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Photos of the Day

June 8 - Mallorca, Spain

Today's Photo of the Day is of the lovely Rebecca Van Sickle of New York City as she looks out over the spectacular blue waters of the Med from her perch on ancient Moorish watchtower on the Spanish Island of Mallorca. The photo was taken by Mark Covec, Rebecca's sweetheart. The couple were in Europe visiting Mark's parents, Paul and Joan Covec, aboard their San Francisco-based Cal 44 Incognito.

According to Mark, "After sailing across the Atlantic in 1999, my parents had many great adventures sailing in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and as part of the Black Sea Rally in 2001. But it's time for new adventures closer to home."

But it will be hard to leave the Med, especially with places such as the little cove at Cabo Tramuntana, Mallorca, as seen in the second photo.

While in Spain, Mark and Rebecca bumped into some other San Francisco sailors and boats. For example, they saw Kentfield America's Cup, Whitbread and Star Boat super sailor Paul Cayard walking into a tapas bar near Barcelona's Marina Port Vell. And tied up at its own pier nearby was Golden Gate YC member Larry Ellison's new motoryacht Rising Sun, which at 452-ft makes her the largest privately-owned yacht in the world.

Photos Mark Covec

Mark owns the San Francisco-based Bristol 27 Magstar. "It's temporarily in La Paz while we finish grad school in New York," he reports.

Philippe Kahn to Speak at Corinthian YC Friday Night

June 8 - San Francisco Bay

The Santa Cruz-based tech industry serial entrepreneur has taken line honors in two TransPacs as well as two Pacific Cups, and has excelled in everything from Finns and Melges 24s to Farr 40s. He'll soon to take delivery of a TransPac 52 for this year's TransPac. In addition, the French-born mathematician has directed his Team Pegasus to locate talented sailors with Olympic champion potential, then provide them with room, board, and all-around training to reach their highest potential. He'll speak on all these topics Friday night.

To coordinate with the Friday night race at the club, the presentation will begin at 8 p.m. and should be over by 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10. A $12.50 buffet will be available prior to the presentation. To make reservations, call the club at (415) 435-4771 or visit www.cyc.org/speakers.

Looking for Your Ha-Ha Entry Pack?

June 8 - Tiburon

If you're one of the more than 100 folks who have requested an entry pack for this fall's event, the folks at the Baja Ha-Ha report they'll be sent out no later than Friday. The hangup has been getting the last few advertising sheets from sponsors.

If you're sure you're going to do the Ha-Ha, return the completed form as soon as possible, for the earlier you sign up, the higher you'll be on the list for a berth in Cabo.

To request an entry pack, send a self-addressed 10x13 envelope with a check for $18 to Baja Ha-Ha, Inc., 21 Apollo Road, Tiburon 94920.

The Correct Email Contact for the Catnip Cup

June 8 - San Francisco Bay

The Catnip Cup - the totally casual multihull cruise up to Vallejo for an overnight - is this weekend. If you haven't been able to get details on the fun event, it's probably because we gave the wrong email address. Here's a link for the right one. We hope to see you out there. By the way, the forecast this weekend is for glorious weather!

Change, Change, Change in Mexico

June 8 - Mexico

We just read a report that says it's expected more than $900 million in foreign money will be invested over the next 10 years at Punta Mita - which is both our favorite spot in Mexico and only about 10 miles from Nuevo and Puerto Vallarta. The report might not be the most credible in the world because it also says a marina will be built there and it will become home to five yacht clubs. With at least three luxury hotels in the works for this tip of Banderas Bay, we can see why some people might want a marina. Unfortunately, it would adversely affect perhaps the most densely bunched group of surf spots in the country. As such, surfers - such as ourselves - would be protesting any such plan. After all, there is a great all-winter anchorage right there, which eliminates the need for such a marina. As for the five yacht clubs, we just don't see that happening.

But there are signs of Mexico changing rapidly in many areas. For instance, to express popular support for changing the clearing regulations for cruisers in Mexico, Steve Truax of the Taswell 43 Psyche sent an email to Tere Grossman, to be passed on to officials. Somehow, Truax's email reached the desk of Francisco Gil Diaz - who happens to be the Minister of Finance for Mexico, and as such is one of the most powerful and hard-to-reach members of the government. In addition to supporting the change in the clearing laws, Truax indicated that it was difficult for cruisers to bring replacement boat parts into Mexico. In an act that has had knowledgeable people nearly faint from disbelief, the Minister responded to Truax by asking for details, saying that he could maybe help!

In other evidence of change, come July, the first of several low-cost airlines in Mexico is expected to take flight. The flights will be mostly domestic, but are slated to connect Mexico City with popular beach towns and resorts. For cruisers, it would mean low-cost flights to Mexico's great cities - as well as a quick hop over to the Caribbean side of Mañanaland.

Politically Mexico seems much more mature, too. President Fox's party has backed off the petty charges meant to keep Mexico City Mayor Andres Obrador, the leading candidate in next year's presidential election, off the ballot. For his part, Obrador, once an avowed leftist, has stopped referring to himself as the "savior of Mexico," and is talking much more like a centrist.

In perhaps the most comical sign of political maturity, an envoy for President Fox said that he saw no problem with allowing a soccer match in Mexico City between Italy's Inter Milan against the ski-masked Zapatista rebels from Chiapas. You might remember that the Zapatistas, led by blue-eyed 'Subcommander Marcos', staged a brief armed revolt in 1994, but haven't been heard from much since. But yes, they would play with their masks on and going by their noms de guerre. Soccer bores us to death, but we'd watch that match.

Mazatlan Marina Harbormaster Antonio Cevallos sent us a copy of the new form authorized by the port captain for boats checking in at delegated marinas. Our computer ate it, so we hope to have a new copy of it for Friday's 'Lectronic. It's a simple form that wouldn't take but a few minutes to fill out.

Finally, the Caribbean countries are pissed off because starting January 1, U.S. citizens returning from those countries will need a passport. This is a problem because currently only 1 of 15 cruise ship passengers to the Caribbean has a passport, and they cost $100. For some reason, this rule won't go into effect in Canada and Mexico for a full year after that. As such, some of the millions of Caribbean tourists are expected to opt for Mexico this winter.

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