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Photo of the Day

August 29 - Oxnard

Referring to an item in the August 22 'Lectronic Latitude, Gillian Laurie writes, "The McNish Classic is a race for wooden boats only that has been run for many years by Dick McNish of Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club in Oxnard. You are right - it attracts lovely boats." So lovely in fact that one graces the cover of the September issue of Latitude 38, being distributed starting today.

Photo Latitude/Annie 

Ignacio Skirts Puerto Escondido

August 27 - Puerto Escondido, Baja California

Tim Schaaf reports, "The sun is gradually beginning to peek out of the overcast, but we had a really wild final night of Ignacio. Although downgraded to a tropical depression, it did get to within twenty miles of us. As a result, we had lots of wind, in the 30 to 40-knot range, shifting from east, to southeast, to south, to southwest and back again many times. It continued to rain, but not nearly so heavily as yesterday [Tuesday]. Still, I bet we got at least a foot of rain, total, maybe a good bit more. It was enough to sink several hard dinghies or pangas.

"The good news is that there were only a couple of draggers, both powerboats I think, one crewed and one unattended. This caused some moderate excitement, but no damage. All the boats seem to have come out okay. Of course, this depended on their preparation, and owners of unattended boats may find that some deck gear or canvas may have gone missing, or some rain may have gotten below. I had some water get below - it just rained so, so, hard, for so, so long.

"Via ham radio, I heard that Mulege also got clobbered. Bahia Concepcion also experienced wind and rain, but I do not think they had serious problems. San Carlos got some wind and rain and swells. I do not know if that caused any of the anchored boats any difficulties. The 34 boats holed up in Puerto Don Juan have had no effects from Ignacio whatsoever, nor are they predicted to. The sailing vessel In the Mood has been heading up the outside during all of this, and seems to have managed to stay just in front of the storm. They were in San Quentin this morning, and are thus almost to the barn."

Tim adds this postscript: "I have also had lots of superb sailing, much more than usual. Two or three of the sails have ranked right up there in memorable sails of one's life. In fact, from Bahia Concepcion north, back down to San Carlos, and from there to Puerto Escondido, I have had my sails up almost every inch of the way. So, apart from the truly dramatic moments, life has been good. But, it has been anything but like what most people think summer in the Sea of Cortez is supposed to be."

Astilleros Weathers Hurricane Ignacio

August 29 - La Paz, BCS

Rene Pittsey, whose boat is on the hard in La Paz reports on their experience of the recent hurricane, in comparison to Juliette two years ago: "Our sailboat Morning Star was in Astilleros Marina Dry Storage in La Paz in September 2001 when Hurricane Juliette hit. We were in Europe at the time. The boat next to Morning Star fell into her and broke both starboard spreaders on the main mast denting the mast in the process. That boat hung in our rigging for two weeks. We only learned of the hurricane and damage from other cruisers. As you remember a large number of boats fell over and were damaged. Latitude wrote an article and said, from my memory, that owners were foolish for putting their boats in a yard where the surface is dirt or fill and the boat stands had no feet.

Boats fell off their stands and into other boats at Astilleros Marina in La Paz during Hurricane Juliette

Photos Tom Ireton

"You were right to say that. We finally finished with the repair of the mast and replacement of the spreaders, re-stepping the mast late last year. We put Morning Star back in Astilleros again this spring for the summer. Were we foolish to do so?

"The answer is, no! Why? Because Astilleros came under new management last year. The new managers are cruisers and were our dock neighbors in Marina Palmira. Raul and Sharon on Shiloh took over Coast Marina and management of Astilleros. Astilleros has welded steel pads on the legs of the boat stands to keep them from sinking in the dirt. But, more importantly, when Ignacio came through La Paz, the crew worked around the clock tightening stands and looking after the boats. After the hurricane had passed, we received an email telling us our boat was okay. No boats had damage, so we feel our faith in Raul and Sharon was well placed.

"In 2001 when Juliette hit no workers came to the yard. We were not notified of damage to our boat, and we were told that no one else was notified either. Quite a difference this time around. Thanks Raul and Sharon!

