Photos of the Day

May 9 - Mt. Everest, Nepal

As Latitude 38 readers know, there has been quite a debate in the Letters section recently about the suitability of Porta-Botes as yacht tenders. Some letters have been pro, some have been con. Anyway, the other day we received a call from Sandy Kay, founder and president of the company that has made 50,000 of them in, of all places, Morgan Hill. Kay wanted to touch base and let us know that there have been substantial improvements in the Porta-Botes over the years. He also mentioned that a Porta-Bote was the first boat to ever be taken up Mt. Everest. Huh?

Today's Photos of the Day offer proof of that claim. Why would anyone want to take a boat up Everest? It seems there is a lake part of the way up, and by taking a boat across the lake it's possible to climb the mountain a new way or to reach some virgin sub-peak or something. For details, visit

Photos Courtesy Royal Air Force

Can You Believe It? Boat Reservations to Be Needed for the Med!

May 9 - Mediterranean Sea

Check out the following report that appeared in the April edition of England's prestigious Yachting Monthly magazine:

"'Book early!' is the message from the recently formed Société de Contrôle d'Accés à la Mediterranée, consisting of countries whose borders lie on the Med coast. The society plans to limit the number of pleasure vessels visiting the Med in an attempt to curb worrying levels of pollution and reduce levels of damage caused to the seabed by anchoring craft.

"The initiative was led by the Spanish and French governments, which have been concerned with overdevelopment of their coastal regions. Despite attempts to provide an environmentally sensible balance between available berthing and the requirements of visiting craft, demand continues to outstrip supply as more and more privately owned boats pour into the Med each year.

Photos Latitude/Richard

"Having raised the matter with their EU partners and found an almost-unanimous accord, representatives from Spain, France and Italy approached Turkey, Egypt and the North African countries to agree on maritime legislation. With an almost unprecedented lack of discord between the various states, it was swiftly established that such a move would be in the best interests of all parties.

"One of the great attractions of the project is the simplicity of monitoring access to the region. There are only a few routes into the Mediterranean. The two traditional gateways, the Straits of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal, are easy to police, and the countries bordering these gateways are fully supportive of the proposal.

"Charter companies will not be restricted by a quota in boat numbers, and may see an increase in business coupled with a decrease in competition for berth space.

"People planning to cruise the area after 2004 will need to apply to the bureau, providing boat details, proposed date of entry and outlined itinerary. For EU-registered craft, only those conforming to RCD requirements will be accepted. The licence fee, to be decided, will be based on boat size.

"Avril Tromper, secretary to the bureau, suggested in an interview with our Med correspondent that the minimum fee would be around 1,000 Euros for two years.

"'This is the absolute minimum if we are to conserve our most beautiful coastal regions for the enjoyment of future generations,' she said."

Soho in Vallejo!

May 9 - Vallejo

There was more to last weekend's Vallejo Race than just sailing. You can tell by the lascivious glint in the eye of Michelle and the 'I'm so lucky' smile on the face of her partner and skipper Rich Mullinax of Still Searching while still on the dance floor at the Vallejo YC after the first race. There must be something about dancing and alcohol that gets people's mojos working. Between sets, the couple, joined by another couple, put the 'four' back into the 'forepeak' of Still Searching. The photo below shows that it was a full house in the yacht club's harbor.

Photos by Larry Weinhoff of Synergizer or Greg
Retkowski of
Scirocco, we don't know which.

Spanish Sailing Eyes Are Smiling

May 9 - Calpe, Spain

You don't read much about sailing in Spain, but it's a big, big, big deal, thanks in part to the King being such a sailing buff. In fact, local sailors get paid so much money to race locally on boats sponsored by Spanish banks and other big companies, it's usually not worth their while to go international.

To give you an idea of the lovely sailing environment, here's a couple of shots from the Women's Match Race Criterium recently held in J/22s at Calpe. Malin Millbourn took honors for Sweden. Next year the event hopes to attract 12 teams from around the world. We think a Northern California team lead by Liz Baylis, Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year would make a wonderful addition.

Photos Courtesy Women's Match Race Criterium

Say, Isn't That Liz There?

May 9 - Moss Landing

It sure is. The occasion was the recent christening and launch in Moss Landing of the Wylie & Wahle 65-ft cat ketch rigged research vessel Derek M Baylis. The boat was named after Liz's father, who has been the engineering mentor for designer Tom Wylie and builder Dave Wahle. For more details, see Sightings in the May issue of Latitude 38.

