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Photos of the Day: You Really Missed It!

March 26 - Banderas Bay, Mexico

A couple of J/80s stretching the luff on the way to the reaching mark.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

It wasn't the best of all Banderas Bay Cruiser Regattas in the sense that the skies were gray and the winds lighter than everyone would have liked, but the skippers and crews of the 30 boats that participated had a blast. There was lots of close racing - we hope to have the results on Wednesday - and a ding-dong party on the last night with Philo and his band providing such great music. With everyone up and dancing their brains out, the Vallarta YC officials have had to contact structural engineers to see if any damage was done to the building.

- latitude / rs

Brian, a last minute addition to the Profligate crew, stares down Jack Muir's starboard tack Sabre 402 Tambourine.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

What's mom going to think? Judy Wahl of Island Mistress marvels at the crew shirts that Tom Jones' daughter made for his Stockton-based Liberty 458 Charissa, the so-called 'sailing sofa' of Banderas Bay.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Wayne Zittel's all-female J/World crew contemplate 'wishboning' him at the awards party.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

"It's not what I expected," says John Haste of the San Diego-based Perry 52 Little Wing. After coming 2,000 miles from Panama for the event, the bottle of rum he won from Profligate turned out to be smaller than anticipated. Haste has spent the last couple of years building a large home in Panama, something he wouldn't advise others to do.
Photos Latitude/Richard
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Whole Lotta Lightship

March 26 - Gulf of the Farallones

Saturday was a busy day on the San Francisco Bar, with both the crewed and doublehanded versions of the Lightship race. Perfectly coordinated currents (ebb on the way out and flood on the return) and winds in the mid-teens ensured that it was a quick trip out - albeit a bit uncomfortable - and an even quicker trip back in. The first monohull to finish Island YC's Doublehanded Lightship, Greg Nelsen's Azzura 310 Outsider, almost dropped out of the race on the way out to the Lightbucket because of the lumpy conditions. Several boats actually did head back for this reason.

Oh no! Where'd the boat go? The crew of Kokopelli2 appears to walk on water.
©2007 Erik Simonson/www.h2oshots.com

In the 51-boat doublehanded race, the last boat finished just before 4 p.m. Three hours earlier, Trevor Baylis and Hunt Stookey on Stookey's 32-ft catamaran LightSpeed were the first boat in. They ran the 25-mile course in three hours, five minutes.

LightSpeed zipped around the Lightbucket in just over three hours.
Photo Latitude/Sutter
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

But it was Pete Trachy and Tim Nutt on Trachy's Santana 22, Maguro, who corrected out on the fleet and took top honors. Reported Jean Vaury, who crewed on Sally Taylor's Santana 22 Auggie (which corrected out to second in PHRF 159 and above), "I never thought that a Santana 22 could go that fast, surfing wildly and vibrating. After the Gate, it took 10 minutes for a Sun Odyssey 34 to overtake us." Vaury jokingly (we think) expressed concern that the Tuna's PHRF rating will now suffer as a result of its quick performance in the race. Full results at www.iyc.org.

Aleta sails under the Gate. See Chris Ray's photos at www.printroom.com/pro/crayivp.
©2007 Chris Ray

Some doublehanders elected to sail in the SHS division of the crewed Lightship, as it was the first race of the OYRA season. First among those was Phil Macfarlane on his 35-2 Sail-A-Vie (the Hawkfarm Eyrie was listed as the winner in the preliminary results, but those have now been corrected.) Top finishers among the fully crewed boats were Sweet Ness in Olson 25s (the only ODCA class to include the Lightship in their schedule), the SC 27 Andiamo in MORA, the SC 52 Kokopelli2 in PHRO-1A, the 1D-35 Alpha Puppy in PHRO-1, and the Cal 20 Shaman in PHRO-2. See www.yra.org for complete results.

