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Photos of the Day

May 18 - Puerto Escondido, BCS

As you can see from today's Photo the Day, it's not raining and blowing everywhere in the world. The shot is of the Waiting Room, just outside Puerto Escondido on the Sea of Cortez side of Baja. It was taken last week by Latitude 38 sales rep Mitch Perkins.

"Everyone needs a boat break," says Perkins, "so several friends of mine and I took our Harleys on a 3,400-mile ride to Cabo and back. The Baja peninsula is long but narrow, so anonymity is not an option. While stopping for a meal at the historic and hospitable Hotel Francis in Santa Rosalia, we bumped into Mike and Kay Heath of the North Coast-based Nautic Saintonge 44 Finisterre. It wasn't hard to meet them, because Kay and I were both wearing Latitude T-shirts. It turns out that she and Mike were taking a 'boat break' too, seeking out hot showers and a meal they didn't have to catch, clean, and cook. Mike told me to say 'hi' to the Wanderer, as the two of them had enjoyed some fun surfing sessions at Punta Mita a couple of months before.

The Heaths
Photos Latitude/Mitch

"We ran into Mike again the next day down at Puerto Escondido, the development that's been underway for nearly 30 years - and still doesn't have much to show for it. In fact, it almost looks the same as when we first visited in 1988. It's just that there are more weeds, more boats, and it's more beautiful."

Getting Ready to Do Some Boatwork?

May 18 - Thailand

Despite being on the hard, Leslie King's Wilderness 40 Tropicbird was one of the boats damaged in Thailand by the Boxing Day tsunami. So he and his lady friend Susan finally flew halfway around the world to check the boat out and get her fixed up. This is a shot of Susan on the beach in Thailand with a couple of "mathage girls," presumably getting her muscles loose in anticipation of some heavy duty grunt work in the yard.

Photo Leslie King

Now What?!

May 18 - San Francisco Bay

Photo Danielle Dignan

Suppose you were at the helm of this Antrim 27, the rudder wasn't biting, and you were slowly crabbing toward shore. How would you keep your boat from driving herself up on the rocks? Incidentally, scenes similar to this played out several times in front of the Men's Grill at the St. Francis YC during last year's Big Boat Series.

What Else Could Have Gone Wrong?

May 18 - Caribbean Sea

"We finally got some more details about the loss of Brit Malcolm Steer's 45-ft ferrocement yawl Anna of Brighton," report Randy and Lourae Kenoffel of the San Francisco-based Beneteau 50 Pizzaz. It's the story of one of the most mishap-filled passages that we remember. In fact, the troubles began before they even started:

"Malcolm and two crew left St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean on the approximately 1,200-mile downwind trip to Colon, Panama. Just prior to leaving St. Lucia, they had to replace the dinghy and outboard because they were stolen. Shortly after taking off, the two crew got sick. Then the headsail blew out. The main tore also, but they were able to repair it. When the generator quit, they used the engine to charge the batteries. But about halfway into the trip, the wind died and the prop shaft broke. So now they had neither propulsion or a way to charge their batteries. After calling for assistance, they were surprised to get a response from a Russian ship. The Russian engineer rigged a tow-line to Anna's mast, then proceeded to tow them at 16 knots - a little more than the ferrocement's boat theoretical hull speed. 'We have a schedule to keep,' the Russians explained. With damage to the bowsprit and the mast step caused by the high-speed tow, Malcolm finally cut the tow line. But this time the movement had already damaged their VHF antenna.

"We were anchored on Pizzaz in the San Blas Islands," the couple continue, "when Anna came to a stop about three miles outside of the East Holandes Cays. "They were just sitting there in a dead calm on the morning of April 24, so Randy took the dinghy to see if they needed help. He offered to tow them to the famous Swimming Pool anchorage. Have you ever tried to tow a 25-ton boat with a 15-hp dinghy tied to the quarter? It took Randy nearly four hours to move Anna three miles to the anchorage. After several days of attempting repairs and getting suggestions - "why don't you mount your 5 hp outboard on the swim platform?" they were semi-ready to go again. With the wind finally came back up again on April 30, they took off on the 80-mile passage to Colon. As soon as they left, the wind died.

"Anna checked in with the Panama Connection Net on May 1, and reported she was in light winds 60 miles from the Canal. A day later, she still had 25 miles to go. We didn't hear from her the next day, so we put out a 'watch' on her. It wasn't until we got to an Internet cafe that we learned Anna had sunk - we don't know how - on the breakwater entrance to The Flats area of the Canal. Malcolm says he's headed back to Great Britain. Like a good sailor, he's going back to buy another boat."

More Sun on a Rainy Day

May 18 - Anegada, BVI

A month or so ago, Capt. Mark and Jean Leitner of San Diego delivered a Beneteau 343 from Charleston, South Carolina, to the British Virgins. It's a long and hard trip, so after dropping off the boat, they went out to Anegada to celebrate with a seafood feast. That's Mark with the lobster and Jean, a vet of multiple Ha-Has, with the conch.

Photos Courtesy the Leitners

It's hard not to dream of the Caribbean on crappy days like today. But be of good cheer, for it's supposed to be in the high 70s on Saturday and 80 degrees on Sunday in the Bay Area.

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