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Photos of the Day

October 21 - San Diego

Today's Photo the Day is of one of the burgees for this year's Baja Ha-Ha - which, who can believe it? - starts a week from Monday.

Long-range weather forecasts aren't all that accurate, but so far the weather looks promising. Right through the West Marine Official Ha-Ha Kick-Off Party next Sunday, the forecast calls for sunny days with 70-degree temps. By the way, West Marine's Missy Welch will be back to help MC that event, and she's one of the funniest women we know. "I've got my West Marine team on fire for the event," she writes, "and I'm not puttin' them out until after the party!" Missy makes sure that kids in the Ha-Ha fleet will get a lot of attention at the party.

Still haven't gotten a berth for the Ha-Ha? Work that Crew List and, if need be, show up in San Diego with your bag on Saturday or Sunday ready to go on Monday. We can't guarantee anything, but with nearly 150 boats, there's almost always some opportunities.

With the wild hurricane season in the Caribbean/Atlantic, it's only natural for Ha-Ha folks to be concerned about hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific. In the last 50 years, there hasn't been a hurricane track that would have crossed the Ha-Ha path when the Ha-Ha fleet was there, so that's encouraging. In addition, the Ha-Ha uses Commander's Weather to analyze the weather prior to the start of any leg. The Grand Poobah hasn't contacted them yet, but so far things look good, as the water temperatures off Mexico - particularly around the Cape and north - are cooler than normal. As you probably know by now, one of the things needed to create and sustain hurricanes is water over 80 degrees. That's just one factor, of course, or else there would be hurricanes in the Caribbean year round.

In any event, have a safe trip to San Diego, and we'll see you at the Skipper's Meeting and Kick-Off Party a week from Sunday.

Black Cat on the Bay

October 21 - San Francisco Bay

As the accompanying three photos by Dick Enersen show, there's a wickedly fast black cat on the Bay. She's Tuki, formerly Tom Blackaller's Superlube, which sailed the Bay during the lamentably short ProSail 40 cat racing circuit of the mid-'80s. She's been rescued from obscurity and totally restored by Keith Notary for a San Francisco entrepreneur. More on the cat in the November 1 issue of Latitude 38.

Photos Dick Enersen

San Francisco Bay, by the way, is one of the best fast cat sailing venues in the world, as there is plenty of wind but no big swells.

Clarifying the Cost of Cruising

October 21 - Sea of Cortez, Mexico

"I just wanted to clarify something about our reported cruising expenses in Mexico," writes Dan Fitzpatrick of the Muir Beach-based Nor'Sea 27 Marylee. "Samantha and I did cruise on $100 a month - but only while we were in the Sea of Cortez. When cruising the Mexican Riviera, our expenses were in line with Latitude's estimate of $1,500 a month. But during that time, we stayed in marinas, dined in fine restaurants, and took many side trips. For what it's worth, three months of biking/camping in Europe cost us more than the $9,300 we spent cruising Mexico for nine months. While we averaged about $1,000 a month during our entire cruise, the Sea of Cortez was indeed bountiful and the wind was fair. So during those three months, we really did live well on just a few dollars a day."

Dan and Samantha share a smooch at Bahia Santa Maria during the Ha-Ha two years ago prior to their cruising in the Sea of Cortez.
Photo Latitude Archives

If anybody else would like to share their cruising budget, we'd love to share it with folks thinking about cruising.

The Weather Window Never Opened for Ellen

October 21 - New York, NY

Ellen MacArthur's attempt on the transatlantic record with her 75-ft tri B&Q had to be canceled as there was never an appropriate weather window for the entire way across the Atlantic. So her nearly two months of waiting was for nothing. The engine will be put back into the tri, and she'll be delivered the 2,800 miles across the Atlantic. Ellen has to get back quickly in order to do the Jacques Vabre transatlantic race to Brazil, which starts in November. She'll be doublehanding with Roland Jourdain on the Open 60 monohull Sill et Veolia.

Plus, MacArthur will soon announce yet a new around the world race to start and finish in Barcelona. The first one will start in November of '07.

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