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Photos of the Day:
It's a Small Cruising World

December 31 - South Pacific

In the December 17 'Lectronic Latitude we told you the tale of Mike Harker of the Manhattan Beach-based Hunter 466 Wanderlust losing his rudder in the South Pacific. Harker and his crew Fabio were aided by Barry and Val of Only Tomorrow. Their first contact after reporting their emergency -- and their weather guide throughout the ordeal -- was Amadon Light in Nuku Hiva. Here, Mike tells us a little more about these guys.

"Gary Walls and Bill Healy of Amadon Light sailed from Los Angeles in 1979 to have a quick look at the South Pacific. They never returned, and for the last 24 years they have been meandering around the oceans and seas of the world. For the past 17 years Gary has been running a radio net and broadcasting the weather each day for whatever region
Amadon Light has been cruising. Over the years he has handled a number of emergencies at sea, coordinating the various Coast Guard and rescue services. Ham and SSB radios have always been an integral part of Amadon Light's ocean voyaging."

Amadon Light's Cruising Summary:
Six years doing a circle of Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, New Zealand and Australia.
Three years in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.
Three years cruising the entire east coast of Africa from South Africa to Egypt.
Seven years cruising the Mediterranean Sea.
One year in the Canaries, West Africa, Brazil, and French Guiana.
Two years in the Southern Caribbean, Colombia, and Panama.
One year in Ecuador, Galapagos, and the Marquesas.
The other year must have fallen through the cracks somewhere.

Nautical Trivia: Amadon Light first met Only Tomorrow in the South Pacific in 1987, again in Southeast Asia in 1992 and 1993. Email and cards kept up the friendship until they were again together in Ecuador, the Galapagos, and the Marquesas in 2003. It is a small cruising world."

Mike Harker
Photos Mike Harker & Fabio

If you're interested in the details of this extraordinary story, you'll find it in the January issue of Latitude 38 which hit the newstands yesterday.

Disturbing Update on Dawn Wilson

December 31 - Mexico

Here's a sad update from Terry Kennedy:

"This is the latest about Dawn being held in Mexican prison. I guess the judge turned down her appeal. This will be short as I am not feeling good over the Mexican court's decision. I just got a call from Dawn in prison. She was having a hard time talking. They had just "notified" her of the decision of the Mexican judge to turn down her appeal. This dashes our hopes for a release after 8 months. Our dream of having Christmas and New Year's together is gone.

I wish it could have been different and I could say something good about Mexican justice, but what I have to say right now would not be good! Just before I got her call, a story came on the television about four more women who have come forward to report that they had been raped and taken to ATMs for money by Mexican police.

Where is our Government now?!"

Winter Solstice in Paradise
and More About Steve Brown of Southbound

December 31 - Keehi Small Boat Harbor, Honolulu, HI

Photo Dennis Biby

"I snapped these photos just after sunrise this morning. They were taken from the 800 dock of Keehi Small Boat Harbor looking across the mooring field or out the channel. The tall mast in the left foreground is Couscous sailed by Roger Laxtraix, formerly the manager of Palmyra Atoll before the Nature Conservancy took over, and his wife, Jane."


Dennis K. Biby
s/v Sun Po
(singlehanded out of Pier 39 in 2001)

Dennis goes on to say: "Thanks for the follow-up on Steve Brown. I met Steve after my arrival at Ala Wai in October 2001. We drank coffee every morning at the Starbuck's on Hobron Lane and bemoaned the sad/sorry state of affairs with the Ala Wai and Hawaii boat harbors. After one night with too many beers, I fired up the GPS and searched for a destination outside Hawaii. I found Guam. When I mentioned it to Steve, he got real interested.

When Ala Wai refused to renew any transient permits, I sailed Sun Po over to Haleiwa. Steve came over a week later. Steve was a surfer so we drove along the North Shore checking out the surf activity and talked about sailing to Guam. He left soon after that and arrived in Guam behind one of their huge hurricanes. Through a mutual friend, I occasionally heard from him. When Latitude first reported that Southbound was adrift, I assumed there was a mix-up or another Southbound. The December issue closed the question in my mind.
Thanks, Dennis"

See details of the discovery of Southbound adrift and apparent suicide of Steve Brown in December's Sightings.

