Photos of the Day: Shipwrights' Regatta
February 6 - Pt. Townsend, WA
A summer-like day brought out a record number of vessels and sailors for Port Townsend's twelfth annual Shipwrights' Regatta. Saturday, Feb. 1, saw 51 sailing vessels of all sorts galloping about Port Townsend Bay, and spectators on the piers and hillsides enjoyed the halcyon conditions that lured the fleet of shipwrights out for celebration.
The regatta is sponsored by the Wooden Boat Foundation to foster camaraderie, competition and community participation for the dozens of shipwrights along the waterfront and the vessels in their care. For the purposes of the Shipwrights' Regatta, "If you have ever so much as used a screwdriver on your 'ship', join this fleet of shipwrights for a day that reminds us why we do it."
Photos Courtesy Wooden Boat Foundation
The tugboat Isswat served as race committee platform, with Sea Scouts from the Wooden Boat Foundation's scout ship Falcon assisting. Conditions were mild with a warm southerly breeze of 8 to 15 knots, a stark comparison to the near gale conditions of last year. The 9.2-mile course directed sailors twice past City Dock, across Port Townsend Bay to round the old navy tower by Rat Island and on a reach to and from Mid-Channel Bank at the entrance of the Bay.
The winner of line honors from last year's regatta, Pacemaker, led the fleet to the first windward mark but was passed by some of more recent additions to the fleet. The reaching legs provided opportunities for the less weatherly vessels to regain distance lost on the beating legs, and local knowledge of the currents figured into the strategies of the vessels that performed well. Captain Pete Helsell, in deference to the fleet of largely wooden vessels, modestly raised the point that only in Port Townsend would the first fiberglass boat to finish, his Spirit, be led by two wooden vessels.
Geronimo Sets New Cape Leeuwin Record
February 6 - Cape Leeuwin, Australia
Geronimo passed Cape Leeuwin, the southern-most tip of Western Australia, at 0753 GMT this morning, setting three new world records. This feat comes as part of the trimaran's quest to break the Jules Verne around-the-world record. The big tri has slashed the previous Ushant to Cape Leeuwin record by 3 days and 2 hours, which was set by Bruno Peyron in the maxi-cat Orange (since reborn as Kingfisher2 and currently ghosting along in the equatorial doldrums on the same quest).
Geronimo's skipper Olivier de Kersauson has had to sail a longer northerly course through the Indian Ocean, due to weather conditions to the south. He reports, "Even as far north as 45 degrees we had 7 to 8 meter [approx. 26-ft] waves. If you're happy to make 10 knots, okay, but going any faster is almost impossible." The boat is currently in calmer seas and making about 25 knots.
De Kersauson doesn't hold out much hope of getting any further south in the next 72 hours. The next point of land to pass is Tasmania.
February 6 - 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 www.bitwrangler.com/psn.
February 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 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