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Photos of the Day

May 3 - Puerto Escondido, BCS

Today's Photo of the Day is of Dolce Vita, the Belvedere-based Marquesas 56 owned by Mai Dolich, as seen at anchor last week at lovely Puerto Escondido, Baja Sur, Mexico. The Sierra Gigantica mountains that back the anchorage are spectacularly beautiful. Although you can't tell from the photo, they tower to nearly 5,000 feet within just miles of the anchorage. Puerto Escondido is the site of Loreto Fest, which begins this weekend. About 100 boats are expected.

The second shot is of Profligate, and was taken three days ago at the Agua Verde anchorage between La Paz and Loreto on the western shore of the Sea of Cortez. The water was Lake Tahoe clear in the little cove. For those who are keeping track, the water has just now become warm enough - 75 degrees - for comfortable swimming. In another month or two, it will be in the low to mid-80s. The water temperature in the Sea has what Neil Shroyer of Marina de La Paz calls a lag time. As such, it stays warm enough for pleasant swimming well into November and often December, but doesn't warm up again until May.

As most of you know, almost all of Baja is serious desert. To prove it, Doña de Mallorca poses next to a not at all unusually large cactus above the Aqua Verde anchorage.

Photos Latitude/Richard

We've just concluded a week-long cruise in the Sea of Cortez aboard Profligate - now bashing north - during which time we learned all kinds of interesting stuff. Not the least interesting and bizarre is, according to Elvin of the Puerto Escondido-based Western Sea - a plan by Fonatur, the Mexican tourist development agency, to place a 200-ft ferry converted to a fuel barge in the center of the San Jose Channel. It makes as much sense as if some branch of the U.S. government anchored a massive fuel barge halfway between Long Beach and Catalina. It's all part of the much-ballyhooed 'Nautical Stairway' which, as we predicted from the very beginning, isn't going to be a 'stairway' at all. We'll have much more in our Blog Of The Sea Of Cortez next month.


Gipsy Moth IV Grounded

May 3 - Rangiroa, French Polynesia

Gipsy Moth IV restored and ready for another adventure
Photo Courtesy National Maritime Museum London

Gipsy Moth IV, the 53-ft Nicholson Sir Francis Chichester used to sail into the record books and the hearts of young people the world over, ran aground this weekend just 150 miles from Tahiti. Skippered by 32-year-old Antonia Nicholson, the famous ketch was nine months into a circumnavigation as part of the Blue Water Rally when she struck a reef on the northwest side of Rangiroa Atoll, part of the Tuamotus Group, in French Polynesia. It's been reported that conditions were mild - calm seas and good visibility - when the boat grounded at 7:30 pm local time on Saturday. None of the six people aboard were injured, though the boat suffered some serious damage on her starboard side. A rescue effort is currently underway to safely pull her off the reef and tow her to Tahiti for repairs.

Sir Francis Chichester rounding Cape Horn

Since returning from her famous circumnavigation in 1967, Gipsy Moth IV had been mouldering in a concrete shrine, but she was given a second chance at life in 2004 when the UK Sailing Academy bought her for 1 pound and a gin and tonic. The group, in cooperation with Yachting Monthly and the Maritime Trust, spent the next year restoring Gipsy Moth IV to her original glory, relaunching her at Cowes Week. Their aim is to offer deserving teens the adventure of a lifetime on the legendary boat while educating kids through a video feed into every school in the UK .

Geronimo Seeks More Records

May 3 - Yokohama, Japan

Geronimo is on her way to yet another record.
Photo Kaoru Soheata

Not satisfied with breaking two long-standing records in recent days, Olivier de Kersauson is now attempting to set a benchmark record from Yokohama to Hong Kong. ODK and his crew blasted the records for San Francisco to Hawaii and San Francisco to Yokohama last week - both set by Steve Fossett aboard Lakota nearly a decade ago - arriving in Yokohama in just under 15 days. Eager for more record-setting, ODK sailed Geronimo (minus American navigator Larry Rosenfeld) out of Yokohama yesterday in overcast skies with 25 knot NNW winds. The winds are expected to build for the next few days, which will give Geronimo a nice push toward the finish line. At just 1,635 miles, this 'Challenge' seems more like a day sail - make that a four day sail, if Geronimo sees the 500-mile days she did on the way over.

Geronimo's planned route
Graphic Google Earth/Superyachting Challenge

Obtain Your Temporary Import Permit over the Internet?

May 3 - La Paz, BCS

Neil Shroyer of Marina de La Paz believes it's now possible, but we need somebody who is: 1) Headed to Mexico within the next six months, and 2) Bilingual, to confirm that it's possible.

If you fit the bill, go to www.banjercito.com.mx, follow the instructions. Last cruising season it became difficult to get the Ten Year Import Permits because the new procedure required paying money to the Army Bank, but there aren't Army Banks at all ports of entry.

A question for Mexico: Why don't you do everyone a big favor by publishing the instructions for getting such permits in English, the language used by most people who will be wanting them?

Anyone Done a Delta Charter?

May 3 - California Delta

With the arrival of spring, it's time for us to put together our annual Delta article, which we hope will be highly informative. With that in mind, we'd like to hear from any of you who have chartered a boat from the Central Bay and taken her on a Delta cruise. Please send your tips on Delta chartering and perhaps an amusing anecdote or two - plus digital photos, if you have them - to Andy. Many thanks.

Whether on your own boat, or one that you've chartered, Delta cruising can be great fun for the whole family.
Photos Latitude/John Arndt

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