Photo of the Day

September 6 - Black Rock City, Nevada

Today's Photo of the Day comes from the recent Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert. Write Rennie and Anne of the Swan 65 Cassiopeia, "While at Burning Man, we saw this sailing vessel. We think it's the super-secret America's Cup entry from the Burning Man Yacht Club, but who knows?"

Photo Courtesy Cassiopeia

A Third for the Around Ireland
and Britain Record

September 6 - British Isles

Three of the fastest sailing vessels in the world are currently in pursuit of Steve Fossett's Around Ireland and Britain record. Olivier de Kersauson's maxi-tri Geronimo and Tracy Edward's maxi-cat Maiden left first, albeit from different places, making it impossible to compare, for the first time, the speeds of a maxi-cat and maxi-tri in similar conditions. Later they were joined by the French L'Hydroptere, a 60-ft tri connected by a single beam. Attached to each crossbeam-float join is a huge 21-ft long foil, and these combined with the rudder, are capable of lifting the entire boat out of the water. Water ballast in each of the three hulls is used to stabilize and trim the boat when sailing. Alain Dassault started the boat in October of '94 and has hit 39.7 knots, but twice the boat has suffered severe structure failure. Here's to hoping all three boats can keep it together.


Good News from the Port of Los Angeles - Long Beach

September 6 - Long Beach

Tired of all the negative environmental news? Then track down Louis Sahagun's September 4 front page article in the Los Angeles Times on what seems like a miraculous return of sea and bird life to, of all places, the Port of Los Angeles - Long Beach. Thirty years ago, the water quality was so terrible in the 15,000-acre industrial harbor complex, that croaker were found with chemical burns on their bodies, their fins rotting off, and some even had two heads or tails between their eyes. There was so little bacteria in the water that fish waste tossed into the water by fish processors wouldn't even decompose.

But with the passing of the Clean Water Act and the California Coastal Act in the early '70s, and the cracking down of water discharge permits by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, most of the high polluting businesses had to leave the area. By the mid '80s, water clarity had improved almost 100%, the levels of dissolved oxygen jumped from almost zero to nearly normal, and life began to return to the former 'dead zones'.

Now, reports Sahagun, the port is full of life. "Just beneath the trash bobbing on waves often coated with gleaming oil swim mackerel, bass, and a small but growing number of brilliant orange garibaldi, the official state marine fish. Clinging to the breakwater are lobsters and crabs, octopus and bat stars. Burrowing in the mud are worms 14 inches long and fatter than hot dogs." Sahagun reports that halibut up to four feet long cruise the kelp, and that a 20-pound lobster with thousands of eggs was caught by hand at Eddie's Marina. In all, the port complex is home to 67 species of fish. Birds are thriving, too. A nearby part of Pier 400 has become the nesting ground to 3,500 elegant terns and 600 endangered least terns.

The general consensus is that the improvements are terrific - but there's much more to be done. Unfortunately, the easy and cheap part of the solution - getting heavy industry to clean up their act - is over. Now comes the hard and expensive part. Writes Sahagun: "Then there is the No. 1 source of coastal water pollution: urban toxic runoff, which is almost always toxic to marine life and liable to sicken swimmers. The Clean Water Act requires cities to take steps to clean up the mess than washes down their storm drains. Many cities, however, say it would be too expensive to comply with all the provisions of the law."

Photo Latitude/Richard

Even More Good News on the Environment

September 6 - Riverside

According to another L.A. Times story, researchers at UC Riverside have found that the latest ultra-low pollution automobile engines create so little pollution that it would be healthier to breath from a tube from the tailpipe than the ambient air of Southern California freeways.

Who Are the Cover Boys on the September Issue?

September 6 - Two Harbors, Santa Catalina Island

"Great cover shot!" writes Eric. "The guy at the tiller is Jeff Nelson, who does Harbor Patrol at Two Harbors, Catalina. He lives on a blue Horstmann tri in Cat Harbor and did a season in Mexico in '97-'98. The other guy I only know as 'Bartender Mike'. By the way, I liked the photos of the Wedge posted on yesterday's 'Lectronic Latitude."

