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Pepina, 71-ft Ketch from Alameda Is Found!

October 13 - Berkeley

"We got a call from Alameda Police late yesterday saying that our beloved ketch Pepina had been found in the Berkeley Marina," reports Ted and Jeanie Conway of Alameda. "There seems to have been minimal damage - possibly some to the engine - but nothing like we'd feared. We would like to thank everyone for the incredible support we have received from the boating community."

We emailed Ted and Jeanie to tell them how happy we were their boat had been recovered, as we suspected she was stolen for a joyride and was to be scuttled.
"We had convinced ourselves that she had been stolen for a drug-run and would later be scuttled," Ted confirms. "As it stands, we may be out $20,000 fixing the engine and plumbing - but that's a hell of a lot less than losing the boat and so many of our personal items that no amount of money could replace. We'll be providing Latitude 38 with a complete story before too long."

Photo Courtesy the Conways

McKee Dismasted 700 Miles from the Mini-Transat Finish?

October 13 - Atlantic Ocean

Having led most of the second leg of the Mini-Transat - France to the Canaries, the Canaries to Brazil - Seattle's Jonathan McKee has been dismasted, or has had rudder or other equipment failure effectively putting him out of the race. It's a tough blow so close to the finish of the 4,200-mile event in a 21-footer.

Photo Courtesy Seattle Yacht Club

How Come IV Was so Much Faster than III?

October 13 - Plymouth, UK

How come Bob Miller's 140-ft schooner Mari-Cha IV was able to smash the transatlantic record last week, beating the previous record held by Bernard Stamm, and the record before that held by the 144-ft Mari-Cha III? The new boat did the crossing in just 6 days and 17 hours, while the longer old boat took 8 days and 23 hours.

Mari-Cha IV
Photo Thierry Martinez

Weight was a major difference. MC III displaced a whopping 109 tons, while the new boat, built of carbon and with all weight carefully controlled, displaced less than half that at 50 tons. Imagine, for example, how much faster your boat - be it a Cal 29, Islander 36, or whatever - would be off the wind is she weighed less than half as much.

By the way, there was just one American among the 24-person crew: Mike Howard of Southern California. Miller himself was born in Boston and talks like an American, but considers himself a resident of Hong Kong. There have been rumors that Miller would be interested in trying to sail his new boat around the world in less than 80 days. But he's squashed those rumors, saying that seven or eight days on a boat is enough for him. He's looking toward Antigua Sailing Week and - won't this be great? - next July's West Marine Pacific Cup.

Bush Administration to Crack Down on Visitors to Cuba

October 13 - Washington, DC

With even many of the left-leaning political figures in the world having given up hope on tyrant Fidel Castro - six-year prison sentences for citizens owning a typewriter were, in many cases, the last straw - the Bush Administration announced last week they would tighten the economic noose on Cuba. One of the ways they plan to do it is by fining Americans who dare to sail to Cuba and spend money there. "Americans are not allowed to go to Cuba for pleasure," said President Bush in a speech.

Having visited Cuba and seen the incredible repression firsthand, we're arch-enemies of despicable tyrants like Castro. Nonetheless, we think the Bush Administration is making a strategic mistake by forbidding Americans to go there. The way we see it, the more Americans who visit Cuba, the better the chances that one of the world's biggest violators of civil rights will be subverted. Spring break in Cuba!


October 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.

Weather Updates

October 13 - 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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