There will be no 'Lectronic Latitude on Monday or Tuesday,
as the editor will be in Mexico hard at work checking to see
if the sun is still shining and the sea is still blue.
Photo Quiz of the Day
January 26 - Mystery Location
Name this record-holding ketch. (email Richard.)
Crew Party Date
January 26 - Tiburon
Pending confirmation with the Corinthian Yacht Club, the date
of the April Crew List Party has been changed back to April 5,
in order to precede the first Friday night races. We'll keep
you updated, and bring you more details as the event approaches.
January 26 - Ports the World Over
Yesterday a call went out
for the great yachtie bars around the world. Ron Killian of 'S
Mine', a Catalina 310, says he has "two nominations, and
I am sure they will receive seconds: 1) Anna's, 2) Bounty Bar,
both in Neiafu, Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga - all the mega-yacht
crews who were on their way to New Zealand for the America's
Cup [stopped there]. The Berliner Bar on Kenutu, which catered
to European cruisers primarily, has gone upscale and moved to
Ofu Island, and is now known as the Mahina Lodge. Moses and Johanna
would still get my vote as the best barkeeps there."
Speaking of great yachtie bars, the Soggy Dollar in Dutch
St. Maarten, which certainly qualifies, just announced that they
have reinforced both their bar and tables to make it safer to
dance on them. As if that weren't enough, they've put a roof
over the men's loo. They're calling that progress, but not everyone
would agree. Meanwhile, the search for San Francisco Bay's great
yachtie bar continues.
Why Cruise in Mexico?
January 26 - Mexico
Perhaps some of the photos from Jan and Signe Twardowski of
the lovely Sundeer 65 'Raven' will give some clues. For even
more fine photos, visit their Web site at www.ravencruise.com.
January 26 - 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 26 - Southern Ocean
For quite a while, Cam Lewis has been dismissed as something
of a 'cowboy' who has just been winging it with 'Team Adventure'.
That may be true, but in the last 10 days or so - when the problems
have been the biggest - he's been standing tall and doing himself
proud. First there was the problem with the main beam and the
two injured crew that couldn't continue. Then there was the two-day
repair stop in Cape Town that stretched to 4.5 days. And during
that time two of the healthy crew bailed. Now that 'Team Adventure'
has finally left Cape Town, minus four crew, they're stuck in
zephyrs and can't get away from the shadow of Table Mountain.
Yet just 50 miles away they'll be hitting headwinds of 55 to
65 knots, with huge, confused seas. Throughout all these tribulations,
Cam has - at least in public - said the right things and done
the right things. Despite finding himself 3,000 miles behind
and with everything against him, he's rallied his crew and hasn't
abandoned hope. "When we hoist sails and pursue the odds
are against us to win. But, the odds have been against us for
a long time," said Cam, "So we are going to forget
the odds and get down the track." With his responses to
constant adversity, Cam is quickly earning a lot of respect that
he didn't have before.
Meanwhile, Grant Dalton and 'Club Med' stretched their lead
over Cam to 3,000 miles by racking up 584 miles during the last
24 hours. That's good, but Loïck Peyron and 'Innovation
Explorer' chalked up an even better 599 miles, and have steadily
been cutting 'Club Med's lead down to 600 miles. Peyron and his
crew may not have all the sails they need, but they're putting
up a great battle. Right now 'Club Med' is about two days faster
than the Jules Verne course record held by Olivier de Kersauson's
big trimaran 'Lyonnaise des Eaux'.
What's the story with the two crew who bailed from 'Team Adventure'?
One of them, Rick Deppe, is a seasoned offshore racer who has
done 1.5 Whitbread Around The World races. In an interview with
the 'Washington Post', he said sailing all the way to the Southern
Ocean was fine, but once down there he was over his threshold.
"I was never comfortable speeding through the night, dodging
icebergs in the Southern Ocean at 25 to 30 knots on a 110-foot
catamaran. We were down there 48 hours, and I kept saying, 'Get
me off this boat. I hate water, I hate water'." When damage
to the main beam gave Deppe, who has two young children, the
chance to get off the boat, he took it.
Repair of main beam on 'Team Adventure'
Photo Courtesy 'Team Adventure'
Key: Blue Club Med
Green Innovation Explorer
Orange Team Adventure
Yellow Warta Polpharma
Graphic Courtesy 'Club Med' www.catamaran.clubmed.fr/
Ranking of 26 Jan 2001 19:00:00 GMT
1. Club Med / dtf 14,653.2 miles
2. Innovation Explorer / dtl 652.3 miles
3. Warta Polpharma / dtl 3,226.0 miles
4. Team Adventure / dtl 3,259.3 miles
5. Team Legato / dtl 4,667.5 miles
Vendée Globe Update
January 26 - Atlantic Ocean
As they close in on the doldrums, Michel Desjoyeaux on 'PRB'
holds an 86-mile lead over Ellen MacArthur aboard 'Kingfisher'.
MacArthur had gotten to within 70 miles, fell back to nearly
100, but has closed the gap a little again. Both boats are making
good time heading for the tricky doldrums, where everything could
Last night, MacArthur's wind instrument sensor atop the mast
failed, so she switched to the backup system on the stern of
her boat. It was getting the job done, so Ellen went aloft with
a drill and sandpaper to make repairs. She was up there for two
hours. "It was pretty physical," she reported, "I
had a bit of a fight with the drill which, as we bounced over
the waves, was pretty keen on drilling me not the mast, but we
got it done. Quite a neat job in fact considering the conditions
of work! I completely replaced the masthead wand unit, and we're
back to 100% again. Fantastic!"
Graphic Courtesy www.madforsailing.com
This reminds us of the time we sent a guy aloft to replace
a halyard on 'Profligate' during the last Ha-Ha. The wind was
light and there was only a slight slop - and it was still a difficult
job just to replace a halyard. And that was with the help of
a full crew. We don't think that any of us can really appreciate
what almost supra-human efforts each one of these Vendée
participants is making. See www.vendeeglobe.com
January 26 - 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
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.