Photo of the Day

October 19 - Trieste, Italy

How would you have liked to have been the head of the race committee for the 33rd Barcolana Race off Trieste, Italy? Carlo Borlenghi's great shots of this incredible event can be found at

Photo Carlo Borlenghi/Sea & See

Metzler Is No More

October 19 - Calgary, Alberta

"Good luck on your search for a Metzler inflatable," write Gerry & Carolyn White. "We had a 1985 Metzler Maya (11'10"), which finally stopped holding air this year. Despite a trip to the inflatable boat repair depot and our own repair efforts, it was a lost cause. Too bad, as we have the full sailing kit option, which was purchased eight years ago and is in excellent condition. We loved sailing the Maya as, with its two pontoons, it handled like a catamaran in that it sailed flat. In winds greater than 15 knots, we could fly a hull. All in all, it was a great dinghy, with a good payload, and a fun sailing craft. If you can't find a used one, the Metzler equivalent - Metzler was bought out by Zodiac - is now called Jumbo. They are the same design - tubular floor, inflatable transom - as the original Metzler, and have the same product line names: Aztek (9'9"), Maya and Juca (13'2"). There are two major differences: the color is no longer orange, which we felt was a bonus safety factor, and Hypalon is no longer used in their manufacture. The only North American distributor that we are aware of is Auto Marine Specialties Ltd., 4718 1st St. SW, Calgary AB T2G 0A2. Phone (403) 287-2121. If you have a raft of good used Mayas appear out of the woodwork, let us know, as we would buy one again to make use of the sailing kit. Or, if someone really wants the sailing kit, we'd sell it as it's not doing us a lot of good now. P.S.: Besides being a great sailing mag, Latitude has one of the most authentic and honest approaches to journalism and reporting of any publication in North America."

Meeting About Anchor-Outs

October 19 - Sausalito

"The public meeting Wednesday evening at the Bay Model was hardly just a dry
and boring BCDC presentation," is the report we got. "In fact, it was not a BCDC meeting at all, but rather a 'public meeting to discuss Richardson Bay.' There were representatives of almost every agency or board that has either jurisdiction over or interest in Richardson Bay, and it was moderated by Assemblyman Joe Nation. The panel included Marin Supervisor Annette Rose, Will Travis from BCDC, Linda Christman from the RBRA - but also many representatives of marine trade organizations, marinas, floating homes association, State Lands Commission and boating in general.

"Each panel member gave a short speech (5-7 minutes) about who they were, what they do and what they represent. There were many speakers on the panel who promoted very strong sentiments in favor of cleaning up the anchorage in Richardson Bay. After each panel member - 11 in all - gave their presentation and their views, the floor was opened to questions and answers from the audience. It was a very big disappointment that very few of local waterfront businesses and even marina tenants were on hand to give their views. One of the few on hand to present very strong views in favor of cleaning the anchorage was the Mayor of Tiburon. It's not uncommon for anchored out boats and other debris to end up on Tiburon shores in the winter.

"It also would have been a perfect forum for Latitude to have directly addressed the panel, in front of the audience, and ask the questions that Latitude often asks: Why are there so many unregistered boats? Why does a private marina have to offer dinghy dock access while the one that is home to a Marin Supervisor and is required to have one does not? Why doesn't Richardson Bay have moorings? Why haven't the derelict boats been removed from the anchorage?

"Despite several marina owners and others in the audience, there was also a large and very vociferous group of anchor-outs presenting their 'case'. For the most part, they weren't much more than entertainment for those present - but at least they were there. Many of those who would prefer a cleaner Richardson Bay were not. The individual whose presence was probably most important at this particular meeting was conspicuous in his absence. Richardson Bay Harbormaster Bill Price's name was often mentioned, but he was nowhere to be seen."

The Rocks and a 'Voice of Reason?'