Photos Rick Leach 

Shipping Boats from P.V. to Ensenada and Vancouver

May 9 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

In the May issue Cruise Notes, we wondered why no shipping company has initiated boat delivery service between Mexico and California. It turns out one shipping company - Yacht Path International - is about to start. Roger Rue reports:

"I'm going to have my Hylas 44 Penn Station deck loaded at Puerto Vallarta in early June for shipment to Vancouver. The company does not make a stop in California, but it does stop in Ensenada. It will cost $12,000 to ship my 25,000 pound boat aboard the BBC Ecuador. That's less than a new suit of sails, less than a new or rebuilt engine, and about the same price as a delivery skipper.
I sailed Penn Station down from Puget sound in Aug-Nov of 2001, then left her at Discovery Bay and Coronado Cays while waiting for the insurance window to open up for Mexico. It was a great trip down, but being a gentleman, I don't DO bashes to weather! Hence, the arrangement with Yacht Path International."

America's Cup Class Yachting Center Opens at Treasure Island

May 9 - Treasure Island

The International America's Cup Class of San Francisco (IACCSF) began operations at the new America's Cup Class Yachting Center on Pier One at Treasure Island yesterday.

IACCSF honchos bracket City of San Francisco honcho Willie Brown
Photo Courtesy IACCSF

As part of their deal with the Treasure Island Development Authority, IACCSF has offered to provide talks and tours of the compound to disadvantaged youth throughout the year. And a very lucky select group of kids will be invited on board the yachts for a sail around the Bay.

With up to ten teams participating in the season, including America's Cup victors Alinghi and Larry Ellison's Oracle BMW Racing, the stage is set for impressive sailing competition. Yachts being stored at the new compound include Stars & Stripes, New Zealand Challenge, Il Moro di Venezia, NZL-20, Le Defi Areva and K-Yachting Challenge. Protector boats, which are used as support vessels for the IACC yachts, will also be stored at the center. The complete 2003 IACCSF racing schedule is as follows: the Sausalito Cup, June 20-22; the Il Moro Trophy, July 25-27; the Golden Gate Series, Sept. 6-14; and the 2003 IACC Worlds on Oct. 11-19.

"I can't wait!" commented San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

Racers Mark Your Calendars for Next Wednesday

May 9 - Belvedere

Dick Rose, chairman of the US Sailing Rules Committee, will present a seminar next Wednesday evening, May 14, at San Francisco YC, on the Racing Rules of Sailing. All racing sailors are encouraged to attend and bring situations and questions for discussion.

The event begins at 6:30pm. SFYC is located at 98 Beach Road in Belvedere. See for maps and directions. A $15 donation to the Belvedere Cove Foundation is requested to cover costs.

We Repeat, Latitude 38 Is Not Associated with Latitude 38 Productions

May 9 - San Francisco

This Saturday night is KFOG radio's big KaBoom! fireworks show at Piers 30 and 32 on the San Francisco waterfront, which naturally will attract a lot of folks on their boats. It has come to our attention that a new event and party planning outfit unfortunately named 'Latitude 38 Productions' has chartered a Blue & Gold ferry boat for a party during the festivities. As you might imagine, we're not thrilled at the new outfit's choice of names, as it quite clearly seems to trade on a brand name and reputation we've spent more than 25 years developing. We've spoken with owner Peter Scully, and it's seems likely we'll be able to work out a satisfactory solution without having to resort to lawyers. Meanwhile, please be advised that we are the real Latitude 38 has nothing to do with any 'Latitude 38 Productions' party during the KFOG KaBoom!

Speaking of the KaBoom!, be aware that the Coast Guard and police agencies will be out in force, and in years past have stopped and cited a number of skippers for operating under the influence. This is not a good thing, as it goes on your driving record as a DUI, and the last thing you need is the loss of driving privileges for six months or more. So have fun, be careful, and be sober.

About That Boat Reservations for the Med Story

May 9 - Mediterranean Sea

Knowing that various countries around the world can't even agree enough to keep Cuba off the United Nations Human Rights Commission, we smelled a rat with the Yachting Monthly article reprinted above. So we emailed them to ask if it wasn't some kind of April Fool's Joke. They admitted it was. Those tricky Brits have been pulling April Fool's jokes since the 18th century, almost as long as the French.


May 9 - 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

May 9 - 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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