Photo of the Day
December 17 - South Pacific
Photo Mike Harker
Today's Photo of the Day is of Barry and Val of Only Tomorrow - sorry, we don't know their last names or boat type - who embody the great traditions of helping those in need on the sea. For when the boat in the next item lost their rudder, the couple bashed 440 miles in often rough conditions, hoping to tow the distressed vessel to port. As it turned out, it was too rough. Nonetheless, they stood by and assisted until they were almost out of fuel. Well done!
"This Is the Sailing Vessel Wanderlust with an Emergency!"
December 17 - South Pacific
That was the message put out by Mike Harker of the much traveled Manhattan Beach-based Hunter 466 Wanderlust on December 5, while some 1,000 miles north of Tahiti during a passage to Hawaii. "We have a broken rudder. We have no steering. We are drifting westward toward Tahiti. Our position is 03.30 South 140.44 West. There are two of us aboard. We do not have leaks. We are in no immediate danger. We are drifting toward the reefs of the Tuamotus Island group."
We're happy to report that Harker and his crew Fabio, having made use of makeshift rudders for two weeks, and, having been assisted by Only Tomorrow, made it to safety at Taihoe Bay in the Marquesas on December 16. A replacement rudder is being flown out by Hunter.
What was going on when the rudder failed?
"We were 500 miles north of Nuka Hiva headed to Hawaii," reports Harker. "With 22-25 knot winds out of the east, we were reefed down and still doing 8.5 knots. In fact, we had covered 410 nautical miles during the last 50 hours. It was two hours before sunrise and pitch black. I felt and heard a thud on the keel, and a millisecond later a snapping sound. Then the boat spun in a quick circle, sails flapping, and no control on the wheel! I rolled the jib, centered the main and opened the cover to the rudder post. The wheel would turn the post, but there was no rudder action. Fabio put on the harness and went out over the transom to check with his feet. NO RUDDER! Up in the rudder post was a clean break stump of the rudder post. I checked for leaks. No leaks."
Harker, it will be remembered, has sailed this boat relentlessly since buying her in Florida: across the Atlantic to the Med; back across the Atlantic to the Caribbean; to Miami and back to the Caribbean; to Panama; to the Galapagos; and to the Marquesas. His plan had been to sail to Hawaii and then back to California to put the boat in Pacific Sail Expo in Oakland. In the fall, he was to do the Ha-Ha, then continue around to the Med to complete his circumnavigation.
We'll have a more detailed report in the January issue of Latitude 38.
South Beach Midwinters
December 17 - South San Francisco Bay
Yes, Virginia, there is racing south of the Bay Bridge. We ventured down there last Saturday - a surprisingly fine day to be out on the Bay - and enjoyed watching 24 boats competing in South Beach YC's low-key midwinters.
Dreamer makes her yacht club affiliation known to all.
Class winners were as follows:
The winning Sensation gang.
Kathy Wheatley, the reigning Iron Maiden, and friends on That's Right!
Elvis was in the building.
What was Plan A?
Freebird in Panama
December 17 - Panama
Folks from the 2002 Ha-Ha will remember David Howell and Judy Hayden of the 42-ft cat Freebird that Howell had spent seven years building at Camono Island, Washington. Doña de Mallorca bumped into them while in Panama with Profligate. Howell and Hayden report loving the cruising in both Costa Rica and Panama. On February 15, they'll set sail for the Galapagos, and spend the year cruising across the Pacific to New Zealand.
Photos Doña de Mallorca
Hey, Captain de Mallorca!
December 17 - Long Beach
Speaking of Doña de Mallorca, she's flying to Long Beach today to pick up her captain's license. You'll recall that earlier this year she took the applicable courses at Cal Maritime Academy in Vallejo, and recently had her sea time validated. It's a long story why she can only pick up the license in Long Beach, but that's the way it is. In any event, congratulations!
Doña waves from the liferaft during training at Cal Maritime Academy
De Mallorca's first two responses upon learning that she was granted the license: 1) "Don't you dare say anything about it in Latitude." 2) "If anybody refers to me as 'captain', I'll punch them in the nose!"
December 17 - 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.
December 17 - 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.