Photos of the Day

May 7 - San Pablo Bay

It was one of the lightest and warmest Vallejo Races in recent memory. Our photographers were on station near the Brother Islands, and these are but a few of the images they captured. It was tough getting out of the channel on the way home on Sunday - as can be seen from the photo by Paul Kamen - but the boats with patience had another good sail across San Pablo Bay to the finish at the Richmond Bridge.

Saturday's race to Vallejo
Above Photos Latitude/Andy and JR

Sunday's slow start against a flooding current
Photo Paul Kamen

Mediterranean Odyssey

May 7 - Mediterranean

Most cruisers dream of sailing off to the South Pacific. We love the tropics, too, but if we could put our boat anywhere right now, it would be in the Med. As it turns out, there may be an event with us in mind.

Alfredo Giacon and Ramon Jovani Sans, a couple of vets of the Millennium Around World Odyssey, had so much fun in that event that they decided to start the Med Odyssey, which, as you can see from the chart, starts in Italy and takes the fleet to Spain, Sardinia, back to Italy, Tunisia, Malta, back to Italy again, and over to Greece. It may look like a long way, but compared to the South Pacific, the Med is a tidy little package. As such, the event is expected to consist of 20 days of sailing and 30 days of socializing and exploring. Alfredo and Ramon decided to hold the event in May and June, which is when they claim the winds are the best without getting too wild. About 45 boats have paid the up to $3,000 U.S. fee, plus $200 for each crew. It's a bit of money, but it covers all the berthing, and the checking in and out is taken care of.

The first Med Odyssey started just a few days ago, and sure sounds like fun to us. First of all, the Med has all that great cultural stuff. In addition, while it's fun cruising with a bunch of Americans and Canadians, you get a whole different take on life when you cruise in company with Italians, Spaniards, the French, Germans and other Europeans. If this year's event is a success and they do it again next year, we plan on chartering a big cat and taking part. Anybody interested?

Photo Courtesy

Profligate and Crew Persevere

May 7 - California Coast

As we reported several days ago, the delivery crew on our 63-ft cat Profligate found themselves in some nasty weather off the Central California coast last week. According to a tug captain next to them, it was blowing a steady 40 to 50 knots, with gusts over 60 knots. According to the Cape San Martin Buoy, the seas were 23 feet. That's the kind of stuff we like to avoid.

We still don't completely understand how the crew came to find themselves in the situation they did. There were warnings up before they left Santa Barbara, which would have kept us in port. But there wasn't much wind at the time, so they decided to motor up to Conception to check it out. It wasn't bad there either, so they decided to press on. By the time they were abeam of Morro Bay, gale warnings were in full effect and had been for some time - but they still continued on. There's no way we would have. Gale warnings on the Central California coast mean one thing to us: get your butt to Port San Luis or back around Conception immediately. Profligate motors at nearly 10 knots, so it wouldn't have taken but a couple of hours to be snug on the hook in calm waters.

Over the next four hours, the conditions - as forecast - went to hell. Before long, they were slowly - by intent - motoring up the face of huge breaking waves at 2.5 knots, and unintentionally accelerating down the backs at four or five knots. The boat seemed to be handling it better than the crew, who had started to get sick. Nonetheless, their plan was to continue making slow progress toward Santa Cruz or simply let the gale blow itself out. One of the crew said he didn't want to turn back unless the owner of the boat instructed the captain to do so.

When they were finally able to reach us, it was a no brainer to us. Turn the boat around and get ready to stream warps. After all, a cat is most uncomfortable going upwind, and most comfortable down wind. Once they turned the boat around, they started sailing under windage alone at between five and 12 knots. At one point they hit 16.2 knots. But all was under control, with the autopilot steering, and warps weren't needed. Before long, the crew started to feel better. The only problems were two waves, which pooped the very high cockpit. About 120 gallons rolled through the companionway and down into the port hull. It didn't do the rugs any good, but they were just going to be replaced anyway.

Eventually, they made their way back to Santa Barbara, where it was discovered that the spline in the Saildrive unit was trashed, meaning the boat had to be hauled and the Saildrive replaced. After 36 hours in a gale, followed by a few hours sleep, the three-man crew had a lovely sail down to Oxnard and the Channel Islands Boatyard, the only place in the area capable of lifting such a big cat. The next day we showed up with a new Saildrive and started the repair process. If all our dreams come true, both Saildrives with be replaced, the props gone over, and the bottom painted by Friday.

With the boat out of the water, we had a great chance to check her out for damage, as this was the first real blow she'd been in. Other than salt residue throughout the inside of the boat and a couple of minor things, there was no damage. While it's good to know Profligate has been battle tested, our future delivery instructions will be much more explicit: When possible, sit out the bad weather, especially when headed into it, and especially along the coast of California. We think it's good advice for all boats and crews.

This is Profligate in the flat waters of Banderas Bay. Coming up the coast, the faces of the biggest waves were about as high as the spreaders.


May 7 - 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 7 - 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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