Photo of the Day

May 30 - Parksville, BC

Looking for a larger boat? Today's vessel in the Photo of the Day might just be the answer.

She's a 693-ft ex-aircraft carrier built by the Brits in '42, later loaned to Australia, and eventually sold to Brazil. Her two steam turbines give her a shaft hp of 36,000 and speeds of 25 knots for 6,200 miles. Unfortunately, she's not particularly good on fuel economy, which is why she has a fuel capacity of 3,200 tons. That's right, tons. If that doesn't lighten one's wallet enough, she also has room for 98,000 gallons of aviation fuel. French Creek Boat Sales in British Columbia claim to have a listing. The price is just $4.5 million, but there will be no demo trips without a deposit. Thanks to Lu Abel for this item.

Great Americans Aboard Great America II Break Ancient Record

May 28 - New York

Having sailed the 53-ft trimaran Great American II 15,000 miles from Hong Kong to New York - by way of Cape Horn - in just 72 days and 21 hours, Rich Wilson of Rockport, MA, and Rich du Moulin of Larchmont, NY, have eclipsed the previous record set by the 192-ft extreme clipper ship Sea Witch way back in 1849. For their entire journey, the two had been communicating with 360,000 school children who were following a series of lesson plans linked to the voyage.

Wilson and du Moulin arrive in New York Harbor
Photo Courtesy

Largest Private Sailing Yacht to Launch in One Year

May 30 - Holland

Speaking of clipper ships, the clipper ship-inspired Athena - which at 295 feet will be the largest private sailing yacht in the world - is expected to launch a year from now at the Royal Huisman yard in Holland.

Her owner is Jim Clark, who as we recall used to sail an Islander 36 and a Baltic 55 out of Northern California. Clark, as most people know, made it very big in technology in Silicon Valley during the boom years. The three-masted schooner will displace 1,000 tons. With over 200 people working on the boat, she is said to be "a ship with a yacht quality finish." Clark already has a 156-ft sloop.

On deck

The salon

Drawings Courtesy Royal Huisman

Latitude Looking for Help on the Delta

May 30 - Sacramento Delta

Every year about this time we encourage Latitude 38 readers to consider taking a sailing trip up to the vast Delta region. However, we'd be the first to admit that we are not Delta experts. So, for our July issue, we'd like to invite Delta aficionados to share their expertise by sending in photos and short write-ups (300 words max) on their favorite Delta attractions, be they anchorages, marinas, restaurants, watering holes or secluded waterways. We'd also love to hear your favorite Delta anecdotes (500 words max), especially the humorous ones, i.e.: the time Grandma went water-skiing, your most embarrassing grounding, skinny-dipping by moonlight, the big fish that got away, whatever. Send submissions by email to Andy; or by snail mail to: Andy Turpin, Latitude 38, 15 Locust Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94941

On Flying Dinghies and Philippe Cousteau

May 30 - Lisbon, Portugal

"I was sorry to see that 'Lectronic Latitude reported speculation that Philippe Cousteau was killed in a flying dinghy," writes Eric Artman of Tiburon. "Actually, he was killed attempting to land a PBY-6A Catalina flying boat in the vicinity of Lisbon, Portugal, in 1979. A gyrocopter crash also caused a Cousteau family injury, but neither of these was a flying dinghy. While amphibious flight has risks, so too do all sports, and it's unfair to tag flying dinghies or ultralights with this tragedy. Ultralights, including their amphibious versions, are indeed specialized craft that require inspection and attention, but so does a J/105 headed out the Gate. Basically, when headed up in an ultralight of any type, you want to be as sure of your hardware as you would be when going up the mast. In either case, if a fitting, cable or other structural part gives way (or comes loose) you could be killed. You also want to be sure of the weather for your flight - but since flights are relatively short, it's not like trying to forecast days in the future. Sailors take risks, and the responsibility for those risks, every time they go out on the water. I'm surprised that some readers of your magazine would so stridently try to slam another sport that also has some risks."

We received a tremendous amount of mail about flying dinghies and such, and how many of them are around in Northern and Southern California. The most common sentiment expressed - even by someone with 20 years experience in ultralights and paragliding - is that we not get involved, as accidents happen, and such an accident might affect the future of Latitude.

Bay Model Tour for New Boaters

May 30 - Sausalito

The San Francisco Bay Model Visitor Center has a free 'Boating the Bay and Delta' tour of its 3D model of the Bay and Delta areas coming up next weekend. The tour will run from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 7, and is designed specifically for sailors and powerboaters who are relative newcomers to sailing our local inland waters. The Bay Model offers boaters a rare opportunity to see the bottom of San Francisco Bay and its entire shoreline, and to easily circumnavigate the Bay and river estuary system on foot in far less time than it would take to drive around it by car.

Tour topics will include: Reading tide books and nautical charts; using tides and currents to plan better trips on the Bay and to the Delta; finding your location and plotting your course; keeping your anchor on, and your boat off, the bottom; and big ships - knowing where they are, where they are headed, and staying out of their way. Space on this tour is limited to 25 people and must be reserved in advance by calling the Bay Model at (415) 332-3871. The Bay Model is located on Marinship Way, which runs between Bridgeway and the waterfront, in Sausalito.

Monterey Harbor Looking Like Pier 39

May 30 - Monterey

Greg Retkowski of Scirocco sent us this news item from KPIX-TV: "The Monterey harbor has been invaded by an estimated 600 sea lions. It is as large a group or larger than the last big invasion about a half dozen years ago.

Sea lions haul out on a dock at Pier 39 in San Francisco.
Photo Courtesy KPIX-TV

"They are occupying every available space, and some spaces that are not available. The animals are threatening to sink several Navy sailboats. The Coast Guard had to put up plywood so they could get to
their rescue boats in an emergency. Sea lions are not endangered, but they are protected under federal law."

You can read reporter Tony Russomanno's full story at

PlayStation off on Record Attempt

May 30 - Atlantic Ocean

Steve Fossett and crew are off the East Coast taking a shot at reclaiming the 24-hour sailing record, which they held twice before. The record is currently held by Brian Thompson, one of Fossett's former crew, with the maxi-cat Maiden2. They covered just shy of 700 miles in 24 hours.

McKee Is Killer in Mini Transat Boats

May 30 - English Channel

Seattle 49er sailor Jonathan McKee has just thrashed the best of the French and others in both legs of the Mini Pavois off France. As such, he's become one of the favorites to win the Mini Transat - for boats no longer than 21 feet. Sailing the above mentioned Brian Thompson's old boat, McKee was in a class by himself. The one and only American to win the Mini Transat was Mill Valley's Norton Smith, who did it in the late '70s with the Wylie-designed American Express.


May 30 - 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 30 - 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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