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Photo of the Day

June 7 - San Francisco

Photo Latitude/Herb

Today's Photo of the Day shows the happy crew of the Santana 35 Spirit of Elvis during a momentary lull in the action last Friday evening during South Beach YC's beer can series sailed to the south of the Bay Bridge. About 40 boats enjoyed a range of conditions - from stiff westerlies to flat calms - before the breeze finally settled in just in time for a radiant sunset.

With a stationary high settled in over the eastern Pacific, the extended forecast calls for nothing but great sailing weather through the weekend and beyond. Elvis may have left the building, but it appears he's having a great time on the Bay. About time you took in a few 'Biue Horizons' of your own, don't you think?

For what it's worth, it's 41 degrees in Newport, Rhode Island, today. It's lucky when you live in California.


Geronimo Expected from Yokohama on Friday or Saturday

June 7 - San Francisco Bay

With less than 1,000 miles left to go to San Francisco from Japan, Olivier de Kersauson's maxi trimaran is expected to sail beneath the Golden Gate Bridge sometime between Friday and Sunday. So if you're out this weekend and nearly get run down by a 120-ft trimaran doing 25 knots, you'll know who to blame.
Geronimo is currently two days ahead of the current record of 14 days, 17 hours, set by Bruno Peyron with the 82-ft catamaran Explorer. The French trimaran covered 435 miles in the past 24 hours, but may be slowed by high pressure, making the time of her arrival uncertain.

It hasn't been a pleasure cruise. For one thing, the winds haven't been steady in force or direction, and as one might have expected on such a route, they've hardly seen the sun. De Kersauson has also been bothered by the junk they've seen on the passage. "A bit disheartening to see, there is a lot of junk floating around. Palettes, huge seawall defenses, life rafts, 20-liter cans half full of water, blocks of wood, etc., etc. Not a watch goes by without us coming within 100 meters of flotsam and jetsam, which would damage the hull if we hit it. It's really sad to see all this rubbish, and it seems to be unintentional. The direct consequence of the huge increase in sea traffic, out of all these objects, there appear to be more that have been washed away by the seas rather than thrown there by man. The trash in the water only adds to the malaise of the tiny moon being unable to shine through the clouds. To brighten my day and the experience of the crew, I am dreaming of a sunrise."

Tragedy off Point Reyes Yesterday

June 7 - Point Reyes

An 18-year-old crewman, yet to be identified by the Coast Guard, went overboard from the 29-ft sailboat Fat Chance 35 miles west of Pt. Reyes and drowned yesterday morning. The skipper issued a mayday at 7:32 a.m. after his engine failed during a rescue attempt. The Coasties immediately dispatched a helicopter, two patrol boats, and a cutter to search for the victim. Unfortunately, critical time was lost when Fat Chance's radio failed, making it all the more difficult for the Coasties to locate the boat or the crewmember. The helicopter finally spotted Fat Chance at 9:08 a.m. after the skipper activated the boat's EPIRB, but the crewmember wasn't located until a little after noon, by then three miles to the northwest of Fat Chance.

The Coast Guard has yet to release the hailing port of the boat, the skipper's name, or where it was headed.

Tragedy Narrowly Avoided off Redwood City after Hobie Cat Breaks Up

June 7 - Redwood City

In happier news, two teenage boys from Redwood City were found safe and sound after their Hobie overturned and broke up in the South Bay on Monday afternoon. Eric Anderson, 15, and Mark Lazzaro, 16, both members of the Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation, and both good swimmers, were sailing near the Dumbarton Bridge when high winds and surf capsized their small cat at about 3 p.m. A massive search, which included three Coast Guard boats, two helicopters, jet skis, an airboat, and a number of volunteer boats, covered the area under and around the bridge searching for the boys, but only led to the recovery of the broken pieces of their Hobie Cat. After about four hours in the water, Anderson and Lazzaro - who had both been wearing PFDs - made it ashore at Bayfront. Both were treated for mild hypothermia, but were reported to otherwise be in good condition.

Had the boys been carrying a cell phone or VHF in a waterproof pouch, a lot of worry might have been avoided and money been saved.

Nauticat 33 Abandoned off Costa Rica Spotted off Hawaii

June 7 - Hawaii

Walter Teper was off Costa Rica aboard his Nauticat 33 Chaton de Foi in early December, when rough weather and an engine failure prompted him to abandon ship. Fast forward six months to Monday afternoon, and Chaton de Foi - Kitten of Faith - was spotted drifting about three miles off Hawaii's Big Island, more than 4,500 miles from where Teper abandoned her.

Chaton de Foi looks as though she's been 'rode hard and put away wet' - which is not surprising for a sailboat that was 'no-handed' from Costa Rica to Hawaii.
Photo Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

"He just about passed out," USCG Chief Petty Officer Marsha Delaney said of Teper's reaction when he was notified. "We understand he's looking into salvage costs and the possibility of coming to Hawaii and claiming the boat."

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