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Photos of the Day

May 20 - Bahia Caraquez, Ecuador

Getting ready to set some hefty new moorings

Today's Photo of the Day is of some of the 22 moorings that are being put in place at Bahia Caraquez, Ecuador, by ex-cruisers Gary Swensen, former boat unknown, and Tripp Martin of Walkabout. Martin says that he came planning to stay for a couple of weeks, but "found the friendliest people I've come across since cruising, a safe town where I can walk anywhere, cheap food - $1-$2 for lunch - and a storm, lightning, and mold-free climate." Then he met Swensen, who had married a local girl and was in the process of putting in 10 moorings and a dinghy dock at what he was calling Puerto Amistad. So Martin went partners with him and added 12 more moorings. Martin says their marina is "by cruisers, for cruisers" and will feature a bar, restaurant, bathhouse, dinghy dock, and so forth. The 5,000-lb concrete and steel moorings go for $125/month.

Tripp and his lady Maya at the Puerto Amistad Bar

There are usually 20 to 40 boats in Caraquez, a beach resort town that was severely damaged by El Niño in '97-'98, then a 7.2 earthquake the next year, and finally a white spot virus that cut shrimp harvesting by 10%. With the economy in shambles, Bahia, as it's known, has reinvented itself as an eco-city with a nice museum, beaches, surfing, whale watching, birding, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. It's also just eight hours from Quito in the Andes. Bahia is 600 miles from Panama City.

Tripp handing the first burgee to some cruisers

Adrian Couldn't Wait to Get Going

May 20 - El Salvador

Don't you hate it when people come early to a party? That's what cruisers in Central America are thinking about Hurricane Adrian, which began forming on May 17 in the El Salvador-Guatemala area and built to hurricane force. Oddly enough, she immediately began to head northeast toward land, and may reform in the Caribbean. Most all Eastern Pacific hurricanes go to the northwest. Fortunately, Adrian has already been downgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to rapidly dissipate over land.

But here's how Eric aboard Chickadee viewed it from the scene: "As I write this email, Adrian, first hurricane of the season, is pummeling El Salvador with sustained winds over 120 kph [about 75 mph]. I'm in Managua, Nicaragua, trying to get a bus up to El Salvador to check on my boat. Unfortunately, there is a state of emergency and the buses aren't running in El Salvador, so I can only pray that my boat's anchor holds. I wasn't expecting a hurricane to hit while I took a week off to visit Rosio and the kids in San Juan Del Sur, therefore my storm anchor is stowed in the bilge and useless. But there's no point in my worrying."

What, This Is No ATM!

May 20 - Friday Harbor, WA

Here's a shot of Dorothy Darden of the M&M 52 cat Adagio at Friday Harbor, WA. It almost looks as though she's slipping an ATM card in a machine to get money. But actually, she's sliding her passport into this machine, which checks it out and somehow manages to take her picture - or something - at the same time. We're not clear on the process, so if somebody could explain it to us, we'd be most appreciative.

Photos Courtesy Adagio

As for the other shot, that's of Steve and Dorothy's cabin on Adagio. Shazam, does that look cool or what? In addition, the lights are on dimmers and the mattress is heated! For more about Adagio, see the June issue of Latitude 38, due out Friday, May 27, in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

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