Marina Puesta del Sol Scholarship Fund

December 31 - Nicaragua

We wanted to let you know that with the help of Robert Membreno, President of Marina Puesta del Sol here in Nicaragua, we have established the Marina Puesta del Sol Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide for university and trade school education of local Nicaraguans. Typical expenses to fund one student for a year of education is about $600 USD. This fund was initiated by Linda and
Jude on s/v Jubilee and Jacque and Joe on s/v Marna Lynn. Anyone wishing to contribute to this fund may send donations to Marina Puesta del Sol Scholarship Fund, 2118 Walsh Street, Suite 140, Santa Clara, California 95050. One student has already been identified as the initial recipient of this worthwhile fund.

Linda and Jude Wheeler
s/v Jubilee
San Francisco, CA

Marina Puesta del Sol, where the crew of Profligate were warmly welcomed and treated to a proper tour by Roberto Membrano and Gene Menzies back on November 17 when they stopped for fuel on their way to the Panama Canal.

Rolex 2003 Nominees Announced

December 31 - Portsmouth, RI

On December 23, US Sailing, national governing body for the sport, announced the final list of nominees -- five women and six men -- who will be considered for the 2003 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize outstanding on-the-water achievement in the calendar year just concluded. Generally acknowledged as the sport's highest individual accolade in the United States, the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards have honored such sailing standouts as John Kostecki, Steve Fossett, Cory Sertl, Betsy Alison, Paul Cayard, Dennis Conner, Dawn Riley and Ted Turner.

The nominees, determined by the membership of US Sailing, will be reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists, who together will discuss the merits of each nominee and vote by secret ballot to determine the 2003 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The winners will be honored at a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in New York City, on February 6, 2004, where they will be presented with Rolex timepieces.

Nominees for the 2003 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year are: Snipe World Champion
Augie Diaz (Miami, FL); Pan Am Games Gold Medallist Tim Healy (Newport,
RI); ISAF Match Racing World Champion Andy Horton (Shelburne, VT); J/80
World and Lightning World Champion Jay Lutz (Houston, TX); Laser Master
and Snipe North American Champion Andrew Pimental (Newport, RI); Around
Alone Race winner in class two, Brad Van Liew (Mt. Pleasant, SC); and Etchells 22 World Champion Ken Read (Newport, RI), who has previously won
this award in 1985 and 1994.

Nominees for the 2003 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year are: Rolex International
Women's Keelboat Champion Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI.); U.S. Women's Match Racing Champion Liz Baylis (San Francisco, CA), who previously won this award in 2002; US Sailing's Women's Champion Joni Palmer (Annapolis, MD); ISAF Youth World Gold Medallist Paige Railey (Clearwater, FL); and Yngling World Champion Hannah Swett (Jamestown, RI/New York, NY).

Silk Sheets

December 31 - Lake Pleasant, AZ

Here's an inspiring shot of Silk Sheets taken on November 22 in Arizona. She's a C&C 27 skippered by Don Rhodes and crewed by Brian Ketter. Just more proof that you don't have to live in San Francisco to enjoy the very best that sailing has to offer. In fact, you can even live in the desert!

Photo Kyle Clarke

"I'm Trying to Locate My Friends Who Are Out Cruising"

December 31 - Mill Valley

We get lots of emails, phone calls and letters that start with some variation of the headline above. Well, starting with the January issue of Latitude 38, which was, by the way, delivered yesterday to all the usual places, you'll see a new section in the Classy Classifieds called "TRYING TO LOCATE" for readers searching for specific people or a specific boat. Now if you're looking for your friends who turned south and lost touch, you can purchase a special classified ad. We're keeping it small (we don't want to hear the whole sad story) and cheap: $10 for 20 words max. Just say who you're looking for and how they can contact you.

Photo Latitude/Annie

Along with delivery of the January issue comes the 2004 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule. Don't forget to pick yours up so you can plan your year of sailing if you're lucky enough to be in the Bay Area. And if the distributor has already run out -- they go fast -- you can send us a check or money order for five bucks and we'll mail you one. But even our supply goes fast, so don't wait too long.

We're all going to take some time now to welcome the New Year, so we won't be back on these pages until next week, when we'll update you on the adventures of the Wanderer and Doña de Mallorca aboard Profligate in the Caribbean and lots of other sailing news and stories. Everyone at Latitude 38 wishes you and your family the very best of health and happiness for the New Year and, of course, fair winds always.


December 31 - 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 31 - 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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