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Photo of the Day

September 8 - Mystery Spot

Today's Photo of the Day is also today's Mystery of the Day. From where was this lovely photo taken, and of what race is it? Keep reading to get the answers.

- latitude / rs


Hurricane John More Destructive than Reported

September 8 - La Paz and Puerto Escondido, Mexico

While the damage from last weekend's Hurricane John in Baja wasn't anywhere near as bad as it could have been, we've gotten reports that it hit La Paz harder than others have told us.

"Hurricane John wasn't all that gentle in La Paz, reports John Rodriguey of Mastra, "as I know of seven boats damaged in boatyards and several boats aground at the magote, and I watched two boats pull their dock cleats out at Marina Costa Baja. John arrived at about 2:00 Saturday morning, bringing winds close to 90 mph from the north. At about 3:15 a.m. the eye was directly over us, bringing a calm which allowed some re-tying of lines. At a little after 4:00 a.m. the wind turned from the southeast and roared again at close to 100 mph until about 6:00 a.m. All of the Sea side of Baja California Sur is a mess. I just drove from La Paz to Cabo and witnessed the after effects of this hurricane. Many towns are still without power and water, and road reconstruction I'm sure will take months. I know it wasn't as bad as some hurricanes, or even as bad as predicted earlier, but it was a scene I'd not like to repeat."

From Catharine Cooper on Mulege: "The town of Mulege about halfway up the east coast of Baja suffered major damage. The river rose 18 feet in six hours, and one American was killed. At 4:00 a.m. folks ran for their lives with only their shoes - no food, water, power, phones or anything for 36 hours. Right now rescue efforts are being cobbled together by Rotary Clubs, the Flying Samaritans, Flying Doctors, Baja Nomads, and so forth. Everybody's help is needed."

Damage in Mulege
Photos Catharine Cooper

From Vickey Plett of Inspiration at Sea at Marina Palmira in La Paz: "The dock we're on took most of the hit, but everyone took extra care, so we came through quite well.

Three boats down in one yard, but it looks as if all may have escaped catastrophic damage.

A nearby boat partially falls over, crossing rigs with Palio.
Photos Vickey Plett

Connie Sunlover reports from Puerto Escondido that "There is not a dirty boat in the harbor," as John brought 22 inches of rain. Tortuga was the only boat to go ashore, but was pulled off with little damage. Two other boats bumped, but with just minor damage to a solar panel. For photos of the much greater damage to roads and such, see the photos at www.hiddenportyachtclub.com.

temporarily ended up on the beach.
Photo Connie Sunlover

We regret if we gave anyone the wrong impression of the damage caused by Hurricane John. We tried to make it clear that "boating interests" suffered extremely slight damage, especially when compared to Marty and others. The devastation to roads and land-based communities was much more severe, and they can use all the help you can give them. On the other hand, Hurricane John will have almost no effect whatsoever on the cruising in Mexico this winter.

- latitude / rs

Advertisement: Offshore Passagemaking in Tahiti with John Connolly

September 8 - Sausalito

Sailors from around the world dream of enjoying the clear blue waters and warm winds of Tahiti. This is an offshore passage trip from Tahiti to the Tuomotus. It's truly a unique experience!  

For qualifying students, both legs offer the ASA Offshore Passagemaking certification. Both legs begin and end in Raiatea with stops in Bora Bora.
Leg One: Sept. 23 - Oct. 5, 2006 - 1 berth open
Leg Two: Oct. 8 - Oct. 20, 2006 - 2 berths open

Email Mollie at Modern Sailing for more information.

Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty in Murders of Yachties

September 8 - Santa Ana

Skylar Julius Deleon, 27, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 41, accused of murdering yachties Thomas and Jackie Hawkes of the 55-ft trawler Well-Deserved in November of 2004, will be facing the death penalty. You'll remember the Hawkes had come back from a cruise to Mexico and had put their boat up for sale in Newport Beach. Deleon and Kennedy, posing as potential buyers, allegedly bound the couple together during a 'test sale', attached them to an anchor, and threw them overboard. Their goal was to gain control of title to the yacht and the couple's $1 million in assets. The long postponed trial is slated to begin next year. Deleon has also been accused of trying to hire someone to murder his father to prevent him from testifying.

- latitude / rs

A Grisly Victory in the Windjammers Race

September 8 - Santa Cruz

Lani Spund's Santa Cruz-based Santa Cruz 52 Kokopelli 2 took corrected-time honors over 42 other boats in last weekend's 65th San Francisco to Santa Cruz Windjammers Race, but, reports crewman Tim Stapleton, it wasn't the most joyous of victories.

"It was the first ocean race for my 10-year-old son Haydon, and everybody was congratulating him on his first sail beneath the Gate when we spotted a body floating face down 10 yards away. The boat's crew has hundreds of thousands of ocean miles, and none of them had seen a body in the water before, yet my son Haydon sees one after just 50 yards into the ocean. It was unpleasant for everyone, of course, but my son seemed to suffer the most. It wasn't until Año Nuevo, when we finally set the chute, that he returned to normal."

Kokopelli temporarily dropped out of the race until the Coast Guard could be summoned. If you talk to Coasties stationed at Horseshoe Cove near the bridge, they'll all tell you their most unpleasant job is having to recover the bodies of people who have jumped off the Golden Gate.

Elapsed time honors in the slow Windjammers went to Bill Turpin's 78-ft R/P Scout Spirit.

- latitude / rs

September's Free and Ready

September 8 - Mill Valley

As we mentioned in Wednesday's 'Lectronic, the September e-Book edition will be free, as we're not yet prepared to take subscriptions. It's available for reading now, so check it out at www.latitude38.com/ebooks.html - and while you're there you can get caught up on May through August too.

- latitude / cw

Today's Mystery Spot Photo

September 8 - Honolua Bay, Maui, HI

The photo is of the start of the Hawaii YC's 63rd Annual Lahaina Return Race, from Maui to Honolulu. The 70-mile downwind event is the Labor Day classic in the Islands that signifies the end of the season - as if the season ever really ends in those tropical climes. It's a wonder anybody showed up for this year's event, as last year it blew 40 knots and there were huge seas - resulting in three dismastings, three failed rudders, and according to Tim Dick, "more keels in the air than imaginable." The year before that there wasn't any wind. This year, however, Dick reports that the conditions were perfect:

"The easterly 8-14 knot breeze favored the spectacular North Shore of Molokai route against the highest - 4,000 feet - sea cliffs in the world. It also favored the smaller and lighter boats, as there wasn't any surfing until almost the Diamond Head finish line. Noa, the J/105 from Lahaina, sailed a perfect tactical and boatspeed race to win, with the Doyle brothers on the 1D-35 Two Guys on the Edge taking second. The Sonoma 30 Cowabunga took first in PH-B, and Manju won the three-boat multihull class."

- latitude / rs

Melissa Mac Garrett, foredeck crew of the Beneteau 42s7 Eau De Vie, enjoys this year's ideal conditions.

Gwenne Sue, a regular aboard Eau De Vie, at the helm
Photos Tim Dick

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