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The Cruising Colors of Mexico

December 2 - Punta Mita, Mexico

There are lots of good reasons to cruise Mexico, but one of the most underrated are the colorful skies. The first photo was taken just before dawn yesterday while at anchor at Punta Mita looking toward Puerto Vallarta. The sun, still beneath the horizon, illuminated the bottom of clouds with brilliant yellows and oranges. Sunrises such as this are not at all unusual.

Moments after the sun had risen, all of the orange and yellows had vanished. During the course of the day, it was sometimes cloudy and gray, sometimes cloudless and blue - you never knew what to expect. The second shot was taken at sunset from ashore at Punta Mita, when the horizon - this time in the west - featured some dazzling yellows and oranges. Again, this isn't uncommon. There are similar sunsets up in the Sea of Cortez, but for reasons we don't understand, they usually have a lot more purple.

How much does it cost to enjoy these kinds of spectacular sunrises and sunsets? You can spend at much as $5 million for one of the remaining lots in the gated Four Seasons Resort area of Punta Mita - or you can do what San Diego surfer/sailor Robert Crozier did some 15 years ago. He showed up with a Columbia 24 and some surfboards, and lived on the hook, spending as little as $30 a week. He and his partner Marta Mijelman now live aboard a Kendall 32 - a design that later became a Westsail 32 - and are up to spending about $120 a week. Still, that's pretty cheap. We'll tell you all about them and where they are headed now in the January issue of Latitude 38.

Photos Latitude/Richard

Sausalito YC Midwinters: Just Enough Wind to Make It Fun

December 5 - Sausalito

Slightly reminiscent of a Bay Area freeway during the holiday season, the ID-35s converge at the mark.

While most Bay Area residents spent Sunday trimming Christmas trees, putting up lights and dashing from one sale to the next, a substantial contingent of diehard sailors were out on the water, participating in the Richmond YC and Sausalito YC Midwinters.

With barely enough breeze to ripple the water, the J/105s glide west.

Although conditions were extremely mild, there was just enough wind to keep the chutes filled and boats moving. For complete results, see www.syconline.org and www.richmondyc.org.

Virtually tip-toeing on the bow so as not to upset Blue J's momentum, a crewman prepares to set the pole.

Adding color to an otherwise dull day, a mixed fleet pulls away from Angel Island.
Photos Latitude/Andy

Latitude Needs Your Help!

December 5 - Mill Valley

About every 25 years we think it's important to poll our readers to make sure we're being responsive to your needs and wishes. As such, we're interested in which three of the following features are your favorites in Latitude 38 - and which three are your least favorite. For the purposes of this survey, you can only pick three of each:

1. Calendar
2. Letters
3. Responses to Letters
4. Loose Lips
5. Sightings
6. Feature Articles on Local And California Cruising
7. Feature Articles on Foreign Cruising
8. Feature Articles on Local Races
9. Feature Articles on International Races
10. Latitude Interviews
11. Max Ebb
12. The Charter Section
13. The Racing Sheet
14. Changes In Latitudes
15. Classy Classifieds
16. The Display Ads

Remember, you only get to pick three. However, we're also interested in whatever comments you might have. And don't hold back with the negative comments, because we've got tissues at the ready. But please keep your comments brief.
Email the results to Richard.

Mike Slade's Leopard of London First ARC Boat to Finish

December 5 - St. Lucia

For the second year in a row, Brit Mike Slade's R/P 92 Leopard of London, this time under charter to a group of Russians, was the first boat to finish the 20th annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean. Their time, quite pedestrian thanks to Tropical Storm Delta and light winds, was 14 days, 17 hours. According to skipper Chris Sherlock, the eight crew had an unusual watch schedule - one hour on, seven hours off. And they hand-steered most of the way.

Acaia Cube, a Farr Nauta 80DS, the second boat to cross the finish line, accepted their rum punches while still offshore - then tacked around to get their butts up to Antigua. Had they stopped even briefly, they would have missed their flights home. Nobody expected an ARC to be so slow.

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