Photos of the Day

March 5 - Banderas Bay, Mexico

In the March Latitude 38, we responded to a reader who asked for a list of boats for less than $25,000 that are capable of sailing around the world. We listed about 10 of them starting with the letter 'c' that have already done it. But what you see here is a boat for $1,500 - plus about $4,500 in gear - that is capable of sailing around the world. She is Christian Lauducci and Ali Walker's Haida 26 Blue Dragon. While they've only made it from San Francisco to Banderas Bay, a sistership of this popular Canadian boat just finished a circumnavigation. Is such a small boat seaworthy? Well, Christian and Ali, along with their friend Derek, departed San Francisco on November 31, when there were 25-foot seas outside the Gate. About the same time that Scott Smith of Loverboy was knocked overboard and lost from his Tayana 37 Sea Major on the South Bar, the young trio were sailing Blue Dragon out the main shipping channel without any problems - other than a lack of wind. In fact, there is so little wind off the California coast during the winter, it took them 10 days to get to Morro Bay. As you might expect, the young couple - both are in their early 20s - are cruising on the cheap. They spent only $16 between San Diego and Mag Bay, and have only used 2.5 gallons of fuel in the 1,400 miles between San Francisco and Puerto Vallarta. We'll have more on them and their boat in the April issue.

Christian aboard Blue Dragon in Banderas Bay

Ali and Christian on the bow of Profligate in Banderas Bay
Photos Latitude/Richard

The Race Is Won

March 5 - Marseille, France

In case you missed our report on Friday, Grant Dalton and Club Med finished the 23,300 mile course of The Race in just 62 days and less than seven hours. They actually covered 27,409 miles for an average speed of 18.3 knots. In addition, they set a new 24-hour speed record of 655 nautical miles, an average of 27.3 knots. At the time they finished, the second place boat, Innovation Explorer, was still 70 miles from Gibraltar. Dalton and his international crew crossed the finish line off Marseille at better than 20 knots, where they were greeted by a fleet of 400 boats and 15,000 enthusiastic spectators on land.

"We won the race in the passage of the Saint Helena high," said Dalton, "both on the way down and on the way back up, because we were exactly where we should have been. This anticyclone is a real level crossing and we negotiated it well. Another key reason is that we all stuck to the strategy we fixed at the start. The work of our router and our navigator was exemplary. Moreover, we invested a lot beforehand in preparation. And really we had a fantastic crew of solid boys coming from all over the world all with varied and complementary qualities. In fact, the race went according to plan. We knew exactly what we were in for. This race round the world has been for me the greatest in my sailing career."

Photo Courtesy
Club Med

Dalton had praise for all his competitors, and said that Cam Lewis and Team Adventure might well have been the fastest boat, but that the boats couldn't be pushed all out in the Southern Ocean without breaking anything. He also said that they hadn't pushed their boat as hard as they could have, and that the 62-day time can be beaten. Dalton saluted organizer Bruno Peyron, and said he hopes there will be more in the future. He joined many others in saying that this event and these big multihulls have turned another page in the history of sailing.

Loïck Peyron and Innovation Explorer are currently about 50 miles south of Ibiza, and if they don't stop to party at that always wild island, they should cross the finish line on Tuesday afternoon.

Ranking of March 5, 2001, 15:00:00 GMT

1. Club Med arrived on March 3, 2001
2. Innovation Explorer / dtf 239.1 miles
3. Team Adventure / dtl 5,346.1 miles
4. Warta Polpharma / dtl 6,077.3 miles
5. Team Legato / dtl 8,774.5 miles

Cruising Australia

March 5 - Sydney, Australia

"Attached is a photo of one of the spots where we were hanging out for the last couple of weeks," reports George Backhus of the Deerfoot 62 Moonshadow. "Is this spot gorgeous or what! This little cove is on Smith's Creek off of Broken Bay in the Kuring Gai Chase National Park. According to the GPS, this mooring is only 12.7 nautical miles from the Central Business District of Sydney! The wildlife is awesome, and during the week - when the personal watercraft are sitting safely in the garage - the quiet is almost deafening."

Photo George Backhus

This Is a Bust!

March 5 - Pacific Ocean

Is America's appetite for cocaine on the wane? Based on the fact that the Coast Guard has seized over 14 tons in just the last six days, we'd have to doubt it. The Coasties' busy week was capped yesterday when they picked off a rusty fishing boat 250 miles west of Acapulco that was carrying 8.8 tons of blow. Eight of the crew were from Nicaragua, one from El Salvador, and one from the Ukraine. Despite seizing a total of 66 tons in the year 2000, the Coast Guard figures that they only stop a fraction of the coke being shipped from Colombia to the Caribbean and/or Mexico, and then to the United States.

Unique Visitors or Just Hits

March 5 - Cyberspace

"Just wondering, but are you sure the 4,026 'unique visitors' per day to 'Lectronic Latitude is a count of actual persons visiting the page?" asks Gary Albright of the J/22 Talisman Banana. "Or could they just be 'hits', which are often touted as representing visits, but which can be highly misleading since every graphic element on a page registers a 'hit' when one person views the page. For example, if you have a logo and 10 photos on a page, one person viewing the page one time will register 11 hits. I don't mean to challenge your statement, as 4,000 hits per day is certainly possible. I'm just a frequent visitor to your excellent Web site, who happens to be curious. I'm also a 22-year loyal reader, cover-to-cover, of Latitude 38, and still have almost every issue beginning with six or seven."

Gary and Readers: This issue arose when we made a mistake in the March Latitude, saying we got 4,026 unique visitors to 'Lectronic Latitude in the month of January. In truth, we got an average of 4,026 unique visitors per day, or a total of 120,809. As for 'hits' or 'requests', we averaged over 59,000 per day for a total of 1,709,522. And we're hoping to attract more. We haven't solicited or accepted advertising for 'Lectronic Latitude as yet, but will permit a small amount of it in the near future.

MEXORC and Heineken St. Maarten Regatta

March 5 - Puerto Vallarta and St. Maarten

Both these events have concluded, and we'll have reports tomorrow.


March 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

Weather Updates

March 5 - 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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