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Photo of the Day: Mari-Cha IV

March 17 - Antigua

Today's Photo of the Day is of Robert Hiller's mega-maxi, the 140-ft Mari-Cha IV, which by signing up for July's West Marine Pacific Cup from San Francisco to Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, has almost guaranteed that a new sailing record to Hawaii will be established. Although not likely, it's possible that the mighty carbon yacht could even break the five-day barrier. Mari-Cha, it will be remembered, crushed the transatlantic record last fall right after coming out of the box.

Mari-Cha IV
Photo Thierry Martinez

"We're now in Antigua," writes Jef the skipper, "after a dream crossing of the Atlantic from the north of France. We did have to shovel snow off the deck twice in the Bay of Biscay, but from then on it was running-reaching at speed." For more photos, see www.mari-cha4.com.

That Nesting Instinct

March 17 - Mill Valley

Last night we were ripping down the main street to Mill Valley, when we spotted Warwick 'Commodore' Tompkins in the next vehicle. After pulling him over to ask what he'd been up to, he pulled out some plans for a nesting dinghy that Tom Wylie had just drawn for him. Commodore doesn't want to carry an inflatable on his Wylie 38+ Flashgirl, because he doesn't want to carry an outboard, and because inflatables row like . . . well, very, very poorly.

Photo Latitude/Richard

In other news, Commodore says he and his wife Nancy are being flown back to Germany for some celebration involving the 1896 Elbe River pilot schooner Wanderbird, the boat Commodore grew up on and sailed across the Atlantic many times as well as around the Horn.

Cheyenne and Geronimo in Tense Times in Southern Ocean

March 17 - Southern Ocean

Tension in the Southern Ocean is usually associated with rough weather, but not now, as both the maxi cat Cheyenne, and the maxi tri Geronimo, are being bedeviled by light airs. Although Cheyenne is expected to round the Horn and head up the Atlantic by late tonight, she was nearly becalmed yesterday some 400 miles from the Horn, and made only 365 miles in 24 hours. Nonetheless, she's still 1,600 miles ahead of the current Jules Verne record pace.

However - and this is a big one - Cheyenne's crew have discovered that more sail track is pulling out of the mast, this time near the top of the 143-ft tall mast. Can it be repaired like the other parts of the mast track, or will they have to sail the rest of the way with a reefed main?

Photo Jacques Vapillon/DPPI/Cap Gemini Schneider Electric

Geronimo, which started the Jules Verne course after Cheyenne, but has been running at a faster pace, has seen that 'lead' shrink to just 41 miles. Plus, it's at this point that Cheyenne went on a tear, so it's going to be interesting to see what happens.

Foxy Callwood to Croon at Pacific SAIL EXPO

March 17 - Jost Van Dyke, BVI

Plans are in the works for the Caribbean's most legendary crooner, Foxy Callwood, and his wife Tessa to attend Sail Expo next month, April 14-18, at Jack London Square in Oakland. As anyone who's ever sailed BVI waters knows, Foxy's bar and restaurant have long been a 'must-see' destination where reveling to calypso and reggae takes place 365 days a year. Foxy's endless arsenal of humorous, irreverent and almost-always-politically-incorrect songs have been entertaining visiting yachties for decades. And this year marks the 30th anniversary of Foxy's Wooden Boat Regatta, held over Memorial Day weekend, which annually attracts the sweetest traditional sailboats in the Northern Caribbean.

A classic shot of Foxy from a few years back. Irreverence is his middle name.

Photo Latitude/Andy

We are happy to announce that on Friday, April 16, Foxy will be dropping by Latitude 38's Sail Expo booth to meet, greet and entertain during our after-show party. This little gathering, which follows shortly after Latitude 38 publisher Richard Spindler's seminar comparing sailing in the Caribbean and Mexico, was originally intended to focus on Baja vets and wannabes, but what the heck, we're now expanding it to encompass a Caribbean theme as well. No doubt the good folks from the BVI Tourist Board and the Bitter End Yacht Club will be dropping by also. Don't miss it.

The Sea Gypsy and the Pirate

March 17 - St. Vincent

Sometime Juggler, occasional movie stand-in, and full-time Sea Gypsy Ray Jason on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean (in St. Vincent) with some actor guy. Look for a new Sea Gypsy tale in an upcoming Latitude 38.
Photo Courtesy Ray Jason

Happy St. Patrick's Day

March 17 - San Francisco

A Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all, and special thanks to the crew at City Yachts in San Francisco - Chris, Paul, Jennifer, baby Mateo, Joe and Tim - for the holiday treats. Erin go bragh!

Introducing Mateo, the newest member of the City Yachts team


March 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.

Weather Links

March 17 - Pacific Ocean

In order to streamline 'Lectronic Latitude, we'll be moving these links, and the above YOTREPS link to our links page, www.latitude38.com/links.htm, starting Friday.

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

For a view of Pacific Ocean sea states, check out: www.oceanweather.com/data/NPAC-Eastern/index.html.

For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see www.oceanweather.com/data.

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