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Photos of the Day

November 15 - Turtle Bay, BCS

Today's Photo of the Day is courtesy of Jim Hosie of the Folsom-based Catalina 42 Renaissance, who, along with some of his crew, was good enough to show the Baja Ha-Ha fleet at Turtle Bay how not to make a dinghy landing through the surf. The thing everyone should take note of is that it's not hard to take your dinghy vertical even if the surf is just two or three feet high. A sailor for just a few months, the good-natured Hosie took the most spectacular dinghy dumping we've ever seen in good stride.

More seriously, dinghy landings through the surf have the potential to be deadly, particularly if the dinghy is powered by an outboard. As such, we'll have a feature on dinghy surf-landings in the December issue of Latitude 38, which will come out on Thursday, November 30.

Photos Latitude/JR

While normally not quite as dangerous, you've got to think before taking your dinghy out through the surf also. If you're a guy, and your wife has just gotten her hair done and picked up all the laundry, you never want to find yourself in a 'surf squall' such as seen in the second photo.

- latitude / rs


Sergio Reaches Hurricane Strength

November 15 - Mainland Mexico

A rare November hurricane has formed about 600 miles SSE of Cabo and about 350 miles south of Acapulco. Sergio is only barely a hurricane and only in a very small area. Nonetheless, he is expected to move north by some experts and due east by others. The accompanying graphic shows the current NOAA prediction for the possibility of tropical storm force winds - meaning to 35 knots - over the next 120 hours in various areas. As you can see, the chances of cruising areas being hit is low, but common sense dictates that Sergio be monitored carefully and that everyone know where their best nearest shelter would be. It also means that everybody should be waxing up their boards, because there is going to be some good surfing.

Graphic Courtesy National Weather Service

When Profligate and a number of other Baja Ha-Ha boats departed Cabo San Lucas for Puerto Vallarta on Sunday, the prediction was for up to 25 knots on the nose about halfway through the 300-mile passage. According to Doña de Mallorca, they got nada and had to motor all the way.

- latitude / rs

Kostecki Named to 2008-09 VOR Team

November 15 - Stockholm, Sweden

Marin's John Kostecki will skipper the Ericsson Racing Team entry in the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race. Kostecki, whose resume includes skippering illbruck to a win in the 2001-02 VOR race, will play a key role in the team build-up, preparation, training and development throughout the race. Argentinean Juan Kouyoumdjian, who designed 2005-2006 VOR winner ABN Amro One and its sistership ABN Amro Two, has also been appointed to the team.

- latitude / ss

Monterey Dockmaster Missing

November 15 - Monterey

Christopher Haugen, the 47-year-old dockmaster of the Monterey Sailing School at Breakwater Cove, disappeared off the boat he was sailing in Monterey Bay Saturday afternoon and has yet to be found. Strong winds, choppy seas, oncoming darkness and a small craft warning didn't dissuade the experienced Haugen from taking his boss's 21-footer out around 5 p.m., but less than an hour later, Lorraine was spotted going in circles barely a quarter mile from shore with the motor running and no one aboard.

The Coast Guard immediately began searching for Haugen but called off the search Sunday afternoon, turning over the investigation to the Monterey Police Department. It's presumed he fell overboard while raising sail, though investigators are still treating it as a missing person case.

- latitude / ld

Bullimore Goes MIA

November 15 - Sydney, Australia

British ocean racer Tony Bullimore and a delivery crew aboard the 102-ft catamaran Doha 2006 are missing after failing to make contact with shore crew for more than a week. A report in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald has sparked headlines worldwide, though Team Bullimore's Web site says the shore team has not sounded any alarms. Bullimore left the Maldives on November 2 bound for Hobart, Tasmania, where he is starting his attempt to break Ellen MacArthur's 71-day round-the-world solo record.

Doha 2006 (the record-breaking ENZA New Zealand in a previous life) was due in Hobart on November 13. It's believed the boat's electrical system is preventing the use of their HF radio or satellite telephone. None of the three EPIRBs aboard have been activated. In 1997, Bullimore survived five days in the Southern Ocean after his boat capsized 500 miles from Antarctica. His rescue by the Australian Navy cost taxpayers a reported $6 million.

- latitude / ss

The Birth of an Island

November 15 - Tonga

Not many people get to say they were present for the birth of a new island, but Fredrik Fransson and his uncle Hakan Larsson now have bragging rights. The pair were delivering Fransson's CBN 36-ft Maiken from Brisbane Marina in San Francisco to Brisbane, Australia, when they encountered a raft of pumice so dense their speed dropped from 7 knots to 1 knot.

Rolling dunes of pumice can really wreck your speed, not to mention your gelcoat.

Being the curious types, Fransson and Larsson decided to check out an area of recent volcanic activity near Tonga and their curiosity paid off. On August 12, at about 18 degrees 15' 5" S 174 degrees 46' 3" W, they found a volcano had crested the surface of the ocean and was spewing smoke, ash and pumice.

Fransson and Larsson witnessed the birth of this new volcanic island near the northern Tongan island group of Vava'u.
Above Photos Courtesy Maiken

Recent satellite photos show the island, which is about one mile in diameter, is still above water, but scientists say pumice islands in that area erode quickly.

A satellite image of the new volcanic island shows hydrothermal activity, and, inset, how quickly it's eroding.
Satellite Photos Courtesy NOAA

We'll have a full report, and more amazing photos, in the December issue of Latitude 38.

- latitude/ld

We'd LIke to Shoot Your Skipper

November 15 - Alameda

Tonight's the night of the YRA Year End Trophy Party, held at Oakland YC in Alameda beginning at 6:30 p.m. If you're a winner and want to see your picture in our Season Champions features in the December issue of Latitude 38 (ODCA) or the January issue (WBRA), you would do well to be there so we can take your photo. And sorry, you bridesmaids, but we're looking for winners only, and our format allows for a head and shoulders shot of ONLY the winning skipper or two partners, not the whole crew. (Hey, he or she deserves some special treatment for putting up with the rest of you.)

What if you can't make it? You can send us a suitable photo, or we might make some other arrangement when we give you a call for your interview. (HDA and OYRA people are off the hook, since we already did you guys in the November issue.)

If none of that works, don't be surprised to see one of the following substitute skippers taking your place. Except for Dan Newland. That's really him 'watching the birdie.'

- latitude / jr

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