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Photo of the Day

March 11 - San Francisco Bay

Lady Washington fires off a round towards Pier 39. Since she's the State of Washington's Official Tall Ship, does this mean Washington's at war with San Francisco?
Photo Courtesy Cappy Too

Robert and Cappy Larson took their 1976 Contest 28, Cappy Too out for a sail on March 3. "We left our slip at Pier 39 just in the nick of time. Within minutes this 'pirate' ship was alongside the marina and shooting at the tourists - who were duly impressed."

Admirers of tall ships should check out the next item.

Tall Ship Exposition Staged at Jack London Square

March 11 - Oakland

Despite the modern appearance of the marine facilities at Oakland's Jack London Square, the area's heritage as a maritime center during the great Age of Sail is legendary. In keeping with its historic roots, the Square will host a 12-day Tall Ship Exposition this month, featuring the the 129-ft Bill of Rights and the 87-ft Lady Washington (pictured in the photo of the day), a beautifully crafted replica of an 18th century merchant brig which was used in the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean.

A series of dockside tours and special sailings begins today through March 20. A highlight will be the mock battles staged between the two vessels, with their crews dressed in period costumes. For further details, see www.ladywashington.org or call (800) 200-LADY.

Orange II and Cheyenne

March 11 - Atlantic Ocean

Despite having to go out of their way around a high pressure system, Bruno Peyron and crew anticipate reaching the island of Ushant (Ouessant), off the coast of Brittany, this coming Tuesday or Wednesday, completing their Jules Verne around-the-world record attempt, for an amazing total circumnavigation time of 50-51 days. See www.maxicatamaran-orange.com.

The previous record of 58+ days was set less than a year ago by Steve Fossett and crew aboard Cheyenne. Sadly, Cheyenne, skippered by David Scully, has dismasted off the coast of Argentina, while sailing the the Oryx Quest around-the-world race. Racing upwind just one day after rounding Cape Horn and in hot pursuit of Brian Thompson's Doha 2006. Wednesday morning the 125-ft catamaran broke a lower shroud and her 145-ft carbon fiber mast buckled. No one on board was injured. The Argentinean Navy War Ship Suboficial Castillo is towing Cheyenne to Comodoro Rivadavia, a harbor on the east coast of Argentina. Having rounded the turning mark of Los Lobos Island, Doha is shooting straight east across the South Atlantic and has a 4,500 mile lead on her one remaining competitor, Daedalus, which has yet to reach Cape Horn. See www.oryxquest.com.

Senior Southern California Sailor Completes Epic Voyage

March 11 - Oceanside

It's not always 'glam' yachts or state-of-the-art racing machines that bring out cheering crowds of well-wishers. Occasionally a solo sailor aboard a modest little boat inspires such public adulation.

That was the case last week in Oceanside when 79-year-old Dr. Bob Germann returned to his Southern California homeport aboard Ragmeg, the 27-ft wooden dory that he bought two years ago in Nova Scotia.

Chasing a long-held dream, the retired oral surgeon responded to an Internet ad for the stout little St. Pierre fishing dory, deciding she was the perfect sea boat for him. He began singlehanding her south from Nova Scotia in March of 2003, with plans to eventually return to California. Along the way Germann suffered not one, but two heart attacks, each time returning to his mission as soon as possible. An added challenge was successfully fending off two young muggers in Panama. His little schooner-rigged dory, however, held up extremely well. Maritime lore holds that none of these rugged boats have ever been lost at sea during several centuries of use.

We hope to bring you more on Germann's voyage in the upcoming edition of Latitude 38.

WHOA Regatta Note

March 11 - Marina del Rey

With regard to our story Wednesday about the WHOA Regatta in Marina del Rey, 'Madabar' dropped us an email to let us know that WHOA stands for Wooden Hull Owners Association.

Eight Bells: Joe Rinehart

March 11 - San Rafael

One of the great guys of the sailing industry recently passed away at the age of 60. Bay Area yacht broker Joe Rinehart was a man of great character who delighted many in the yachting community with tall but true tales of his many adventures. He lived a great life.

Cheers, Joe.

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