Photo of the Day

February 28 - San Francisco Bay Area

Today's Photo of the Day is of the cover of the March issue of Latitude 38, being distributed to most locations today. Happy reading!


Photo Latitude/Annie

America's Cup as Good as Gone to Europe

February 28 - Auckland, NZ

With the tumbling of Team New Zealand's mast on the second windward leg of the fourth race of the America's Cup, the Swiss Alinghi team took a nearly unbeatable 4-0 lead in the best of nine series. This was the second time in four races that the Kiwi boat was unable to finish, although both times they were trailing Alinghi.

The dismasting happened shortly after a 25-knot squall had passed and Team New Zealand was plunging into the third in a series of particularly large waves. The tip cup, which connects the rigging from the second panel to the third panel, broke at the top where the two rods go in from below. The Kiwis will step the mast from their backup boat and be ready for today's fifth - and perhaps final - race of the 31st America's Cup.

Photos Bob Grieser

It Didn't Work the First Time, so Let's Try It Again

February 28 - Southern Ocean

The other recent famous dismasting was of Ellen MacArthur's maxi-cat Kingfisher2 in the Southern Ocean while in pursuit of the Jules Verne Record. MacArthur's preparations have always been totally first rate, so we were surprised to learn that the mast just lost was an exact duplicate of the original JMV mast - which had failed just prior to MacArthur taking delivery of the cat.

Speaking of masts, someone recently asked Hasso Plattner if he would race his new 147-ft Baltic 'fast cruiser' in the race from New York to Germany this June. Plattner said he wasn't sure if he wanted to risk losing the 160-ft mast because it would take 18 months to build a replacement. Maybe he'll just have to take his brand new R/P 86 Morning Glory, which is perhaps the fastest monohull in the world. Such are the problems of the very rich.

Last Call for Puddle Jumpers

February 28 - French Polynesia

If you'll be Puddle Jumping from Mexico to French Polynesia this spring, try not to miss this coming Tuesday's Pacific Puddle Jump Kick-Off Party at the new Vallarta YC at Paradise Resort & Marina just north of P.V. Latitude 38 co-sponsors the event with Paradise Marina and the yacht club. Latitude's Andy Turpin will be there to make sure all Puddle Jumpers get their 15 minutes of fame. The fun starts at 3 pm on the 4th. Sorry, but this year's Puddle Jumpers only!

By the way, we know that some of you Puddle Jumpers are down in Zihua. We've got your photos and Andy will be contacting you for further details.

The crew of Evolution
Photo Latitude/Richard

One such boat is Evolution, a Paine 65 sailed by Drs. Alan and Monica, and four (!) mostly young children. There is no au pair on the Elfin Cove, Alaska-based sloop, which is headed on a circumnavigation.

Looking for Sardines, but Finding Only Sand

February 28 - Hidden Beach, Santa Cruz

Fatigue is not something that just affects singlehanded sailors. The accompanying photos are of the Endeavor, a 58-ft purse seiner that was driven ashore February 1 at Hidden Beach, which is a few miles south of Santa Cruz.

Conditions couldn't have been much better for going way up: It was blowing 20 knots on shore, there were big seas, and worst of all, it was an hour before a 6.1 high tide, the biggest in a cycle. The Moss Landing-based vessel was out looking for sardines with a skipper and three crew. The three crew were reportedly asleep while the skipper searched his instruments for signs of the little fish. The skipper apparently dozed off and the next thing he knew it was 8 am and the vessel, worth $1 million, was very high and dry.

Photos Courtesy Parker Diving

As is often the case, Parker Diving was assigned the job of salvaging the boat. According to Tim Parker, they couldn't get the boat off until Tuesday the 3rd, when conditions for the job couldn't have been worse: "A sea so flat that I could have water-skied to shore." The boat was pulled off by the tug American Eagle, which has a 46,000 hp engine and was pulling on 1,500 feet of three-inch hawser rated at 159,000 pounds tensile strength. It was difficult getting the boat off the beach, but she was finally towed up to Sausalito and hauled at Anderson's Boatyard. Total salvage bill? About $175,000 - of which $42,000 went for the tow. Ouch - that's a lot of sardines! All the fuel was removed from the fishing vessel, so none was spilled on the beach.

