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Photos of the Day

July 9 - Napa River

Today's Photos of the Day are from the Fourth of July cruise-in we and some friends enjoyed at the Napa Valley Marina, which is 10 miles past Vallejo and about seven miles short of Napa. What a cool place. Owners Tom and Dan, with the help of the manager Kirby, run a very mellow and successful marina/boatyard/storage facility that's located, oddly enough, adjacent to the famous Carneros wine-growing district. It's also only 32 miles from Central San Francisco Bay. For more information about using the facilities, call Kirby at (707) 252-8011.

Overview of the Napa Valley Marina

Angie, Susan, and Sylvia keep a watch on the salmon. As you probably know, this is a great year for salmon, which is selling for between 75 cents and 1.25 a pound. They were even giving the stuff away at Half Moon Bay last weekend.

Isn't it just like a bunch of captains to let the women do all the work? Dave Reed, with daughter Madeline, of the Peterson 34 Baccarat; Barry Stompe of the Islander 36 Tom Cat; and Alan Olson, who has sailed the Pacific as far as Shanghai with boats such as Stone Witch, which he built, and the schooner Maramel.

The Napa Valley Marina's spacious BBQ and picnic area

"This picnic deck is as good a place as any to mess with mom's head," William McMullen tells his sister. William is an enthusiastic participant in the San Francisco YC's Thursday evening youth races. For something like $10, he gets the use of a boat for four short races plus a BBQ. Killer deal!

The kindness of strangers. Joel, a guy from one of the powerboats in the Pintail dock, dropped by to share his delicious homemade ice cream with our entire group. What a nice guy. The next time you come down to the Bay, Joel, give us a call, we'd love to try to take you out on Profligate.

Kids love feeding the ducks, of which there are many. There's also a big field kids can play in.

Photos Latitude/Richard

Swan European Regatta

July 9 - Cowes, UK

On June 29-July 3, the biennial Swan European Regatta at Cowes (Isle of Wight, England) attracted an impressive fleet of 54 elegant Swans, ranging in size between 65 and 36 feet. The Solent served up mostly light air, gray skies and big currents, rather like midwinter racing on San Francisco Bay. Filip Balcaen's Dutch Swan 56 Aqua Equinox, with Bouwe Bekking serving as tactician, was the big winner. See www.nautorgroup.com for the whole story, and check the August issue of Latitude 38 for our roving reporter's impressions of the event.

Swans of all sizes showed up for the regatta.

The Needles

Cowes is a great town, quaint and charming and totally devoted to sailing. It's also, we're told, dead as a doorknob in the winter.

The harbor at Cowes, with one of the ubiquitous Red Funnel ferries in the foreground.

The long distance race (a 40-miler instead of the classic 55-mile Round the Island Race) got underway at 7:10 in the morning!

Wild Oats, the radical new canting-keeled R/P 60 from Australia, was out practicing for the upcoming Admiral's Cup.

The world-famous Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes. Only Swan owners - not crew - were allowed in.

On board Katrina, Damon Guizot's immaculate Swan 53.

Solent sunshine

Photos Latitude/Rob

A Happy Fourth of July - from our Amigo in Cuba

July 4 - Cuba

"The Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba wants to convey you our sincere greetings on the occasion of the 227th Anniversary of the Statement of the United States of America Independence," writes our friend Commodore Jose Escrich. "We remember with respect and admiration the brave fight of the people of the 13 Colonies in order to expel from their lands the colonialist troops. In this memorable opportunity, we wish you and the people of United States peace, and well-being. We feel very happy of the friendly and collaboration relations established with the United States boating community. We will continue working with perseverance so these relations be more stronger."

Buddy Ebsen, More than Just the Star of 'The Beverly Hillbillies'

July 9 - Newport Beach

The late Ebsen, who passed away at age 95, used to sail Thistles, a Lapworth 36, and then the catamaran Polynesian Concept out of Newport Beach.

How Could They Miss the Equator?

July 9 - South Pacific Ocean

"When I got up to get ready for my 0200 watch on our passage from Hawaii to the Marquesas," writes Susie Grubler of the Wylie 38 Punk Dolphin, "I noticed that we were 2 minutes south of the equator. We'd missed it! And I so wanted to see that dotted line that my husband and doublehanding partner Jonathan told me about. We made a toast to Neptune anyway, ate some worms - gummy worms - and continued on our way.

"It was a night for marine life. Jonathan saw a dolphin jumping at the bow on his watch from 2200-2400. He said he looked for the others but only saw the one. I on the other hand was minding my own business, deep in thought when WHACK!!! I was assaulted by a flying fish on the side of my head. Yuck! I'd been slimed. Nice smelly fish slime. Okay, I'm definitely awake now. Shortly thereafter, SMACK, right in the kisser! Ouch! And I thought the fish on the side of my head smelled. Now I had a slimed upper lip. Enough of that, I hid behind the dodger for the rest of my watch."

The next installment from Punk Dolphin is all about the trouble with trying to have sex while on watch. Don't miss it.

Bruce Schwab Speaks at the Corinthian YC on Thursday Night

July 9 - Tiburon

See the July 7 'Lectronic for details.

TransPac Update

July 9 - Pacific Ocean

Rich Roberts reports:

Pegasus 77 sailed farther and faster Tuesday, but Pyewacket stretched its lead in the marquee match race of the 42nd TransPac Yacht Race to Hawaii, a situation that has often been an anomaly of the race for the last half-century. Until 1947, logic called for sailing a direct, or 'rhumb', line of 2,225 nautical miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu because sailors didn't realize they could avoid a region of light wind by sailing a little farther south. With improved weather information developed in World War II, two boats - Chubasco and Westward - tried just that in '47 and finished first and third. Then in '49, when Westward's navigator, Bob Allan, pulled the same ploy that delivered the first Barn Door trophy to Richard Rheem's Morning Star as first boat to finish, the others were sold on the concept of the Pacific High - that monstrous, undulating zone of high pressure waddling over the eastern Pacific Ocean. Avoiding the high remains conventional wisdom in the 42nd TransPac 54 years later, but it's a like a boxing opponent, bobbing and weaving and leaving everyone on every boat to look to the navigator for guidance. And where does the navigator look? Often to Nashua, New Hampshire, where George Caras of Commanders Weather is based.

Studying the positions reported at Tuesday morning's daily roll call, Caras said, "North may be favored a little bit [Monday] or [Tuesday], but south will be favored starting [Thursday]. The goal for a lot of the boats is going to be to get farther south."

Those would include Pyewacket, Roy E. Disney's Reichel/Pugh 75 that holds the race record of about 7 1/2 days. Sailing a more direct course, Pyewacket logged 329 miles at 13.7 knots in the first full day at sea and moved into first place in corrected handicap time for the entire fleet. Oddly, Philippe Kahn's R/P 77 Pegasus, taking a more tactical southerly route, went 338 miles at 14.1 knots but dropped to 27 miles behind. "[Pyewacket] got a little lead because they found a shade more breeze up north," Caras said, "but they'll come down now to keep up with the wind. Their wind angle may not be as good coming down and it could tighten the gap or give Pegasus a little bit of an advantage, but we'll have to see on that."

For complete details and standings, visit www.transpacificyc.org.


July 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 www.bitwrangler.com/psn.

Weather Updates

July 9 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

Check out this guide to San Francisco Bay Navigational Aids: http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/sfports.html.

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

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data.

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