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Photos of the Day

January 28 - Galapagos Islands

John Kelley and Linda Keigher of the Seattle-based Sirona 38 Hawkeye have continued their cruising to the Galapagos Islands. Here's proof:

A Galapagos tortoise

John and Linda emerge from a lava tube

Linda and an iguana observe each other.
Photos Courtesy Hawkeye

News from Mexico

January 28 - Puerto Vallarta

We arrived by plane in Puerto Vallarta yesterday afternoon, and were greeted by brilliant sunshine and brilliant blue skies. It's about 85 degrees. A nice change from the Bay Area - and even the overcast Caribbean where we started the new year.

Unfortunately, there's some tragic news coming out of Mexico. According to Len and Norma Brownlow of the Channel Islands-based Olson 40 Hangover, right before Christmas, a Canadian land-based tourist was hit by a Mexican panga or parasail boat as he attempted to swim from the main beach to a boat anchored out. Even though the boat's engine kicked up after striking the man, the boat continued on - until the screams of people who saw the incident forced them to go back. The man came to the surface screaming in pain, but died before they could get him to the hospital.

And Jim Elfers reported that a Colorado man was killed in Cabo San Lucas Bay on January 12 at 9 p.m. as a result of some small boat accident.

These are not the first times people have been killed by pangas or other Mexican small boats, which are often operated with little regard for safety. About 10 years ago, a cruiser from Long Beach was killed after his dinghy was run over at Punta de Mita by a panga. It was reported that that panga didn't stop after the collision either. And, there have been a number of cases of jet skis slamming into the side of anchored boats, or paraglider lines wrapped on the masts of anchored sailboats. Be very, very careful out there when around small, fast boats. Speed kills.

In better news, Paradise Village Harbormaster Dick Markie reports that J/World will begin operations out of his harbor come October. They will have at least three J/90s to start. Two of them are owned by a gentleman from the Bay Area.

Want to feel like a billionaire? It's easy. Go to St. Barth for two weeks and become accustomed to the prices, then come to Mexico. It also seems like they are giving food away down here.

Zihua SailFest Reminder

January 28 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Speaking of Mexico, next Wednesday kicks off the Zihua SailFest. Here's the schedule of fun:

Wednesday, February 2
10:00 AM Northbound and Southbounder's Cruising Seminar at Rick's Bar.
6:00 PM A No Host Kick-off Party at Rick's Bar.

Thursday, February 3
9:00 AM Cruiser Seminars presented by, and for, cruisers
11:00 AM Beach Party and Games Day with games, games, games.
7:00 PM Flare Shoot-out. A chance for cruisers to set off their expired flares.

Friday, February 4
12:00 Noon Pursuit Race. An absolutely "NO STRESS" fun event.
4:00 PM Dinghy Raft-up and potluck appetizer party aboard a vessel, possibly Profligate.

Saturday, February 5
10:00 AM Dinghy Poker Chase. A fun activity that can involve everyone aboard.
2:00 PM Chili Cook-off and Street Fair on the street in front of Rick's.

Sunday, February 6
11:00 AM Sail Parade, a procession around the Bay, up to Ixtapa and free sail back.
4:00 PM Wrap-up Barbecue on Playa Madera, awards ceremony, auction and raffle.

IRC Comes to the Bay

January 28 - San Francisco Bay

Following success at the 2004 Big Boat Series, the internationally popular IRC rating rule has found local advocates and a growing following here on San Francisco Bay. With that comes opportunities to get your boat measured and enter a minimum of four regattas on the Bay being offered with IRC classes.

The current Bay Area lineup of regattas with IRC divisions are: Big Daddy Regatta, Richmond YC, March 12-13; Stone Cup, St. Francis YC, May 21-22; Aldo Alessio Perpetual Trophy Regatta, St. Francis YC, August 5-7; and Big Boat Series Presented by Rolex, St. Francis YC, September 15-18.

Two measurement weekends have been arranged: February 26-27 and March 5-6. Local volunteer measurers will be available in Alameda, Richmond or Sausalito depending on how many boats sign up and their homeports. Measuring on these weekends is free (unless weighing becomes necessary).

On the international circuit IRC has already proven to be an excellent handicap system for rating big boats at major regattas. For more information on the IRC rule, see: www.rorcrating.com, www.ussailing.org/offshore/irc, www.us-irc.org.

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