On Duty

November 23 - Turtle Bay, Baja California

People might think of the Ha-Ha as all fun and games, but there's work - cough, cough - to be done too. Here (above) Dona de Mallorca, Banjo Andy, the Mayor of Turtle Bay, and Wendy, discuss next year's Lobster Festival, to be put on exclusively for the Ha-Ha fleet by the four local lobster co-ops.

Earlier, de Mallorca presented the mayor with one of several bags of antibiotics and other medical supplies for the small town (above right). That night, the crew of Profligate checked out the town's fire truck . . . and having sampled some of the local tequila, resolved to bring a replacement truck on next year's rally (lower right).

Photos Latitude/Richard

Meds Reach Kilpatrick in Southern Ocean

November 23 - Southern Ocean

Southern Californian Keith Kilpatrick continues to suffer from an acute intestinal blockage aboard Amer Sports One in the Volvo Around the World Race. His condition is reported to be stable, thanks in large part to Roger Nilson, a trained physician who is navigator on the boat, and additional medical supplies dropped by an Australian Orion P3 airplane. Nilson described Kilpatrick's condition:

"Keith's condition is stable but mostly unchanged with signs of intestinal total or partial obstruction. He still needs drugs for pain relief and sleeping. He is on two heavy antibiotics. Added today a spasmolytic intravenous drug we got from the drop off. So far he has received five liters of intravenous fluids and we have his dehydration under control. He still has colic cramps as before, and we plan to get him off the boat as soon as possible. He needs better hospital care then we can offer and we are asking Race HQ how and when to get him off. We got 30 liters of fluid from the seven packages dropped down, and also we needed more syringes, needles, infusion sets, sterile water for mixing antibiotics, more morphine etc. We got it all from the Orion."

Nilson went on to describe the drop itself from the Royal Australian Air Force plane:

"With stunning precision, they dropped off seven packages perfectly, about 300 meters straight in front of us. The timing was critical as night was falling fast. The last box was picked up just before we totally lost daylight but the aircraft had strobe lights if needed. We took the spinnaker down and used the mainsail and engine, going bow to wind in order to pick up boxes with a boat hook we made for the job. It all went very smoothly, as the weather conditions were perfect: 12 knots of westerly wind, only two-meter swell and a well-tuned crew."

Keith Kilpatrick with wife Tara at the
start of the Volvo Race in Southampton
Photo Courtesy Nautor Challenge

Credit Card Fraud in Baja

November 23 - Cabo San Lucas, BCS

"I recently returned to San Diego after a great trip to Cabo in the Ha-Ha," reports Chucki Bellitti. "I stayed an additional four days, during which time I used my Visa card twice; once in a restaurant and once in an art store. Yesterday, I got a call from Visa saying that thousands of dollars of charges had been made on my Visa all over Baja. My card number had been used to create another card, and a red flag went up with Visa - which quickly canceled my card. If I had been cruising on my own boat, it would have been virtually impossible for Visa to have contacted me, and I probably would have found out the hard way when my card hit the limit."

Thanks for the warning. There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of credit card fraud in Mexico in the last few years.

Cabo San Lucas with with the Ha-Ha fleet in the background
Photo Latitude/Richard

Great American II Closes on Record

November 23 - Pacific Ocean

Adventure sailors Rich Wilson and Bill Biewenga celebrated Thanksgiving at sea today, 1,000 miles southwest of Melbourne, with the sailing record for the passage from New York to Melbourne within their grasp. Sailing through storm conditions on Wilson's 53-foot trimaran Great American II, the pair was barely 400 miles ahead of the track of the extreme clipper ship Mandarin, the vessel that has held the sailing record for the 14,000-mile voyage for nearly a century and a half. The 400-mile lead is equivalent to about a day and a half of sailing time. Wilson, from Rockport, Mass., and Biewenga, who lives in Newport, RI, are out to beat Mandarin's record of 69 days 14 hours, set as she carried prospectors to the Australian Gold Rush in the winter of 1855-56.

Dashews Finish First in Caribbean 1500

November 23 - Virgin Gorda, BVI

The 52 boats in early November's West Marine Caribbean 1500 had to cool their heels for four days while waiting for hurricane Michelle to clear the course from Hampton, Virginia, to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgins. After she did, the fleet faced a variety of conditions, from flat calm and mirror seas to winds in the low 30s and big seas.

Tucson's Steve and Linda Dashew with their 78-ft ketch Beowulf smashed the elapsed time record by four hours, a record they'd established only last year. The couple completed the 1,314-mile course in 123 hours, 37 hours of which were motoring, as is allowed under the rally rules. Apparently none of the 52 entries sailed the entire course, as the largest catamaran motored substantially longer. As of press time, motor allowances and handicaps hadn't been announced, so we have no idea who might have corrected out first. Regretably, the organizers haven't even provided the most basic information on boats entered, so we have no idea what type or size boats entered, and from where.

Photo Courtesy Dashew Offshore

Three of the 52 boats didn't complete the course. One of them returned to Virginia after breaking a boom, two dropped out in Bermuda with gear problems, and Bon Secour, vessel type unknown, was abandoned 250 miles from Bermuda after a bad encounter with a fishing net. A rope in her prop ripped her engine right off the mounts to begin with, then the rudder got snagged. When a diver was unable to clear the mess, the owners and crew abandoned the boat for a British naval vessel heading to Florida. One other boat was still at sea during the awards ceremony, while two arrived by dinner. A hurricane delay can really screw up a schedule.

More than 600 boats have paid an average of $1,000 to do the Caribbean 1500 over the years. Generally speaking, it is a much more challenging event than the Ha-Ha on both boats and crew.

Book of the U. S. Navy, 1905

November 23 - Mill Valley

At its best, Thanksgiving is a family holiday, and family reminiscences tend to come up around the dinner table. Last night, the Webmistress's father got out this priceless relic, a yearbook of the U.S. Navy (above), when his father served as a Coxswain aboard the steamship USS Nevada (below). The dedication page has Grandpa's name, rank, the name of his ship and the date, June 10, 1905, in calligraphy. The book is filled with full size photos, of the highest quality, showing ships and men of the era.

'Two Game Birds on U. S. S. Illinois' (detail). Apparently cock-fighting was an acceptable pastime aboard Navy ships.

Although most of the ships pictured were similar to the Nevada (and mostly larger), a few toward the back of the book were tallships, such as this depiction of the USS St. Mary's under full sail.

This one is aptly titled 'An Interesting Moment on U. S. S. Florida' (detail). The crew is huddled around cards, cash and dice, and an epée and fencing gloves lay in the foreground. Most of the crew were clean-shaven and slender, while the captains and admirals are pictured as somewhat portly and carrying 'soup-strainer' mustaches, after the fashion set by President Theodore Roosevelt.

All Photos Enrique Muller, Official Photographer U.S. Navy
Published by the A.B. Benesch Co., New York


November 23 - 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 http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/

Weather Updates

November 23 - 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 http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/.

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.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.

Pacific Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.

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