Latitude/Richard & Annie

Tuesday Is the Deadline for Signing Up for the Ha-Ha

September 6 - Baja Ha-Ha World Headquarters

"As of late Thursday, we'd received our 95th paid-up entry for this year's Ha-Ha," reports Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler. "The deadline for getting paid entries in is Tuesday, so don't procrastinate any longer. See for details. Here's a list of the latest entries:"

53) Adventurous / California 42 trawler / Robert & Lesley Boyce / San Rafael
54) Mitsou / Swallowcraft 36 / Gilbert Pitt / Half Moon Bay
55) Mr. Destiny / Tayana 37 / Richard & Marianne Brown / San Diego
56) Spirit Wind / Valiant 40 / Chris Van Dyke / Ventura
57) Sisiutl / Gulfstar 44 / Bob & Laurie Bechler / Kent, WA
58) Haleakala / Catalina 390 / Mike Kohl / Newport Beach
59) Waterdragon / Islander 34 / Graham Ashlock & Taryn Ettl / Berkeley
60) Magic / Gulfstar 50 / Dale Head & Jane Shallcross / San Francisco
61) Landara Star / Roberts 392 / Larry Rauh / Pleasant Hill, OR
62) Bronco / Morgan OI 41 / Nels Torberson / Alameda
63) Liberté / Gib Sea 43 / Club Nautique / Marina del Rey
64) Lorelei II / Hunter 460 / Kenneth & Margaret Sells / Long Beach
65) Kindred Spirit / Tayana 42 / Mike & Katya Garrow / Sausalito
66) Mag Mell / Endeavour 37 / Ed & Melissa Phillips / Eugene, OR
67) Free Spirit / Jeanneau 40 / Lionel & Anne Richards / Sutter Creek
68) Humuhumu / Choy/Morrelli 70 / Dave Crowe / San Jose
69) Osita de Mares / Yorktown 41 / Joe Engoglia / Laguna Niguel
70) Raven / Nauticat 52 / John & Heidi Bollinger / Madison, WI
71) Sofia II / Beneteau 47.7 / David Whitside / Sausalito
72) T-BAAC / Krogen trawler / Russell Kilmer / Sacramento
73) Mermaid / Aleutian 51 / Mike & Robin Stout / Burbank
74) Sea Fox / Beneteau 38 / Robert & Sue Calkins / Orosi
75) Dragon's Lair / Peterson 44 / Bill Kutlesa / San Diego
76) Pura Vida / Explorer 45 / Donna Wilson / Aptos
77) Shamaness / Chung Hwa 36 / Dennis Clifton / Novato
78) New Focus / Catana 431 / Paul Biery / Livermore
79) Sweet Pea / Formosa 44 / Bud & Penny Clark / Phoenix, AZ
80) Warren Peace / Passport 47 / John Warren / Alameda
81) Blue Thunder / Cascade 42 / Duncan Patterson & Bonnie Nelson / Charleston, OR
82) Liberty Call / Catalina 400 / Gene Crabb / Phoenix, AZ
83) Caballo del Mar / Ericson 38 / Don Aarvold / Newport Beach
84) Alma / Pearson 424 / Mark Brewer / Glen Ellen
85) Taurus / Hunter 54 / Ron Rowley / Salt Lake City, UT
86) Spirit of Joy / Crealock 40 / Cecil Newsome / Dana Point
87) Toothpick / Pearson 36 / Jim & Ellen Nordstrom / Auburn
88) Apogee / Tayana 37 / Bud Hudson / Squaw Valley
89) Redhead / Grand Banks trawler / Skip & Maureen Gorman / Indian Wells
90) Darling / Oyster 485 / John Furth / Santa Rosa
91) Captain George Thomas / C&C 30 / Bill Thomas / Stockton
92) Valahalla / CT 41 / Robert Wooll / San Rafael
93) Pao-San / Amel 53 / James Dernhl / Grand Prairie, TX
94) Tumbleweed / Ingrid 38 / Chuck & Linda Allen / St. Augustine, FL

Aussie 18 Regatta

September 6 - San Francisco

The Aussie 18 (International 18) action off the San Francisco waterfront continues to be fast and furious. After seven races, the California-based General Electric team leads the 11-boat fleet with 11 points (after one throw-out). However, skipper Howie Hamlin and his crewmen Mike Martin and Andy Zinn dare not loose their concentration, as two Aussie teams, Yandoo and RMW Marine, are battling hard to unseat them. Both of these Sydney-based teams currently have 14 points. Look for expanded coverage of the series in the October edition of Latitude 38.

 Photos Latitude/JR


September 6 - 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

September 6 - 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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