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Photo of the Day

March 3 -
San Francisco Bay Area

The March issue of Latitude 38 is basking in springlike sunshine at the usual locations around the Bay Area, after being delivered yesterday.


Photo Latitude/Annie
Setting Courtesy
Cottage Antiques,
Mill Valley

Dog Gone Drug Bust

March 3 - Alameda

It's a rare and beautiful February day to find all four 378-ft High Endurance Class cutters in port at Coast Guard Island, Alameda
Photo Petty Officer 3rd Class Mariana O'Leary/U.S. Coast Guard

When the Coast Guard Cutter Munro pulled into its homeport, Alameda, on February 4, Petty Officer 2nd Class David Thomas was bringing back something a little unexpected after two months at sea: a new family member.

On December 22, the Munro was on patrol approximately 120 miles SSW of the Guatemalan and Honduran border when it sighted a 60-ft fishing vessel. The Munro's boarding team embarked the Candy1 and began an initial security inspection. There was more than one surprise waiting for them.

"We started hearing what sounded like a dog coming from a back compartment," said Lt.j.g. Nicholas Tabori. "We were pretty careful when we opened that door - it's always hit or miss when you find a dog onboard. You never know if it's friendly or not."

What the boarding team found was a scared but friendly 3-year-old Dalmatian with lots of energy, which the Candy1's crew called Danye. "He was really skinny when we found him; you could see his ribs," said Tabori. "We thought the dog would probably respond to Spanish because of where we were geographically," said Fireman Jesse Freeman, "so we started saying 'bueno perro,' which is Spanish for good dog, for about 20 minutes trying to calm him down."

The Munro's boarding team ultimately discovered 108 bales of cocaine worth about $40 million onboard the Candy1. Despite detaining eight men and bringing all the drugs onboard the Munro, they still had a dilemma. "Once we realized we had to dispose of the boat, we also realized we had to deal with the dog," said Ensign Gerrod Glauner. "We couldn't very well sink the boat with a dog onboard."

The first taste of life on a U.S. Coast Guard cutter for Danye was a meal of kitchen scraps and a bath. "We gave him a bath the first day we brought him onboard. He turned from grungy brown to bright white with spots," said Glauner. Danye started to gain weight from the kitchen scraps fed to him before Munro could stop in port and buy dog food.

"He definitely boosted crew morale. We made him a little alcove for sleeping in the hangar, and he would hang out with us. He would sit there when we did our workouts and jump up and down with our jumping jacks," said Freeman.

"A couple different people were talking about wanting to keep him or make him a mascot," said Tabori, but Petty Officer Thomas seemed to have the best situation to take him in.

The Munro had been back about a week when Thomas stood on the pier with his newly named dog, Luke. A bright new-looking collar gleamed red against his shiny spotted coat and his alert eyes seemed to catch every little movement on the busy pier.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Dave Thomas, a Food Service Specialist aboard the CGC Munro, proudly introduces Luke, the newest member of his family. The Munro is in the background.

"I just kind of fell in love with him," said Thomas, who came up with the name from the movie Cool Hand Luke. He was fun to play with and I started getting attached. I told the executive officer I wanted to keep him. My family and I were actually looking for a dog before I left, and then this great dog just fell in our lap," said Thomas.

Luke checks out his new home on Coast Guard Island, after almost two months at sea.
Photos Petty Officer 3rd Class Mariana O'Leary/U.S. Coast Guard

Eight Bells for Kelly O'Neil Hensen

March 3 - Everett, WA

Photographer Kelly O'Neil Hensen, whose racing photos have graced the pages of Latitude 38 many times, passed away yesterday from injuries she received when her car was crushed by a truck in Auburn, WA, on February 21.

Fellow photographer Sharon Green was quoted today in Scuttlebutt: "I can still hear Kelly as she zoomed past me on the slopes of Whistler a few weeks ago. We were both laughing that we, as professional photographers, couldn't operate a little pocket digital camera to document our day. Kelly lived every moment of her life with passion. Her knowledge of the sea, boats (sail and power) combined with her dedication, talent and tenacity as a photographer made her a celebrity, especially on her home turf in the Pacific Northwest. Hundreds of friends cherished her effervescent, sunny and engaging personality and endless energy. She had her unforgettable signature smile, Hershey's kisses, her little photo boat, her dog Whidby and endless time for friends. We will all miss this incredible loyal friend, sailor, mother, daughter, wife and colleague. Kelly, you have touched our hearts and your spirit will forever be indelible."

Damaged Orange II Heads Back to France

March 3 - Atlantic and Southern Oceans

Following damage sustained to the starboard hull of the maxi-catamaran Orange II, Bruno Peyron and crew have decided to return to France, abandoning their current attempt to improve Peyron's Jules Verne Around the World record.

The crew detected a vibration on Monday night and found a crack on Tuesday morning on the fairing which protects the rudder shaft of the engine under the starboard hull. They thought they would be able to turn into the Cape Verde Islands to effect repairs, but that proved to be too difficult an undertaking to attempt.

Meanwhile, American Steve Fossett's maxi-cat Cheyenne is more than three days and 1,377 miles ahead of Peyron's record with Orange I. At 0510 GMT today, Cheyenne was 1,245nm SSW of Fremantle, West Australia, and 830nm north of the Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Day 25 was another immensely strong day, with 584 miles covered, at an average of 24.33 knots, for their best yet day's run.

On the same quest, the French Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran Geronimo continues her southward dash to the Equator, having covered 444 nautical miles on Day 6. She's now heading straight for the Doldrums, which are covering an exceptionally wide area at present.

Solo Sailor Hopes to Nab Record Next Week

March 3 - North Atlantic Ocean

In a separate around the world attempt, Jean Luc van den Heede is likely to complete his westabout round the world solo challenge anywhere between 26 and 28 days ahead of the current record set by Philippe Monnet. Van den Heede, who set off from Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on November 7 aboard his 85-ft cutter Adrien, is now in the North Atlantic and making the most of the northeast trade winds. Van den Heede hopes to finish sometime between Wednesday, March 10, and Friday, March 12.

Read Sue Pelling of Yachting World's complete story at


March 3 - 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

March 3 - 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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