Photo of the Day
June 13 - Coral Gables, Florida
Photo Courtesy Pipe Dream IX
Today's Photo of the Day is of Scott Piper's J/160 Pipe Dream IX, which is one of the most interesting entries in this year's 42nd TransPac which starts July 1-4-6. Rich Roberts explains:
"It was convenient how TransPacific YC scheduled its 42nd biennial race from Los Angeles to Hawaii this summer because it fit right into Scott Piper's plans. 'This is part of the third circumnavigation,' he said. Piper's Pipe Dream IX from Coral Gables, Florida, is one of three J/160s in the TransPac. Piper, 64, has sailed the 53-foot boat 79,341 nautical miles since he bought her in 1996. That's more than 35 TransPacs, at 2,225 miles each. In the past seven years the Florida orthopedic surgeon has been around Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, through the Suez Canal - and through the Panama Canal four times.
"'We left Miami on February 22,' Piper said. 'Hawaii's on the way, which is why we're doing the TransPac. We'll go from there to the Marshall Islands, Palau, the Philippines, Borneo, and so on. I do most of my racing in an Etchells and use the big boat to cruise, but whenever a race presents itself, I do it.'
"That includes the Sydney-Hobart race on circumnavigation number two, and a course record in the Annapolis-Bermuda race in '96 on what he calls a 'shakedown cruise.' Most of those miles have been in comfort. 'Of the three J/160s going, we are by far the most in a cruising mode,' Piper said. 'I have everything on my boat you can imagine.' Piper said his amenities include a fridge and freezer, washer-dryer, three air conditioners, a large transformer, three extra fuel tanks, and a big screen television.'
"Piper launched his current lifestyle 10 years ago, alternating a couple of months of work with portions of his circumnavigations, flying between Florida and his stopovers. 'It's been a successful formula for me,' he said. 'Though not as lucrative, the practice held together.' His wife Gillette will join him after TransPac for a cruise of the Hawaiian Islands before he sets out for the Marshalls in October. 'I met her as a blind date after a Newport-Bermuda Race when I was 21 and she was 19,' Piper said. 'She named the first boat.' They'll celebrate their 40th anniversary before he starts TransPac."
And Now There Are Five Possible Venues
June 13 - Europe
With the objective of choosing the venue and host city for the 32nd America's Cup - presumably to be held in 2007 - the America's Cup Management asked eight European venues to supply in-depth technical information to facilitate AC Management's decision in selecting the next venue. Those who have made the cut are: Lisbon, Portugal; Marseille, France; Naples, Italy; Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Valencia, Spain.
Marseille is still in the running for the next America's Cup. It has a great location, decent wind, a cool waterfront, great nightlife, and is only just over three hours from Paris by train. On the other hand, it's a very crowded town and crime is a big problem.
If we had to guess which venue will ultimately be chosen, we'd bet on Lisbon because it has perhaps the most consistent wind and because it's the one 'neutral' country as it's unlikely to field an entry. If we had to put a city at the bottom of the list, it would be Naples. It's not just a tough town, it's got to be tough to get anything done there.
Oracle BMW Names New Helmsman
June 13 - San Francisco Bay Area
Speaking of the next America's Cup, 29-year-old Kiwi Gavin Brady has been named helmsman for the Oracle BMW team. It will be interesting, however, to see if Brady manages to hold on to that position through the Cup itself. Observers will remember that in the last campaign, Oracle BMW more or less went through Dickson, Cayard, Holmberg and Dickson again, before finally settling on Holmberg for good.
In other Oracle news, Larry Ellison's announced attempt to take over PeopleSoft has Oracle trading at 14, a 52-week high, despite a sharply down market. Today's 2.63% jump - as of 10 a.m. Pacific time - would probably be enough to fund Ellison's next America's Cup effort.
Coastal Cup Start to Be a Fine Spectacle
June 13 - San Francisco
The Encinal YC's Coastal Cup to Catalina starts tomorrow off Baker Beach at 10 a.m. It's a spectacular fleet with many boats using the race as the tune up for the TransPac. It's a start worth watching.
All about Stillwater Cove
June 13 - Carmel
We got a lot of response to Paul Moench's request for information on the Stillwater Cove anchorage off Pebble Beach:
From Donna Womble: "I have not personally anchored a boat in Stillwater Cove (we used a mooring), but I witnessed several of our yacht club members doing just that last weekend. There is still lots and lots of kelp in the cove, but it is as beautiful as ever. The pier is in great shape, the floating docks are good, and the surrounding Pebble Beach golf course is exceptionally green. Last weekend was Monterey Peninsula YC's annual Commodore's Regatta, which races from Monterey to Stillwater on Saturday, and then races back to Monterey from Stillwater on Sunday. There were 15 boats racing, and many of them anchored in the cove, although some like us were lucky enough to use moorings. In addition, there were maybe five cruising boats in the cove and some from the Santa Cruz YC also.
