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Photos of the Day

December 15 - Mexico

Paul and Susan Mitchell in the Chagos

Today's Photo of the day is of Paul and Susan Mitchell, who are originally from San Diego, but who have been sailing around the world for the last - get this! - 24 years. They started out in 1982 aboard their 70-ft overall, 58-ft on-deck Alden staysail schooner White Cloud, a boat they'd owned for eight years. Six years later, while in the Coral Sea, White Cloud was knocked down by a rogue wave and had to be abandoned. Undaunted, the couple made their way to Australia, where in 1989 they purchased the 36-ft steel cutter Elenoa. They spent 10 more years in the Pacific on that boat, and nearly 10 more slowly making their way to Mexico via Southeast Asia, South Africa and the Panama Canal.

Photos Courtesy the Mitchells

The thing that strikes us about the couple is how youthful, relaxed and healthy they look. Maybe the cruising life is even better for you than we thought.

We're delighted to report that we'll be conducting a lengthy interview with the Mitchells that will appear in Latitude 38 this spring. We can only imagine the stories they have to tell!

- latitude / rs


Christmas Ships Ahoy!

December 15 - San Francisco Bay Area

If Steve and Clare Waterloo's Cal 40 Shaman got Second Place in the sailboat category in the Oakland/Alameda Estuary Lighted Boat Parade, just imagine how the First Place boat glowed!

This is the last weekend to catch the area's lighted boat parades, so if the rain kept you home last weekend, you'll just have to suck it up and brave the forecasted showers - or wait till next year. St. Francis YC will host one along the Cityfront tonight while Loch Lomond YC in San Rafael and San Leandro Marina will be hosting their own parades tomorrow.

- latitude / ld

Greg and Kathy Jones turned Paradise Found in to a spectacular floating train wreck, earning them top honors in the powerboat category.
Photos Charles Hodgkins

Itsy Bitsy Burqini

December 15 - Sydney, Australia

In an effort to break down religious barriers years in the making, the Australian government has recruited 18 young Muslim men and women to train as Surf Lifesavers, iconic volunteer lifeguards who have patrolled Australia's beaches for 100 years wearing their little red and yellow swim caps and not much more. But Muslim women take their modesty very seriously so your typical Baywatch uniform just won't do.

Enter Sydney-based Muslim designer Aheda Zanetti. Understanding the difficulty her 'sisters' have in finding suitably modest clothing for most sports, especially swimming, Zanetti designed what she's dubbed the Burqini (Burqa + Bikini = Burqini). Made of quick-drying UV-protected material, Burqinis are catching on quickly Down Under, and not only in Muslim crowds. Many non-Muslim women are slipping into Burqinis to counter UV rays or to just cover their less-than-favorite assets.

The next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover model, perhaps?
Photo Courtesy www.ahiida.com

But don't worry, guys. While we're glad Muslim women now have swimwear options, it's unlikely very many Burqini-clad bods will be showing up on the beaches of Southern California, especially considering a big rise in boob-jobs is predicted now that the FDA has lifted its 14-year ban on silicone implants.

- latitude / ld

McNeil and Rutherford to Restore Victorian Classic

December 15 - Newport, RI

Launched in 1885, the 133-ft schooner Coronet is considered to be the last-remaining grand yacht of the Victorian era. For decades, nautical history aficionados have been hoping to miraculously find the funds and expertise to restore her to her former glory.

That minor miracle has just happened, as Bay Area biotech venture capitalist Bob McNeil (and a group of unnamed others) officially took ownership of Coronet at a ceremony in Newport Wednesday, with intentions of completely restoring the famous schooner to her former glory. She was previously owned and stored at the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport.

Jeff Rutherford of Rutherford Boat Works, who has successfully refurbished at least two other McNeil classics, the 1911 Herreshoff P class sloop Joyant and the 1901 steam yacht Cangarda, will oversee the massive Coronet refit, spending three weeks a month in Newport for the foreseeable future.

Total cost of the restoration is estimated to be between $12 and 15 million. When completed, however, McNeil intends to sail her actively internationally. See the January issue of Latitude 38 for a more in-depth story.

- latitude / aet

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