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Photo of the Day

April 15 - Tenacatita Bay, Mexico

Today's Photo of the Day shows one of the more unusual forms of sea life at Tenacatita Bay, Mexico. "The season has indeed winded down here on mainland Mexico," reports photographer Terry Bingham of the Eagle Bay, Washington-based Union 36 Secret O' Life, "as mine has been the only cruising boat here for several of the recent days. The water temperature, which had dropped to 71 degrees, quickly got back up to the high 70s and became clear again, giving me a reason to get out the snorkel gear. The big surprise, however, has been the return of sea life. The fish boils have started again, the birds have resumed nesting, and yesterday we were visited by a... young deer (!) swimming past the port beam. I'd watched her step off the beach to the west of me, and calmly swim about 30 yards off the beam, circling around the front of the boat, and making landfall on the rocks to the southeast of me with the Blue Bay Hotel in the background. She shook herself off and started to walk her way back along the shore toward the beach she had started from. What was the purpose of her swim? To cool off? Exercise? To get rid of ticks? We'll ponder that question the next several days at sundown while sipping Pacificos.

Photo Terry Bingham

"I'll be heading north to Mazatlan tomorrow, where my girlfriend Tammy will rejoin the boat on the first of May. Then we're heading up to the Sea of Cortez for the summer."

Boat Show Reminder

April 15 - Jack London Square, Booth #321

The Strictly Sail Pacific boat show at Jack London Square in Oakland is up, running, and looking good. It's the largest sailboat show on the West Coast, with lots of boats, 350 exhibitors, and countless seminars. It runs through Sunday at 5 p.m. Visit www.strictlysail.com for details.

The Wanderer will be giving a seminar this afternoon, Friday at 4:45 p.m., comparing cruising in the Caribbean with cruising in Mexico. It will be followed by a Baja Ha-Ha Reunion at 6 p.m. at the Latitude 38 booth, #321. Tomorrow, Saturday, at 6 p.m., the Grand Poobah will announce this fall's 12th Annual Baja Ha-Ha and give a slide presentation.

Also, don't forget to stop by the Latitude booth and pick up the current or a past issue, buy one of the new Latitude shirts or hats, and say hello to Doña de Mallorca.

Photo Latitude/Rob Moore

Parlier Does 210 Miles in Seven Hours Singlehanded

April 15 - Canary Islands

The great French singlehander Yves Parlier went off on a tangent when he had the 60-ft catamaran Médiatis Région Aquitaine built to compete against the highly refined 60-ft trimarans. The cat, which has a single wishbone rig on each hull, didn't do well in two TransAtlantic races. But in going after the 24-hour singlehanded record - 540 miles by Laurent Bourgnon in the 60-ft tri Primagaz - earlier this week, the cat showed great speed. Hitting as much as 39 knots and averaging 30 knots for seven hours, the unusual cat was 30 miles ahead of Bourgnon's pace while sailing off the Canary Islands when a violent jibe broke four battens and ended the record attempt. As soon as the battens are replaced, Parlier will be back for more.

Photo Courtesy Médiatis Région Aquitaine

Barker Takes the Lead

April 15 - Long Beach

Dean Barker, skipper for Emirates Team New Zealand, has taken the lead from BMW Oracle's Chris Dickson in the ongoing Congressional Cup being sailed in Long Beach, often in the shadow of the Belmont Pier. Five straight wins did the trick for Barker. The action continues through Sunday. If you're in the area, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to see these top skippers in action just a few feet away.

Last Call for Punta Mita Oceanfront at Affordable Prices
(The following is a paid advertisement)

April 15 - Punta Mita - The Lighthouse Condos

If you're a surfer-sailor looking for the ideal rental and/or retirement beachfront place in the tropics, you'd insist on everything that Punta Mita - located at the northwest tip of Banderas Bay - has to offer:

El Faro's infinity pool is a great place for surfer-sailors who love the blues - the tropical blues.

- Terrific pleasure sailing conditions, meaning consistent 8-16 knots of wind and flat seas. And, you can leave your boat on a free mooring among the cruising boats for the entire winter.
- Great surfing conditions. There are at least a half dozen usually uncrowded breaks - from beginner to expert - within walking distance. Sayulita is just a few miles up the coast.
- Warm weather. The air temps are in the '80s throughout the winter, and it's delightful in the evening. The water temps are in the mid 70s to low 80s, so you can throw away the wetsuit.
- Great sailing destinations within 12 flat-water miles include the Tres Marietas Islands, which are home to whales, rays, and big sharks, as well as Yelapa, La Cruz, Nuevo Vallarta, and Puerto Vallarta.

Convenience - It's three hours by air from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, and then 35 minutes by car to Punta Mita.

Tranquility - If you're looking for crowds and major nightlife, you'd be better off in downtown Puerto Vallarta or at one of the big resorts. In their own way, they are also nice.

The view to the east, looking toward the multi-million dollar El Rancho and El Banco estates, with Puerto Vallarta and the jungle-covered Sierra mountains in the distance.

While you'll always be able to buy at Punta Mita if you can afford the really big bucks for a place at the Four Seasons, Rosewood, or St. Regis luxury resorts, you won't always be able to find the exceptional values currently available at the lighthouse condos. But there aren't many left. Of the 30 elegant and spacious condo units in three towers - two completed and one just starting construction - there are only five units left: two 1,400 sq. ft. one-bedrooms for $250,000 and $260,000; two 2,500 sq. ft. two-bedrooms at $410,000 and $450,000; and one 2,500 sq. ft. three-bedroom on the 4th floor for $470,000. The American developer, who has been building in the area for eight years, lives on site full time.

If you're also a sailor-surfer and this sounds interesting, email the manager.

The view to the west, with the panga harbor, cruising fleet, El Faro point surf spots, Tres Marietas Islands, and Cabo Corrientes in the background.

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