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Photos of the Day

December 22 - Morro Bay

Photo Todd Hansen

Today's Photo of the Day comes from Todd Hansen of San Luis Obispo and is of his decorated Laguna 26, which is either named Fi'orghra or Fior Gra' - he spelled it both ways. Todd and his wife had spent most of the day - it was a beautiful one, too - decorating the boat for the Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade. "What a thrill it was to fire up the generators and see it for the first time! Then we filled the boat with kids and their parents and had a great time yelling 'Merry Christmas!' to the hundreds of people lining the waterfront and cheering to us."

Malmuts from San Diego Rock the ARC

December 22 - St. Lucia

The only West Coast folks we know who did the 2,700-mile Atlantic Rally for Cruisers from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia was the Malmut family of San Diego aboard their Beneteau 47.7 Flying Shadow.

Photo Courtesy World Cruising Club

They did surprisingly well, finishing 51st of 190 boats on elapsed time, and crossing the line after 17 days, 14 hours. Parents David and Darlanne, plus son Bruce (7) and daughter Abby (5), had been cruising the Med for three years - sort of by accident. They'd initially planned to cruise for just six months, but when they saw what a great time the kids were having, they extended it for another 2.5 years. Now, however, they are returning to California to enroll the kids in formal school. But here's a tip for those of you who homeschool your children. In order to get their kids into the right mindset for their onboard classes, Bruce and Abby were required to dress in the uniforms they'd worn while attending school in Malta. Plus, they had to refer to their instructor as 'Miss Darlanne' - not 'mommy' - when class was in session. It reportedly helped.

We're Idiots! Complete Idiots!

December 22 - Sydney, Australia

On Monday, we reported there could be as many as ten 100-ft boats racing in the next Sydney to Hobart Race. What we should have said, and meant to say, was that there could be as many as ten 100-footers in next year's Sydney to Hobart Race. Big difference. The race is always held on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas.

As if this blunder wasn't bad enough on its own, it got picked up by Scuttlebutt and was distributed to all their readers, letting everybody know we're idiots.

Would You Look at the Color of that Water!

December 22 - Gustavia, St. Barth

Photo Latitude/Richard

It's the water color of the Gustavia anchorage at St. Barth in the French West Indies. And it's not the result of fooling around in Photoshop - that's really the way it looks. We bring this up because, as on every Christmas Day, we'll be flying to St. Barth to begin our winter sailing coverage in the Caribbean. If you're a West Coast boat, we'll be keeping an eye out for you, and would love to chat. Or, you can leave a note for us on the bulletin board just outside the port captain's office.

Last winter we based Profligate out of St. Barth, and we can't even begin to tell you what wonderful, wonderful times we had. Remembering things as common as driving back to the boat in the dinghy at night bring a smile to our faces. Alas, Profligate is in Mexico for the winter (where we may do the Zihua SailFest and certainly will do the Banderas Bay Regatta). However, several people have asked us if we're going to do the Heineken Regatta again, this being the 25th year. If enough folks want to do it - it's the first weekend in March - we'll happily charter a boat and give it a go. It would probably cost about $1,500 not counting air fare.

Orange Relaunched and Ready for Circumnavigation

December 22 - Lorient, France

Bruno Peyron has relaunched his 125-ft maxi cat Orange, the only boat to have covered more than 700 miles in 24 hours, with an eye toward soon taking a crack at Steve Fossett's 58-day, 9-hour, around-the-world record with Cheyenne.
(Incidentally, next year Fossett will take off from Kansas in Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer in an attempt to set the world record for singlehanded, non-stop, around-the-world flight.)

See www.maxicatamaran-orange.com to follow Orange's progress.

Now We Know Why XM Radio Doesn't Work in All of Mexico

December 22 - West Coast of Mexico

"Regarding your coverage question," responded XM radio officials, "XM is only licensed to provide service to the United States (all states except Alaska and Hawaii), its territories, and adjacent waters. Outside of these areas XM is very careful to not exceed the signal strength defined by international regulations. At some locations outside the defined service area, however, even if XM is within the transmission limits, the signal level is still strong enough for you to get service. In general, it is not easy to answer coverage questions for locations outside of the U.S. since XM has not designed the system to work and has not tested outside the U.S."

That said, our XM radio had worked great as far south as Acapulco, at which point it doesn't get a signal.

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