - along with Christophe Lebas, Jean Baptiste L'Ollivier and François Scheeck - has just sailed Stamm's 'Armor Lux - Foie Gras Bizac', an Open 60, to a new Transatlantic record. Stamm, who dropped out of the Vendée Globe after 11 days because of autopilot problems, sailed the 2,925-mile eastbound route from New York to England in just 8 days, 20 hours and 55 minutes. He thereby eclipsed the previous record held by Bob Miller's 'Mari-Cha III' by approximately three hours. 'Mari-Cha III', Stamm was pleased to note, is a 147-foot ketch and had a crew of 22. In the process, Stamm and crew may have set a new 24-hour speed record of 462 miles, as the current record held by the Volvo 60 'Silk Cut is just 449 miles. Both of the new monohull records will have to be verified.

How was such a small boat able to break the big boat's record? They had wind, plenty of it. Stamm told reporters that it never blew less than 35 knots! They crossed the finish line flying a fully reefed main and storm jib in 40 knots of wind. Stamm has a recent history of success racing small boats, starting with the brutal Mini-Transat, which is for boats 20 feet long. "When he did it in 1995, he took no books, no music and not even anything with which to make warm food. "For three weeks I attacked," he said, "I was racing 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Armor Lux - Foie Gras Bizac

Bernard Stamm
Photos Courtesy
Bernard Stamm

Mystery Cruising Spot

February 7 - Puerto Angel, Mexico

Yesterday we asked if anyone knew the port in the accompanying photo. It's Puerto Angel, Mexico, far to the south of even Acapulco. Here's the story.

"Cruisers have new friends in Polo and Veronica de la Rosa, who have opened the Vepo Grill and Beer Garden in Puerto Angel, Mexico," report Barry and Kathy Devine of the Oxnard-based 'Joss' and Ed and Norma Hasselmann of 'Heather K'. "Polo and his wife are new to the city and are very enthused about catering to cruisers. Their place, which opened late last year, is located at the ocean end of Playa Panteon, which has the calmest dinghy landing in town. Polo and Veronica keep their eye on the dinghies left in front of their place, and are happy to organize supplies of fuel, ice, water, beer and soda, and will take garbage. The couple speak English as a result of having traveled internationally on business. In addition, Veronica is a wizard at designing and making bikinis from the wonderful Brazilian fabrics left over from the swimsuit company she used to own. Puerto Angel is a wonderful port of call, especially since nearby Puerto Escondido - thanks to the growth of the panga fleet - no longer has room for them."

Top and middle photos: Puerto Angel, Mexico

Polo and Veronica de la Rosa of the Vepo Grill
Photos Courtesy Joss and Heather K.

Pineapple Cup

February 7 - Ft. Lauderdale to Jamaica

Keith Taylor reports: "Jim Dolan's 76-foot maxi-boat 'Sagamore' was first to finish in the Pineapple Cup/Montego Bay Race today when Roy Disney's 75-foot sled 'Pyewacket' withdrew from competition in the home stretch after leading all the way from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 'Sagamore', a 76-footer designed by Bill Langan, crossed the finish line off the Montego Bay Yacht Club at 6:05 pm local time, this evening after staying in contact with 'Pyewacket' right up until the time she retired. Robert MacNeil's 75-foot Reichel/Pugh sled 'Zephyrus IV', a companion Reichel/Pugh design to 'Pyewacket', was the second boat to finish, 51 minutes after 'Sagamore'.

"Disney, who was shooting to break the 29-year-old race record of 3 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes and 7 seconds, pulled into Ocho Rios, Jamaica, this morning after the fleet was becalmed overnight in the Windward Passage. He phoned the Montego Bay Yacht Club to announce his retirement. Disney said he had run out of time, and a prior business engagement dictated his return to the United States. Two years ago, his Reichel/Pugh-designed sled finished in dying tradewinds, just two hours and three minutes short of the mark, after maintaining a record-breaking pace for the first two-thirds of the race. Today he promised to return for another attempt at the record in two years' time.

"Seventeen boats in two classes, including 12 maxi-boats, started the race to Jamaica from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades last Friday afternoon. One boat, Marty Fisher's 48-foot J/145 'Strabo' from the Rhode River Boat Club in Chesapeake Bay, withdrew on Saturday and docked in Nassau, Bahamas, after hitting a reef." Visit

FINISH TIMES: 1. 'Sagamore' (1805 39) 2. 'Zephyrus IV' (1856 17) 3. 'Magnitude' (1918 38) 4. 'Grins' (2049 17) 5. 'Blue Yankee' (2058 00) 6. 'Trader' (2059 59) 7. 'Carrera' (2131 19) 8. 'Zaraffa' (2155 16)

Skip Allan of Capitola says that 'Windward Passage's elapsed time record is not the only Pineapple Cup record that still stands after 29 years. "There is another record from that same race that also still stands: 'Improbable', the Gary Mull 42, still holds the corrected time record of 2 days, 22 hours. The fire-engine red downwind flyer beat all the 50-footers boat-for-boat that year, and had an all Bay Area crew of owner Dave Allen (later of 'Immp' fame), Commodore Tompkins, Chan Chrisman, Ron Holland, Jim Gannon, Dave Wahle, and Skip Allan. 'Improbable' was a boat years ahead of her time, and still wins races under the ownership of Bruce Schwab's father Len up in Washington State."

The Race Update

February 7 - Southern Ocean

Grant Dalton and 'Club Med' have had a good 24 hours. First they extended their lead to 722 miles over 'Innovation Explorer', in part by sailing a shorter course far to the south. Then they turned on the radar just in time to realize they were approaching an iceberg 100 meters tall and a half mile long. They hope to reach Cape Horn by Saturday, and are currently reporting conditions almost ideal for another 24-hour sailing record. The current record is 629 miles held by 'Innovation Explorer', but co-skipper Skip Novak of that boat says he can see one of the boats doing 700 miles in one day.

1. Club Med / dtf 8,927.6 miles to finish.
2. Innovation Explorer / dtl 767.3 miles
3. Team Adventure / dtl 4,884.7 miles
4. Warta Polpharma / dtl 5,682.1 miles
5. Team Legato / dtl 6,632.6 miles

Vendée Globe Update

February 7 - Atlantic Ocean

With just 1,496 miles to go to the finish of the 23,000-mile Vendée Globe, Michel Desjoyeaux aboard 'PRB' now has a 126-mile lead over Ellen MacArthur on 'Kingfisher'. As a result, Desjoyeaux says he's keeping one foot on the gas and one on the brake, wanting to go fast but not unleashing the full power of his boat. He's in control and playing it smart. Even MacArthur concedes that the only thing that will keep the Frenchman from winning is a breakdown.

STANDINGS: 1. 'PRB', Michel Desjoyeaux, 1,496 miles to finish; 2. 'Kingfisher,' Ellen MacArthur, +126 miles; 3. 'Sill Matines La Potagère', Roland Jourdain, +432; 4. 'Active Wear', Marc Thiercelin, +616, 5. 'Sodebo Savourons la Vie', Thomas Coville, +1,343, 6. 'Union Bancaire Privée', Dominique Wavre, +1,360. See


February 7 - 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

February 7 - 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 Sea State

Seas are normal in the Pacific. But you might check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For another view, see

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