Photos of the Day

October 8 - Zihuatanejo

Today's Photos of the Day are enough to make you sick. They are of the Long Beach-based ketch Freedom - perhaps a Cheoy Lee 36 or Mariner 35 - being destroyed on the beach at Z-town following Tropical Storm Julio in late September. Weeks after the storm, the port captain still hasn't been able to locate the owner, who apparently left the boat in the care of someone else, who reportedly became dissatisfied with the situation and left. The boat washed ashore right in front of the Z-town Port Captain's office, so it hasn't been looted. The port captain tried to pump the boat out and drag her to deeper water, but wasn't successful. The photos are by Wayne Warrington of the San Pedro-based Explorer 45 Elfinstar, who was passing through on a cruise ship.

Photos Wayne Warrington

Louis Vuitton Inaction

October 8 - Auckland, NZ

Yesterday's big race between undefeated OneWorld and undefeated Oracle BMW turned out to be a bust, as the wind was light and shifty. OneWorld got around the first weather leg well ahead, then Oracle BMW cruised right by with better wind, then the race was called for lack of wind. The only race completed was a Prada win - finally - over the surprisingly good Swedish Victory Challenge. Of course, Prada only won because Victory committed the cardinal sin of not covering when they had a big lead in light and shifty conditions.

Oracle BMW Racing (right) and OneWorld (left) sail a light-air
run with GBR and Mascalzone Latino in the background.
Photo Bob Grieser

In a very short time, it's beginning to look awfully clear that Oracle BMW, OneWorld, and Alinghi, and Victory Challenge are the best of the challenger bunch, and that Le Défi Aréva and Mascalzone Latino are at the bottom. Here's the standings:

4-0 OneWorld Challenge
3-0 Oracle BMW Racing
4-1 Alinghi
3-1 Victory Challenge
2-3 Prada
2-3 Stars & Stripes
1-3 GBR Challenge
0-4 Le Défi Aréva
0-4 Mascalzone Latino

In today's racing, Oracle BMW will walk all over Le Défi Aréva; OneWorld and Victory Challenge, as well GBR and Prada, should have tight races; and Alinghi is expected to hand Stars & Stripes another loss.

Baby Onboard

October 8 - Santa Cruz

Bob Jehle sent us the accompanying photo and wrote: "I thought you might enjoy the attached fun photo from the recent SC Invitational."

We replied that we found it visually intriguing - but it begged for answers to several obvious questions: Who is the woman? What's the significance of the two little ones - not wearing lifejackets, by the way - in the strollers hanging from the lifelines?

"The boat is the SC52 Elyxir," Jehle responded, "but I didn't get the lady's name, who seemed happy to pose for the photo."

Photo Bob Jehle

When sending in an item or photo, it's good to remember the five journalistic w's - who, what, where, when, and why.

We've since been advised by several Latitude folks that the woman is Stacy Ely, but we're still clueless on the significance of the two dolls in the strollers.

Cruiser Interview with a President

October 8 - Barillas Marina, El Salvador

"You meet the most interesting people at Barillas Marina in El Salvador," reports Bruce Winship who is cruising there with his wife April and kids Kendall and Quincy aboard the 30-ft Crowther Cat Chewbacca from Alameda. "While lounging in the pool one afternoon, a nice young man waded in and introduced himself as Francisco. Light conversation went from the weather (hot and humid) to fishing conquests to planned sails south. After a short while I excused myself, as I had to download some recent pictures to my computer. So ended my first conversation with a president of a country.

"Later, while busily working on my laptop in the open-air restaurant, Francisco entered casually dressed in his Colombia shorts and sandals. I glanced up, gave a wave asked 'Que tal?' - reaching the limits of my Spanish - as he came by. Luckily for me, Herbieto Pineda, manager of Barillas Marina, was there and introduced my wife April to Francisco as follows: "April, I would like to introduce you to Francisco Flores, our President of El Salvador." Oops! My mistake was understandable: in the United States politicians are supposed to be slimy and aloof. We got the impression that Francisco Flores is caring and concerned, and he's certainly highly educated and a nice and humble guy. He spoke intelligently of El Salvador's needs and its image from a bloody past. During his single 5-year term - he has more than a year left - he has been instrumental in rebuilding the infrastructure ruined during the civil war that ended in 1992, and ridding the country of corruption. He believes that education and jobs will be the salvation of El Salvador, and is working closely with the United States to achieve a Free Trade Agreement between our countries.

"Thinking quickly - for once - I grabbed a nearby issue of Latitude 38 and said, "Hey, Francisco, would you like to have your picture in this magazine?" He picked up the magazine and said, "Mucho gusto, that would be great!" All he had to do was wait while I ran to the dinghy, and motored back to our cat to grab the digital camera. I got back just in time to hear the whine of the helicopter warming up, while President Flores lined up with cruisers from True Companion, Paraquina, Akaivi, and Chewbacca for the accompanying photograph."

Photo Courtesy Chewbacca

Winship didn't identify the President of El Salvador among the cruisers, but we think we can pick him out.

More on Richard Van Pham

October 8 - Catalina Island

"Late one afternoon last June, we saw Van Pham trying to singlehand into the Isthmus at Catalina, wind on, in that same piece of crap boat with a torn jib flapping away," reports Steve Brown. "He couldn't even make the fairway when the Harbor Patrol spotted him and offered assistance. He waved the help off, gave up on the idea of the Isthmus, and sailed off somewhere else. We were thinking all kinds of things - like some people have no business out there, and what the heck was that? I guess he had his walkabout."

Hey, the Columbia 26 Mk I got him to Costa Rica, so we wouldn't call it a "piece of crap." But your observation tends to confirm our suspicion that there's no way Van Pham sailed to Chile and back in that boat in six months. Something is funky, and we think it's Van Pham's mental state after having been in a coma for six months.

On a Bad Spree

October 8 - New York

Life hasn't always been a bed of roses for former Golden State Warrior basketball star Latrell Sprewell, who has been playing for the New York Knicks the last number of years. You may remember the star's pit bull once chewed up his young daughter, and then there was the incident in which he choked his coach P.J. Carlesimo. Although now a long way from the ghetto, problems seem to follow the attitudinal star. After buying a yacht this summer, he had some friends aboard for a late night party. Apparently, an uninvited girlfriend of one of Spree's guests puked on the floor, which really pissed Sprewell off. When Spree insisted the woman get off the boat, the boyfriend apparently objected, and fists started to fly. One of Spree's flew off course, hitting a wall, causing some bones to break. Spree has now been fined $250,000 - chump change - for not informing the Knicks. It's unclear how much of the season he'll miss.

No matter if you're Martha Stewart or Latrell Sprewell, there's important advice not to forget: When you've got to eat shit, take big bites and get it over with.


October 8 - 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

October 8 - 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 views of sea states anywhere in the world, see

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