- latitude / ss & cw

First Long Passage for Wanderlust III

March 26 - San Blas Islands, Panama

Mike Harker of Manhattan Beach reports he's finished his first long passage - Jamaica to the San Blas Islands - of his proposed 11-month circumnavigation aboard Wanderlust III, his new Hunter Mariner 49.

One of the interesting things Harker learned on his last trip was the importance of being nice to his autopilot, because he kept burning out the motors.

"I have now learned to hand steer for a few minutes every hour or after every change of watch, and then trim the sails so that the rudder indicator on the autopilot is showing little effort. Since using that tell-tale, I haven't had a problem.
Not only does this make sure there isn't too much helm for autopilot motors, it's good for rudders, too."

- latitude / rs

Second Circumnavigators' Rendezvous Is a Go

March 26 - Oakland

It's official! Latitude 38's second Circumnavigator's Rendezvous will be held on Friday, April 20, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. aboard the tops'l schooner Lynx. Lynx Education Foundation will be offering short sails during the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show at Jack London Square and have agreed to host the special get-together between cruises.

This special event is for West Coast (and Hawaii) circumnavigators only, and the ship has limited room, so we ask that circumnavigators attend with spouses only. If you have to bring kids, they must be well behaved - they cannot run unattended around the ship. For planning purposes with Lynx, we also ask that you RSVP to LaDonna Bubak if you plan on attending.

For more info on the Rendezvous, check out the April issue of Latitude 38, which will be distributed on Friday. If you'd like to make a reservation for a 2.5 hour cruise aboard Lynx during Strictly Sail Pacific ($60 per adult, $35 for kids), call (866) 446-5969.

And be sure to check out our Circumnavigators' page at www.latitude38.com/features/circumnav.html.

- latitude / jr & ld

Profligate's Icom 802 Blues Continue

March 26 - Banderas Bay, Mexico

Readers may recall that Profligate's Icom 802 SSB failed during the Baja Ha-Ha, preventing her from being as good a mothership as she could have been. About a month ago, we sent all three parts of the system - radio, head, and tuner - to Icom for diagnosis and repair.

Crewman Bill Lilly brought the unit down to Mexico last week, and during the last three days, radio experts Tom LaFleur and Dustin Fox installed it and tried to get it to work. Despite Icom having presumably gone over the whole system, it had the same old problem of not being able to transmit more than about 20 feet. So LaFleur and Fox, with the help of Shea Weston in San Diego via telephone, started troubleshooting by process of elimination. After hours of checking everything out, there was no other conclusion than that something had to be wrong with one of the parts Icom had sent back to us. 'Radio Rob' was good enough to loan us his Icom automatic tuner - and bingo! - LaFleur was soon talking to Toronto and being told that the signal was loud and clear. We can only assume that Icom made the much-talked about modification to the 802, but didn't check out the entire system.The result is that we'll have to make the passage from P.V. to La Paz without our normal access to weather information, and then take the tuner back to California in order to send it back to Icom in Washington again, then drag it back down to Mexico again. Yes, it makes us grumpy.

Speaking of the Icom 802, we intended to have an article on the problems with the 802 and Icom's proposed solution for the April issue of Latitude 38. However, based on the recommendation of SailMail's Jim Corenman, who seems to be the ultimate expert on SSB radios, we decided to postpone that article until there was more time for Corenman to see how well Icom's proposed fix works out. There seem to be conflicting opinions on whether the solution will be as complete as Icom hopes, so we're in wait-and-see mode.

If we had to buy a marine SSB today, what would we choose? There is no question it would be the tried and true Icom 710. Based on our conversation with experts, that radio will do 95% of what 95% of cruisers need an SSB to do. The 802, if working properly, apparently does have more power and a few more user-friendly features, but according to LaFleur and others, the 710 has plenty of power and the extra features aren't a big deal. Best of all, Don Melcher of H.F. Radio Onboard - who also recommends the 710 over the 802 - says the 710 system is about $400 easier on the cruiser pocketbook.

- latitude / rs

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©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.