Photos of the Day

March 30 - Banderas Bay, Mexico

We spent much of the last week sailing in the 9th Annual Banderas Bay Regatta. Here are some photos. We would have posted this page sooner, but like a lot of folks our high speed Internet service through North Point was suddenly terminated, and our access has been very limited at best.

The crew of Tom Petty's Wylie 60 Roxanne
Photos Latitude/Richard

BCDC Says There Is a "Glut" of Berths

March 30 - San Francisco Bay

"Do you own a boat in the Bay Area?" asks Bill Kinney of Moorea, a Redwood City-based Northstar 80/20 ketch. "Especially a slip where you are allowed to live aboard? Have you had trouble finding a place to park your boat? Well, you probably have just not been talking to the right people. One organization that should be happy to help you in your search is the BCDC - Bay Conservation and Development Commission - a nine-county regional agency that regulates the waters - and therefore marinas - of San Francisco Bay. I base this on the fact that BCDC Deputy Director Steven McAdam was quoted as saying, 'There is no shortage of slips in the Bay; if anything, there is a glut.' McAdam, according to the BCDC Web site (, has worked for the Commission for 26 years, and supervises the Commission's regulatory, enforcement and technical services staff. He is the expert advising the commissioners on the regulatory priorities. He will probably be happy to help you find one of the slips in this 'glut'. His phone number is (415) 352-3614, and he can be emailed."

In all fairness to McAdams, he told a Latitude 38 reporter that there were few, if any, liveaboard slips available in San Francisco Bay. He did, however, state that there was a "glut" of other berths on the Bay. So if you're looking for a regular berth in which to keep your boat, we suggest you email McAdam with your requirements. We'd be most interested in his reply, as he's apparently the only person in the Bay Area who knows about the glut, and this information should be made public.

BCDC Quiz. How did the BCDC gain authority over vessels? By declaring them to be "Bay fill". No, we're not making that up.

Cruiser Shot off Venezuela

March 30 - Trinidad

A Swedish couple aboard the 44-foot ketch Lorna was attacked by pirates on March 20 while three miles off the coast of Venezuela. Skipper Bo Altheden was reportedly shot in the stomach, but is said to be recovering in a Trinidad hospital. After Altheden was shot, Viviv-Maj Miren, his companion, set off the EPIRB, then summoned further help via the Maritime Mobile Service Net on 20 meters. Before long, government vessels from both Venezeula and Trinidad were on the scene. High seas made it too difficult to transfer the patient, so Trini medical personnel and crew sailed the boat to Trinidad. Details of the incident remain very sketchy. We'll have more info in the near future. Theft has long been a problem in Venezuela, but shootings are rare.

Cayard on The Race

March 30 - San Francisco

Paul Cayard, the honcho in the AmericaOne America's Cup effort and currently part of the Oracle Racing effort for the 2003 Cup Challenge, had some interesting comments about The Race in the March issue of Seahorse:

"So I am starting to believe in Bruno Peyron's vision, that this could be the premiere sailing event. Imagine 12 of these things racing around the planet every year. And with a lap only taking 60 days, there could easily be a few other races thrown in to form a circuit. With a budget of $8 million U.S., you are at a tenth of the money that the Bs are each spending on the upcoming America's Cup. I see some potential here. My compliments to those who have worked so hard to paint this picture for us. God, I hope my wife doesn't read this."

The Return of Iridium

March 30 - In Earth Orbit

Today marks the resumption of voice communication service of the Iridium satellite communications system. Data services, including dial-up access and direct Internet connectivity, will be available in June, with messaging services later in the year. Airtime rates are expected to be about $1.50 per minute, with no additional long-distance, roaming or zoning charges.

The original Iridium was one of the biggest business disasters in history, as $5 billion was spent getting the service going in 1998. With only 55,000 subscribers, there weren't anywhere near enough to pay the bills. Talk about pennies on the dollar - a new venture called Iridium Satellite LLC purchased the assets from bankruptcy court for a mere $25 million.

Two years ago, Iridium was the official communications provider of the Ha-Ha. Our experience with the phone service is that about 80% of the calls went through, but the sound quality was often very poor. Last year, Globalstar was the Ha-Ha communications provider. Virtually all the calls went through, and the sound quality was spectacular - better than all the other cell phones we've ever used. Globalstar has a limitation for offshore sailors, in that it only works within about 250 miles of shore, while Iridium covers the entire globe.

Is the Admiral's Cup Dead?

March 30 - UK

This coming Monday the management committee will give a report to the Royal Ocean Racing Club about the status of the Admiral's Cup in England, which for many years has been the "world series" of yacht racing for national teams. Unfortunately, hardly any nations signed up this year. If the event does go on - and the RORC says there must be a minimum of four teams - it will only be a shadow of its former self.

Ellen MacArthur at Pacific Sail Expo

March 30 - Oakland

Young Ellen MacArthur, who dazzled the sailing world in the process of finishing second in the Vendée Globe singlehanded around the world race, will making a personal appearance Wednesday, April 18, at Pacific Sail Expo 2001 at Jack London Square in Oakland. During the afternoon, she'll be holding a press conference, and that evening she'll be the guest of honor at a VIP reception where she will christen Bruce Schwab's newly launched Open 60, Ocean Planet. As things currently stand, she won't be giving a talk or lecture to the public, but that may change.


March 30 - 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

March 30 - 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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