Photos of the Day
December 10 - Vanuatu
A man came out in a dugout canoe like this and told Jeff he could easily have him killed by a bolt of lightning.
Today's Photos of the Day come from Jeff and Debbie Hartjoy of the Longbranch, Washington-based Baba 40 Sailors Run. After having a great time in the '99 Ha-Ha, the couple have sailed 25,000 miles in the Pacific, but still have another 10 years to go on their planned 15-year circumnavigation. Most recently they visited the Republic of Vanuatu, which is 500 miles to the east of Fiji - and is considered to have some of the most primitive tribes in the South Pacific.
While anchored off Malekula Island, a man came out to Sailors Run in a dugout canoe to inform the Hartjoys that all he needed to have them killed by a bolt of lightning was a strand of hair from each of their heads. You can read the details of the interesting process in the January Latitude.
Jeff and Debbie - they haven't been struck yet.
Later, the couple visited the Rom Festival at Ambrym Island, a center of black magic and sorcery in Vanuatu. It's here that they came across tribesmen dancing to celebrate the promotions of some future chiefs. The first day the dancers wore nothing but a leaf around their penis. The second day they were completely outfitted in banana leaves and looked a lot like something out of a hip-hop video.
Costumes for the Rom Festival are organic.
You don't want to be a pig or a boar during the Rom Festival. They don't get struck by lightning, but rather by killing clubs in the hands of locals. Some boars took 10 heavy blows to the head before going down . . . they hopped back on their feet to stagger around for another half hour.
Photos Courtesy Sailors Run
Jeff and Debbie report that they are "living and loving the cruising dream!"
One of the Slowest ARCs Ever
December 10 - St. Lucia
Officials at the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), which is taking the fleet of 205 boats from the Canary Islands across the Atlantic to St. Lucia in the Caribbean, report it's been one of the slowest in history. After 21 days, nearly half the fleet is still at sea!
Leopard of London
First boat to finish was Mike Slade's R/P 92 Leopard of London under charter to John Davis. We were happy to see her win, as Slade was nice enough to have us aboard during the first race of Antigua Sailing Week this year. Leopard finished in 12 days, 1 hour. We're sure Slade was happy his big sloop nipped rival Brit Peter Harrison's Farr 115 ketch Sojana by a couple of hours.
Perhaps the most impressive performance of the fleet was turned in by Christian Martin's Outremer 45 cat Girolata. She finished in 14 days, three hours, beating some of the Class A racing boats, all but one of the Class A cruising boats - a Holland 77 - and beating the next fastest multihull - and Outremer 55 - by two days.
Better Late than Never
December 10 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Most Informative Sailing Web Site?
December 10 - Cyberspace
Ellen MacArthur aboard B&Q
Photo Vincent Crutchet/DPPI
We'd have to vote for Ellen MacArthur's Web site for her current attempt on the singlehanded around the world record with her 75-ft trimaran B&Q. The site is as brilliant as MacArthur's assaults on sailing records. Check it out at www.teamellen.com. Incidentally, she's currently about 14 hours ahead of the record pace Francis Joyon established with his 92-ft trimaran IDEC.
Capricorn Cat Heads South Today
December 10 - Vallejo
Blair and Joan Grinols of the much traveled 46-ft Capricorn Cat from Vallejo have many friends in Mexico, and we're sure they'll be glad to get the latest news: "Joan and I just finished all of the repair work, and bottom and daggerboard painting, and got the cat in the water two days ago. Boy, what a lot of work to get going this year! And we've been fighting a lot of cold weather. You know how me and cold get along, particularly since I've had Capricorn Cat on an 'endless summer' for seven years.
"We're leaving today, and want to be in Mazatlan for Christmas dinner with all of our cruiser friends. Then we'll go to Paradise Village for a couple of weeks. I need to get dental work completed with our favorite dentist in PV. Then we continue down to Zihua for about a month, and come back to PV for the Banderas Bay Regatta in the middle of March."