Photo of the Day
September 11 - Black Rock City, NV
Today's Photo of the Day, you'll be happy to see, is of naked women - specifically Jean and Cherie, who did the Ha-Ha aboard the Swan 53 Mistress last year. The photo was taken at the Burning Man YC in the Nevada desert. We're not exactly sure who sent the photo, but we're told that Jean is doing a lot of work on her boat, and that her boyfriend Dustin, who also did the Ha-Ha on Mistress, has got his captain's license. As for Cherie, she was about to leave with Greg, whom she met on the Ha-Ha, to sail Greg's Out-Island 41 Scirocco from Costa Rica to the Caribbean until May."
September 11 - USA
We don't know about the rest of you, but wretched excess is our reaction to all the hoopla surrounding the remembering of 9/11. It was a horrible thing, of course, and our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones or were injured. But enough is enough. We don't need to see any more footage of planes slamming into the World Trade Center. We don't need to see any more photos of Osama Yo Mamma. We don't care how every actor, athlete, and news anchor responded emotionally to the attacks. And we're sure as hell not interested in participating in some national weep-a-thon. Throughout history, peoples of the world have had to buck up through much, much, much greater tragedies. Even we Americans, surely the most blessed people in the history of the planet, have had to endure much worse. So let's keep things in perspective.
As dramatic and startling as the attacks were, we think their lasting effects on the country are relatively minor. For example, it's almost comical to note that in the month after the attack, Americans bought more new cars than during any other month in history. Take that Osama! Consumer spending continues to chug along, and housing sales have been on fire everywhere but Northern California. Of course, had Osama and crew been a little more clever - for example, by taking pot-shots at passenger jets on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's - the economy could have taken a more severe hit.
How much has your life changed in the last year? Ours really didn't change at all. We still tried to live by the golden rule. We still did all the things we did before, including taking all the usual 'business trips' to foreign countries. Sure, there's yet another thing to worry about in the dark corner of our minds, but realistically, we're about 10,000 times more likely to die in a car accident than a terrorist attack. So we suggest everyone take however long they need to remember the attacks today, and then go out and have a super day. After all, living well is the best revenge.
Faustina Ends His Circumnavigation in Stitches
September 11 - Oakland
"I am happy to report that my Oakland-based Barnett 42 Solitaire and I have completed the circumnavigation that we began in November of 1998," writes Steve Faustina. "Mike Holtz, my crewmember, and I set sail on the last leg from Yokohama, Japan, on June 11 and arrived in San Francisco 36 days later. We had hoped for a 30-day passage, but for the first two-thirds of the way it was one gale after another. Most of the gales came out of the northeast, which meant on the nose, since we were doing the great circle route. The gales were highly unusual for the time of year. The last one lasted for three days, and, with a maximum of 55 knots and 25 to 30-ft seas, was the worst. Fortunately, this storm was coming from the southwest, so we blasted along under a triple reefed main and staysail for the first two days before having to go under bare poles. Even then, we were still making 8 to 10 knots.
"On the last day of the gale, after the wind had finally dropped below 30 knots, Mike and I were both sitting below when Solitaire must have been knocked down by a huge wave. I was suddenly launched headfirst into the galley bulkhead, and sustained a six-inch laceration across the top of my head and a severe back bruise. Fortunately, I didn't lose consciousness and Mike wasn't hurt at all. I had no medical suturing materials on board, so Mike had to sew - 16 stitches - my scalp back in place with a regular needle and thread, but no anesthetic. The closest port at the time was Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, 600 miles to the north, so we decided to continue on to San Francisco.
"I consider myself very lucky to have had Mike onboard for this passage, because if I had been singlehanding - which is what I usually do - I wouldn't be writing this letter. I knew the passage was going to be the longest and most difficult in my circumnavigation, and something inside me told me to take crew.
"As a result of the knockdown, the wind generator was also damaged and some deck gear was lost overboard, but Solitaire was otherwise undamaged. The last 10 days of the passage were uneventful and featured the best sailing of the trip. But given my injuries, it was hard to truly enjoy.
"My plans are to take a long rest on shore and then begin to work on all the small and not so small boat projects to prepare Solitaire for the Cross-Pac Race to Australia scheduled for June of next year - provided I am able to secure a sponsor. Anyone interested?"
Mystery Island in the Cloud Stream
September 11 - Mexico
We got a huge response to the photo yesterday of a cloud-shrouded Mexico 'mystery island'. Since so few sailors have ever been by it, we were surprised at the high percentage of correct answers. Dave Cort and Nick Gibbens were the first with the correct answer, just minutes after the page went online. But first, the incorrect answers:
Both Steve Grasha and David Eberhard didn't believe it was even an island. "It looks like the bottom half of the Baja peninsula, said David. Roger Hunter said it was "the southern tip of Angel de Lagardia off Bahia de Los Angeles" - then wrote back to say it was Coronado Island. He was wrong both times. Carl Mischka also thought it was Coronado. Both Steve McCrosky and Jim Leech thought it was Cedros. Tom Thornberry thought it was Coronado del Sur on the Pacific side near San Diego. Karen Ramsey guessed Isla Cerravlo in the Sea of Cortez. Don Judge tried to rule that it was off Cozumel.
Although Jim Tallet of the J/33 Zapped wasn't the first with the correct answer, his was the most entertaining. "It's Guadeloupe Island, which is about 200 miles west of Turtle Bay. From firsthand experience I can tell you that the clearing on the east side of the island is a windless hole. I used the Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Association's Guadeloupe Island race this spring as my qualifier for the Singlehanded Transpac. I rounded the south end of the island at 1600 in 25+ knots of wind from the northwest, and spent over seven hours crawling up the coast in next to nothing. To add insult to injury, we were provided with a similar photo prior to the start. The significance of the cloud pattern didn't dawn on me until I watched an Olson 40 sail up to me as I slatted in the lee of the island."
Bob Austin, "one of the South California Mafia on Bayou Chico, Pensacola, Florida," had this to add: "When racing around the south end on a 55-footer with daggerboard up, we cut between the rocks and shore. It is a true oceanic island, and there is also some evidence of very ancient civilization present on the island. I have hiked the length, and although it's rarely visited by boats, it's a great place."
Photo Courtesy Dave Wallace
Ric and Kate
September 11 - London, UK
Kate and Ric
Ha-Ha Entry Deadline Was Yesterday
September 11 - Baja Ha-Ha World Headquarters
"Yesterday was the entry deadline for the Ha-Ha, and the mailbox was stuffed," reports Lauren Spindler, Ha-Ha Honcho. "I'm still counting, but the total of paid up entries is going to be somewhere around 120. If anybody else out there still wants to enter, I can give you to the end of the week to get your check for $249 in. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to meeting each and every one of you at Cabrillo Isle Marina in San Diego for the West Marine Kick-Off Party on Sunday, October 27. There will be a small boat start the following day, and the rest of the fleet will start on the 29th." For more, see www.baja-haha.com.
September 11 - 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/
September 11 - 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