Photo of the Day

March 4 - St. Maarten

Today's Photo of the Day is from a unique dockside chandlery at the Palapa Marina at St. Maarten. Rather than keep anything in stock, this business consists of a guy with all the marine catalogs and Web access. You walk down the dock, order a part from him on Monday, and if it's in stock in Florida - which most parts are - you can have it on Tuesday or on Wednesday at the latest.

Photo Latitude/Richard

Disney's Pyewacket Cleans Up Heineken

March 4 - St. Maarten

Two hundred and thirty boats in 17 classes from 31 countries showed up to compete in last weekend's 22nd annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Roy Disney's Marina del Rey-based R/P 75 Pyewacket walked away with honors, taking four bullets and putting in the best monohull time in the around-the-island race. The only boat that bested Pyewacket was the 60-ft trimaran Paragon, which had the best around-the-island time of 3 hours and 12 minutes, beating the monohull by 23 minutes.

The first two days of racing in the three-day event featured 14 to 18 knots of wind, and finished on Sunday with 18 to 24 knots - with gusts to 30. No matter how hard it blew, it was always warm. Come nightfall, the beer and rum flowed, and the booties shook into the wee hours. The 'Heinie' is something of a unique event in that everybody is invited and seems to participate - regular racing boats, beach cats, big multihulls, tall ships, and 12 Meters. And the whole island gets behind the event like no other place in the world.

The sailing action, as you might expect, was terrific, and in one class the overall winner was decided by just two seconds. And there were some exciting incidents. The 72-ft Donnybrook shredded two chutes on Sunday, two Melges 24s were dismasted, and a two-boat collision resulted in the bowman on Water World being catapulted overboard.

We're expecting to get lots of photos for posting in the next few days, meanwhile, you'll have to live with an aerial shot of St. Maarten and a shot of Doña de Mallorca lounging in the main salon of Water Music, the 60-ft cat that took overall honors in the multihull class. The all carbon Water Music - which has tiller steering at the back of each hull as well as a wheel behind the bulkhead - is for sale for $700,000.

St. Maarten

Water Music

Aboard Water Music

Photos Latitude/Richard

Changes at the Panama Canal

March 4 - Panama

"The Panama Canal is changing the game a bit," reports Craig Ownings, Commodore of the Pedro Miguel Boat Club. "In the past, if a yacht took two days to cross the Panama Canal, it was charged the 'standard' transit fee. If the yacht broke down, then a 'pilot delay fee' was assessed to the vessel. Now the canal has enacted a rule that a yacht (small vessel) must complete its transit in 'one day' or pay the 'pilot delay fee' - which currently is $440 for an advisor (small vessels/yachts) or $2,250 for a pilot (ships and high value yachts $1M plus). As always the PMBC will remain the yachters' voice at the Panama Canal, and a cry in the night for fair prices and treatment of yachts in the Panama Canal."

Back when we transited the Canal with Big O, the Canal officials wouldn't let 90% of the small vessels even attempt a one-day transit.

Big O
in the Canal

Great Speed Despite Countless Sail Changes

March 4 - Atlantic Ocean

When Olivier de Kersauson started his now abandoned assault on the Jules Verne record with the maxi-tri Geronimo, he started in ideal sailing conditions. Bruno Peyron and the maxi-cat Orange have had no such luck. Sail changes are horrendously difficult on such huge boats, and the crew of Orange - because of wild variables in the wind - had to do 23 of them in the last 24 hours. In addition, they battled three hours of calm.

Nonetheless, they have averaged 19.82 knots in often rough conditions. The objective is to avoid the zones of calms on the edges of both systems and put in jibe after jibe to remain in the narrow corridor of wind. A corridor of wind that should carry them as far as the trades but which they shouldn't pick up until after the Canaries about 260 miles away at midday today.


March 4 - 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

March 4 - 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 has moved to

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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