Passage West
Hits Container and Sinks off Baja

May 21 - Pacific Coast of Baja

Monk Henry of Sausalito - who did the '98 Ha-Ha aboard the Sausalito-based Cheoy Lee 36 Passage West, and who has been spending most of his time in Puerto Vallarta since, reports that his boat struck a container halfway between Abreojos and Cape San Lazaro on the Pacific side of Baja on the night of May 16. Monk, who was singlehanding at the time, quickly realized that the boat was taking on water rapidly from a hole somewhere beneath the head. His Mayday was received by the sailing vessel Misty, which coordinated rescue operations. (Monk doesn't know your name, but would like to thank you from the bottom of his heart.) A good number of diverse boats - cruisers, Japanese ships, Mexican fishermen and such - responded. It was determined that the modern Mexican LPG carrier Burgos could be on the scene in 2.5 hours, faster than anyone else.

Shortly before 11 p.m., Monk - who had lost his glasses and his knife in the battle to save his boat - was in the cockpit, and with water all around was about to inflate his liferaft. "Don't do it," came a voice in English over the radio, "we're here!" It was the crew of the Burgos. When they came alongside in a 14-foot boat, Monk had to step up to get in. It was blowing about 20 knots with three to 10 foot seas.

Monk was "treated like a prince" by the crew and taken to the LPG terminal just north of Ensenada. He can't say the same for the American Consulate in Tijuana, which "treated me like shit". Monk says he could have gotten "more help in any bar".

Graphic of the Day

May 21 - Vollenhove, Netherlands

This is clearly the era of the individual mega sailing yacht, as unprecedented numbers of sailboats over 100 feet are being built. But when it comes to mega, mega, mega private sailing yachts unlike the world has ever seen, Jim Clark's 292-foot three-masted schooner Athena takes the cake. To date, the biggest private sailing yacht we're aware of is the 212-foot schooner Adix, which will be dwarfed by Athena when she's completed by the Royal Huisman yard in Vollenhove in 2004. The schooner will displace 980 tons, and carry liferafts for 96! That she will be built is old news, but just how big she'll be is just starting to sink in.

Clark, of course, was a principal at Silicon Graphics and Netscape, and currently owns the 154-foot sloop Hyperion.

There Otter Be a Law

May 21 - Mill Valley

Latitude 38's office is located in Mill Valley, about a mile up Miller Creek from Richardson Bay. While on deadline yesterday morning, several of our employees were startled to see an otter - which they described as about three feet long - eating all the steelhead in a little pond. How the otter got up the often shallow creek was a mystery to everyone. At least he left the ducklings and heron alone.

Miller Creek widens briefly into a small pond after passing under Locust Avenue. This little spot is popular with local nature lovers, wildlife, kids, and editors in need of a breather.
Photo Latitude/Richard


May 21 - 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

May 21 - 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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