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Photos of the Day

November 17 - Los Frailes, BCS

Today's two Photos of the Day are from John Thompson, who is crewing aboard the Tiburon-based Ericson 39 Calou that belongs to the Powell family of Tiburon. We'll let him explain:

"About 30 boats at Los Frailes had an impromptu giant bonfire potluck party on the beach last night, and reminisced about the recently completed Baja Ha-Ha. The partying continues, as we and many of the other Ha-Ha boats make their way north to La Paz. Tonight there are another 20 or so boats anchored in what's reported to be extremely calm conditions at Los Muertos, a little to the north. It's so calm here that we will stay another day before making the last push to La Paz. By the way, the free wireless/satellite Internet access in the bay can't be beat, especially given that there is just one restaurant here and no town."

Photos John Thompson

Looks rather pleasant down there for a mid-November, doesn't it? For what it's worth, at this time last year the northbound Ha-Ha boats were hunkered down in Frailes and Muertos because of strong northerlies.

- latitude / rs


Tsunami Spanks Crescent City

November 17 - Crescent City

An 8.1-magnitude earthquake off the Kuril Islands just north of Japan on Wednesday was immediately followed by a tsunami warning, sending thousands of Japanese residents racing for high ground. The waves that crashed ashore a few hours later measured a whopping 16-inches high.

Unfortunately, Crescent City, just south of the Oregon state line, didn't get off so easy. Residents thought the small surge that rolled through the harbor around noon - nine hours after the quake - was the worst they would see, so it came as a bit of a surprise when, two hours later, water started running out of the harbor at an alarming rate. But instead of the large wave onlookers feared, a 6-ft surge flowed the water back in like a massive river, a pattern that repeated for the next few hours, destroying two of the town's docks and severely damaging a third. Several boats broke loose from the docks but none sank. Luckily, no one was injured but damages are estimated at $700,000.

The Gloucester 22 Khora found itself perched atop a Crescent City dock after a tsunami surged through the harbor.

Similar surges were reported as far south as Port San Luis, tearing boats from their moorings but otherwise leaving the rest of the coast relatively unscathed.

- latitude / ld

Advertisement: Coast Guard Licensing in Sausalito

November 17 - Sausalito

Modern Sailing Academy will be offering a licensing course for the OUPV ('Six Pack') and 100-ton Master license in Sausalito starting on January 6.

The classes will take place on weekends and weeknights - click here for details: http://modernsailing.com/oupv.html or call Mollie Hagar at (800) 995-1668.

Singlehanded Sailor Abandons His Sinking Boat near San Benitos Island

November 17 - Coast of Baja

According to Roy Rose, skipper of a San Diego-based Royal Polaris commercial sportfishing boat, last Monday night singlehanded sailor R.T. Osborn of Portland, a retired steelworker, discovered his Balboa 35 taking on water 35 miles from San Benitos Island. That island is about 150 miles south of San Diego.

Osborn was reportedly on his way to La Paz with all his possessions. But when his bilge pumps were unable to keep up with the inflow of water, he issued a Mayday. Although there were three boats in the area, the Royal Polaris was the only one to respond. When it was clear the boat was not going to make it, Captain Rose instructed Osborn to put on his survival suit if he had one, and gather his most important possessions. According to Rose, Osborn grabbed his wallet and a box of cigars, and was rescued in good health and without further incident.

- latitude / rs

Bullimore Still Missing

November 17 - Hobart, Tasmania

There's still no word from Tony Bullimore and his delivery crew aboard Doha 2006. In Wednesday's 'Lectronic, we reported that the boat hasn't been heard from since early last week, and is overdue in Hobart. Bullimore's shore crew, still unfazed by the situation, has analyzed the latest weather charts and adjusted the boat's ETA for sometime next week. It is suspected that Bullimore is stuck under a high pressure system 500-1,000 miles west of Cape Leeuwin.

"Without communications, Tony cannot pick up the weather forecasts so can only work from their barometer reading and the feel of any seaweed they have onboard," says team coordinator Barry Pickthall. "For the present, we are not unduly worried about the situation, which we believe to be a simple case of lack of power onboard the boat. We are keeping a listening watch and hope the crew will get fresher winds shortly to carry them towards port."

- latitude / ss

Hurricane Sergio Not Quite Dead Yet

November 17 - Coast of Mainland Mexico

Tropical Storm Sergio
Graphic Courtesy National Weather Service

The rare November Hurricane Sergio continues to hover about 220 miles southwest of Acapulco, but thanks to the persistent shear of upper level southwesterly winds, has dropped down to tropical force, with sustained 55-knot winds and gusts to 65 knots. Most computer models predict the relatively stagnant storm will continue to weaken, but nonetheless move to the northwest, meaning there's a slight chance it might affect Cabo and/or La Paz four or five days from now. You want to monitor the situation but not worry about it.

- latitude / rs

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