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Photo of the Day

July 19 - San Francisco Bay

Is today's Photo of the Day a 'looking good' shot? At first glance it might seem like it, with a nice-looking sloop slicing across the the Slot on the morning of the start of the Singlehanded TransPac last month. But when you pull back and get a bigger picture, you might think it could more accurately be called a 'looking foolish' shot. For in the second photo, you can clearly see that the sloop is also cutting across the path of a very large barge heading out of the Gate.

In the third photo, you can see the tug that is pulling the barge, and that the sloop - what in the world were they thinking? - appears to be trying to sail over the chain between the tug and the barge!

Photos Latitude/Richard

We're sure the tug captain was as disbelieving as we were of the sloop's intentions, until it seemed there could be no question that the sailors really were, in fact, going to try to sail over his chain. That's when the tug captain laid on his horn - and left it on for about 20 seconds, as which point the skipper and crew of the sloop seemed to get the point and tacked away. A short time later, the crew from the sloop decided to make dashes across the roadway of the Golden Gate Bridge. Well, maybe they didn't, but it wouldn't have surprised us.

Folks, can we please stay the hell away from commercial traffic? As you might remember, last Sunday the 590-ft car carrier Pacific Highway hit the concrete fending system at the base of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, almost certainly as a result of trying to avoid a sailboat.

The idea - and the law - is not just that you shouldn't get hit by commercial traffic, you should stay way, way, way the hell away from it. A lot of sailors seem to think that as long as they barely clear the path of a ship or tug and tow, they're doing fine. But that's not enough, because in many cases there are several other vessels coming from other directions thinking just enough for them to clear is all that counts. Sometimes ships and tugs and tows are left with nowhere to go. So please, give commercial traffic tons of room in which to maneuver.

On the Bay

July 19 - San Francisco Bay

We did the Island YC's 67-mile Silver Eagle Long Distance in the Bay race on Saturday and got the grand tour of the Bay. Well, we did a bunch of that race, and got an abbreviated tour of the Bay. The course took the fleet from the Golden Gate YC to Blackaller, around Alcatraz, and down to the San Francisco Airport where, as you can see from the first photo, everything came to a stop for about an hour, with the entire fleet regrouping. As the wind filled in in fits and starts, the fleet took off in fits and starts up the Bay. As we continued up the South Bay, we saw some folks out for a daysail on a lovely Cheoy Lee, flying the old 'jib and jigger' and looking good.

Off the mouth of the Oakland Estuary, we came across what we believe was the Plastic Classic Fleet, which was also looking pretty fine.

It was blowing pretty good as we raced across the face of Treasure Island, where a woman was riding the bow of this slightly overpowered Santana 22. We knew she was a first-time sailor, because you only do that once. We hope she had a change of clothes.

Profligate came into her own in the Central Bay, reaching at up to 15 knots under main and small jib, and able to sail beneath monohulls such as the Express 34 Two Scoops.

Photos Richard/Latitude

Alas, the fleet bunched up again a few miles up the Bay at Red Rock. Most boats escaped, but our big cat has lots of waterline and hates light air. So it took us about two hours to reach the Brothers. With only zephyrs and an ebb tide, we and a bunch of other boats bailed. After all, we'd sailed the remaining course the week before at the same time as part of the Midnight Moonlight Marathon.

Abbreviated as our race was, we had a great time. Sorry, no report of the winners yet. Check www.iyc.org/raceinfo.htm later, and see the August issue of Latitude 38 for results.

Woman to the Head of the Quebec to St. Malo Pack

July 19 - Atlantic Ocean

The dazzling and dynamic 32-year-old Frenchwoman Karine Fauconnier, and her crew aboard the ORMA 60-ft trimaran Sergio Tacchini, leads a pack of the best multihull sailors in the world nearing the end of the Quebec to St. Malo (France) Transatlantic Race. At last word, Fauconnier was 166 miles from the finish and had a 96-mile lead on the tightly-packed group of boats in second to fifth positions. With monohulls, such a lead would be insurmountable. With multihulls, it's a comfortable lead - but anything can happen.

Photos Courtesy Sergio Tacchini

Mikey Murison

July 19 - Pt. Richmond

We're overwhelmed with sadness to report that Mikey Murison passed away from stomach cancer Saturday night at age 25. An extremely likable young guy, Mikey had been involved with sailing for many years, largely out of the Richmond YC and the College of Marin, where he resurrected the sailing team. He did everything from working at West Marine, to winning the Santana 22 National Championship three times, to mounting a 470 campaign for the Athens Olympics. God knows we'll miss his smiling face.

Photo Latitude Archives

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July 19 - San Diego

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