Photo of the Day

January 18 -
Mystery Location

Today's Photo of the Day is a mystery photo - as in we're not sure who sent it and what it is of. If we had to guess, we'd say it was three boats rafted somewhere in the Sea of Cortez and that some of the crew were having a swim competition. Can anybody help us out?

Fossett Wins Again

January 18 - Portsmouth, RI

American multihull sailor and adventure sportsman Steve Fossett today was named 2001 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. The world record-setting skipper of the 125-ft maxi-catamaran PlayStation was cited by a distinguished panel of sailing journalists for his five new world records set during the past calendar year - Miami to New York, New York to the UK (Transatlantic), The 24 Hour Record, Round the Isle of Wight and Cowes-St Malo (across the English Channel).

"I'm a happy, happy guy," said Fossett. "It is very gratifying to be recognized by my peers in the sport, especially for the kind of sailing I do."

The highlight of Steve's year was a new west to east Transatlantic record, which Steve and his nine-man crew shattered in October - breaking the 11-year old mark by almost two days with a new mark of 4 days, 17 hours, 28 minutes, 6 seconds. It was the 24th attempt on Jet Services 5's 1990 record - and, indeed the fourth by Steve and PlayStation since 1999. During this same passage they also broke the 24 Hour Record, raising that standard to 687.17 nautical miles (28.63 kts average speed).

Steve Fossett
Photo Courtesy Media Pro

Is That You Dale?

January 18 - St. Barts

One of the best things about being a yachting journalist is that no matter what port you're in, you're apt to bump into an old friend. For example, while in St. Barts over the holidays, we were standing in front of Cheeseburgers in Paradise, when a guy walked by who looked a lot like Dale Goff. In the '80s, Dale was a young guy spending all his money restoring and maintaining the schooner Landfall in San Francisco Bay. As we remember, Dale's dad thought it was something of a waste of time.

It had been years since we'd seen Dale, so we weren't sure if the guy walking by Cheeseburgers was really him. It was. And it turns out, he's recently become skipper of a boat in the Caribbean - a near new 95-footer named Valkyrie. So Dale's not only doing something he loves, but he's obviously very successful at it. He says "hello" to all his friends back in Sausalito.

Dale in Paradise

A day or two later while walking around Gustavia, we bumped in Edda Rottscheidt, who had done the 1999 Ha-Ha aboard the Lagoon 37 Adia. Edda has been cruising the Caribbean aboard a Tayana 52 for the last few months with a guy she met through a crew list. Alas, she's about to return to San Francisco to resume her career.

Ha-Ha and Caribbean vet Edda
Photos Latitude/Richard

Who Wants to Be a Sailor in the Movies?

January 18 - Rosarito, Baja California

Director Peter Weir (Truman Show, Green Card, Dead Poet's Society, Witness) is looking for tall-ship sailors to work as actors (speaking parts) and extras for a major motion picture based on Patrick O'Brian's sea-going adventure novel, The Far Side of the World. Those selected will work aboard the HMS Rose (currently en route from New England to Baja, Mexico). A full-rigged replica of an 18th century British frigate, the Rose will portray the Surprise - the movie's hero ship. Men and boys - ages 10 to 40, all colors, shapes and sizes - are needed in order to realistically capture the look of British, Irish, Scottish, Swedish, African and French sailors of 1806. All positions are paid and a living allowance will be provided. Filming is scheduled to run from June to mid-October of this year. Those who will be needed for the entire time can expect to be on scene for approximately 20 weeks. The production will stage out of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico, which is very close to San Diego.

Those interested in appearing in the film should send a current photo (color print or Polaroid) - a portrait that features the face. In addition, include information about height, weight, hair color, experience, sailing and acting skills, etc., as well as telephone numbers and email address. Photographs and information should be sent immediately to: Judith Bouley, Casting, Commander Productions, 6341 Arizona Circle, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

Maybe We Were Wrong to Believe Madonna

January 18 - Antarctica

For the last several years Madonna and a bunch of Hollywood types have been ranting and raving that we're all going to die because of global warming. Any scientist who said that such a conclusion might be a rush to judgment was labeled an idiot or a flunky of industry.

Based on recent reports, maybe we should enjoy Madonna for her music and antics, and leave the science to others. According to the recent issue of Science, the ice in West Antarctica is actually thickening, meaning it's less likely that the ice caps will melt and sink half the islands of the world. And just last week, Nature reported that Antarctica's desert valleys - a bellwether for climate change - have grown noticeably cooler over the past 15 years. This is a reverse of the trend in the last 100 years where the valley temperatures were getting warmer.

The bottom line is that we don't know if we're in the midst of global warming, and we don't think anybody else knows for sure either. After all, we're just getting snapshots of very long-term trends.

Tropical Cyclones Is the Answer

January 18 - Tonga

The question is why do most cruisers leave the South Pacific in November for New Zealand or Australia. On New Year's Day, tropical cyclone Waka smashed into Neiafu, Tonga, where only six weeks before many cruisers had been enjoying the tropical life. For the complete story, check out the February Latitude 38.

Corbin Still Crazy

January 18 - Hawaii

Many readers know by now that Ron Corbin, who did the Singlehanded TransPac and Ha-Ha with his much traveled Olson 30 Still Crazy, lost the boat earlier this month when she ran onto some rocks just north of Banderas Bay as he was sleeping. Not only was the Olson lost, but so was Betty, the inflatable doll that has made many ocean crossings with him.

Still Crazy in Mexico
Photo Latitude/Richard

During a phone conversation the other day, the beat up Corbin was, as always, upbeat. He told us that after the end of the last Singlehanded TransPac, he'd met "some chick at Princeville" who had turned him on to Gene Wells, who had a 40-ft cold molded pilothouse sloop he wanted to sell. Although Corbin admired the boat, his heart belonged to Still Crazy. But with Still Crazy now gone, Ron, still crazy, flew to Hawaii hoping to purchase Wells' boat.

The San Francisco Sports & Boat Show

January 18 - San Francisco

The San Francisco Sports & Boat Show runs through this Sunday the 20th at the Cow Palace. While not Pacific Sail Expo it does have some sailboats on display, some marine electronics and some great boat show deals. Of course, in true Cow Palace fashion you can also see a motorized hot dog and a stretch limo Hummer.

The sailboats on display include the boats from Sydney, Caliber, Dufour, Hunter, Jeanneau, MacGregor and Windrider trimarans all with great boat show deals including some 0% financing. Other items available for sailors include inflatables, sailing schools and cold beer on tap.

For the really big display of everything a sailor might want you'll have to wait until Pacific Sail Expo at Jack London Square in Oakland coming April 17-21. However, the days are already getting longer and the summer sailing months aren't that far away so a quick trip to Cow Palace might just help you get the season started a little sooner.


January 18 - 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

January 18 - 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

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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