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Photos of the Day: QM2 Arrives on the Bay

February 5 - San Francisco

Queen Mary 2 and her royal escort approach the Golden Gate Bridge.
Photo ©2007 Ed Broberg

Hundreds of boats swarmed the Bay yesterday to mark the arrival of the Queen Mary 2, the largest ocean liner to ever grace our waters. And the day could not have been more lovely. Warm temps combined with a light breeze allowed boats to sail in company with the behemoth as she passed under the Golden Gate Bridge - with just 27 feet of clearance.

The statuesque ocean liner just squeezes under the span.
Photo ©2007 Ed Broberg

The QM2 docked at Pier 27 after a 26-day, 14,145-mile passage from Fort Lauderdale and around Cape Horn. Nearly 2,000 of her 2,638 passengers disembarked, making room for another 2,000 guests to board before her departure tonight at 8 p.m. Her next port of call is Honolulu before continuing on her circumnavigation.

By the way, if you're thinking a luxury ocean liner might be the way you'd like to sail the world, you'd better be willing to shell out the big bucks. The cheapest cabin - we're guessing the closet-sized one next to the engine room - runs $21,000 while the most luxurious accommodations will set you back $185,000.

- latitude / ld


Play Misty for Me

February 5 - San Francisco

Crews on Absolute O2 and Q (background) concentrate on getting the most boatspeed in the light air of Saturday.
Photo ©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

A fleet of 60-some boats in eight classes turned out for the penultimate weekend of Golden Gate YC's Manuel Fagundes Seaweed Soup Regatta on Saturday. They were greeted with hazy skies and white-knuckle conditions; not from too much wind - like pretty much every midwinter race so far, the breeze barely got into double digits all day - but from a definite chill in what wind there was. The crew on many boats either stayed in the cockpit or sat on the low side as boats negotiated a light northwesterly and equally lightish ebb to complete their courses.

Stewball's crew demonstrate lowside hiking. The trick is to keep your feet dry.
Photo ©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Lunchtime on Merlin
Photo ©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Results of Satuday's race - as well as cumulative scores for the series so far - can be found at www.ggyc.com. The final race in the 36th annual series is scheduled for March 3.

- latitude / jr

Wind Dragon leads Mottley in the Catalina 34 class.
Photos Latitude/JR
Photo ©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Have You Been Around?

February 5 - Mill Valley

A few years ago, we started putting together a West Coast Circumnavigator's list. We thought it would be a short list ­ after all, limiting it to cruisers who started and ended their navigations on the West Coast . . . how many people could there really be? We even included Hawaii for fear that hardly anybody would respond.

Well, the list is now more than 160 names long and growing all the time. If you have 'been around' and are not on the list, we'd like to add your name, or the names of friends who are too modest to send in their own information. All we're asking for at this point are name(s), type of boat, length of boat, name of boat, the starting and ending port (or point at which you 'tied the knot'), the years of the circumnavigation, and contact info. This information will be added to our list, which you can view at www.latitude38.com/features/circumnav.html. We would also like to complete a few entries for which we don't have all the information. If you could help fill in any of those blanks, we'd appreciate that, too. Info can be emailed to LaDonna.

All circumnavigators on the list are hereby invited to our second Circumnavigator's Ball at Strictly Sail Pacific, the big boat show at Jack London Square in April. We'll have more information on this in the March issue of Latitude 38, and the latest, most up-to-date edition of the list in the April boat show issue.

- latitude / jr

Tahoe Boats in Deep Hibernation

February 5 - Homewood

Daysail anyone? Nah, guess we'd better wait 'til spring.
Photo ©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Up in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, you might say that sailboats hibernate during the long winter months, just like the furry creatures of nearby forests. Oddly enough, though, there have been many days this winter - Saturday was a prime example - when it would have been splendid to take a cruise on the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe. Not a single soul was doing so during our recent visit, however, as most boats have not only been hauled out and cradled, but also shrink-wrapped for the season.

Established in 1911, Obexer's Boat Company is a familiar landmark along the West Shore, with haulout and storage on site.
Photo ©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Still, cruising down the West Shore Highway to Emerald Cove, we were reminded that, while winds are almost always fluky, cruising Tahoe during the summer months would be a sensational alternative to the typical sailing grounds of San Francisco Bay. There are nearly 20 launch ramps around the Lake, in addition to perhaps a half-dozen travelifts.

- latitude / aet

Although its waters are icy during winter, the West Shore's Emerald Bay is an idyllic treasure that would be well worth visiting during a summer cruise of the Lake.
Photos Latitude/Andy
Photo ©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Not Strictly Football in Chicago

February 5 - Chicago, IL

While the Bears may have stumbled on the weekend, the concurrent Strictly Sail Chicago was all good news for sailors. Thousands of Midwest sailors, patiently waiting for summer during minus zero temperatures, headed to Navy Pier for the annual sailboat show.

Another icy lake, this one Lake Michigan.
Photo ©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Despite frozen water outside, everyone was planning for the eventual return of a liquid lake surface and were busy inside checking out new boats, ordering new suits of sails or planning Caribbean getaways. While not quite as many boats are displayed as we see at the typical Strictly Sail Pacific, the show is none-the-less impressive for all the large boats that are trucked through Chicago and buffed for display in the Navy Pier convention hall.

- latitude / ja

Some of these same yachts and more will be in the water at Jack London Square this April.
Photos Latitude/John Arndt
Photo ©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Not Your Average Joe

February 5 - San Luis Obispo

Professional PWC racer and sailor Joe Kenney is improving. Although his condition is still guarded and the road to recovery will likely be long, the 36-year-old is out of a coma and responding to family and medical staff. He was even able to walk a few paces with the support of nurses.

You may recall that Joe and a friend sailed south in 2004 aboard his Ranger 37 Johnny Rook. Although not official participants in the Baja Ha-Ha that year, they fell in with that crowd in Cabo and Joe soon became the life of the party. Joe's hospital stay began on January 15 when he was assaulted outside a nightclub in San Luis Obispo and fell to the ground, striking his head. Complications led to brain surgery which left him in a coma for more than a week. See January 26's 'Lectronic for our previous report.

We wish Joe a continued quick recovery. For more on him, including the latest medical updates, log onto www.joekenney.com

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