Photos of the Day: Ranger
September 3 - Skagen, Denmark
Eric Moe, who day sails a 20-ft cat off the beach at Pt. Richmond, forwarded today's Photos of the Day. They were taken by Leon Telvig, Moe's father-in-law, in Skagen, which is in northern Denmark. Moe wondered if they might be shots of Jim Clark's gigantic new yacht Athena. We assured him they weren't, as Clark's new 292-footer is a modern version of a clipper ship, and won't be done until next year. We're almost certain the photos are of the new Ranger, the original of which is reputed to be the fastest J Class yacht ever.
The 135-ft Ranger was designed by W. Starling Burgess and Olin Stephens, built by Bath Iron Works in Maine in 1937, and owned by Harold Vanderbilt. On the way to the America's Cup that year, her 165-ft duraluminum mast fell overboard in a quartering sea. She used a borrowed mast to win the right to defend the America's Cup, then beat T.O.M. Sopwith's Endeavour II 5-0, setting five course records in as many races. After a brilliant career of winning 32 of 34 races, she was broken up for scrap during World War II.
While in Guadaloupe earlier this year, we ran into a fellow who used to crew on Windward Passage in the '70s, who said he was the project manager of Ranger. He told us the new yacht was being built in conformity with the J Class rules for an Atlanta developer who owns or has owned the maxi cruising boats Georgia and Atalanta - both of which bear a striking resemblance to wedding cakes. So Ranger is a big change in style. The fellow told us that the new Ranger would certainly be ready for the classic yacht regattas in the Med in October of this year. If so, they'd better hurry from Denmark to St. Tropez. Presumably she'll be in the Caribbean this winter, hopefully to play with the other J Class yachts Endeavour, Shamrock, and Velsheda at events such as the Antigua Classic Regatta.
Management Problems at Government-Run Marinas
September 3 - Oakland/Long Beach
"I tried to make a reservation for a slip at Jack London Square in late August, and a woman told me that a lot of the staff had been laid off so they weren't letting boats use the empty slips because they didn't have the staff to administrate them," writes Sean Spratt of the Pete's Harbor-based Hans Christian 33 Leucothea. "I am assuming that this facility was paid for by taxpayers, and I am outraged that we can't use it. I called the Mayor's office, and they referred me to the Port of Oakland, and they said to call them back if I did not get any cooperation. I did leave a few messages, I did get a call back message, but they were out of the office today."
Unfortunately, we've had similar problems
with other government-owned marinas. For example, just last weekend
we called Alamitos Bay Marina in Long Beach from Profligate
at Catalina to see if they had any end-ties available. During
the first call, the woman said, "Oh yeah, come on over,
we've got plenty of them open." When we called back 10 minutes
later to leave a credit card number, another woman said, "That
person didn't know what she was talking about, we don't have
any end-ties." Then that version was amended to the marina
having had one end-tie cancellation and another presumably open
because the boat there hadn't met the noon payment deadline.
For some reason, the person in the harbormaster's office couldn't
look to see if the spaces were open, and suggested we take a
look ourselves. We did, although doing so required our going
an hour out of our way. Both of the end-ties that should have
been empty, and in any event hadn't been paid for, were, in fact,
occupied. The folks at Alamitos Bay are very nice, and we've
often enjoyed their hospitality, but can't they keep better track
of their slips than that?
Soak It and It Will Grow
September 3 - Cowes, UK
Now we've seen everything! The accompanying picture is of an XL Brookes & Gatehouse T-shirt we were given at the Swan European Regatta last July. As you can see, it is vacuum-packed - or some such process - into a cube about the size of two cigarette packs. The instructions say to soak the shirt in water and it will grow to its full size. We're told the new packaging debuted at last year's Antigua Sailing Week, where the shirts were used for the infamous wet T-shirt contest... The only problem with the shirt is that we're so enamored with the way it's packaged, we're reluctant to open it!
September 3 - 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.
September 3 - 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.