Pirates for Pupils Spinnaker Run for Charity
March 14 - Nuevo Vallarta
Costume winners Katie, far left, Michelle, far right, and Jeff Nelson in front. Judges Lupe of Moon & The Stars and Ronnie 'Tea Lady' are in back.
It's been a very active few days, with more to come, on Banderas Bay, Mexico. It all started with Friday's Pirates for Pupils 12-Mile Spinnaker Run for Charity from Punta Mita to Paradise Marina. With a big swell running, there were some wild times getting the 80 or so participants from the boats and through the big surf to the El Dorado restaurant for the costume festivities, then back through the surf to the boats before the start of the actual spinnaker run. Fortunately, nobody was killed while avoiding the waves and surfers. At least nobody reported being killed.
Yee-Ha! Blair and Joan Grinols' Capricorn Cat surfs down a wave in the channel leading to Paradise Marina. The Pirates for Pupils event had the boats arriving at the marina entrance at one of the lowest tides of the year.
Surf was slamming into the breakwater.
Winning lobster lunches for the best costumes were the little sweethearts Katie and Michelle of Punta Mita, and in the male category, Jeff Nelson of the Cross 37 trimaran Moon Me. Ronnie of Tea Lady and Lupe of Moon & The Stars were the judges.
If we didn't know better, we'd swear that was Terry Klaus, owner of Brigadoon and last year's Commodore of the St. Francis YC, at the far left of the Break 'n Wind pirates table.
Following lunch and braving the surf back to the boats, there was a great spinnaker run in ideal conditions across beautiful Banderas Bay. Most of the folks who donated money were aboard the packed cats Capricorn Cat, Humu-Humu, Dolce Vita, and Profligate. In addition, three monohulls participated, including John and Nancy Moore's Break 'N Wind.
Nic & Nic of the San Francisco-based Morgan 38 Stargazer enjoying the charity run from Punta Mita to Paradise Marina.
The Northern California-based Hughes 38 cat Feet trails Mai Dolche's Belvedere-based Marquesas 56 cat Dolce Vita about halfway across Banderas Bay.
All Photos Latitude/Richard except for Capricorn Cat surfing down channel, by David and Leslie Emery of the San Diego-based Hunter Passage 450 Sun Break.
A little more than $1,000 was raised, $500 of it from last year's Ha-Ha fleet. This is nothing compared to the Zihua SailFest, of course, but it's a start.
Banderas Bay Regatta
March 14 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Monohulls hitting the starting line for the first race. Air temperature, 85. Water temperature, 80.
Two days after the Pirates for Pupils was the start of the 13th annual Banderas Bay Regatta, which is based out of Paradise Marina. Over 40 boats signed up, but not all hit the starting line for Sunday's first of three races. It's a shame, because the only losers in this no-entry fee regatta are those who don't show up. There ought to be 100 boats entered in this event. After all, there's not a better cruising regatta venue in the world, there aren't any better pleasure sailing conditions, and the nothing-serious event is all about having fun with friends rather than winning.
Humu-Humu and Kevin and Sandy Reath's Beneteau 40.7 Something Wicked about to cross the finish line in front of the many new high rises that line the Nuevo Vallarta coast.
Conditions for the first race were 7 to 13 knots with seas flat as a pancake. Just a little more wind would be appreciated today.
We'll have more coverage on Wednesday at well as in the April issue of Latitude 38.
There was a great battle in the multihull class between David Crowe's Morrelli-Choy 70 Humu-Humu and Blair Grinols' Capricorn Cat. Both cats are armed with new mains and jibs. Capricorn Cat, behind in this photo, corrected out 10 seconds ahead.
When Profligate seemed off the pace during the first race, crewmember Christian Buhl was dispatched to the water to look for excuses. He found one prop stuck in the open position. "We'll be faster tomorrow," he declared after a little work with a plastic mallet.
Photos Profligate crew
Cuban Migrants Land in Dry Tortugas
March 14 - Dry Tortugas National Park, FL
Thirty-one Cubans landed this morning on Loggerhead Key, in the Dry Tortugas National Park 70 miles west of Key West. Loggerhead Key, a small island neighboring Garden Key, home of historic Fort Jefferson, is unpopulated except for volunteer lighthouse keepers.
Park managers held the Cubans until the Coast Guard arrived to take them to Key West, where they are in Customs and Border Control custody. There was no report this morning as to their condition.
The United States' has a 'wet-foot, dry-foot' policy with regard to Cuban migrants. Those who are intercepted at sea are usually returned to Cuba, while those who reach land are usually allowed to remain in the U.S.
Not including today's group, so far this year, 96 Cuban immigrants have reached land within the Dry Tortugas, with another 38 interdicted before stepping foot on U.S. soil. Some migrants arrive in sketchy, handmade boats, but some are smuggled in 'go fast' powerboats.