"We also want to thank our cruiser friends on La Otra, Blue Pearl and Autumn who emailed us and took pictures to reassure us that Morning Star was all right. We also want to thank Guadalupe of the French Bakery at Palmira who emailed us also as to the safety of our boat. All good friends."

Two Marinites Win Silver in Athens Regatta

August 29 - Glyfadha, Greece

With a year to go until the Athens Olympics, sailing's second and final test event in preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games has wrapped up at the Aghios Kosmas Sailing Centre in Glyfadha, Greece.

USA's Yngling in Sunday's racing

The USA's Yngling team, including Tiburon's Melissa Purdy, made an impressive showing to earn their second silver medal in as many years. Posting bullets in three races put skipper Hannah Swett (Jamestown, RI/New York, NY), with crew Joan Touchette (Newport, RI) and Purdy, in medal contention from early on in the regatta. Midway through the series Swett, Touchette and Purdy added a gold dot to their sails, indicative of their first-place position in the overall standings. 2000 Europe Gold Medalist Shirley Robertson (GBR) won the event.

(Left to right) Purdy, Touchette and Swett at the press conference

Paul Cayard of Kentfield and Phil Trinter (Lorain, OH) have claimed the silver medal in the 18-boat Star fleet. After carrying the red dot on their mainsail at the regatta's midpoint indicating their third-place overall position, finishes of (15)-6-4 in races seven through nine dropped Cayard and Trinter in the standings. They went into the final day of racing in fourth place overall. Posting a 2-7 in the final two races of the series netted Cayard and Trinter 49 points for the regatta, just one point behind winners Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira (BRA). Cayard, an alternate on the USA's 1984 Olympic Team-Sailing, brought down the house at the post-race press conference with his comment that while many people mark their midlife crisis by purchasing motorcycles and Ferraris, he's using his to try and go to the Olympics.

Trinter (left) and Cayard

For final results in all 11 classes, see www.ussailing.org/Olympics.

Two Berths Left for Catalina Weekend

August 29 - Santa Catalina Island

Due to a cancellation, two berths are available for Profligate's shared expenses Catalina weekend September 5-7. Interested? Call Doña de Mallorca on her cell phone at (415) 269-5165. For details, see August 22's 'Lectronic.

"Sailors Need to Read Notice to Mariners"

August 29 - San Francisco Bay

The folks working on the Bay Bridge would really like sailors to give the construction more searoom. This email is from one such worker, "It never ceases to amaze me that sailors will try to sail between the construction piles when going under the Bay Bridge. It is extremely dangerous and it happens at an alarming rate. There is about 200 feet between pilings and if there are cranes operating then it becomes more dangerous.

"The sailboat in the attached picture came within 30 feet of an operating crane and if the wind had shifted or currents were not right they could have been entangled with the crane. I have seen the Coast Guard intercept some of the boats, and we try to warn off others, but it still happens. I would hate to see an accident, and one is coming if this practice does not cease."

Eight Bells

August 29 - Belvedere

Baja Ha-Ha vet Volker Dolch, of Belvedere and the Marquesas 56 cat Dolce Vita, died yesterday.

Volker was born in Germany in 1944. As Chief Scientist at Scanner, Inc., he was awarded 16 patents relating to the Universal Product Code. In 1984 he won the Rudolph Diesel Prize, Germany's highest engineering honor. Volker and his future wife, Mai, built a successful company as the leading supplier of rugged and powerful portable computers.

Dolce Vita at the start of the 2001 Ha-Ha
Photo Tom Lyon

Volker retired in February, 2001. In October of that year, the Dolches started their dream of circumnavigating the globe beginning with the Baja Ha-Ha, continuing to Puerto Vallarta, and the south of Mexico before heading up to the Sea of Cortez. The trip was interrupted when Volker needed to return home for cancer treatment.


August 29 - 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

August 29 - 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

The site for the Pacific Ocean sea states has moved to http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/PacRegSSA.shtml.
For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data.

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