Parker's next salvage job was about 400 feet longer - a ship aground in the Delta.


February 28 - Atlantic Ocean

During last year's Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, the Hunter 450 F2, supposedly on the start of a circumnavigation, lost her rudder 450 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands - or about 1,600 miles upcurrent and upwind of the Eastern Caribbean. After a replacement rudder fashioned by another boat also failed, and brief efforts to create a jury-rigged steering system didn't work, the couple consulted with the insurance company. They ultimately decided to scuttle an otherwise perfect boat. The couple declined suggestions that they try to steer the boat with twin headsails. There were only two of them, and at the time they were headed in the direction of Venezuela, an area for which they had no charts and where they feared there might be pirates. See the March 2003 issue of Yachting World for the complete story.

Gary Jobson to Speak at Tiburon YC

February 28 - Paradise Cay, Tiburon

Tiburon Yacht Club is inviting the sailing public to come hear Gary Jobson speak on Wednesday, March 12, at 8 pm. Jobson is a world-class sailor, an author, and ESPN commentator for the America's Cup (which surely will be over by then!) He also covered the 2000 Olympics for NBC. Jobson will give his presentation at TYC's beautiful new clubhouse at 400 Trinidad Drive, off Paradise Drive on the east side of the Tiburon Peninsula. The cost is $10, and seats are limited, so we recommend making reservations at or by calling Allen Dekelboum at (415) 883-7739.

Geronimo Regains the Jules Verne Record Pace

February 28 - Cape Horn

Having fallen behind the maxi-cat Orange's record pace in the Jules Verne for a few days while rounding Cape Horn in light winds, Olivier de Kersauson and the maxi-tri Geronimo have pulled back in front again. It may only be temporary, however, as light winds lay ahead.

Blair's Wild Monohull Ride

February 28 - Marshall Islands

Blair Grinols has been sailing his 46-ft Capricorn Cat from California to Mexico and into the Pacific for the last nine years. She recently went aground on coral in the Marshall Islands for a short time, and had to leave much of her anchor gear. Blair made the 70-mile trip to retrieve the gear on a 46-ft Beneteau, and it was his first time offshore on a monohull. Here's his reaction:

"Oh, I've got to tell you guys about my first offshore voyage in a monohull. Ron, who took us up to Aur, has a 46-ft Beneteau, and the minute we heeled over on our side, I knew it wasn't going to be fun. It turned out to be the most wallowing wild ride I have ever had! Every time the bow dove in, the boat would shoot off course to the opposite way we were heeled. And she had a ton of weather helm. It was absolutely impossible to keep it within 10 degrees of the desired course, and we wandered all over the ocean. His autopilot was out, but I could only drive for an hour at a time. It took us three hours longer to cover the 60 miles than it did with my cat. But we managed to retrieve my anchors, so I loved every minute of it."

Capricorn Cat is having repairs made to her daggerboards and rudders, and some epoxy put on the spot on the bottom of the hull where foam was exposed.

The Pope and the Sydney to Hobart Race

February 28 - Down Under

We just received the recent issue of Sailing World magazine and got a kick out of two items. The first was a somewhat dated quote from Chris Dickson, skipper of Oracle, who, upon learning that the Vatican was sending envoys to investigate the spiritual needs of America's Cup sailors, made the comment: "I hope they're sending them here for a long time. They've got some work to do."

The other item was the result of a survey they conducted asking readers which was the most prestigious ocean race to win. The winner, getting 40% of the vote, was the Sydney to Hobart Race, followed by the Fastnet with 23%, and the Newport to Bermuda and TransPac. We're puzzled by the results, as the Sydney to Hobart is mostly a race for Aussies, while the challenging Fastnet Race draws a much larger and diverse fleet from all over Europe.


February 28 - 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 28 - 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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