Our apologies to everyone for Latitude 38 being 'off the air' yesterday, but storm damage left us without electricity and without a phone system for the entire day. Having lost a full day during the critical deadline week - just before Christmas, no less - this week we'll only have a 'Lectronic today and Friday, and they'll be short.

Photos of the Day

December 17 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Today's Photo of the Day is of Profligate taking 45 cruisers on a fund-raising sail last February off of Z-town. It was taken by Lynn Cagle of Fairwind, who was aboard the other participating boat, Blair Grinols' Capricorn Cat.

Photo Above Lynn Cagle
Photos Below Dustin and Latitude/Richard

The good news is that there will be a second Zihua Sail Fest. Jimmy Zinn of Dry Martini has the latest information:

"Details are now being finalized for the Second Annual Zihua Sail Fest. This year's event will be January 29 - February 2. Like last year, all proceeds will go to benefit the Netzahualcoyotl Indian School in Zihuatanejo. Last year we raised over $4,000 U.S. for this very worthwhile cause, and we hope to see an increase this year. Gloria and Richard Bellack of the Bellack Foundation have once again agreed to match dollar-for-dollar all the money raised. All donations through the foundation will be tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers. Here's a rough outline of the schedule:

January 30: A no-host kick off party at Rick's Bar, during which time event T-shirts and burgees will be available, last-minute registrations will be accepted, questions will be answered, and a great time will be had by all.

January 31: An absolutely stress-free fun Pursuit Race will be held, based on rough PHRF handicaps. It will be an 'either way around' course, with fun prizes for the first and last three boats. That afternoon and evening will be a dinghy raft-up and potluck appetizer party around and aboard Profligate, Latitude 38's Surfin' 63 catamaran.

Dinghy raft-up and potluck at Profligate and Capricorn Cat

February 1: A charity sail aboard Profligate for up to 45 fun-loving people willing to cough up some extra pesos that will go directly to the Indian School. It's been rumored that John Haste might show up with his cat Little Wing, or Michael Wright with his cat Wavy, in which case it might, like last year, become a charity cat race. This is a good time for all - in fact, a break was taken in the middle of last year's event between Profligate and Capricorn Cat, during which the crews took a swim several miles offshore. If any other cats or large crew carrying boats are willing to take guests, please let us know. After the charity sail there will be beach games and more beach games, including beach volleyball, blindfolded dinghy races, cop-a-feel (you figure it out) and many others.

A mid-race swim break - the water was 82 degrees - for the crew.

February 2: A sail parade of the entire fleet, hopefully with dressed ship, up to Ixtapa and back. Last year nearly the entire fleet turned out. Afterwards there will be a wrap-up BBQ and beach party. This year it will be held at Las Gatas Beach Club, where there will be plenty of room for as many happy people as have the good sense to be in the most beautiful bay on the Mexican mainland.

Over the coming days we will be making available additional information on the event as well as registration details. We hope to see you all in Zihuatanejo come the end of January - or even earlier if you are as smart as we think you are!

One of the Profligate crew holds the flag in the beautiful blue waters off of Zihua.

A typical sunset at Zihua

Latitude fully supports the Zihua Sail Fest, which is still in its embryonic stages. Come by boat, bus, or plane, and you're sure to have a great time. It's a long way down to Z-town and back, but it's worth it.

Prada Runs Out of Time

December 13 - Auckland, NZ

In yet another bizarre chapter of the America's Cup, defending challenger Prada was eliminated from the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series - because the race committee ran out of time to hold any more races. Down one race to three to OneWorld, Prada had to win two races yesterday to tie OneWorld and force a one-race sail-off. All this because nearly one-third of all race days had been lost because of poor sailing conditions. In any event, the race committee got the first race off in such shifty conditions that Prada won by 17 minutes - thanks to OneWorld being becalmed for 15 minutes. But since starting the second race was completely out of the question, Prada was eliminated. It was sort of like the baseball playoffs being called off in the middle of the 8th inning because a time limit had expired. Strange. But no stranger than Team Zealand claiming that Alinghi would not be able to race one of their boats in the America's Cup Finals because it allegedly has a 'second skin' appendage . . . similar to the one on New Zealand's boat. Call in the lawyers.

But that's getting ahead of things. Next up is Oracle BMW facing off against OneWorld in a seven-race match to be completed by the end of the year.

Farewell to the colorful Italians
Photo Bob Grieser/Louis Vuitton Cup

Mid-February will see Alinghi take on the winner of the Oracle BMW - OneWorld match in the Challenger Finals for the right to meet Team New Zealand in the America's Cup itself. Based on Oracle BMW beating OneWorld 4-0 the last time around, the odds are it will be Oracle and Alinghi in the Challenger Finals, with the odds favoring Alinghi, which just beat Oracle 4-0. 

In Trouble in Tiburon

December 17 - Tiburon

John Arndt, one of our ad guys, was driving down Tiburon Blvd. to the Corinthian YC yesterday at about 10:00 am to check the docklines on his boat, when he passed these two boats washed up on the beach. Not a good sign. Offshore was what looked like a Morgan Out Island in the shallows struggling to avoid the same fate.

John stayed at the club awhile, using his laptop and cell phone to get some work done, since the Corinthian had power and our office didn't. As a result, he didn't drive back down Tiburon Blvd. until about 4:30 pm, when the tide was out. The two boats were still there, high and 'dry', and the Morgan was anchored offshore waiting for higher water.

Photos Latitude/John Arndt


December 17 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to www.bitwrangler.com/psn.

Weather Updates

December 17 - 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.

The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at www.wrh.noaa.gov/Monterey.

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/Maps/Southwest.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 views of sea states anywhere in the world, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data.

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