Mistake in Mexico?

January 25 - Mexico City

"I received a copy of the 'A Major Shock' article published in 'Lectronic Latitude on January 22, the one about the newly instituted port fees in Mexico. Although I realize we are all worried and distressed about this new law, I am glad to see that you pointed out at the end, "not to panic, just cross our fingers and hope for the best" - which is exactly the way to handle this. To my understanding, under the new law these fees should only be applied if you are requesting a despacho to another port, foreign or domestic. However, I understand that some misinformed Port Captains are charging for any movement, such as going out fishing, diving or anchoring out. As we speak, my mother. Terry Grossman, as well as my father, Edward Grossman, and my sister, Kirsten Grossman, are all in a meeting in Mexico City, trying to change this. I'm sure that they will present various options that would be better than the current one. So I agree, let's all cross our fingers and hope that the new administration starts making some changes in the best interest of tourists and tourism. I did not only write to you to agree with you, I mainly wanted to correct you on a small bit of information. My mother is not the Head of Tourism for the state of Sonora, and we wouldn't want the real one to get angry. She is, however, the President of the Marina Association of Mexico."

- Heidi Grossman

The Joys of Cruising in Mexico
Photos Latitude/Richard

Thanks for the information and correction. We'll be eagerly awaiting any news your mother might be able to provide.


Yachtie Bars

January 25 - Walnut Creek

"Yesterday's 'Lectronic Latitude raised a question I've been pondering since returning to San Francisco after three years of cruising from Darwin to Barcelona," writes Fred Reynolds of the C&C 34 'Sarah'. "I've been to a lot of great yachtie bars in a lot of great sailing towns, from Newport to Antigua, to Jimmy's Lighthouse in Phuket - and dozens and dozens of others. Yesterday you mentioned the Cafe Sport in the Azores. So I have to ask, what is the great yachtie bar - where cruisers, daysailors and racers hang out - in San Francisco or even the greater Bay Area? That one spot with just the right atmosphere, just the right background music, just the right 'latitude attitude'. There must be one, but I can't find it."

It would be hard for there to be a single yachtie bar in the Bay Area, as it's circular. But in our neck of the woods, the two most likely candidates - and they're not really even close - would be Sam's Anchor Cafe in Tiburon and Smitty's in Sausalito. Sam's is kind of a yuppie dining-on-the-water place in the afternoon, but after Corinthian or San Francisco YC races, and after dark, it becomes pretty interesting. The only knock on the place is that they no longer allow dancing on the bar after Chip, the bartender par excellence - broke his ankle in a bar-top dancing accident. We find this policy to be complete rubbish. If you're down in St. Barts, many of the best bars and restaurants not only allow dancing on tables and bars, they encourage it. As for Smitty's in Sausalito, some consider it a bit of a dive - which is why it often appeals to mega yacht crews from Schoonmaker looking to 'slum it' a little in a raffish place.

Sam's, a small taste of neon in quiet Tiburon

The gregarious crowd in Sam's bar

Photos Courtesy www.samscafe.com (not surprisingly, we couldn't find Smitty's on the Web!)

But we're anything but bar experts, so we're taking nominations for great yachtie bars, not only in San Francisco, but anywhere in the world.


January 25 - 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 www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/


The Race Update

January 25 - Southern Ocean

Grant Dalton and 'Club Med' continued to stretch their lead over second place 'Innovation Explorer'. 'Club Med' covered 566 miles - an average of more than 24 knots - for the last 24 hours, while 'Innovation Explorer' got caught in lighter wind and fell even further behind. We've even heard speculation that Dalton might pull into New Zealand - the course takes the fleet between the North and South Islands - for a 24 hour fix-it and beer break. But we doubt it, as 'Club Med' isn't that far ahead.

Rankings and positions as of
25 Jan 2001 15:00:00 GMT
1. Club Med / 45°42.84'S - 82°03.28'E / dtf 15,208.3
2. Innovation Explorer / 49°40.68'S - 59°43.04'E / dtl 696.8 miles
3. Team Adventure / 33°54.40'S - 18°25.24'E / dtl 2,732.7 miles
4. Warta Polpharma / 41°51.12'S - 4°00.40'W / dtl 3,174.3 miles
5. Team Legato / 29°14.64'S - 18°11.88'W / dtl 4,196.7 miles

Key: Blue Club Med
Green Innovation Explorer
Orange Team Adventure
Yellow Warta Polpharma
Magenta Team Legato

Graphic Courtesy 'Club Med' www.catamaran.clubmed.fr/

Vendée Globe Update

January 25 - Atlantic Ocean

Leader Michel Desjoyeaux of 'PRB' is now less than 4,000 miles from the finish, but Ellen MacArthur is less than 100 miles behind sailing in similar wind. Either or both of the two boats might finish in France in less than 16 days. Naked, naked, naked. After a long and harsh spell in the frigid Southern Ocean, the skippers are now cooking in the warm tropics. Most have opened their boats up and several have reported they are delighted to be sailing without any clothes. Alas, some of their food is starting to get pretty rank. In any event, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the finish between Michel and Ellen could be spectacular.

Leaders as of Jan. 25 at 15:02 GMT:
1. 'PRB' (Desjoyeaux); 2. 'Kingfisher' (MacArthur); 3. 'Active Wear' (Thiercelin); 4. 'SILL Matines La Potagère' (Jourdain); 5. 'Union Bancaire Privée' (Wavre); 6. 'Sodebo' (Coville); 7. 'Whirlpool' (Chabaud); 8. 'EBP EspritPME Gartmore' (Hall). See www.vendeeglobe.com for more.

Weather Updates

January 25 - 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 http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/.

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.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.

Pacific Ocean Weather

Today's University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite was not available again this morning. You can try it yourself at http://lumahai.soest.hawaii.edu/cgi-bin/satview.cgi?sat=g10&region=hus&channel=uI4&anim=no&size=large.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.

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