Photo of the Day

December 9 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

International terrorist? Today's Photo of the Day is of political correctness run amok. The lovely little lady in the photo is four-year-old Alexandra 'Lexi' Gross, who is cruising with her parents and three siblings aboard the Alaska-based Paine sloop Evolution. After doing the Ha-Ha, the family sailed to Puerto Vallarta, then flew to New York to spend Thanksgiving with relatives. When about to board the Continental flight to New York, little Lexi was taken aside by security officials for extra searching to make sure she wasn't . . . what, getting ready to blow the plane up? Sure, she's got a mischievously cute little smile, but was this crazy or what?

Lexi wasn't the only Gross child to have problems in Mexico. Arian, six, T-boned the edge of one of the Paradise Resort and Marina pools with the his nose while swimming. Fortunately, both parents are physicians and Arian's a tough little guy, so the pool probably suffered more than anything.


Photos Latitude/Richard



Did We Do Something Bad in a Previous Life?

December 9 - Victoria, BC

"In December 2001, Latitude ran an item about Les MacNeill and Marcia Stromsmoe, who were viciously beaten while ashore at Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, while en route back to their Victoria, BC, homeport aboard their boat Rio Nimpkish," writes James MacNeill. "To update the story, they were medically evacuated to Australia and then Canada. Marcia is almost fine, with what she estimates 90% of her previous abilities. Les is physically fine, but has suffered a serious brain injury. He has lost short term memory and abstraction abilities - numbers, time, names. Fortunately, he can remember everything up to the attack, and retains his sense of humor and spirit. He refuses to 'let that *#!#%&! ruin his life'.

"Marcia returned to Rabaul with three friends to deliver Rio Nimpkish back to Victoria. They learned the boat, which had been put in care of a local yacht club, had been broken into twice! It all makes Les and Marcia wonder if they are having to atone for something bad they'd done in a previous life. In any event, the boat was sailed back to Victoria where, sadly, she was sold in September.

"While a lot of stuff had been taken during the theft, perhaps the worst losses were of photos and their address book. Les and Marcia would love to hear from any and all of the cruisers they met in Mexico, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, New Zealand or Australia. They can be contacted at: 583 Toronto Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 1P1; or (250) 381-2176. They give their season's greetings to all."

America's Cup Inaction

December 9 - Auckland, NZ

Yesterday was supposed to be the start of the matches between Oracle BMW and Alinghi - which just dropped a mast the day before - and OneWorld and Prada. Unfortunately, for the 15th time in 42 days, the wind didn't cooperate, so there was no racing. Under the Louis Vuitton rules - which are set by the challengers for their own best interest - there is no racing if the wind is blowing less than seven knots or over 19 knots.

The big action was ashore, where it was ruled that the OneWorld Challenge will have a point deducted in each round for however much longer they are able to stay alive on their America's Cup effort. This because for the second time an arbitration panel ruled they had broken the regatta's rules for possessing and using design material that belonged to the New Zealand team. Designer Ian Mitchell told the panel he had a computer disk which contained six to eight Team New Zealand files detailing design and structural material from their 2000 campaign. He also had files on an old computer from his days with Team New Zealand's 1995 campaign. Neither he nor OneWorld had declared the information in previous affidavits submitted to the panel at an earlier hearing on the case. OneWorld opponents will have a point taken away from them in each round rather than their opponents getting a free win.

Columbia Arrives in Port, and All Are Well

December 9 - Manzanillo, Mexico

The mystery of what happened to the 48-ft sailing adventure sloop Columbia, which left Vancouver, BC, way back on October 22 for Mazatlan, with a skipper and two paying crew, is over. And the news is good. They have arrived safe, sound, well rested and well fed, at Manzanillo, Mexico. The only problem was they'd found very little wind on their offshore route. Well, that and the fact the captain apparently didn't feel there was a need for a Satphone, SSB, ham radio or other device with which to stay in contact with shore.

"They were becalmed in mid-ocean for almost two weeks, and the prevailing winds took them further south than anticipated," reports Michael Pordes of Favonius, a friend of the parents of Darren Lewis, one of the paying crew.

"Columbia arrived in Mexico during the weekend, meaning all the official offices were closed, so the two crew weren't able to fly home until Monday. Lewis' parents are ecstatic, relieved, and celebrating - and asked me to thank the Latitude 38 staff and all the cruisers and radio operators who put out the word to be on the lookout for Columbia."

Chili Cook-Off for a Good Cause

December 9 - Nuevo Vallarta

Saturday was the annual Chili Cook-Off at sponsoring Paradise Resort and Marina to benefit a regional school for developmentally disabled children. As you can see from the photo, which was able to capture only a fraction of the crowd, a large group turned out for the fine cause. Judging by the flatulence in the area, the event was once again successful.

We were fortunate to have had to work aboard Profligate in Banderas Bay this last week, and can report that it was very warm, there were great surfing waves - head high all day at La Launcha on Saturday - the whales were arriving in force, and life was very, very good. More in the next few days.

Teapot Tony, local master mechanic

A beautiful and bodacious blonde crewmember from LT Sea with a wonderful smile


 Photos Latitude/Richard

Among those participating were the folks from the Canvas Connection and Bingo Again.

Paradise Harbormaster Dick Markie, Karl Raggio, who clears boats in at Paradise, and one of the crew of LT Sea, a big motoryacht

Mike and his lady from the North Loft in P.V.


December 9 - 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

December 9 - 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

The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at

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 views of sea states anywhere in the world, see

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