Photos of the Day
November 21 - Spain
Today's Photos of the Day come from Tony Johnson who has been doublehanding around the world with Terry Shrode on the Richmond-based Ericson 39 Maverick. Tony says that the photo he took of a crowd at a bullring in Spain doesn't have anything to do with sailing, but he likes it anyway. That makes it good enough for our Photo of the Day. The other photo is of Gibraltar - their Changes on Gib appears in the December issue of Latitude 38. The duo are currently in the Canary Islands getting ready to cross the Atlantic.
Pneuma, Seattle-Based Ericson 39, Lost on South Minerva Reef
November 21 - Minerva Reef, South Pacific
Pneuma, the Ericson 39 from Seattle being cruised by Guy and Melissa (no last name available) was lost Tuesday night while at anchor at South Minerva Reef. The couple are safe. Minerva Reef is located about 250 miles from Tonga on the way to New Zealand. It consists of two open ocean reefs, which only fully break the surface at low tide. Pete and Sue Wolcott of the Hawaii-based SC 52 Kiapa report:
"Nine boats departed North Minerva, about 20 miles from South Minerva, for Opua, New Zealand, on Tuesday, leaving just two in the lagoon. The weather was relatively benign, with overcast and 10-15 knots of breeze. The wind was very shifty, however, due to the effects of a stationary front. Three boats remained at North Minerva, which is about 20 miles up from South Minerva.
"At about 2000 local time, we heard Pneuma's Mayday. We had been tuning up Russell Radio for the evening roll call, but just happened to pause long enough on the Puddle Jump frequency to hear Guy calling for help. We were not the first to hear the Mayday, as it was heard over VHF on another boat. But we were the first boat that could reach Guy and Melissa by radio. We got them to an emergency frequency to coordinate a rescue. The closest boat to them, Harmony, their buddyboat, could not be reached by radio for several hours after the grounding.
"After hearing about the situation, the skippers of Scott Free, a Hallberg-Rassy from Marblehead, Infidien, and White Hawk jumped aboard Scott Free and motored through the night from North Minerva to South Minerva. The women and kids on the three boats stayed behind aboard White Hawk to be the communications boat. Once the three skippers got to South Minerva, they left Scott Free outside the tricky pass and dinghied into the lagoon to rescue Guy and Melissa. Kela, a Colorado-based Sundeer 65 with Kirk, Debbie, Braden, and Grady aboard, had been about 30 miles from South Minerva when the Mayday went out, and were the second boat on the scene. Guy and Melissa are now safely aboard Kela. The crews of Kela and Harmony - the third boat on the scene - spent yesterday and today salvaging what they could.
"We are so sorry for Guy and Melissa's loss. They are great folks and able cruisers. We're sure they'll be back out here soon. The crews of Scott Free, White Hawk, Infidien, Kela, and Harmony did everything possible to ensure the swift and safe rescue of the Pneuma crew. We all draw comfort from that fact that there are such capable and caring folks out here with us."
Mysterious Boat Theft from San Francisco Marina
November 21 - San Francisco
Earlier this week, Monroe Wingate's Grand Banks 42 Europa trawler was stolen from the San Francisco Marina and taken 90 miles up to Sea Ranch. There, the thief or thieves took the inflatable ashore. The boat, which was either not anchored or poorly anchored, was washed ashore where she is being destroyed by the surf.
Wingate is a former Admirals Cup sailor (Scarlett O'Hara, Serendipity 43), past Commodore of the St. Francis YC, and owner of the J/44 Marilyn. He'd only purchased the boat six months ago, and just recently got her to San Francisco all ready to be enjoyed. He's angry, and is offering a reward to anyone with information about the theft.
It's a strange case, for a stately but slow Grand Banks is about the last kind of boat somebody would steal. Stealing a screaming fast Donzi might make sense, as it could be painted and used for drug runs out to mother ships, or taken to the Caribbean, or parted out for expensive engine parts. In addition, Grand Banks buyers tend to be on the conservative side. They want to know the complete history of the boat, see all the maintenance receipts, the whole works. It's not a boat to be bought in the middle of the night. Then too, a Grand Banks probably doesn't cruise at more than 10 knots, which means the thief or thieves were 'naked' for the long run up to Sea Ranch, where few boats travel anyway. If the boat was stolen for some sort of revenge, why wasn't it driven into the rocks a few hundred feet north of Pt. Bonita?
Like we said, it's a mystery.
Woman on Monohull to Win Route du Rhum?
November 21 - Atlantic Ocean
With just under 500 miles to go and a 65-mile lead over fellow Englishman Mike Golding in Ecover, Brit Ellen MacArthur and her Open 60 Kingfisher stand on the verge of ratcheting her already first rate reputation up about another 10 notches. It looks very likely that MacArthur may become the first monohull sailor to beat the multihulls in the seven runnings of the Route du Rhum, which takes the fleet some 3,500 miles from France to Guadeloupe. She would also become the first woman to win.
MacArthur benefits from the fact that there are only three of the 60-ft multihulls left in the storm-battered event. Until yesterday, it looked as though Swiss Steve Ravussin on the trimaran TechnoMarine would easily take honors, but a vicious squall hit the boat at night while he was grabbing a catnap. He let the sheets run free, but it was too late, and his tri flipped stern over bow - the fifth 60-ft tri to do so in this race. Barring a capsize, Michel Desjoyeaux, winner of the Vendée Globe, will take multihull honors with Géant.
In other trimaran news, Loïck Peyron found the remains of Fujifilm and discovered she was destroyed beyond salvage. It's uncertain how many other 60-footers are also ruined.
Photo Jacques Vapillon
Photo Y. Zedda
Photos Courtesy www.routedurhum.org
November 21 - 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.
November 21 - 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