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Photos of the Day

April 1 - Sunny California

A Cheoy Lee Clipper ketch sailing in Raccoon Strait, photographed on March 13 by the Commodore of the Chico YC
Photo Alex Lorenz

Today's Photos of the Day would seem to indicate that spring, after all the rain we've had in California, finally seems to have arrived.

Profligate last week during a fast beam reach from Avalon to Newport Beach.
Photo Christian Buhl

Some youth sailors starting their sailing year with some swimming in the cold water of Newport Harbor.

Also in Newport Harbor, some of the older guys were tuning up for racing in this Catalina 37.
Final two photos Latitude/Richard

Sailboat Washes Up on Seabright Beach in Santa Cruz

April 1 - Santa Cruz

Photo Rich Carlson

It's been a tough winter in California, with boats going ashore all up and down the coast and at Catalina. The most recent is the one you see in the photo by Rich Carlson, who reports she was apparently blown off her mooring near the Santa Cruz Pier, and ended up on Seabright Beach just to the east of the mouth of the San Lorenzo River.

Latitude Crew List Party Wednesday at Golden Gate YC

April 1 - San Francisco

If you're a skipper looking for crew, or crew looking for a boat to sail on, you don't want to miss the Latitude 38 Crew List Party to be held Wednesday, April 6, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Golden Gate YC in San Francisco. There will be all kinds of people looking to do all kinds of sailing - plus door prizes, munchies, demonstrations, and a Ken Burns type slide show of recent Baja Ha-Has.

While the purpose of the event is to match skippers with crew for sailing, sometimes Cupid has been spotted shooting his arrows of romance. For proof, check out the Letters section in the April Latitude. So you do want to be careful.

Entry to the Crew List Party is free to those who signed up for the March or April 2005 Crew List, and $7 for all others. Please, please, please don't come early. The Golden Gate YC is located On The Marina in San Francisco, just to the east of the St. Francis YC, at the end of the spit.

Think you're too old to sail? Then listen to what 69-year-old 'hitchhiker' Luise has to say: "Thanks to Latitude, I'm getting a ride to the South Pacific aboard Frank and Brenda Keavy's Passport 42 Side Track. We're leaving around April 11, and I'll keep you updated on my travels."

Photo Latitude/Andy

Explosion at South Carolina Duct-Tape Plant

April 1 - Columbia, SC

We know it sounds like an April Fool's Joke, but it's not. An explosion late Wednesday at the Intertape Polymer Group plant at Columbia, South Carolina, killed one worker, sent a fireball high into the air, and shook homes a mile away.
It's believed there will not be an immediate shortage of duct tape, which is commonly used to keep sailboats, sailing gear, and sailors in one piece.

The April Issue of Latitude 38 Is Hitting the Streets Today

April 1 - SF Bay Area

Photo Latitude/Annie

It's the big one for the boat show, so use your knees when picking it up or you'll risk getting a hernia.

They Need Not Have Bothered

April 1 - Mexico City, Mexico

The Mexican government went to a lot of trouble creating 'ventana unicas', or single windows, at Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, and Cancun, in a misguided attempt to make clearing in and out of Mexico less of a hassle to cruisers. According to Dustin Fox, who recently checked into Cabo, "It's frickin' worthless, as it's no quicker or easier than the old way!" The only solution is for Mexico to completely eliminate all domestic clearing. Cruisers should only have to check in and out of Mexico - as is the case with foreign boats that visit the United States.

By the way, today is a big day in Mexican politics, as a congressional committee down there is going to decide whether or not to convict Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of violating a court order. If convicted, the avowed leftist will not be allowed to run for president next year. He is currently the leading candidate. He is no friend of current President Vicente Fox, who is from the center-right, and who has been responsible for Mexico being on a roll. Political tensions are high in Mexico as today's decision is awaited. We don't know Mexican politics, but we don't think such a popular candidate should be prohibited from running.

This Weekend's St. Barth Bucket to Be the Biggest Ever

April 1 - St. Barth, FWI

The entire harbor at Gustavia, St. Barth, French West Indies, has been taken over for the weekend by many of the world's greatest sailing yachts for the St. Barth Bucket. What's a Bucket? It's half a parade and half a gentleman's race on really big yachts. First held 17 years ago in Newport, Rhode Island, they are now held annually in Newport and St. Barth.

Photo Latitude/Richard

The 28 boats in this year's fleet will range in size from just under 100 feet - who let the little guys in? - to 247 feet, which means that Mirabella V, the world's largest sloop, will be participating. Northern Californian Jim 'Netscape' Clark will be on hand with two boats. He'll race his 156-ft Frers Hyperion - which was on the cover of the February Latitude - and will host an owner's party aboard his nearly 300-ft clipper ship Athena on Saturday night. No doubt the fastest yacht will be Visione, which is sometime Northern Californian Hasso Plattner's Baltic 147. Other great yachts, listed with their length in meters, include Atmosphere, 53 meters; Perseus, 50 meters; Scheherazade, 48 meters; Andromeda, 47 meters; Rebecca, 43 meters; Ranger, 42 meters. You get the idea. Lots of money will be spent and champagne spilled.

Campbell's Sloop Crew Rescued

April 1 - St. Petersburg, FL

On Wednesday night the Coast Guard in St. Petersburg, Florida, responded to a distress call from the San Diego-based Peterson 44 Campbell Sloop owned by 46-year-old Jeff Campbell. Apparently his Alexandria, Virginia, based crew was injured in heavy weather 85 miles from Tampa, Florida, when the boom struck him in the chest and pinned him against the rigging. At last word, they were going to tow the boat to more sheltered water to offload the injured crewman.

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