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Photo of the Day

October 12 - Newport Harbor

Photo Latitude/Richard

Today's Photo of the Day shows what happens when - oops! - somebody accidentally pours diesel into the two-stroke outboard's fuel tank. The outboard becomes a bitch to start, smokes like hell, and dies after half a second. The outboard is question is Profligate's ancient but beloved 15-hp Yamaha. More about her life and times in the December issue of Latitude 38.

A Safe Haven in Nicaragua

October 12 - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Aquamarine at anchor

The Lab Family - Chris, Beth and daughter Yvette - send their greetings to friends and others who have been following their travels. After completing the Baja Ha-Ha last fall aboard their Ericson 34 Aquamarine, they took their time sailing south along the Central American coast, finally arriving at their "new home" at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

Chris, Beth and Yvette are obviously enjoying the cruising life.

The family apparently loves the peaceful little town, and they encourage other cruisers to check it out. These photos, and the Web site www.sanjuandelsur.org.ni will give you a sampling of what it's like.

A view of the crescent bay

Shopping for produce the old-fashioned way at a local market

Another incredible sunset
Photos Courtesy Aquamarine

Big Boats Are Signed Up for the San Diego YC's Puerto Vallarta Race

October 12 - San Diego

"The big boats are coming to Puerto Vallarta!" reports the San Diego YC. "Doug Baker's Magnitude 80, Bob Lane's Medicine Man, Dennis Conner's Mongoose, and Jim Madden's new J/65 are among the early entrants for San Diego YC's biennial Vallarta Race. The club's 26th race to Mexico's west coast starts on February 20, with the 1,000-mile course finishing at Punta Mita on the north end of Bahia Banderas. The magnificent Paradise Village Resort and Marina will host the festivities at the Nuevo Vallarta Harbor, with MEXORC returning to Puerto Vallarta following the race. Complete event details at www.sdyc.org/vallartarace."

The blisteringly fast Magnitude 80 chases Mari-Cha out the Gate at the start of the '04 West Marine Pacific Cup. Last year she was one of the boats that crushed the TransPac elapsed time record.
Photo Latitude/Richard

It sounds like a great event to us. Punta Mita is Profligate's winter base, so it's very likely we'll be right there on the finish line to take photos and welcome the daylight finishers. Unless, of course, there's good swell hitting all the breaks in the Punta Mita area.

Health Certificate to Check in to Mexico

October 12 - Cabo San Lucas, BCS

"According to the newest edition of Charlie's Charts," write John and Sylvia Parr of Sonrisa, "cruisers are required to have a health certificate when arriving in Cabo. Do you know what they required?"

In this case, we don't think Charlie knows what it's talking about. We've taken our boats to Mexico nearly 20 times, and have never had to provide a health certificate. Nor in the more than 28 years of publishing this magazine have we heard of anybody being required to provide one. However . . . several years ago, during a bureaucratic burp, some officials dragged out an obscure regulation for ships that said vessels checking out of Cabo for another country need health clearances for crews. This affected about three boats, after which everybody got wise and said they were clearing Cabo for Ensenada, which didn't require a health clearance. And a week later the whole thing blew over.

Abandoned Sloop Sighted; Rescue Pending

October 12 - Santa Barbara

Early last week the abandoned Vancouver, BC-based sloop Dragon Spirit was sighted by crewmen aboard the Nord Sound tanker due west of Point Conception at 34 33.4' N 130 18.1' W. As reported here earlier, her owners abandoned her offshore of Eureka due to extreme weather conditions, and later put up a $4,000 reward for information leading to the successful recovery of Dragon Spirit.

Since the initial sighting, owners Blair and Marion Thomson have been scrambling to find a suitable vessel in the Central Coast area to take them out to their vessel and possibly to tow her back in if she has become disabled. They are now anxious for a second sighting in order to pinpoint her current location. By now, she is believed to have drifted into the waters offshore of Southern California.

Anyone sighting Dragon Spirit is asked to alert the U.S. Coast Guard at (707) 839-6113 or the Thomsons at (250) 477-0987.

Are You a Professional Journalist Interested in Working for Latitude 38?

October 12 - Mill Valley

For the first time in ages, Latitude is looking for one or two professional journalists. Candidates should be willing to prove themselves with freelance articles over the next few months with an aim toward full-time employment. Obviously, you must be well versed in sailing, although not necessarily all aspects of it.

As a full-time staff member, you'd be required to create stories, edit articles, take photos, do your own layouts, operate a photoboat, work some weekends, and yes, occasionally travel to Hawaii, Mexico, the South Pacific or Europe. Sounds glamorous, doesn't it? In reality, it's very hard work - sort of like your worst college finals ever, but every month. Applicants must be enthusiastic self-starters who are able to meet deadlines and don't whine or look for other people to do their work for them.

We work on Macs. Like all modern journalists, you need to have some computer savvy - and be enthusiastic about learning more.

Full time work at Latitude is hard, but fun. For writers and editors there is not necessarily a 9 to 5 routine - but you'd be judged on what you're able to produce. If you're one of the many applicants who has written in and wondered if you could do the work from your home - be it in Seattle, Colorado, New Zealand, or various cities in Southern California - you're completely unclear on the concept.

The pay for staff positions is as good as and sometimes better than that of slick sailing magazines, and there is company-provided health and life insurance.

If - and only if - you have the qualifications, email Richard today with the basics about you and your work experience. Anybody who calls on the phone will, of course, be disqualified. For what it's worth, Latitude 38 is a company where nobody puts in more hours or produces more editorial than the owner.

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