November 30 - La Paz, BCS

Tomorrow is Subasta - meaning 'auction' - one of the biggest days of the year for the overwhelmingly gringo Club Cruceros de La Paz (Cruising Club of La Paz). The club Web site explains:

"It started in the mid-'80s as a collection of saleable items, donated by the then existing fleet of visitors in the La Paz harbor, to raise funds to purchase items that could be distributed among the less fortunate families in the outlying areas - colonias - of La Paz. Club Cruceros was formed in 1988, and that year was our first concerted effort to create not just an auction, but a combined fair and auction. Mac and Mary Shroyer of Marina de La Paz offered their parking lot as a stage, and allowed the club to set up a bazaar for the sale of donated used clothing and other items too small for the auction, a beer booth, a bake sale booth, and booths for outside vendors of food and other items. The outside vendors donate one-third of their proceeds to the cause. The event, which became known as Subasta, has been held every year since, and proven to be a good fund-raiser for the club. Folks can visit the Charities page at to find out where all the money goes. The funds are used both at Christmas and the rest of the following year. In addition to these efforts, we send out a solicitation by mail to the States, which usually brings in enough to help us meet most of the needs of the colonias we have dedicated ourselves to help."

If anyone wishes to contribute cash to Subasta, checks should be sent to Union Bank of California, Castle Park Branch #40, 1343 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91911. The Club Cruceros Account number is 0400016445.

Ha-Ha Participants Contribute to Subasta

November 30 - San Diego

Thanks to the aerial photos of the Ha-Ha start taken by Tom Lyon and purchased by the skippers in Cabo San Lucas, the total of $925 in profits has been donated to Subasta. If we're not mistaken, this is the largest amount ever. Here are what some of the shots looked like:

Photos Tom Lyon

For more shots like these, see 'Lectronic Latitude for November 7 and November 8.

ARC Fleet News

November 30 - Atlantic Ocean

The ARC yachts continue to have a superb sail across the Atlantic, thanks in part to Hurricane Olga, which has generated excellent winds. However ARC weather forecasters, WCS Marine Weather, report that Olga has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, so its affects on the Atlantic weather are predicted to lessen. A respite from the strong trade winds will be well received by the fleet, as a number of the yachts are busy sewing sails back together or fixing broken gear.

The Heath-Robinson Award for inventiveness has so far gone to the crew of Sydney 41 El Sid, which suffered a broken boom 24 hours out from Las Palmas. Navigator Craig describes the incident: "Well, a very interesting 24 hours. We had been bombing along at 14-16 knots at times and then, like a piece of plastecine, the boom folded itself in two in front of our very eyes. We got the mainsail down and retrieved both bits without incident, then sat down in the cockpit to discuss how we might fix it." After sleeping on the problem overnight, the crew set to work the next morning.

"Next morning we were up and set the kite, which got us off on the right track, and not too slowly. Today and yesterday we had to stop to fix steering problems, then again today (Thursday) we stopped for about 3.5 hours to sort it out for good. Terry and Ian going into the 'gimp-hole' for ages and making some very reassuring banging noises. We are back on course now, afraid that the race is probably over for us. We are now surfing along under the most bizarre jury rig you have ever seen: twin #3 headsails, one poled out, and a trysail! However, our morale is at an all-time high and we all now understand the expression 'necessity is the mother of invention'!"

Meanwhile, Kate Gower sailing on Valhalla, a Swan 55, has been getting to grips with the daily radio net, still a vital part of the ARC, even in the age of mobile satellite telephones. Kate reports that life is good aboard Valhalla, and as the only lady amongst six chaps, she is queen of the boat. "It's sunny and hot with 26 knots of wind, and I couldn't be happier," said Kate. In the hot sunshine, the yacht's store of fruit is ripening quickly, so a fruit-eating contest is underway. As compensation, the daily happy hour was extended yesterday when the boat's clock was moved back one hour; the first of five time changes on route to St.Lucia.

For more Atlantic Rally for Cruisers news, visit

Racing or Cruising?

November 30 - Southern Ocean recently ran an article by Peter Bentley accusing the Amer Sports Two women's entry in the Volvo Around the World Race of not really trying hard. Among other things, Bentley cited reports that the skipper, Lisa MacDonald, and the navigator had become the de facto cooks, something that would never happen on a men's boat. The article raised a ruckus, but nearly 45% of those in a poll agreed that the women were "cruising" rather than racing. For what it's worth, in a missive that was published in Latitude 38 last month, crewmember Melissa Purdy of Tiburon groused that they were sailing their boat "like girls." Nonetheless, given the amount of experience and opportunities these women have had, we think they are doing reasonably well, and don't deserve the dumping.

Crew work in the Southern Ocean . . .

. . . and in warmer latitudes
All Photos Courtesy

Good news from Amer Sports One: If Keith Kilpatrick's recovery from intestinal blockage continues as it has, he will be able to rejoin the crew for the remaining legs.

Skipper Lisa McDonald
Photo Guido Cantini

Bridget Suckling on the bow

Photo Carlo Borlenghi

The Race to Be Held Again in 2004

November 30 - France

The December issue of Yachting World reports that there will be another The Race, the around the world event for maxi multihulls - in 2004. They also report that Steve Fossett, fresh off the sensational transatlantic crossing at an average of 25.42 knots, will be one of the competitors. Time will only tell, of course.

While all the big cats sit idle this winter, Olivier de Kersauson, who still holds the official Jules Verne Around the World Record trophy, will be setting off to lower the record in Geronimo, his new 110-ft by 69-ft trimaran. Designed by Marc van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prevost, she appears to be very fast.

Photo Benoit Stichelbaut/DPPI

Arctic Sailing on TV

November 30 - Svalbard Archipelago, Norway

Join Gary Jobson this weekend for the ESPN documentary 80° North Under Sail, a journey to the Arctic. In a region of the world rarely visited by sailboat, the crew aboard the Oyster 62 Oystercatcher XXIV explores the Svalbard Archipelago and battles extreme weather conditions. The show airs this Sunday, December 2, at 3:00 pm PST, on ESPN.


November 30 - 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

November 30 - 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 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:
For another view, see

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