Photo of the Day

January 16 - Richmond

St. Barts is an island of sailors, so when you go out to dinner, groups from various tables tend to meld together and the sailing stories start flying through the air. Thus it was that while eating at La Gemelle, we were introduced to Dave "who used to run 'Escapade'." We asked if this was the 74-ft 'Escapade' that was designed by S&S and built back in 1938. It was. As 'Latitude 38' readers probably know, that's the same 'Escapade' that hit an unlit buoy off the coast of Southern California last year, and is now at KKMI being put back together.

So when we got back, we went over to Richmond to visit the old girl, and found master shipwright Dickie Delfino working on the bow. He'd already crafted and installed a new stemhead fitting. We tried to lift parts of the old one - it weighed a ton. Delfino said that he hoped he'd be done with the new bow and a new deck so the boat could be sailing again by summer. Classics like 'Escapade' are largely ignored on the West Coast. In parts of the Caribbean and the Med, they are worshipped.

Photo Latitude/Richard

Answer to Yesterday's Photo Quiz

January 16 - Almeria, Spain

Yesterday, our 'photo of the day' had the strange caption, "What the . . .?"
In just a couple of hours we got the correct answer - from Almeria, Spain! Fred Reynolds of the C&C 34 'Sarah' wrote, "A gaily painted bulbous bow!"
We'll have more on this interesting boat in a future 'Lectronic.

Him and Mark Twain

January 16 - St. Barts

Based on information provided by Hunter White, one of our old captains, a month or so ago we lamented in 'Lectronic about the passing of another of our old captains, Antonio 'the Basque terrorist' dos Muertos. While in St. Barts, Antonio's old stomping grounds, we passed the news along to some of his friends. It was very painful. But on the second to last night we were there, Dave, who used to run the S&S 74 'Escapade' in the Caribbean a long time ago, said: "No way. I see Antonio all the time in St. Martin. Furthermore, he looks much healthier than he has in years - and he's got his Tartan 41 looking really good, too."After informing Hunter of this development, we received the following email from him: "I got the news from a friend of mine in Florida who does some skippering in the Virgins. He and his wife have known Antonio and Manuela for years, and I am happy to report that I was misinformed about Antonio." So are we!

As for Hunter, who used to build Freya 39s for Gannon Yachts many years ago, he's been running an Irwin 65 between the Northeast and the Caribbean for the last dozen or so years. He's still married to Cathy, they have a son - maybe even two - and live in Houston. Yes, it's possible to live in Houston and be the captain of a boat in the Northeast and the Caribbean.

Not all the news about old friends in St. Barts was good, however. A guy we've known for years, and who we spent a lot of time with, is someone we apparently won't be seeing again soon. Based on a consensus of reports, he and a couple of other guys circumvented two hurricanes to sail across the Atlantic to England - at which point they were apprehended in what was described as England's biggest drug bust ever. When you're 50 and you get a 30-year sentence, it's as good as life. There was a time when St. Barts was home to any number of smugglers. Older now, most wouldn't even dream of putting their freedom at risk. As for ourselves, we couldn't ever do the time, so we never, ever considered doing the crime.


Cruising in the 70s

January 16 - The Mediterranean

We'd like to share the following snippet from two of our favorite cruisers, Larry Hirsch and Dorothy Taylor of the San Diego-based Hylas 45.5 'Shayna'. They are currently in San Diego while their boat spends the winter on the hard in Israel. "It's a mystery to us why we see so few Norte Americano gringos here in the Med. A few circumnavigators drift through, but we're going on three years now and we've met up with less than a dozen American yachties. The Carib is soft and easy and we want to go back, but there is simply no way to experience the magic of the Med by "Virtual Reality" or whatever is the latest hi-tech fad. You need to get there and actually 'walk the walk, talk the talk and press the flesh'. If you're careful, the expenses are not all that worse than most other places, and the war talk is all TV hype. We have never yet felt endangered on that score."

The couple did feel endangered once: "We continued on to Corfu town, where we checked into Gouvia Marina. There was much activity in town for Easter week - the most interesting of which is the 'pot throwing'. Crowds gather in the main square to watch residents throw huge clay pots from their balconies. The pot throwing is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. The pots all fly at the same time, some from as high as four floors up, and crash on the sidewalk below. This is done each year as a symbol of their release from slavery. It's not a good idea to be below on the sidewalk."

Photo Jim Drake

For the full report from Larry and Dorothy, check out the February 'Latitude'. It's also a mystery to us why more American boats don't cruise the Med. We suppose everyone wants to go to the South Pacific, and by the time they get that far around the world, many of them are a little cruised out. Personally speaking, if we could instantly have 'Profligate' transported to anywhere in the world in May, it would be to the Balearic Islands. After cruising Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, we'd continue on to Barcelona. With the boat in a marina, we'd take a short inland trip - say the overnight train to Paris and maybe continue on to Amsterdam. Then we'd be back on the boat for the French and Italian Rivieras. No, the sailing conditions aren't great, but no, it's nowhere near as expensive as you think if you use a little common sense. From anywhere along the Riviera - Nice or Genoa - for instance - there are easy train connections to great cities such as Florence, Rome, and Venice. Heck, it's less than a day by train to Vienna and Prague. After the Rivieras, we'd head down to Sicily and then over to Greece and Turkey, both of which are terrific. When we had 'Big O' in Europe, we only made one mistake - she was only there for a season!

Why are Larry and Dorothy two of our favorite cruisers? Because they're both in their 70s and still cruising like kids. God bless you both!


January 16 - 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

Key West Race Week

January 16 - Key West, Florida

Key West Sail Week 2001 opened yesterday in ideal conditions with some 14 Northern California boats among the monumental fleet of 326. This event is not only gigantic in size, but also in quality. Many of the world's best sailors are in attendance.

One of the best West Coast finishes in the first race was turned in by Philippe Kahn of Santa Cruz, who chose to race a Farr 40 'Pegasus' from among his fleet of boats. Kahn took second in the first race, overlapped at the finish with George Andreadis's 'Atalanti XII' from Greece, which won the class last year. A 7th place finish in the second race dropped Kahn in third behind Brack Drucker's 'Revolution' from Marina del Rey, which moved into second overall.

Ken Read drove Makoto Uematsu's Farr 50 'Esmeralda' to a pair of wins on corrected time over bigger boats in Class-1A IMS, the glamor class. Bay Area sailors may remember Ken and 'Esmeralda' from last year's Big Boat Series. Read did get a little unexpected help, as Irvine Laidlaw's Farr 60 'Highland Fling' from England, which had won the class the two previous years, was literally knocked out of the first race. 'Fling' was on starboard when she was hit broadside on the first beat by Larry Bulman's Farr 49 'Javelin', which was on port tack. Skipper Laidlaw was thrown up into the air and landed on his back.

Melges 24 Action at Key West Race Week 2000
Photo Walter Cooper


In a case of nobody knows the boat better, Harry Melges, who runs the Melges 24 factory in Zenda, Wisconsin, took bullets in the first two races in the extremely competitive 59-boat Melges fleet. Sailmaker Dave Ullman of Newport Beach was in third in this class, with Peter Stoneberg of San Francisco in fourth. Doug Baker's Andrews 70 'Magnitude' was in third overall in Division B, having taken a bullet in the second race.

Rob Moore, 'Latitude's' racing editor, is on the scene in Key West, so we'll have a full report in the February 'Latitude'. Meanwhile, check out all the results at:

Weather Updates

January 16 - 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 Ocean Weather

You can view the University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite picture by clicking here.

Pacific Sea State

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

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