October 19 - San Francisco Bay

In response to our recent mystery anchorage photos, Bill Sewall writes: "San Francisco's got its Rock and so does Plymouth, Massachusetts. I haven't been there in years, but the monument pictured for your mystery harbor question sure looks like the monument that shelters the Plymouth Rock. I also wanted to say that in these desperate times, I have found a lot of new heroes - from the firemen and policemen who bravely charged into the World Trade Towers, to the likes of Mayor Guiliani who, despite all his flaws, has been a bastion of calm in the face of horrific events. While you probably wouldn't agree, I also count Latitude on my list of heroes. You provide a refuge from the atrocities of the outside world, a voice of sanity and reason. Each day I know I can go to 'Lectronic Latitude and find something humorous, thoughtful or challenging. 'Lectronic Latitude probably will never save people's lives - unless you count the many articles about the need to wear PFDs - solve world hunger - unless you count your charitable work for the villages of Mexico - or bring world peace unless you count your guidance on how to avoid being an 'Ugly American' when sailing in foreign countries. Still, you provide something by which I can model and measure my own life. Thanks."

You're correct, Bill, in that we think you're going way overboard to even begin to suggest we're heroes. Nonetheless, it's true that we believe that sailing is great therapy for these challenging times. Each time we've gone out since 9/11, we've had a wonderful time and gotten a much better perspective on the situation. So, we believe, do the folks in the accompanying photographs who were also out sailing.

All photos Latitude/Richard

If anybody wants our take on the general situation, here goes: That the jets were hijacked and permitted to slam into the various buildings was not an example of the brilliance of the terrorists, but rather a failure of this country to have even the most basic self-defense system in place. Shame on us, who once before had been caught sleeping at Pearl Harbor. The real miracle is that only 5,000 people lost their lives, as a more intelligent plan could have easily resulted in 20 times as many deaths. We think that the anthrax business is part of the terrorist campaign - and yet another example of their incompetence. As yet, we see absolutely no reason to be frightened by it, and are ashamed that Congress reacted - as the New York Post described - like "whimps." That was chickenshit, not leadership. Similarly, our gut feeling is that there is an increasing amount of bluster coming out of the Taliban and Ossa because they don't have a lot else. Talk is cheap. Our most important immediate step? Basic home defense. For starters, this means requiring every non-citizen to check in at least once a week - as well as every time buying an airline ticket, etc. - via a 'Fast Track' type card swipe system. If you've got cancerous cells in your body, you need to be able to find them and track them. If you're a country, you need and have the right to track those who want to destroy you. And non-citizens, of course, do not enjoy the same legal rights as citizens.

There are potential pitfalls everywhere, of course, and we could be completely wrong, but from the depths of our heart we're very optimistic. As a result of the attack, we're convinced that the world is going to be a much safer - albeit different place - a year from now. We hope you share our optimism - and that you'll go sailing this weekend to gain better perspective on the situation. And as silly as it might seem, buying a boat or buying sailing gear - both of which help the economy - truly is patriotic, because it gets money in circulation and creates jobs and supports the economy.

Brian Thompson in the Mini Transat Lead

October 19 - Atlantic Ocean

Brian Thompson, known to many Northern Californians as a long time professional crew aboard Steve Fossett's Lakota and later PlayStation, has taken over the lead in the grueling Mini Transat. The event, you'll remember, is a race from England to Brazil - with a stop in the Canaries - for singlehanders in wildly overcanvassed 20-footers. With 1,734 miles to go, Brian has a small lead over three other boats, and a 50 mile lead over the pack.

Thompson is in GBR 247
Photo Jacques Vapillon

Dalton Does It

October 19 - Atlantic Ocean

Grant Dalton in Amer Sports One is building on his 40 miles lead over John Kostecki's illbruck in the Volvo Race with less than 2,000 miles to Cape Town. News Corp is another 53 miles back.


October 19 - 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

October 19 - 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 (Note: This page seems to be working correctly again.)

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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