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Photos of the Day: Pyewacket

December 10 - Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

Roy Disney's new Pyewacket, a Reichel-Pugh Z-86, went out to play the other day, her sea trials on the Hauraki Gulf in 15-18 knots of breeze affording a great photo opp.

Photos Paul Todd/www.outsideimages.co.nz

The Molokai Channel on a 505

December 10 - Diamond Head, HI

Philippe Kahn writes from Oahu, "This evening at sunset, Paul Allen and I took the 505 out of our house by Koko Head and sailed down the Molokai Channel to Waikiki. Eric Everett and Mark Christensen got some nice shots. It's the TransPac finish all over again! (Got to practice for 2005!)"

Kahn is now signed up in that 'other' TransPac, which ends in Kaneohe (not Diamond Head). Up to 59 boats now
and more coming in every day. See www.pacificcup.org.

Photos Eric Everett and Mark Christensen

Aurora Completes ARC in 15 Days

December 10 - St. Lucia

In the Atlantic Rally Crossing, the Catana 58 Aurora, owned by the Bernhard brothers of the East Bay, finished in 15 days and 2 hours, 34th of about 215 boats to cross 2,700 miles of Atlantic, east to west from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia in the Caribbean. For more on the ARC, see www.worldcruising.com.

Profligate's Caribbean Report

December 10 - Antigua

"Now in it's 42nd year, I don't think the Nicholson Crewed Charterboat Show in Antigua has gotten any bigger, as it's leveled off at about 140 boats," Dana Nicholson told us. "The big difference is that the boats themselves keep getting bigger."

No kidding. It wasn't that long ago that a 70-footer was a fairly decent-sized sailboat in the show. It's a different story these days, as 70-footers are dwarfed by mega monohulls, such as the 172-ft Perini Navi Atmosphere, and the 138-ft maxi catamaran Douce France. The latter has a beam of over 50 feet and part of the aft deck lowers to water level for a private marina.

Most of these yachts aren't just big, they are immaculate. The finish on some of these huge hulls was so smooth it looked as though it had been done with the bottoms of week old babies! They are floating works of art. Some of these yachts feature incredible luxury. For example, in an accompanying photo you can see Doña de Mallorca pretending to swim in the pool of the ketch Islander. It takes 10 tons of water to fill that pool. Captain Mark Coxen says that although on the fourth level, it doesn't really make the boat top heavy - but when heeled at 15 degrees, lots of water tends to slop over the side. Fortunately, only two or three swimmers have been lost overboard to date.
Islander isn't quite as luxurious as she once was. She used to carry a landing craft on the back deck with a Plymouth Voyager mini-van inside. Using the yacht's large crane, they'd lift the whole business over the side, run the landing craft up the beach, and all the guests would drive away in their own car! How civilized.

Wood boats were in very short supply. The 65-ft West Coast-owned Lone Fox, skippered by Caribbean legend Randy West, was one of them. In the old days, she used to regularly do battle with Santana, the KKMI-based schooner owned by Paul and Chrissy Kaplan. Because of her hull material, Lone Fox was a popular attraction with the charter brokers.

But it's some of the wonderful people in Antigua who bring you back to earth. While walking down the quay, we spotted an elderly West Indian woman, resplendent in a hot pink dress and wearing jogging shoes with untied laces. It could be none other than Lady Baltimore, who for many years had done the washing for Big O when she chartered in the Caribbean. "Bring me your dirty stuff," she said with quiet dignity. "But not on Sunday, for I'm a church-going woman."

It was also wonderful to once again spend time with Jol Byerly, who is even more of a Caribbean legend than Randy West. He's a Caribbean institution of 30 years because of his running the great schooner Lord Jim, racing his various sloops, and providing the daily weather briefing from Antigua. It's unfair, but Jol is most famous for doing Antigua Sailing Weeks with all-women crews, who flustered competition by wearing nothing more than thong bottoms and string sandals. In the Caribbean, you can race like that in even the worst weather.

More to come.

This mizzen boom gives you an idea how big some of the Perini Navis are.

Shouldn't every charter boat be like Douce France and have its own marina?

Check out the Lewmar traveler for Lady Barbaretta's mainsheet. The new all-carbon 109-foot cat cost over $15 million to build.

Doña de Mallorca in over her head.

Randy West with Lone Fox in the background.

The resplendent Lady Baltimore, Queen of the Wash in Antigua, being pestered by a journalist.

Jol Byerly always has something to smile about.
Photos Latitude/Richard

Profligate's Progress

December 10 - St. Barts, French West Indies

We're now in St. Barts, F.W.I., where workers are toiling mightily under the hot sun in order to get the Charles de Gaulle Quai ready for the onslaught of mega yachts for the holidays. Anchored out we see an old favorite, Lone Ranger, a 251-ft ocean going tug that was converted to a private yacht. Among her toys include a fully rigged F-31 sitting on her aft deck, a float plane, and a sport fishing boat of some type. She's a manly yacht that carries enough fuel to cover 38,000 - that's not a typo - miles without stopping. How would you like to pay that fuel bill?

The Lone Ranger - nearly 1.5 times around the world before she has to stop for more fuel.
Photo Latitude/Richard

Out on the hook, our next-door neighbor is the mighty 90-footer Leopard of London, until recently of the fastest racing yachts in the world. We met Chris, the captain, in a bar ashore, and he confessed that yes, he'd been the captain aboard owner Mike Slade's previous yacht, the Ocean 80 Ocean Leopard, when she had the misfortune of landing her bow in the cockpit of an unfortunate Cheoy Lee 44 during an Antigua Sailing Week about 10 years ago. Chris made it clear that Lawrie Smith was driving at the time. Such fun and such memories in the Caribbean.

There's some sad news, too. Jimmy Buffet's long time pilot - we didn't catch his name - died not long ago in an accident involving running out of fuel. In addition to being a pilot, the fellow was a commercial fireworks expert. So as a fitting tribute to his life, they brought his ashes down to St. Barts, everybody drank a bit, and Jimmy played a few songs. As a final tribute, they loaded the fellow's ashes into one of the big fireworks and gave him a spectacular final send-off. You can still do stuff like that in the Caribbean.


December 10 - 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

December 10 - 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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