"Stillwater YC keeps about eight moorings in the cove every summer - the individual moorings are owned by individual Stillwater YC members, and so they are pretty reserved about loaning them out. Of the boats that anchored, several of them had to do so more than once because they were dragging or got too close to shore at low tide. I think that most of the bottom of the cove is sandy, although there are rocks here and there - and there is way too much kelp!
"The entrance to Stillwater Cove is a bit narrow, too. It is protected by kelp beds on one side, and a reef on the other. You have to enter the cove between the kelp on the south approach. If you try to enter the cove from a more westerly direction - to the northwest of Arch Rock - you will have to go over a shallow reef, which is not a good idea.
"When Stillwater YC hosts or helps to organize regattas, they almost always put out picket a line between two moorings so the smaller boats that visit usually tie up that way. This year, amazingly enough, the picket line was populated by a Sydney 38 at one end, a Soverel 33 at the other, and had two Santana 22s and one J/22 in the middle! I'm really surprised that they didn't drag, but everyone was okay overnight.
"In the old days, the Carmel High School Swim Team would hold a Stillwater Kelp clean-up as a swim practice exercise. I don't think they are cutting kelp there anymore, probably because their coach, also a member of Stillwater YC, has now retired. I don't know what the restrictions are on harvesting kelp now, but I'm sure that the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has something to say about it. Curiously, Monterey doesn't have much of a kelp problem these days; perhaps someone is harvesting it to feed the baby abalones at the two abalone farms in Monterey!?"
Photo Bonnie Fraik of the SC 52 Impulse
From Greg Greenlee of the J/22 Trinity: "I raced to Stillwater and back this past weekend from Monterey. Yes, the public hoist is still there, and the floating dock is there as well. There are several friendly harbor employees to help you with all your needs, and yes, there is still lots of kelp. You may try contacting the harbormaster to see if you can temporarily use a mooring for your stay."
From David Addleman: "I'm over at Stillwater right now. I spent a few days anchored there this year and have done so in the past. I'm presently on a borrowed mooring. The cove is not yet full of kelp, but it will be dense in a few weeks. It is important to put the anchor in a sandy patch. However some sand may only be inches deep. In calm conditions it is easy to see the 15 to 30 feet to the bottom. Just take your time. I think the choice anchorage is tucked in right behind the Pescadero Rocks (charted). Only two or three friendly boats will fit there. There seems to be good deep sand. I didn't drag an inch during some shifty breezes this week. The rocks block all the waves, unlike closer to the beach. The sandy bottom discourages the kelp. I cruised around there in the dink and didn't see any threatening rocks not already awash.
"The harbormasters, Chris and Ramesh, are friendly and helpful. Their dock is open 9-5. Off-hours one must land on the beach. I'd say landing on the beach is easy, except a few days ago I gracefully stepped out of the dink onto a clump of weed. The splash was dramatic, as bystanders will attest. There's enough kelp and grass that rowing is easier than motoring. The moorings are all private, as far as I know. There is always room to anchor. All the boats lost all their liquor a few weeks ago. If the thieves found ice, they had a great party. This was the one night I slept in town.
"The beach and views are wonderful. The only negatives are the all-night bright lights onshore and the kelp flies - which are two more reasons to anchor out by the Pescadero Rocks. Campfires on the beach are fun, plus kayaking (there are rentals, somehow), swimming, scuba, shopping, and of course golf nearby. The Stillwater YC Beer Cans seem to be Thursday evenings. The hoist is operational. I don't know the policy for public use. Call the Harbormaster at the Pebble Beach Company (831-647-7500)."
Lastly, from Neil Kaminar of the Fantasia 35 Angelina: "We went to Stillwater last year and really enjoyed ourselves. It is an easy walk to the Pebble Beach Lodge. Holding was fine. There is a lot of kelp, but our boat, being a full keel, was not affected. There are places to anchor out of the kelp. We enjoyed the sea life. A small seal followed us as we rowed the dinghy around. The harbor master pulls up the stairs to the float where we tied up our dinghy at 5 p.m., but we just went around that obstruction. It is a great place. Attached is a picture of our boat at Stillwater."
Photo Neil Kaminar
Need Fine Accommodations for Your Crew in San Francisco for Less than $100?
June 13 - San Francisco
The Grand Poobah recommends the historic San Remo Hotel, just a couple of quiet blocks from Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and the cable cars.
This fine old hotel was built just after the '06 earthquake, and features a bar that came around the Horn and a '47 woodie out front.
A pension-style hotel, it's long been a favorite with European visitors, and would be perfect crew accommodations during the Big Boat Series or other events.
See www.sanremohotel.com for details, and tell them the Poobah sent you!
June 13 - 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.
June 13 - 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