Photos of the Day

January 17 - Punta de Mita, Mexico

Guess which one of these folks is Chris van Dyke, the lawyer who used to work for Nike but who is now cruising in Mexico aboard the Valiant 40 Spirit Wind?

The correct answer is that they both are. The photo was taken at Punta de Mita, Mexico, in early December as the Wanderer and Doña de Mallorca were about to have dinner with the couple. During dinner, we learned that Chris, the guy, had gone from a relatively radical political activist in Los Angeles to, at age 29, the District Attorney of Salem, Oregon, a job that entailed getting woken up several nights each week to deal with grisly police matters, often senseless murders. Talk about moving from the theory to reality. He later took a job with Nike where he invented Aqua Socks.

Chris and the Wanderer enjoyed a couple of great days surfing together, including one memorable morning at La Launcha. Not only were the waves overhead with good shape, but the only others out were women decked out in wonderfully minimalist suits. Maybe it's just us, but we don't seem to get as tired paddling back out when we're right behind a gal wearing a thong.

Doña de Mallorca holding up a sample of what we had for dinner at Punta de Mita. Mmmmm, good!
Photos Latitude/Richard

While surfing alone later in the month, Chris was hit in the eye by his board when it was pulled back toward him by the leash. He sought medical attention in Mexico and the United States. Here's the verdict:

"My eye is much better, but getting a second opinion in the States was the right thing to do. The U.S. doctor told me that the Mexican treatment is what saved the eye. I have nothing but positive things to say about how I was treated in Mexico. It's good to know that we cruisers are in good hands down here should further treatment be needed. Sad how stereotypes of Mexico are slow to die."

Oracle Nipped, Down to Do or Die

January 17 - Auckland, NZ

Yesterday's fifth race of the Louis Vuitton Finals was a strange one, as Oracle BMW, thought to be slower upwind, overcame a large deficit on the first weather leg to take a nearly 40 second lead. But on the second downwind leg, Alinghi, believed to be slower downwind, rolled the Golden Gate YC boat and hung on to win by 13 seconds. It's a day off today, but Oracle BMW will have to win the next four races or be eliminated.

Photo Bob Grieser/Louis Vuitton Cup

Yes, It's Foxy

January 17 - Jost Van Dyke

With regard to yesterday's photo quiz, many readers correctly identified the mask as having been taken from the notoriously fun Foxy of Jost van Dyke. But nobody has correctly identified the white guy with the shaved head and white beard. Steve Rienhart guessed Donald Street, but that's not correct. Hint: If anyone sees Lowell and Bea North, they'll know right away. (Email Richard.)

Photo Latitude/Richard

Who Wants to Be a Sailing Movie Star?

January 17 - St. Vincent

If you do, St. Vincent in the Eastern Caribbean is the place to be, as Jerry Bruckheimer - producer of Pearl Harbor - is teaming with Johnny Depp, former boyfriend of Winona 'Sticky Fingers' Ryder, to create Pirates of the Caribbean. Yes, they're making a movie based on a ride in a theme park.

The Caribbean Compass explains what the movie is all about: "Wallilabou Bay is gradually being transformed to Port Royal, Jamaica, of the 17th century. After the British Admiral Penn and General Venables captured Port Royal from the Spanish in 1654, the town became the epicenter of the legendary activities of Caribbean pirates and privateers. After Sir Henry Morgan plundered Portobello, Panama, in 1668, he returned to Port Royal, where, according to David Cordingly's Under the Black Flag, "The town was the scene of spectacular orgies of drinking, gambling, and womanizing as the buccaneers blew their money in the taverns and whorehouses." The latter line just goes to prove that nothing has changed in the Caribbean. Port Royal was destroyed in a disastrous earthquake in 1692.

Poster Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures

Bruckheimer put out a call for nautical-looking extras, and you can only imagine the response. Them's that die will be the lucky ones.

'Nautical Stairway' Missing a Few Steps

January 17 - Baja California

Thanks to concerns of environmentalists and others, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation commissioned EDAW, Inc., to conduct a study of how many gringo mariners would use the marinas planned for Baja's proposed Nautical Stairway. EDAW concluded that Mexico has overestimated the demand by as much as 600%. We don't want to say 'we told you so', but we've been saying the same thing since the misguided project was first announced. If the marinas were needed and could be intelligently built, we'd support the project, but the marinas just aren't needed. If they build them, mariners still won't come - at least not in numbers needed to pay for them.

Bahia Santa Maria - Does it look like they need a marina here?
Photo Latitude/Richard

Annapurna Leaves Thailand

January 17 - Phuket, Thailand

Buddy and Ruth Ellison of the San Francisco-based Hans Christian 48 Annapurna report they've left Phuket, Thailand, for Galle, Sri Lanka, 1,200 miles away. After that, they'll be sailing to the Maldives and up the Red Sea to the Med. Friends can track their position by going to and clicking the "Station locator" button. Find KQ6IZ."

Closing the Week with a Sunset

January 17 - Gustavia, St. Barts

Photo Latitude/Richard

This is the view of the Gustavia, St. Barts, anchorage at sunset. Notice the last little sliver of sun in the upper right, and the volcanic island of Saba in the upper left. If the darkish shades make it appear as though it might be a little cool, it wasn't. It's wonderfully warm all the time.


January 17 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to

Weather Updates

January 17 - 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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