Photo of the Day
February 14 - Union Island, Windward Islands
The Photo of the Day is of Union Island in the Windward Islands, and is it not enough to make you Caribbean blue on a gray winter day in California? The shot comes from Chris Doyle's Web site on the Eastern Caribbean, where he tells you about all the islands. Doyle, you might know, is the author of several excellent cruising guides published by Cruising Guide Publications of Florida. In fact, the 7th edition of his Cruising Guide to the Windward Islands was just released. For more goodies, check out www.doyleguides.com/index.html.
Photo Courtesy Chris Doyle
February 14 - Ixtapa, Mexico
Dirty Deed in Z-Town
February 14 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico
"We left Puerto Vallarta on January 14, headed for Panama and the Caribbean," report Tom and Kathy Knueppel of the San Francisco-based Island Packet 40 Tai Tam II. "We have had a wonderful 16 months here in Mexico and are now looking forward to other cultures and experiences. Currently in Acapulco before leaving for Huatulco to cross the Gulf of Tehuantepec, we wanted to give some advice to other cruisers in Mexico.
"Like most cruisers, we became so enamored by the friendly Mexican people and their honesty and kindness - that we never thought much about locking our boat when away from her for a few hours. Well, it finally happened to us. We had arrived in Zihuatanejo on January 22, and anchored in front of Playa La Ropa amongst about 60-70 other boats. On the evening of the 23rd, we dinghied over to Starfoam, a nearby boat to have dinner and socialize with old friends. When we got back to our boat at about 10 pm, we found that someone had come onboard and relieved us of our new Notebook computer, a set of expensive binoculars, a set of used Tevas shoes (who would want raggedy shoes?) and Kathy's purse - with all of our credit cards and her driver's license. There was no cash in the purse. It looks as though the thieves may have been disturbed by our old and totally deaf dog Moo Shoo, as they missed my wallet and open cash lying next to the computer, a hand-held VHF in the companionway, and a spare set of Fujinon binoculars. The computer was carefully unplugged and no other damage done.
La Ropa Anchorage
"We received a lot of help and encouragement from the cruising community, as well as Rick of Rick's Bar. We did report the theft to the Port Captain and the Tourist Police, but we're not sure how much help that was. So our message is to be a bit more cognizant that others around you may see you as a very wealthy gringo and be tempted. Therefore, use common sense and secure your boat appropriately. This does not mean making it into a fortress - but then you wouldn't leave your car open in a downtown area in the USA with its windows rolled down and the car key in the ignition, right?
"This unfortunate experience has not changed our opinion about the wonderful, kindhearted, generous and warm Mexican people, and we - who have lived in seven countries - believe that Mexico is one of the safest places to be. We should just not be lulled into complacency by this wonderful country and need to use basic common sense. By the way, the Zihua Sail Fest was a blast, and the organizers deserve all the credit they can get."
Our only comment is that we wouldn't assume that the theft was the doing of Mexicans. This may sound blasphemous, but we've cruised a lot of places where there were thefts from boats, and on too many occasions the perps were other cruisers or folks who had crewed on boats.
February 13 - Tenacatita Bay, Mexico
"On February 4, we held a rather humorous sailing event here on one of Mexico's best bays. The pleasant fiasco involved 27 of the 41 boats in the anchorage, and 58 sailors. The 'rules of engagement' were simple. Boats would be handicapped, and would sail a course that took them to Tenacatita Beach, the little village of La Manzanilla, and back to the original anchorage. The unique thing is that at each 'mark', the boats anchored and the crew - except for the skipper - swam or rowed to shore, bought and drank beers or soft drinks, returned to the boats, raised anchor, and sailed on! The race was monitored on VHF 22, so the rest of the fleet could follow the progress. The winners were required to buy a round for the entire fleet, so the incentive to win had its drawbacks!
"The event was the brainchild of Pete Wolcott of the Hawaii-based Santa Cruz 52 Kiapa, I was the organizer, and together we made up the race committee. We hatched the idea on Thursday, announced it at a dinghy raft-up on Friday, shared it on the net on Saturday, and had nine boats racing on Monday! By the way, I placed myself on Rick and Elkie Cunningham's Alden 54 Mithrandir - was that ever a sweet ride!"
It sounds like a terrific event - in fact, we wished it had been held a few days earlier when we were there and captured this shot of Kiapa sailing under main alone away from Manzanilla. Here's a couple other shots of Tenacatita:
Wulzen (we think) and his family in their dink;
Restaurant Martin, the most celebrated in Manzanilla;
three of our crew expressing horror at the collapse of the hotel in the background;
and the beautiful Tamarind Hotel anchorage, which is across from where everybody else seems to anchor.
Kostecki and Illbruck Continue to Lead Volvo Race
February 14 - South Atlantic
Bruno and the Orange About to Start
February 14 - Brest, France
Officials report that Frenchman Bruno Peyron and 13 crew will take off tomorrow aboard the maxi cat Orange in quest of the Jules Verne Around The World Record. Oliver de Kersauson is expected to start in about a week with his 120-ft trimaran Geronimo.
You think you know multihull sailing? Who were the first two to race a multihull around the world non-stop? (Answers to Richard.)
February 14 - 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/
February 14 - 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 has moved to 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/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
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