Photos of the Day

May 7 - Los Angeles

Today's Photos of the Day come from the Los Angeles Maritime Institute's double launch of the 100-ft brigantine sisterships, the Irving Johnson and the Exy Johnson, a week ago Saturday. The vessels were built using traditional methods by Master Builder Allen C. Rawl ( for use in the Institute's TopSail Youth Sail Training program. At the launch event, Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn proclaimed the vessels "The Official Tall Ship Ambassadors of the City of Los Angeles."

Commissioning on the vessels will continue through August. We'll have a complete story in the June issue of Latitude 38.

Photos Courtesy

Mystery Photo Explained

May 7 - Red Sea

In yesterday's 'Lectronic, we published a photo of a French military jet flying over a cruising yacht. We asked our readers where and why they thought it was happening. Judging from their responses, the French military has an image problem. For example, Bob Carlston figured it was at the Mururoa nuclear test site in the Pacific. Eric Snow guessed the same: "Near the atoll where they did/do nuclear testing. They're really quite anal about anyone getting near - although I'd be surprised if they actually stormed and scuttled a ship again." Jon R., on the other hand, figured it was in the Med, and the pilot was getting his jollies checking out the topless French crew. Pat McIntosh of Sacramento initially figured it might have taken place locally. "I enlarged the photo and saw babes on the foredeck catching rays, which had to be the reason for the flyovers. It couldn't have happened on the Bay, but at first I thought it might have happened on the way to Vallejo."

We'll let 8-year old Kate Rakelly of Voyager, currently in Egypt, explain the photo: "In all, about 40 cruising yachts left Salalah, Oman, for the Red Sea in different pods at different times around February 17. There were many friendly warships in the area, but none so kind as the British, who always offered their assistance and were warm and welcoming. None so generous or as helpful as the French. Before leaving Oman, the French family - including two little girls - aboard the yacht Lemanja, telephoned the French military in Djibouti, and explained they would soon be leaving Oman for the Red Sea, and therefore would be traveling across waters historically frequently by pirates and bandits. In response to Lemanja's call, the French Navy sent a plane out to check on us four times a day between Oman and Djibouti!

"There were ships from other countries, too. We think the Japanese warship was in need of a new VHF, because every time they hailed a ship it sounded like they were speaking Greek. The two Italian warships where always laughing over the VHF, so we assume they were having a good time. The overdone professionalism of the American warships left them cold, and was an embarrassment to the American yachts.

"After dinner on February 22, we got our first whiff of Africa. According to our log, 'Africa smells like a spice cabinet in a barnyard filled with rotting vegetables.'"

Kate Rakelly
Photos Courtesy Voyager

The bottom line is that the military can actually be the friend of cruisers. As for the remark about the cold professionalism of those on American warships, it reminds us of the Fourth of July we were sailing Big O off Cannes, France. Figuring the lads might be a little homesick and in need of cheering up, the girls all flashed their boobs. The girls would have gotten more of a response if they'd done it walking down the middle of the Castro!

Getting Bashed on the Way Up Baja

May 7 - Baja California

A number of friends from the Ha-Ha and Mexico are working their ways up the coast of Baja - and getting bashed. Jean and Dustin aboard Renne Waxlax's Swan 65 Cassiopeia report that it took them 40 hours to cover the first 175 miles north of Cabo, during which time Dustin fell to mal de mer. Most recently anchored at Bahia Santa Maria, they had 25 to 34 knot winds throughout the night, with it holding steady at 22 knots at dawn. "When we were here in November on the Ha-Ha," writes Jean, "it was warm, sunny and starkly beautiful. Now it's just seems cold and stark. There are no pangas in sight, as even the fishermen are sitting it out."

Further up the coast, the Folvig family's Perry 72 Elysium was battling 30 knots of wind on the nose and lumpy seas. In fact, one big slam separated their radar from the boat.
The worst situation of all, however, has befallen Rob and Kristen of the Pearson 36 Sol Mates, who have lost their steering offshore of San Carlos on the Baja side. They were unable to deploy their emergency rudder, and several boats planning to come to their aid were having problems of their own. At last word, Bob and Bonnie Fraik of the Santa Cruz 52 Impulse, and some other cruising friends from Mexico, were gathering parts and getting ready to drive down the coast of Baja to assist. We'll have the full story later.

Rob with his homemade pizza during Z-Fest
Photo Latitude/Richard

Gateway Canceled for Lack of Interest?

May 7 - San Diego

The proposed Gateway to Hawaii TransPac, which was to be from San Diego to Kauai this summer, is rumored to have been canceled due to a lack of entries.

Cals at Catalina

May 7 - Howland's Landing, Catalina Island

Frank the cat surveys the scene.

Photos Debbie Mills

Debbie Mills of Encinitas took the photo below of the Cal Yachts Rendezvous that was held at Howland's Landing at Catalina the last weekend in April. "Eight Cal sailboats arrived with 17 Cal enthusiasts aboard - plus our cat Frank. The boats ranged in size from 26 to 40 feet. Beach barbecues and potluck breakfasts were enjoyed, and numerous beers were downed as everyone hopped from boat to boat, admiring each other's vessels."


May 7 - 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

May 7 - 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 at

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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