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Puddle Jump Party Announced

January 16 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

When we met newlyweds Garry and Lisa Blackwood at last year's Pacific Puddle Jump Party, they told us they considered the Puddle Jump to be an extended honeymoon. They've now sailed all the way to New Zealand in their Westsail 32 Scot Free. The honeymoon continues!
Photo Latitude/Andy

Down in the sunny latitudes of Mexico, early spring is the ideal window of time to set sail for the isles of the South Pacific - or, as we like to call it, make the Pacific Puddle Jump. In anticipation of March and April departures for the Marquesas and points west, would-be Puddle Jumpers are already comparing notes and sharing crossing strategies in anchorages from Cabo to Z-town.

In order to honor them, Latitude 38 will host its annual Pacific Puddle Jumpers Party, February 24, at the new Vallarta Yacht Club, which is located at Paradise Village, just a few miles north of Puerto Vallarta. If you are in touch with cruisers who plan to 'jump the puddle' this year, please help us spread the word. Each crew will receive an official Puddle Jump burgee and will attain their 15 minutes of fame in the pages of Latitude. (Sorry, only bona fide Puddle Jumpers may attend.)

5 Continents, 50 Countries, Around the World. By Bicycle and by Sailboat.

January 16 - Skipton, UK

Yorkshire lad Alastair Humphreys is traveling around the world by bicycle for a good cause. What's the sailing tie-in? He explains, "I heard of your illustrious publication while hitching a ride on a yacht from Colombia to Puerto Vallarta.

"I left England 2.5 years ago to cycle around the world raising funds and awareness for Hope and Homes for Children [www.hopeandhomes.org]. I have now ridden 25,000 miles through 42 countries and will shortly be entering the U.S., where I will ride up the West Coast to Alaska.

Photo Courtesy www.roundtheworldbybike.com

"Unfortunately for round the world cyclists most of the world is covered in oceans. To try and retain as much purity to my circumnavigation as possible I am attempting to not use an aeroplane and to use only pedal and wind power as much as possible. I managed to get from Africa to South America aboard the ex-Whitbread yacht Maiden in the Cape to Rio race, and skirted round the Darien Gap of Colombia and the Panama Canal aboard Hannah Rose, a Tartan 37.

"After Alaska I need to get somehow from the American Coast to either Asia or Australia. Also, I am hoping while in the U.S. to give as many slide show presentations as possible, which may perhaps interest yacht clubs?"

For more, see www.roundtheworldbybike.com.

Frequent Flyer

January 16 - Tiburon

Loran 'Doc' Mebine aboard Machree at CYC
Photo Latitude/JR

If you've been reading the print version of Latitude 38, you'll know that we've been gathering information on the 'most frequently sailed boats' on the Bay. These are the boats - and there's at least one in every marina - that seem to be out enjoying the Bay constantly, winter or summer.

The photo here is of Loran 'Doc' Mebine, who probably got more 'nominations' than anybody else. Doc joined the Corinthian YC back in 1940 and has been taking his lovely old wooden R-class sloop Machree out regularly pretty much ever since. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are his usual sailing days and only pouring rain will keep the boat in the slip. This regimen puts Doc among the top five most frequent sailors of our Bay waters. A retired optometrist, Doc may also be worthy of the title 'elder statesman of Bay sailing.' He turned 90 last year. Despite the mileage, his legs remain as agile and quick as his mind. Who says sailing doesn't keep you young?!

We also found a guy who sails (engineless) in and out of his slip, a sailor who spends half the year living and sailing out of Monterey (and the other half in New England working), a fellow who does all of his sailing in the morning and has the boat put away by lunchtime, and a solo sailor who most enjoys his sailing at twilight.

Find out more about Doc and these other 'frequent flyers' of Bay sailing in the February issue of Latitude 38.

The River That Didn't Run Through It

January 16 - We Know It's Somewhere in Central America

Thanks to the alert readers who have let us know that Rio Magdelena runs through Colombia, not Panama as we wrote in a Sightings caption in the January issue. What can we say: fresh water was never our strong suit. Our apologies for the error.


January 16 - 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

January 16 - 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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