Photos of the Day

May 24 - San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay and Carquinez Strait

While sailing from Sausalito to Napa Valley on Tuesday, we sailed by these folks who were also enjoying a great day on the water. There's nothing like mid-week sailing!

Photos Latitude/Richard

Max Props

May 24 - Napa

The reason we'd gone up the river was to readjust the settings on our three-bladed feathering Maxi Props. We had a Max Prop on Big O for many years, and put two on Profligate when she was launched. Max Props aren't cheap, but they really improve boat performance over a fixed three-blade prop, and we've been very happy with them. In fact, the only problem has been mechanic error.

When you put a Max Prop on your boat, you sometimes have to fiddle with the settings to find the correct one. Too much pitch and your engine lugs. Too little pitch and your boat doesn't move through the water. The problem is you can't change the pitch without hauling the boat out of the water, which is expensive, particularly for big cats. So you darn well better remember your correct setting, and you'd better get it right.

When we hauled Profligate about two years ago, one of our crew members removed and serviced the props. Inexplicably he reassembled the props willy-nilly. So when the boat was launched and both engines were put in forward, one went forward with way too much pitch, the other went in reverse! On the way up from Mexico this year, we hauled Profligate at Channel Islands Boatyard to replace the Saildrives. One of the workers there seemed really familiar with Max Props, so we left them in his hands. When the boat was put back in the water and the engine put in forward, they went into reverse. When put into reverse, they went forward - but not very fast. Once we got the boat hauled again at Napa Valley Marina - for which Channel Islands is graciously picking up the tab - we discovered the cause of the problem. There are two letter settings that have to be made. They got the right letters, but they had them reversed.

In the photos here, Tom List of List Marine is shown getting things straight. Due to the complicated nature of the props, you can see why they can't be changed in the water. Actually, Max Prop now offers a more expensive model that does allow for changing in the water, but they don't fit on boats with Saildrives, such as on our cat and many other sailboats.

Photos Latitude/Richard

Eat Your Heart Out Mexico!

May 24 - Barillas Marina, El Salvador

"Having spent two seasons in Mexico, and annoyed at the constant check-in/out and related costs, a lot of us are so pleased to have headed south to El Salvador," report Dorsey and Janice Warren of the San Francisco-based Mariner 48 Sun Dazzler. "Eat your heart out Mexico, with all your hassles. When we arrived at the Barillas Marina Club, the panga boys helped us with our mooring, and within minutes the manager of the Marina arrived - with Customs and the Port Captain! After a cursory boat inspection, we were checked in. Our visas cost $10 each, and that was the only fee.

"It is very quiet here - no blaring music from the beach - with lots of land birds, free van rides into town to shop, a short walk to a troop of spider monkeys, and a lovely pool and restaurant. The Internet service has to be seen to be believed: there are 12 new machines in an air-conditioned room, or you can take your own laptop to one of the 12 palapas which are wired w/power & telephone and connect to a local service for $1.40/hour. So here we are, typing this next to the pool under a palapa. Some of the girls are sewing an awning or doing other large projects in the air conditioned room made available for them. Other girls are doing aqua exercises in the pool, someone is folding a sail on the lawn, and others are pulling dinghies up a nice ramp. There are also free dinghy rides to your boat. The river water is murky, so we don't make water but rather pull up to the fuel dock once in a while to hose off and fill up. There are potlucks every Thursday night and other special dinners. We had planned to stay a couple of days; now it's been three weeks and we have to extract ourselves from the embrace of Barillas. The moorings cost under $6 a night. The security and boat care is good, so many folks leave their boats here while traveling home for the summer."

Relaxing Barillas Marina
Photos George Zeigler, AliKat

The Balboa Ferry, Dummy!

May 24 - Newport Beach

The other day we ran a photo of a pedestrian/car ferry in Newport Beach, and identified it as the "Lido Ferry." John Bousa knows better. "It's actually the Balboa Ferry that runs between Balboa Island and the Balboa Peninsula." Thanks for the correction.

Photo Latitude/Richard


May 24 - 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 24 - 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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