Photos of the Day
July 18 - Pacific Ocean
Today's Photos of the Day feature the five Pacific Cup entries who started but have since dropped out. (See below for a complete Pacific Cup report.)
Shenanigans (lost fresh water supply, due back any minute)
M-Project (turned back with rudder problems while leading class)
Alakazam (rudder problems, apparently still sailing toward Hawaii).
Little O (lost instruments, crew may have broken ribs, returned to Monterey)
Mimos (abandoned boat after breaking rudder and back-up rudder, crew home in San Diego, effort underway to find boat)
Pacific Cup Update
July 18 - Pacific Ocean
If you're just tuning into the Pac Cup, here's a quick summary: five of the 73 entrants failed to start the race: Wy'East (unknown reasons), Victoria! (mast broken in boat yard accident beforehand), Synge (crew mutiny on the dock an hour prior to race), Oaxaca (owner had an work conflict), and Velos (boat not ready after refit).
Sixty-eight entries started, five of which have retired (see above). That leaves 63 boats still in the race, most of which should pull into Kaneohe over the weekend. To beat Pyewacket's 1998 record (6 days, 14 hours, 22 minutes), the big boats - Zephyrus V and Mari-Cha III - need to finish before 4 a.m. on Friday morning, unlikely given what we can glean from this morning's position reports.
According to the same report, Fast Reorg has lost the top of her mast, joining Moonshine in the jury-rig division. Division leaders going down the homestretch are Wildflower, Spirit, Naughty Hotty, ET, Octavia, Cantata (though it is more likely Azul, as something looks wrong here), and J/Bird III. No one knows what is going on between MC-III and Z-5, as Zephyrus failed to report in this morning due to "radio problems" (read: the games are afoot!). Keep checking www.pacificcup.org for updates.
Pacific Cup director Brian Boschma, who isn't sailing this year, emailed us the following report this morning:
"The boats are enjoying light but favorable winds. All have arrived in the trades and are under clear skies with brilliant starlight and the moon pointing the path to Kaneohe Bay. The early starters experienced a line of squalls with brilliant lightning displays as they approached the trades.
"Yesterday's run indicated slower going than many are hoping for in this phase of the race. While local squalls push wind speeds to 20+ knots the general conditions between squalls and after sunrise are between 10 and 18 kts. The ultra yachts, which started last Friday, are somewhat disappointed in the daily runs they are experiencing. Indeed this race looks like it will favor the early starters as they experienced stronger conditions out the Gate and in the first 300 miles.
"Many bet on a southern course, expecting the Pacific High to continue to sag south as it appeared prior to the start. But as demonstrated by Skip Allan on Wildflower, a northern path was the correct call through the first half of the race."
July 18 - San Francisco
Certainly one of the most accomplished, dynamic and engaging sailors of our generation is Ken-Ichi Horie. "Ken who?" you might say. Well, we should probably add that he is also among the least known on this side of the Pacific. But in Japan, Horie is a folk hero and national treasure on the order of Sir Edmund Hillary.
Yesterday, the 63-year-old sailor completed the latest in an ongoing series of remarkable voyages - a singlehanded crossing from Japan to San Francisco in a 19-ft boat. Malt's Mermaid III passed under the Golden Gate about 4 p.m., completing a journey that began on May 12 in Nishinoimiya (near Osaka).
In a larger sense, the 5,300-mile crossing completed a circle begun 40 years ago when Horie, then 23, sailed into San Francisco on the first Mermaid - unannounced and with no passport, no money, no English, and no idea what to do next. He was befriended by a local boater and brought into a marina, but nobody knew quite what to do about him politically. World War II was still fresh in the national psyche, and by all legal rights, immigration should have repatriated him immediately.
San Francisco Mayor George Christopher called his old boss for advice. Ex-President Dwight Eisenhower (on whose staff Christopher had served) basically said that Christopher should do what was right, for Japan and for young people. So Mayor Christopher welcomed the bold young seafarer with open arms, awarding him the key to the city and a special 30-day visa. That voyage - and San Francisco's warm welcome - hit papers nationwide. It catapulted the then-unknown Horie to cult hero status here and in Japan, reportedly helped to 'open' Japan (which started issuing passports for the first time the next year), and undoubtedly helped heal a few more lingering wounds between the two countries. Ike even called Christopher to congratulate him on a decision well made.
Horie didn't know this part of the story until 1999, when he was preparing to set sail from San Francisco to Japan in Malt's Mermaid II, a catamaran whose hulls were made entirely of aluminum beer kegs. (Over the years, he has made a series of trans-ocean voyages aboard tiny boats, pedal boats, solar powered boats - all aimed at inspiring young people and bringing attention to the environment and the importance of recycling.) Indeed, no one knew it until Christopher, then 91, told the story at a press conference for Ken-Ichi. Horie conceived the latest voyage to honor Mayor Christopher. When the old ex-mayor passed away in 2000, the voyage was dedicated to his memory.
MALT'S-Mermaid III crosses under Gate . . .
. . . and heads for the City.
Horie's original Mermaid has been on display at the San Francisco Maritime Museum since her historic voyage. Malt's Mermaid III, a 'modernized' facsimile, is built entirely of recycled materials including whiskey barrels, plastic pop bottles and aluminum from old beer kegs.
Round Australia Record Attempt
July 18 - Hobart, Tasmania
Orthodontist Martyn Riley, 50, of Melbourne, Australia, is skippering his 56-ft carbon fiber catamaran Raw Nerve in an attempt to break the record for circumnavigating Australia.
The vessel set off from Hobart Wednesday afternoon, aiming to break the record of 43 days and 19 hours achieved by the Sydney super-sled Grundig, which set the mark three years ago under the name Magna Data. At the time Grundig was in basic Open 60 configuration.
Raw Nerve is not lacking in ocean going experience. Her crew includes international professional sailors Peter 'Spike' Dorian, who just completed the Volvo Ocean Race on News Corp, and Paul Larson who was watch leader on Team Legato in The Race.
The vessel is sailing in winds of 25-30 knots and a southwesterly change is expected to speed her across Bass Strait and up the New South Wales coast tomorrow.
Raw Nerve will sail up the east coast of Australia, inside the Great Barrier Reef, around the top of Australia and return to Hobart from Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia.
"If we get an exceptionally favorable weather pattern we'd like to think we can do it in less than 30 days,'' said Riley.
July 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 http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
July 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 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