Photo of the Day

February 12 - Tenacatita Bay, Mexico

Today's Photo of the Day comes from Capt. Michael Fitzgerald of Sabbatical who sent in the following report: "The Tenacatita Women's Swim Team grew to a dozen participants by early January, as this year's Ha-Ha'ers - including Evolution, Interlude and Sabbatical - joined new friends in Tenacatita Bay, Mexico, just north of Manzanillo. The women took their daily half-mile swim to shore to the nearby palapa for a quick bottle of agua mineral and a chat, then swam the half-mile home. Those not wanting exercise went in by dinghy to act as lifeguards and join in for a cerveza. I reluctantly served as the swim coach. The water and air temperature were 82 degrees most days."

Photo Michael Fitzgerald

The Difference Between Mexico and the States

February 12 - Tenacatita Bay, Mexico

Having just returned from two weeks of 'research' in Mexico, the Wanderer can report that there's a tremendous difference between the outlooks on life when in Mexico and when in the U.S. While in Mexico, the prospects of war and terrorist attacks on the U.S. seem distant and remote. You're not exposed to much news about it, and frankly, it rarely crosses your mind. Further, the Mexicans we talked to say that it's been a very good tourism year for them, and that while life is still hard, it seems to be getting a little easier. While cruising up the coast, all the locals - and all the cruisers - seemed exceedingly relaxed and friendly. Further, prices were low, the dollar bought more each day, and the air and water temperatures were fabulously warm. It was very hard to leave.

Upon arrival back in the States, it's almost as if you're assaulted by a barrage of anxiety-inducing news and uncertainty. Life seems to be getting more uptight and anxious by the day. To be honest, if we didn't have important family and business reasons to be here, we'd be down in the tropics enjoying more light air sailing and surfing in warm and uncrowded waves.

Photo Latitude/Richard 

When you're following folks on the Jungle Dinghy Ride at Tenacatita Bay, or marching to the rodeo as part of the Manzanilla village's 68th anniversary fiesta, it's hard to be anxious or uptight.

Tonight! Live At West Marine Sausalito! 'Commodore' Tompkins!

February 12 - Sausalito

If you're interested in heavy weather sailing - or even just meeting one of the world's most irascible sailors - don't miss Warwick 'Commodore' Tompkins' presentation tonight from 7 pm to whenever at the West Marine store in Sausalito. Commodore has done just about everything there is to be done in sailing - except, oddly enough, be the commodore of anything. Here's one question we suggest you ask: Which was the worse heavy weather experience, sailing the Elbe River pilot schooner Wander Bird around Cape Horn in 70 knots, or sailing Latitude's catamaran Profligate the last 30 miles north to Turtle Bay, Baja, in 30 knots?

A Great Yacht's Record Has Finally Fallen

February 12 - Montego Bay, Jamaica

For a ridiculous 32 years, the legendary 72-ft ketch Windward Passage held the record in the 811-mile Pineapple Cup race from Port Everglades, Florida, to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Thanks to Robert McNeil of Mill Valley and Tahoe, and his R/P 86 Zephyrus V, that record is toast. The big blue water-ballasted sloop covered the course in 2 days, 23 hours, and 5 minutes, which is an average of well over 11 knots. She beat Passage's record by 4.5 hours. Our Racing Editor Rob Moore is on the scene in Jamaica, so we'll have a full report.

It's been a good start so far for Z5, as she beat Mari Cha to take line honors in the Pacific Cup last summer, took line honors in the Mexico Race to Barra in November, and now this.

Z5 crossing the line last year to
take line honors in Pacific Cup.
Photo Latitude/Richard

Maverick Floats Again!

February 12 - Carriacou, Grenada

Tony Johnson reports that as of yesterday, his Ericson 39 Maverick, which almost sunk at the end of a transatlantic passage, has been repaired and is floating once again, side-tied to the Travel Lift at Tyrrel Bay Yacht Haulout, Carriacou, Grenada. He promises more details on the damage and repairs in the near future. But it looks as though he and Terry Shrode will be able to complete their circumnavigation.

No Baja Bash for Us, Thank You

February 12 - San Francisco

"Bravado has just returned from Mexico after a great Ha-Ha and extended holiday cruise around La Paz," reports Charles Breed of the Elliot 14-meter sloop. "Our trip up from Cabo was smooth and fast. Yup, you heard right - 4.5 days from Cabo to San Diego. Then it took us less than three days from San Diego to San Francisco. We had no hassles, no bashing - and a spinnaker run from San Diego to Pt. Arena."

We'll have more on this rapid 'non-Bash' in the March edition.

at start of Ha-Ha,
from the air.
 Photo Latitude/JR

After Coming This Far, to Miss the Cup!

February 12 - Auckland, NZ

Let's all have a moment of sympathy for Frenchman Bernard Labro, bowman on the Alinghi America's Cup team. With the start of the 31st America's Cup just days away, Labro sustained a broken clavicle in a traffic accident. He's out of action for at least six weeks, which means after years of preparation, he'll be on the sidelines for the big event.

Oh No, Not Van Pham Again!

February 12 - Long Beach

This is news to us as we've just gotten back into town, but earlier in the month the Coast Guard terminated the latest voyage of Richard Van Pham, who is best known for being rescued off Costa Rica after a voyage to Catalina in his Columbia 26 went awry for a total of 3.5 months. This time the 62-year-old was found 20 miles off the coast of Orange County, and reported he'd been underway for three days without being able to make his way back to Long Beach. The crew of the Oxnard-based cutter Blacktip terminated Van Pham's voyage because his vessel had no method of communication, and no navigation or visual distress signals. At least Van Pham wasn't reduced to eating seagulls again.

Van Pham's Columbia 26 was sunk at the end of his first voyage, but he received several offers of free replacement boats. Anybody know what kind of boat he has now and how he got it? (email Richard)


February 12 - 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

February 12 - 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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