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Photo of the Day

November 19 - Bahia Santa Maria, BCS

Photo Alex Bly

Today's Photo of the Day is a distant aerial shot of Punta Hughes and Bahia Santa Maria, second stop on the Baja Ha-Ha. Photographer Alex Bly explains: "I did the Ha-Ha aboard Soy Libre with my cousin Andy Kopac, his wife Marianne, and their 3-year old son Andrew. I snapped this photo on the flight home."

Photo Latitude/Richard

The second photo is a close-up of the point at Bahia Santa Maria, and shows Angela the Surf Queen, dropping into a nice wave. The SQ was crew aboard the Islander Freeport 36 Bula at the time.

Many Said It Couldn't Be Done

November 19 - Marigot Bay, St. Martin

In May of this year, the large 1907 ketch Iren burned to the waterline at Marigot Bay, St. Martin. The owner, who had been lovingly restoring the boat, decided he wanted to rebuild her in England. Just one problem, how to get her across the Atlantic?

Capt. Paul Wahlen, skipper of the 1917 auxiliary schooner Avontuur, had a suggestion - he'd tow the ketch, under sail, all the way to the land of Brits. As absurd as this sounds, it's now being reported that the transatlantic sailing tow, by an 85-year-old schooner, was successful!

Boy, are we impressed! We're trying to get details.

Renamed Geronimo after Route of Discovery Record

November 19 - Cadiz, Spain

Olivier de Kersauson's maxi-trimaran Geronimo, named Cap Gemini-Schneider Electric for the record attempt, set off yesterday from Cadiz, Spain, to San Salvador in the Bahamas in pursuit of the Steve Fossett's Route of Discovery record. The current record for the 4,700-mile course is 9 days and 13 hours, which the maxi-cat PlayStation set last February. The original record was established by one Chris Columbus just over 400 years ago. An extremely fast trimaran, Geronimo has been thwarted in previous record attempts by rudder problems and bad luck with weather.

Farr's Virbac Knows Jacques!

November 19 - Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

Yesterday morning, the new Farr Open 60 Virbac, skippered by Jean-Pierre Dick and Nicolas Abiven, ghosted across the finish line in the darkness of the Brazilian night to take a convincing victory in the Jacques Vabre, their first ever major ocean yacht race. It wasn't until seven hours later that the Anglo-French team of Alex Thomson and Roland Jourdain crossed the finish line on Sill for second. Third place finisher Ecover, with Mike Golding and former Sausalito habitué Brian Thompson, took third.

Photo Courtesy www.jacques-vabre.com

"Our experience of inshore regatta racing has aided us a lot in this victory," commented an elated Jean-Pierre Dick on hitting the dock. "We were always reacting to everything happening, and perhaps overdid the sail changes! We changed the gennaker to spinnaker and back a few times today, even on the last mile to the finish. I always race as if it's the last leg of a Tour Voile, always 100% non-stop, reacting to every minute change on the boat."

The victors covered the theoretical transatlantic distance of 4,340 miles in 16 days and 22 hours, an average speed of just under 11 knots. The top trimarans averaged over 17.5 knots for the same event.

Profligate's Progress

November 19 - Panama

We haven't heard from Profligate yet this morning, but last night they reported that if they could continue staying out of the adverse current, they should be in the vicinity of the Panama Canal by tonight. The 63-ft cat departed Cabo San Lucas 12 days ago, and is - this never happens - a couple of days ahead of schedule.

Graphic Latitude/Annie & Chris

It's important that she get through the Canal as quickly as possible, because once the winter trades set up shop, going east from Panama to the Eastern Caribbean is brutal. If you check the weather maps for that part of the Atlantic and Caribbean, you'll see there is a low just east of the Greater Antilles, which has completely messed up the easterly trades, and appears it might continue to mess the trades up for the next three days or so. If Profligate can get through the Canal quickly - from paperwork to passing through it's hoped it will take less than two days - she might at least get a quick start on the 1,100-mile trip east.

Update: We just heard from Profligate (at 10:30 am PST) and they say they've blown a Saildrive 50 miles from the Canal! So the trek eastward will be delayed while the cat finds a place to put in for repairs.


November 19 - 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 Links

November 19 - 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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