Photo of the Day
February 11 - San Francisco
Photo Dave Santos
Today's Photo of the Day comes from Dave Santos, who reports he's been reading Latitude 38 for 26 years. He was out at San Francisco's Ocean Beach at the foot of Fulton Street in late January, when he saw one of the Coast Guard 47-footers coming in through the surf. By the time he whipped his camera out, the aluminum rollover special had turned around and was headed back out through the sizable waves. A few years ago the Coasties gave us a demo on one of their 47-footers. They aren't cheap, but they are extremely capable.
Zihua Sail Fest Breaks All Fund-Raising Records
February 11 - Zihuatanejo, Mexico
We have yet to get the complete details, but we're told that the cruiser Zihua Sail Fest earlier this month raised a staggering $40,000 for the school for orphans. $20,000 of it was in matching funds from the Bellack Foundation of San Diego. We salute all of you who participated, contributed, and otherwise helped out. That this event continues to outdo each previous year despite the lack of continuity of leadership is amazing. More in the March issue of Latitude 38.
By the way, all of you who participated in the last Ha-Ha contributed, too, as Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler announced that the Ha-Ha had donated $500 in the name of all the participants.
Grossman Going to Bat for Cruisers in Mexico City
February 11 - Mexico City, Mexico
Tere Grossman of San Carlos Marina, who also happens to be the head of the Mexican Marina Owners Association, was under the impression that no port captains on the Pacific Coast of Mexico were requiring cruisers to use an agent to check in and out of ports. We told her that wasn't true, as port captains in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta are both requiring the use of agents. Grossman is not happy about it, and she's in Mexico City today to meet with the Director of Port Captains to see if something can't be done about it.
How much can an agent add to the cost of a stop? Larry and Tammy Seminutin of the Vernon, Canada-based Corbin 39 Semicrazed tell us a required agent cost them $75 U.S. for a two-day stop in Mazatlan. "We were going to leave our boat there for the summer," the couple told us, "but after that kind of gouging, we're not going back at all."
Feeling ripped off by the price of agent fees, Larry and Tammy vow not to return to Mazatlan.
Photo Courtesy Semicrazed
Tere Grossman also reports that the Temporary Import Permits, which used to be free, have been $50 U.S. since January 1.
In other clearing news from Mexico, the Port Captain at San Blas has been reported to be very nice, and unlike before, doesn't require the use of an agent. He reported, "We got rid of that guy!"
We've also been told that Puerto Escondido has been almost completely empty since a private company began charging outrageous rates to anchor or moor in the once popular port. The new word is that prices will be dropped 30%, which is more reasonable, but still far too high.
The Winners Are Ellen and Francis
February 11 - Falmouth, UK
We can't think of any sailor we admire more than Ellen MacArthur. What she accomplished with her singlehanded around-the-world record was heroic. The resourcefulness, courage, and determination are a true inspiration. And with the way she conducts herself, what an ideal role model for sailing and women.
Ellen celebrates in Falmouth at the end of her successful record attempt.
Photo Liot Vapillion/DDPI/Offshore Challenges
The only sailor we admire almost as much is Francis Joyon of France, whose around-the-world record Ellen broke by a relatively small margin. The thing to remember about Joyon is that he established his record a year ago with the rather old and much modified trimaran IDEC (ex-Sport Elec), which had sails that had already been around the world. Unlike Ellen, he didn't have a large shoreside team, and unlike Ellen, he did all his own weather routing. Yet when Ellen broke his record, he was the first to congratulate her and didn't make note of the advantages she'd had over him.
Francis Joyon meets the press at the end of his successful attempt last February.
Photo Franck Gicquiaud / Littoral Ouest
Today Is the Start of the Del Rey YC's Race to Puerto Vallarta
February 11 - Marina del Rey
The Salsa Division of the Del Rey YC's 1,125-mile race to Puerto Vallarta gets underway today. The really big guns, Roy Disney's Reichel/Pugh maxZ86, Pyewacket, and Randall Pittman's Dubois 90, Genuine Risk, will start February 18 along with Doug Baker's Andrews 80, Magnitude 80, and Scout Spirit, a Reichel/Pugh 77 (formerly Zephyrus IV and Bright Star). If there is any wind at all, the record should be broken.