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Photo of the Day: Troy

May 14 - Hollywood

Hooray for Hollywood! If you've seen the preview of the movie Troy, the new Brad Pitt vehicle, and if you've done the Baja Ha-Ha, you know there is something phony in Tinseltown. The beach used to depict the place the ships landed in Turkey is actually at Cabo Falso, just around the corner from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. And we must say, the computer technician who deleted the two lighthouses and added all the ships didn't do a very good job, as the boats are about 10 times larger than they ought to be.

Photo Courtesy Warner Brothers

As for the $180 million movie itself, critics say viewers will be bored - except for young women, who might enjoy the way the camera endlessly caresses the body of a buffed up Brad Pitt. The climax of the film, if it may be called that, is said to be when viewers are allowed a peek at Pitt's naked butt, something previously reserved for wife Jennifer Aniston.

Sometimes You Just Can't Make It

May 14 - San Diego

Paul Plotts of the great 71-ft San Diego-based schooner Dauntless tried valiantly to make it up the coast for the Master Mariner's Regatta again this year, but the weather just wouldn't let him.

Paul Plotts at the helm of Dauntless in the 2002 Master Mariners Regatta
Photo Latitude/Chris

"For two weeks we've tried to get to San Francisco. In our last foray, it took us five hours to get by Pt. Sur in 35-40 knot winds with 15-ft seas, so we had to give up. I very much appreciate Latitude being our sponsor, and we'll try again another time."

The Northern California coast can indeed be wicked at this time of year, and sometimes it's just more prudent to try again another time. Although they'll be missing the Master Mariner's, Dauntless is scheduled to participate in the McNish Classic Regatta out of Channel Islands Harbor on August 7.

The Limits of Globalstar

May 14 - The Americas

We've had good success using our Globalstar SatPhone in Mexico. Beyond that, however, is another question. If you go to their Web site, you'll see the accompanying map of coverage.

It indicates that the phones should work well all along Central America, Panama, the north coast of South America, and in the Eastern Caribbean. Alas, it's been our experience this winter that there is virtually no coverage anywhere south of Acapulco to Panama, and all the way across the north coast of South America. Once in the Eastern Caribbean, calls might go through or not be dropped about 25% of the time. Other Globalstar owners have reported similar problems, and have had to restrain themselves from throwing their phones in the water. Either Globalstar needs to put more satellites up or revise their coverage map to more accurately reflect reality.

Help Put The Baja Bash in the Public Domain

May 14 - Baja California

Jim Elfers, Harbor Manager at the new and grand 270-berth luxury Costa Baja Marina outside of La Paz, tells us that he still gets lots of requests for his Baja Bash book, which is now out of print. Elfers says that if someone has a complete copy, and if someone would like to scan it, he'll put the whole thing into the public domain via the Latitude 38 Web site and elsewhere. Does anybody have a complete copy? Would anybody be willing to scan it?

Mirabella V to Be Unveiled for the Press Next Week

May 14 - Plymouth, UK

Mirabella V
Photo Courtesy Ron Holland Design

The kind folks at Ron Holland Design sent us an invitation to tour Joseph Vittoria's new Mirabella V at the old Vosper Thornycroft Shipbuilding complex in Plymouth, England, next week. You'll remember that at 245 feet, she'll be the largest single-masted boat in the world. And at 289 feet, her mast will be the tallest in the world - and unable to make it under the Golden Gate Bridge or the Bridge of the Americas in Panama by about 90 feet. Regretfully, we've had to decline the invite, as they neglected to include a plane ticket. After the press fest, Mirabella will head to the Med, where she'll begin chartering at $250,000 a week. Seeing that there are 497 billionaires in the world, and 10,000 people who are worth $500 million, owner Vittoria thinks there's a market for his boat.

Yet Another Big CBTF Boat to the West Coast

May 14- San Diego

Randall Pittman of Chicago, who has often kept some of his boats in San Diego, has a new one headed there, the Ed Dubois-designed, McConaghy-built 90-ft Genuine Risk. Although she'll have a canting keel and forward rudder, Genuine Risk does not comply with the MaxZ86 rule as do Morning Glory and Pyewacket. Like them, however, she's very long and narrow.

Having been completed too late for the Bermuda Race, Genuine Risk is on her way to San Diego, where she'll be finished up in preparation for the Chicago-Mac Race in late June. From there she'll head to the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Sardinia in September. Among the rock stars from the West Coast who will race on the boat are Charlie and Jonathan McKee of Seattle, Mark Rudiger of Northern California, and Keith Lorence of Southern California.

We love this line about the Genuine Risk program from dailysail.com: "Original talk of flying the boat from regatta to regatta on her own plane have been shelved for the time being."

Profligate's Regress

May 14 - Golfo de Tehuantepec

"We're tempting fate at what our Nobeltec navigation software says is Lat 14.44.395, Lon 94.09.075," writes 'Helsinkiman' via Skymate email from aboard Profligate. "The conventional wisdom for crossing the Golfo de Tehuantepec is to keep 'one foot on the beach', as we're told it blows offshore at gale force an average of one day out of every two. Although staying close to shore is much longer, it eliminates the opportunity for big waves to develop. However, armed with a positive weather report from Commander's Weather and an adventuresome spirit, the crew of Profligate decided on a rhumbline course across the Gulf to 350-mile distant Puerto Angel, Mexico.

"So far the weather has been perfect! The shrimp fleet has been out in force, fishing the edge of the continental shelf. At this point the shelf drops from 260 feet to more than 19,000 feet, making it one of the steepest and deepest canyon walls on the planet. Some of the best fishing occurs when currents well up from the deep. Before the weather turns bad, the savvy fishermen are long gone back to shore, so we took their presence to be a good omen. But it was crowded, so we had to thread our way through the shrimpers - narrowly missing one unlit panga that was using International Distress whistle signals instead of the normal lights.

"Anticipating a pleasant crossing, we turned the night watch over to John Pettitt, and turned in. At 0100, on the 13th, John noted the perfect starry skies and made a one word log entry - 'Boring!' What was he thinking?

"Twenty minutes later, we were surrounded by tropical thunderstorms. By 0200, when your scribe took the watch, it was time to batten the hatches, unplug the electronics and stow them in the oven, and settle in for a spectacular light show. The log entries for the remainder of the night were: 'More lightning, definitely not boring!'

"The storm passed, as all do, and we are now moving at 9.5 knots, halfway across the Tehuantepec. We are still drying out from the night before, including, unfortunately, the electronics which got soaked inside the stove! John's log entries today have all been 'No comment'. As he learned, in a sea known for rapid, unpleasant changes of weather, it doesn't pay to tempt fate.

"We have had other highlights crossing the Tehuantepec, many of which have been wildlife related. Coming across a tern quietly resting on the back of a sea turtle was great, but not half so much fun as watching Ian jumping and screaming around on deck this morning. 'Is he dancing to appease the weather gods?' we wondered. No, he had just put on a new pair of shorts from the wash line, and discovered - belatedly - that a large cricket had taken up residence in them during the night. The jokes have been flying ever since. Is that a cricket in your pants, or are you just happy to see me? As most men have special names for their 'privates', we think Ian should be able to reserve 'Jiminy' for his.

"According to our Nobeltec Admiral navigation software, we should arrive at Acapulco at 0630 on Saturday, in time for showers, great food, and Mexican hospitality."

Thanks to a more favorable current, Profligate is now expected to arrive in Acapulco sometime this afternoon.

Commander's Weather

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