Photo of the Day
March 17 - Marigot Bay, St. Martin, FWI
Photo Devan Mullin
Today's Photo of the Day is of the marina at Marigot Bay, St. Martin, French West Indies, and was taken by Devan Mullin of Newport Beach. To our thinking, it shows just how different the French and American mentalities are. When viewed from directly above, it sort of looks like Janet Jackson's famous nipple shield - hole in the center with spokes radiating out in six directions.
To the French, it no doubt looks very cool and unusual. To Americans, it screams of a stupid use of space - and therefore a big loss of income.
For what it's worth, the unusual shape of the marina means it's not the most user-friendly in the world, so it's often not as full as the owners probably wish it would be.
"We Chose Latitude 38 as Our Bible"
March 17 - South Lake Tahoe
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Photo Courtesy the Maninas
"First of all, let me tell you how much we really like your rag/mag," write Mitch and Laura Manina of South Lake Tahoe. "Okay, we'll admit that we're addicted! Living in Lake Tahoe makes it somewhat of a challenge to get a copy, but we need a fix at the beginning of each month, so we always manage to find one.
"Laura and I were recently married by our friend Capt./Minister Russ Norda aboard his boat on the lake. We chose Latitude 38 as our 'bible'. We slipped our vows in and away we went. Here's a sample of our vows:
"Do you both promise to share all responsibilities on your boat, including but not limited to hoisting the main, varnishing, diving for the anchor, and scraping the bottom?"
And my favorite: "Do you, Mitch, promise to take full responsibilities as Captain?"
"Do you, Laura, promise to give Mitch permission to be captain?"
As far as our honeymoon goes, we plan on joining the Baja Ha-Ha this year to start an open-ended honeymoon."
We're flattered and dumbfounded at the same time - and hope you have a wonderfully happy sailing life together.
By the way, thanks to dramatic improvements in software and technology, before long we expect to have entire issues of Latitude 38 available on the Web at the start of each month. The issues will appear just as in print, so there won't be any scrolling required. All the photos and all the ads will be included. Indeed, the photo reproduction will be even better than in print. So if you're anchored out in Zihua with wireless Internet access, you'll be able to download the entire issue of Latitude in just a couple of minutes and keep it forever. It will probably cost a couple of bucks, but the convenience should be worth it.
In fact, if any of you are Zinio experts out there, we'd like to hear from you.
Tahiti Pearl Regatta Showcases Leeward Isles
March 17 - Raiatea, French Polynesia
The annual Tahiti Pearl Regatta concluded Sunday with a booming 20-mile beat from the tranquil lagoon of Tahaa to the equally tranquil lagoon of Huahine, with a rowdy stretch of open water in between.
It was a fitting conclusion to this four-day 'fun' regatta, which saw a full gamut of wind and sea conditions: from 2 to 30 knots of breeze, from flat seas to 6-ft swells, from brilliant blue skies to ominous black squalls.
It's not surprising that the regatta is little known to Americans, as this is the first year that its local organizers have begun promoting it internationally. In addition to local French Polynesians racing on a wide variety of monohulls and multihulls, teams from New Zealand, New Caledonia, France and Japan flew out to join the fun, racing aboard bareboats ranging from 38 to 52 feet.
Beginning with an inside-the-lagoon warm-up race last Thursday at Raiatea, the fleet then raced to Bora Bora, then to Tahaa, and finally to Huahine.
Sailing in light air inside the Raiatea lagoon, the 31-boat fleet skirts a well-marked reef.
At the start of the Bora Bora race, the
fleet was serenaded by traditional Tahitian music.
The downwind Bora Bora race started with light winds, built to a moderate breeze, then ended in a slow crawl to the finish.
We're happy to report that the Tahitian government and tourist board intend to actively promote the expansion of this regatta, and will be offering a free bareboat and international flights to one lucky American team next spring. Stay tuned for details, and see our complete report on the Tahiti Pearl Regatta in the pages of Latitude 38.
Yacht Restoration School Opening in Sausalito
March 17 - Sausalito
Photo William S. Wells
The Myron Spaulding Wooden Boat Center of Sausalito has joined forces with the prestigious International Yacht Restoration School of Newport, RI, and announced plans to open a West Coast campus in 2007. The school will initially offer a two-year program in yacht restoration, adding individual Continuing Education courses down the line. Check out the upcoming issue of Latitude 38 for the full scoop.
Raising Money for Olympic Sailing Campaigns and Talking About the Volvo
March 17 - San Francisco
Marin's Paul Cayard, intrepid skipper of Pirates of the Caribbean in the Volvo Race, was one of the auctioneers - along with Russ Silvestri, Bob Billingham, and Ron Young - at last night's St. Francis YC fund-raiser for aspiring Olympic sailors. While the event was all about the Olympics, naturally there was a lot of interest in the Volvo. According to Young, Cayard told him:
- That he hasn't been spooked by the controversial boats, which he's found exhilarating, and, in fact, is having a really great time.
- That although now in his late 40s, and eight years older then when he skippered the winning boat when the event was known at the Whitbread, he feels "as fit as all get out." He's lost about 10 pounds on the race, not that he needed to.
Cayard is pictured here giving a media interview upon arriving in Rio de Janeiro at the finish of the last leg.
Photo Martin Stockbridge/www.volvooceanrace.org
- The fastest they've clocked on Pirates is 39 knots, but he's pretty sure they've hit 40 because at the highest speeds the knotmeter often comes out of the water.
- The fastest point of sail is not downwind under spinnaker because the wave periods aren't long enough for extended surfing, but rather reaching in upwards of 25 knots of wind with a #4, staysail, and reefed main. In those conditions, sailing for long periods of time in excess of 25 knots is commonplace.
- When hit by green water at such speeds, it's like being blasted by a three-foot diameter firehose.
- The keel cants as much as 45 degrees, so when combined with the boat heeling another 20 degrees, the keel is sometimes 65 degrees from vertical. With the six-ton 'geek' hanging out there at the end of the 1.5 blade, it torques like crazy.
Young said that he and Cayard had a laugh remembering that it was exactly 20 years ago when the St. Francis YC's Golden Gate Challenge, with Tom Blackaller as skipper and Cayard as navigator, introduced the first boat with a canard (forward rudder), a concept now used on all Volvo entries and many other racing boats. The canard provides lift; today's canting keels provide stability.
The top auction item of the fund-raiser is time aboard Tom Perkins' soon-to-be-launched 287-ft Maltese Falcon in the South of France. Call the St. Francis YC if you want to bid, but don't delay.
Anybody Headed to Puerto Vallarta Early Next Week?
March 17 - Mill Valley
All the gear needed to provide high-speed Internet access to the anchorage at Punta Mita, Banderas Bay, is ready to go. If someone can take it down early next week, Radio Rob can probably have the system up and running in time for the March 27 founder's meeting of the Punta Mita Yacht & Surf Club, and the March 28 Pirates for Pupils Spinnaker Run from Punta Mita to Paradise Marina. Gracias.