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Photos of the Day

October 27 - Mystic, CT

The whaler Charles W. Morgan (left) and the training ship Joseph Conrad

There are literally hundreds of maritime museums scattered around this country, including our own highly-respected San Francisco Maritime National Museum. But one museum - the Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut - towers above them all. Founded in 1929, the 37-acre Seaport is our country's largest and best maritime museum, annually attracting more than a million visitors and boasting approximately 25,000 members (representing 50 states and 30 countries) and over 700 volunteers.

The schooner Brilliant, which still races

The Seaport owns and displays the largest collection of boats in the world, including the Charles W. Morgan, the only surviving whaling ship; the training ship Joseph Conrad; and the fishing schooner L.A. Dutton. There are also more than 60 preserved buildings on the site, including a chandlery, sail loft, blacksmith, cooperage, ropewalk, tavern, and more. The museum is justifiably famous for its huge collection of maritime art and photography, a nationally renowned research library, a preservation shipyard (which built the tall ship Amistad several years back), educational programs in conjunction with Williams College, and much more.

A closer shot of the Charles W. Morgan. The building on the right with the two dormers is a cooperage.

It's a great place to spend a day wandering around, or even a few days if time allows. Racing Editor Rob Moore, who grew up in Mystic, was back there earlier in the month and took a few pictures during his annual stroll around the Seaport. "It's a tremendous resource," he reports. "Anyone interested in maritime history absolutely should check it out someday."

One of the earliest Stars is on display in the small boat shed.
Photos Latitude/Rob

See www.mysticseaport.org for more.

Record Number of Starters in Baja Ha-Ha XI

October 27 - San Diego

With a mild breeze blowing beneath overcast skies, a record 147 boats set sail from San Diego Monday, October 25, bound for Cabo San Lucas. Along the way, the fleet will lay over at both Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria, giving the slowpokes a chance to catch up.

As you read this, most of the fleet is nearing Turtle Bay, after several days of variable conditions. Winds generally have ranged between 5 and 15 knots, with periods of calm and some isolated rain squalls.

Needless to say, fleet members are hoping for sunnier skies and more consistent winds as they move farther south. Currently, the satellite photo shows coastal overcast along the Baja peninsula, but no rain such as that which pounded San Diego after the fleet departed, bringing with it mudslides, flash flooding and road closings.

Aerial Photos Latitude/JR

On the Water Photos Latitude/Andy

The Other Cruisers' Rally

October 27 - Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

With the Baja Ha-Ha finally underway on one ocean, a cruisers' rally in another ocean looms on the horizon. This is the ARC - the 2,700-mile Atlantic Rally for Cruisers - which gets underway off Grand Canary on November 21 and ends for most boats in St. Lucia in mid-December.

So far, there are 205 entries in ARC 2004 (down slightly from the all time high of 235 in 1999) and 80 of them have already arrived in Las Palmas, Grand Canary. But this is part of the tradition of the ARC - early arrivals either leave their boats safely in port and fly home for a few weeks before the start of their adventure, or use the time to enjoy cruising the Canary Islands.

We'll have more on the ARC in future Lectronics. In the meantime, you can keep up with it at the sponsoring World Cruising Club Web site, www.worldcruising.com/arc.

America's Cup Yacht Crashes into the Sydney Opera House

October 26 - Sydney, Australia

Kim Arlington and Tara Ravens of The Australian report that "an embarrassing crash into Sydney's Opera House today took the wind out of the sails of a British newspaper's marketing campaign.

"A former America's Cup yacht crewed by experienced locals struck rocks below the Opera House, tearing off its keel, causing it to capsize and throwing several people overboard. The mast on Spirit, which contested the 1992 America's Cup as Spirit of Australia, then smashed a light on the Opera House walkway before the yacht came to rest.

"No one was hurt, but the mishap provided a sinking feeling for British newspaper the Financial Times, which had chartered the yacht as part of a marketing campaign following its launch in Australia five weeks ago."

Read the entire article at www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11194387%255E1702,00.html

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