Photos of the Day
July 5 - Capri, Italy
The Wanderer is back from his research
trip to England, Italy and France. From time to time over the
next few weeks, we'll be publishing photos from the trip, to
prove to the IRS that this was indeed a tax-deductible business
trip and that there was absolutely no fun involved.
The four accompanying shots are from Capri, the sun-baked - and overcrowded - little paradise just south of Naples, Italy. There are only two real anchorages on the island, the first being just off Marina Grande (Big Marina), where gazillions of day-trippers are on and off-loaded everyday. The second is Marina Piccolo (Little Marina) on the other side of the island. The shot of Marina Grande indicates just how sheer some of the island's cliffs are. These came in handy for Roman Emperors, who would sodomize young boys then toss the bodies 1,000 feet off the cliffs to the sea below. Capri has long attracted the rich, beautiful, powerful - and wretchedly debauched. Capri's most famous tourist attraction is the blue grotto. It's just around the corner from this swimming pool on the side of the cliff. Waiting to get into the Blue Grotto is like waiting to get onto a cable car in San Francisco in the middle of summer - not worth it. The final photograph is of Capri from a distance. It's a lovely island, best visited before June or after September. If you're visiting by boat, assume there won't be space in the marina.
July 5 - Pacific Ocean
A lack of wind has made this year's TransPac a major disappointment, but Rich Roberts puts the best face on it:
"For Bengal II, the 41st Transpacific Yacht Race is just a way of island-hopping home. The Japanese entry sailed all the way across the Pacific to start the race and now is leading the way back along a risky route that has brought it nearer Hawaii than any of the other 24 boats in the four racing divisions. Yoshihiko Murase's 52-foot sloop from Nagoya sails today where for the last half-century TransPac racers have feared to tread -- all alone above the rhumb (direct) line between Los Angeles and Honolulu. Normally, that would mean living dangerously close to the ubiquitous Pacific High, the high-pressure zone that lurks in the northeastern Pacific sucking the wind out of the air. The strategy has paid off so far, especially in the 24 hours before Wednesday morning's roll call when Bengal II logged 251 nautical miles and climbed to second place overall in corrected handicap time only four hours behind Brent Vaughan's Cantata, an Andrews 53 from Oceanside.
"Bengal II was 1,331 miles from Honolulu - not quite halfway - while the larger Division I and II boats that started a day later were in winds of only 10 to 12 knots but bearing down from behind, led by Philippe Kahn's 75-foot Pegasus at 1,561 miles after a 304-mile day. Bob McNulty's 74-foot Chance was six miles farther back and Roy E. Disney's 73-foot Pyewacket another 11 miles. Those three high-powered boats are all paralleling the rhumb from below, but their savvy navigators - respectively, Mark Rudiger, Dale Nordin and Stan Honey - must be wondering if Bengal II is on to something good.
"Out in front with the eight Aloha Division boats that started five and six days ahead of the others, Jim Warmington's 75-foot racer-cruiser Shanakee II had 595 miles to go. Its ETA was upgraded to late Friday night or early Saturday morning. A few boats have found strong but isolated breeze. One of the smallest boats, Mike Thomas' 1D35 Sensation from Detroit, currently second in Division III, reported: 'We repaired damaged power lead for [single sideband radio] tuner and were able to communicate directly with [communications officer] Grant [Baldwin] on Alaska Eagle. Big relief on board. Wild ride burning south with small asymmetric spinnaker. Hit 18.3 knots on one ride.'
"Michael Abraham, sailing doublehanded with Phil Rowe on Watercolors from Newport Beach told of their adventures: 'So far, Disasters 0, Watercolors 4. It isn't because Disaster isn't trying. Shims in mast fell out, spinnaker wrap and watermaker 86'd. All solved. Still [flying] jib and main. Both need rest.' And later: 'Making better progress. Wind is steady at 8-26 [knots]. [Boat] speed 8-9 knots. Still reaching with jib and reefed main. Food is no joy yet -- just sticking to business. Lots of porpoise yesterday. Sky is clear, but sky is building.'
