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Photo of The Day

April 12 - St. Barth

'Someone Always Has One That's Bigger' could be the title of today's Photo of The Day.

On Good Friday, the port captain in St. Barth allowed the very large private yacht Reverie to side-tie to the Charles de Gaulle Quay in little Gustavia Harbor. This is something we'd never seen before. At 230 feet and with seven decks and a one-time asking price of $65 million, Reverie is certainly a very large yacht. But locals weren't all that impressed, because they know that, as is the case at St. Tropez, if your yacht can fit into the harbor, she can't be all that big. For example, when Paul Allen's Octopus shows up at St. Barth, she's got to anchor out, because at 419 feet - some 189 feet longer than Reverie! - she won't even fit along the quay. And who knows how long Larry Ellison's new motoryacht will be. Certainly she'll be a foot or two longer than Allen's, because Ellison won't want Microsoft's boat to be bigger than Oracle's boat.

Photos Latitude/Richard

Just to prove that you don't have to own a software company to own a big yacht, Reverie is reportedly owned by Norwegian Kjell Inge Røkke, chairman of engineering and construction giant Aker Kvaerner Group. He's said to be just 44 years old. This is according to Power and Motoryacht, which says Reverie is the 35th largest private yacht in the world. Allen's is the largest until Ellison's is launched.

Another boat that caught our eye - but only for her name - was a new Lagoon 570 catamaran anchored in the Gustavia outer harbor. Somebody - who'd probably named their previous sailboat Blow Job - had christened the cat Long and Large. Alas, she didn't stay long, perhaps because she was only the fourth largest catamaran within 100 yards.

Briela Out Of Mexico

April 12 - Central America

"After three seasons in Mexico, we've moved on to El Salvador," report Michael and Catherine Whitby of the Vancouver-based Contessa 38 Breila. "We went in company with Indra, who headed straight across the Gulf of Tehauntepec with us, while Lady Galadriel, Lady B., Ocean Child, Katie Rose, and Perceptions all headed to Barillas Marina, which is 35 miles further on.

"A lot has been written about the increasing costs of cruising Mexico - in particular the onerous check in and out procedures, together with the increasing number of port captains requiring agents for this simple but time-consuming process. For the last two years, we have made a point of legally avoiding having to check in by bypassing ports with port captains. We traveled in excess of 2,500 miles in Mexico each year, and managed to limit our having to check in to just three times each year. We visited many old favorite anchorages and many new ones without breaking any laws. It takes control and planning, but it can be done - just don't expect to be able to marina hop!

Michael and Catherine, fourth and third from the right,
enjoying a late night burger with cruising friends in Zihua back in 2003.
Photo Courtesy Breila

"By the way, cruisers Murray and Collette of Terazed have five acres of waterfront land in El Salvador where they are developing a boatyard. The rumor is that their 35-ton Travel-Lift should arrive any day."

When in Mexico with Profligate, we employ a similar avoid-places-with-port captains strategy. It's partly the money, it's partly the principle, but also it can prevent people from moving around freely enough to make plane reservations. Mexico is a great place to cruise, but they're giving their country a bad reputation with the foolish clearance procedures.

Wanderlust Makes It Back In Time For SAIL EXPO

April 12 - Jack London Square, Oakland

When you go to a boat show, you expect to see new boats. But Hunter Marine will be displaying Mike Harker's much-travelled Manhattan Beach-based Hunter 466 Wanderlust. In just two years, he's sailed her across the Atlantic twice, around the Med, across the Pacific to the Galapagos and Marquesas, and up to Hawaii. Last weekend he completed a 2,455-mile crossing from Kona in 16 days. Now all Harker has to do is get some sleep and clean the boat up in time for the show.

Sail Expo will be from Wednesday to Sunday of this week at Jack London Square. Stop by and say hello to Mike, a guy who has gone from novice sailor to very active long distance sailor in a very short time.

Photos Latitude/John Arndt

Sweeney Sees The Glass As Half-Full

April 12 - Sausalito

John Sweeney's bold attempt to fund the Sausalito Challenge for the 2007 America's Cup via an EBay auction resulted in no bids being received by last week's deadline. Most people would be discouraged. Not Sweeney, who called what others might have viewed as a failure, a "great success". He's certainly correct in the sense that they got a tremendous amount of exposure for virtually no money.

Singlehanded Farallones Results

April 12 - Pacific Ocean

Here's a dispatch from Max Crittenden from the Singlehanded Sailing Society:

"Here are the results of SSS's Singlehanded Farallones race Saturday/Sunday. It was a looooong day and night out there. Even though we had 15-25 knots on the Cityfront for most of the day, it was practically dead on the ocean. Most of our racers saw the writing on the wall and retired by late afternoon. Two boats stuck it out and fortunately made it back before the 6 am deadline. Ray Wells on the F-27 Wingit, the only multihull in the race, crossed the line a 4:44 Sunday morning. 43 minutes later, Will Paxton took the Sportboat win with his Express 27 Motorcycle Irene and corrected out for the overall win. The race committee apologizes to any Marina residents who were awakened by our gunfire."

Check out http://www.sfbaysss.org for more details.

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