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Photo of the Day

February 24 - Panama

Photo John Haste

Today's Photo of the Day answers today's Question of the Day, which is, can sloths swim? John Haste, of the San Diego-based Perry 52 cat Little Wing, and his young Colombian sweetheart Sugey were anchored out in Panama when they came across this sloth hanging from the trampoline of their cat. The only way the sloth could have gotten there is by swimming - or operating an outboard-powered inflatable. We're buying the former explanation.

We're not sure why, but sloths, which are found in Central America, spend most of their lives hanging upside down from tree branches. They eat, sleep, mate, and even give birth upside down. Sloths are about the size of a cat, but unlike the felines, are among the slowest moving of all animals. Not only that, they sleep about 18 hours a day. So if somebody calls you a sloth, they weren't being complimentary.

A Not-so-Pleasant Clearing Experience at Ensenada

February 24 - Ensenada, Baja California

"On Saturday, February 4, 2006, at about 4:00 p.m., I arrived with my boat at Coral Marina and Hotel, from San Diego, with a previously made reservation," writes David Stephens. "The marina staff was very helpful during the check-in process. 'Fito', the marina manager, told me that if I didn't mind, it would be a "good idea" to come to the office early on Monday morning, to obtain paperwork to go to Immigration, Customs, etc. Fito said that if Monday morning was not convenient, Tuesday morning would be just as good. I declined the latter offer.

"When I arrived at Migración on Monday morning, the gentleman was furious with me for not coming in on Saturday or Sunday. I apologized and tried to explain the situation in my best 'gringo Spanish', noting that I had tried to bring everything that I needed from San Diego - including a six-month visa, a fishing license, and insurance. But nothing availed. Finally, the Migración man refused to process my paperwork saying, in essence, that since I seemed to prefer dealing with the Coral Hotel, I should have the hotel process my application. At that point, I asked him if his refusal meant that I had to leave Mexico that very day. In response, he telephoned the marina manager and began bawling him out.

"Finally, after about five minutes on the telephone, the Migración man consented to process my paperwork, stating that he had no problem with me. When I later spoke to Fito, the manager, he said that he had told me to go on Monday because the bank and one or the other of the offices were closed on the weekend; and that he was going to file a complaint about the Migración man.

"The obvious moral is that when arriving at Ensenada, if it is within business hours, go directly to Migración. Do not pass 'Go' or wait to collect $200 or you will have problems - and an unasked for form of verbal retro surgery."

They Are Building Them Where?

February 24 - Tunisia

Tunisia, you know, the North African country just south of Malta that declared independence from France in 1956 and has practiced a relatively moderate brand of Islam ever since. The 'them' are Kurt Hughes 48s, which the Seattle multihull designer says are being built to go to market against the Morrelli & Melvin-based Gunboat 48s that are built in South Africa. Hughes says that his designs are wider overall and will have bigger cabins. We asked him how much they cost and who is building them, but got no response. Try emailing him for more information.

Photos Courtesy Kurt Hughes

The St. Barth Bucket Is Sold Out

February 24 - St. Barth

The modern Visione racing alongside the traditional Cambria in St. Barth

If you've got a nice sailboat over 100 feet that you'd like to race in the St. Barth Bucket March 30-April 2, you're out of luck, because the event is oversubscribed this year. There just won't be any room left in tiny Gustavia Harbor for your boat, too. Here's a list of boats slated to participate:

Altair, 118-ft Fife; Antara, 151-ft Perini Navi; Atlanta, 118-ft Dubois; Avalon, 108-ft Holland; Boo Too, 92-ft Holland; Destination Fox Harbor, 130-ft Dubois; Endeavour, 135-ft J Class by Camper-Nicholson; Freedom of Flight, 124-ft S&S; Ghost, 122-ft Vitters; Helious, 122-ft Dubois; Knickerbocker, 118-ft S&S; Metolius, 84-ft Frers; Paraiso, 126-ft Fontaine; Parsifal, 178-ft Perini Navi; Ranger, 137-ft J Class; Rebecca, 141-ft Frers; Ripple, 101-ft Holland; Rogue, 103-ft Trehard; Rosehearty, 184-ft Perini-Navi; Sapphire, 105-ft Hoek; Seaquell, 112-ft Dubois; Sojana, 115-ft Farr; Symmetry, 96-ft Frers; Unfurled, 112-ft Frers; Victoria of Strathearn, 132-ft Langan; Visione, 148-ft R/P; Whisper, 116-ft Fontaine; Windrose, 152-ft Dijkstra schooner; and Zingaro, 112-ft S&S.

The 137-ft J Class Ranger appears to be converging with a fleet of Lasers.

The Bucket is a tremendous sight, so if we were chartering a boat out of St. Martin March 30-April 2, we'd make sure we had good viewing angles on the water, and took the time to walk the docks before and after the racing.

Gustavia Harbor during the Bucket
Photos Latitude/Richard

Engine Seminar Returns to KKMI Tomorrow

February 24 - Pt. Richmond

The folks at KKMI wanted us to let you know that they'll be having a free (check for details) Diesel Engine Maintenance Seminar in the KKMI Boathouse in Pt. Richmond, tomorrow (Saturday, February 25), starting at 9 a.m. Call (510) 235-5564 for info and to reserve your space, or see www.kkmi.com.

Mike Haley shares some of his 35 years of engine experience with boat owners.
Photo Paul Kaplan

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