"Meanwhile, although TransPac has introduced several breakthrough designs over the years, this doesn't appear to be a race where one of those will prevail. Only David Janes' J-Bird III from Newport Beach, one of two new TransPac 52s, is in contention for honors. J-Bird III, designed by Alan Andrews of Long Beach, currently leads James McDowell's standard ULDB 70 Grand Illusion, boat for boat, by 10 miles in Division II. After a 293-mile day, almost as far as the three super sleds, J-Bird III leads the other TransPac 52, Jim Demetriades' Yassou from Beverly Hills, by 102 miles in their private contest for the race's newest trophy. Yassou is a Nelson/Marek design.
"The legendary Merlin, which held the TransPac record for 20 years, is now Merlin's Reata, highly modified at a cost of almost $1 million by new owner Al Micallef of Fort Worth, Texas. Micallef said before the start, 'If it's light air to start, I think we'll have a chance to keep up with [Pegasus, Chance and Pyewacket].' The start was dreadfully light, and Merlin's Reata now trails Pegasus by 100 miles, averaging 8.4 knots to 9.9 for the leader.
"Bob Lane, a Long Beach pharmacist, also had hopes for his venerable Medicine Man, now stretched from 56 to 61 feet. 'There's really no clue to what we can do,' Lane said earlier. 'In 20 knots of breeze the boat's supposed to be really fast.' But there hasn't been much 20-knot breeze, so the blue boat - first to finish with a three-day head start in 1997 - is among the stragglers in Division II, 40 miles ahead of what may be the race's most extreme boat, Étranger, Howard Gordon's Open 50 from San Luis Obispo, which is sailing doublehanded."
Which boats are making the boldest moves south? Who's hanging too long in the north? Who's running the rhumb line? Follow your favorite TransPac boats across the Pacific with the tracking chart on the official Web site at www.transpacificyc.org.
Div. III and IV boats struggle to reach the starting line in 2.8 knots of wind Saturday.
Photo Rich Roberts
Standings at 8:30 a.m. July 4 (by handicap ratings):
DIVISION I (started July 1)
DIVISION II (started July 1)
DIVISION III (started June 30)
DIVISION IV (started June 30)
ALOHA DIVISION A (started June 25)
ALOHA DIVISION B (started June 25)
July 5 - New York
PlayStation skipper Steve Fossett has announced that the 125' maxi-cat will depart from New York some time on Saturday bound for England. Their target is the elusive Transatlantic Sailing Record - from Ambrose Light in New York Harbor to Lizard Point in Cornwall, UK. The benchmark is 6 days 13 hours 3 mins. 32 secs., a record held for 11 years by French skipper Serge Madec sailing on Jet Services 5. Steve has advised his crew that an excellent weather pattern is emerging - and to plan on leaving their current base in Newport, RI, for delivery to NYC tomorrow (July 6) in preparation for their fourth attempt on this durable record. Crew will include: Skipper Steve Fossett (USA), Ben Wright (AUS), Gino Morrelli (USA), Randy Smyth (USA), Dave Scully (USA), Pete Melvin (USA), Peter Hogg (USA), Chuck Hawley (USA), Sean Biddulph (UK), Paul Van Dyke (USA).
PlayStation will be offered for sale for $3.5 million when Sony's three-year sponsorship concludes in September.
July 5 - Europe
"Under the provisions of a new article
(No. 562) that is expected to come into force on July 1, 2001,
privately owned boats belonging to non-EU citizens and flying
the flag of a non-EU country will be allowed to spend 18 months
in the EU. This period will count from the moment the vessel arrives
in an EU country until the moment the vessel leaves the EU. It
is not yet clear when and how the 18 month period can be extended,
and for how long the vessel must remain outside the EU before
a new period can be commenced. The new regulation will only come
into force once it is published in the official journal of the
EU. Furthermore, it may take a few weeks or even months before
the various customs officials get to familiarize themselves with
the revised regulations. An update on the latest situation will
be featured on Noonsite
once the new regulation has come into force."
So reports Jimmy Cornell of Noonsite, founder of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.
July 5 - 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 http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
July 5 - Pacific Ocean
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/.
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.
Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.
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