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Photo of the Day

December 12 - Portchester, UK

Wow! Check out this stick! We've already heard that it won't fit under the Golden Gate Bridge - now we get a visual.

Mirabella V's mast is loaded on a barge to leave VT Halmatic

Here's what the press release has to say about it: "VT Halmatic has completed production of the world's tallest yacht mast, which will be fitted on Mirabella V under construction by parent company VT Shipbuilding.

"The 90m. hollow carbon epoxy mast, which has a maximum cross section of 1.6 meters and structural thickness of up to 40mm, will support some 3,400 square meters of sail.

"Having been loaded onto a barge at VT Halmatic's Portchester shipyard, the mast was transported to Southampton Docks where the rigging will be dressed and the mast will be stepped before fitting out is completed.

"The mast has been manufactured in halves, with the back half comprising two sections and the front half divided into three sections."

Charitable Chili Cook-Off

December 12 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Cherie Sogsti sent in this report on the Chili Cook-Off in Puerto Vallarta that the cruisers there just put on for charity.

The location was Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A group of local restaurants and cruisers joined forces to raise money for local special needs children.

The day was a burning success (with both warm weather and hot chili). Nineteen volunteer groups offered samples of their chili for 50 cents each. Vallarta Yacht Club, Paradise Village, Coca-Cola and Corona sponsored the event.

The first place trophy went to Moon and the Stars

Jamaica Mistaica won second place and the trophy for best table decoration.

The Vallarta Yacht Club Bomberos. (Did they need a fire department to put out their chili?)

Even the kids got into the act. The cruising kids off of various boats got together and made their own chili called the Cruising Kids Beany-Baby Chili Chow.

Cassiopeia joined forces with Zykanthos and Free Flight to become 'Greg's Saucy Senoritas'. We offered a 5-gallon pot of our chipotle-pork-tomatillo chili. Even though we gave out the chili in one-ounce cups, we were out of chili hour later. (I'm not sure if it was poor planning, or just great chili!) Next year, we'll have to remember to make more.

A few of the special needs children put on a costumed dance show to thank the cruisers and local restaurants for helping them raise money. The children that danced were deaf, and they had white cards placed on the stage so they would know where to put their feet. I only wished they could have heard the applause!

Photos Courtesy Cherie Sogsti

See Cherie's Web site, www.wherescherie.com, for more photos.

Yacht Parade Lights Up the Estuary

December 12 - Alameda/Oakland

Held on December 6, the Alameda Estuary's annual Lighted Yacht Parade was put on by Encinal Yacht Club and co-hosted by Oakland Yacht Club and Marina Village Yacht Harbor. This was the first time the parade was a charitable event, benefiting the Oakland Firefighters' Random Acts of Kindness, the Fire Department's charitable arm which works directly with the community. Toys, gift certificates and money were collected. This was the parade which had been hosted by Jack London Square in years past.

The theme this year was Santa's Work Shop. The winner of Best Theme, EYC Best and OYC Best was Ketch 22, a 39' Freedom Ketch owned by Tom & Naty Marlow. Best Decorated Power Boat went to Mz Mena, a 46' Maxum Motor Yacht owned by Manuel & Fil Oliveira. Best Decorated Sailboat was Jitterbug, a 43' Catamaran owned by Gary & Claudette Miskel. Marina Village Yacht Harbor chose Perseverance as their Best. The Catalina 36MkII is owned by Jeff & Mary Berman. Random Acts of Kindness Best went to Perfect, a 48' Riviera Sportfisher owned by Rob & Carol Woltring.

Caption Contest Quips

December 12 - Sausalito

With the offer of a free T-shirt, we received a deluge of responses to Monday's photo caption contest. Readers were asked to caption this photo of the storm aftermath in the Richardson Bay anchorage:

Photo Latitude/Rob

Many references were made to boats playing tag, back scratching, reproducing and performing acts normally attributed to animals.

First some Honorable Mentions:

"An agitated Captain Nemo was arrested today when the Nautilus, coming up for the first time in years, surfaced under a small trimaran. 'They still let people anchor here?' Nemo was overheard saying." (This was the best of the Nemo references, from Dave Kendig.)

From John Dodge: "Paris Hilton showed me this move!"

"This lovely couple will be the proud parents of a cute little dinghy in a few months." (Howard Hammermann)

"We're hoping for twin Catanas come spring!" (Phil Agur)

"Just another San Francisco parking job." ('Green Lion')

"BCDC Submarine Attacks Richardson Bay Liveaboards" (Wayne Stromberg)

"As the Richardson Bay anchorage becomes more crowded, boats have begun to mark their territory more aggressively." (Jason Miller)

But the response that got a laugh out of the majority of the Latitude crew who voted, and therefore the winner of the T-shirt, came from Brian Richards: "SSSHHH. Now everyone be very quiet. It appears the female is about to accept the male's advances. Get your cameras ready as this mating ritual has never before been filmed."


December 12 - 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 12 - 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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