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Photo of the Day

May 23 - Barra de Navidad, Mexico

© 2007 The Swedberg Family

Today's spectacular Photo of the Day was taken earlier this year at Barra de Navidad, Mexico, by one of the members of the Swedberg family. The family did a five month cruise in Mexico, their second, aboard their San Diego-based Freeport 41 Fantasia. The family are back in California now, despite the fact that 14-year-old Krista had lobbied hard for them to continue across the Pacific. She says she'll do it herself someday on her own boat. For more on Krista's adventures in Mexico, see the June issue of Latitude 38.

- latitude / rs


Louis Vuitton Cup: And Then There Were Two

May 23 - Valencia, Spain

It took seven races to do it, but Emirates Team New Zealand finally won its fifth and deciding bout against Spain's Desafio Español this morning, thereby clinching a spot in the final round of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series. Beginning June 1, Emirates will face Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge in the final matchup of the LVC. The winner of that duel will face the Swiss Alinghi team in the actual America's Cup match races, which begin June 23.

In the final race of the semi-finals, winds approaching 20 knots and choppy seas favored the Kiwis to the tune of a 1 minute, 18-second win over Spain.
© 2007 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

The performance of Desafio in this Cup - winning two races against the top-ranked Emirates showed how far this team has come - is worth a tip of the hat as they depart. With the exception of the last (2003) America's Cup, Spain has been a player in the Cup wars since the switch from 12-Meters to IACC yachts in 1992. They've gotten better every time, and this time, aided by a fast Reichel-Pugh/Scott Graham-designed boat and a cheering section composed of the whole country (talk about home field advantage!), they were no longer running with the big dogs, they were one of the big dogs. Viva España!

For details on the winners and postmortems on everyone else, log onto www.americascup.com.

- latitude / jr

Advertisement: Charter a 'West Coast Cat' in the Caribbean

May 23 - British Virgin Islands

Three of the four Leopard 45 catamarans in our fleet are owned by Northern Californians. These cats were designed and built specifically for four couple - or big family - charters in the BVIs, as they have four cabins with heads/showers en suite and the most spacious salons and cockpits in their class. Prices range from just $540/week/person in the low season to $820/week/person in the high season. Come find out what your sailing neighbors already know - that sailing a cat in the Caribbean with your friends and family is a blast. We also have a large fleet of monohulls. Having been in business since 1974, we like to think we can answer all your charter questions. So please call us at (888) 615-4006, visit our Web site at www.sailinthebvi.com, or email us.

Despite Fire, Catalina Is Ready to Welcome Mariners

May 23 - Catalina Island

"With the Memorial Day start of the busy season at Catalina this weekend, we want everybody to know that the island and all the businesses are ready to welcome you," report Steve and Edie Hollen, who visited the island last Saturday aboard Andalucia, their Irwin 37.

Avalon may look singed around the edges but businesses are ready for the busy Memorial Day weekend.
© 2007 Steve Hollen

"We took a Jeep ride toward Avalon and viewed the damage caused by the fire. It got to within a few hundred yards of White's Cove facilities, but that's it. Avalon is 100% back in operation, although everything to the west of it is on temporary power from a huge generator at Two Harbors. This means that the airport, Middle Ranch, and all the coves and facilities west of Avalon are at the mercy of just one power plant. Even though they are lifting as many as 10 poles an hour, Southern California Edison will still need some time before the Isthmus gets permanent power.

"As for services at the Isthmus, everything is back to normal. Buffalo Milks are just as good, the beer just as cold, the restaurant is still serving great food, and all the animals seem alive and well. The one thing that wasn't working for a while were the phones and wi-fi, but they have since been restored. The bottom line is the island is ready and waiting for your visit."

- the hollens

Sydney Arrival of Blind Sailors Imminent

May 23 - Sydney, Australia

In contrast to high profile around-the-world campaigns such as the Vendée Globe, which draw worldwide media attention, San Francisco Bay sailors Scott Duncan and Pam Habek have been quietly making history as the first legally blind sailors to attempt a circumnavigation. Today, having successfully crossed the notorious Tasman Sea, they are sailing south along the Australian coast, soon to arrive at Sydney.

Even though Scott and Pam's visual acuity is rated at only about 5% and 10% of normal vision, respectively, they greatly enjoyed experiencing the colors, shapes and sounds of New Zealand.
© 2007 Scott Duncan and Pam Habek

Since sailing out the Golden Gate on October 11, 2004, they had logged over 9,000 miles in their Valiant 32 Tournesol by the time they reached Whangarei last year. Now sailing aboard the swing-keel Pearson 390 Starship, they expect to head north to Fiji this season after their stint in 'Oz'. "One of our primary goals is to spread a message of independence to disabled children and adults, as well as to the greater non-disabled population," says Duncan. (For more on this remarkable journey go to www.blindsailing.com.)

- latitude / at

Stolen Dinghy in San Carlos

May 23 - San Carlos, Baja California

We received the following report yesterday from our friends David and Betty Lou Walsman who have spent the last few years cruising their Hunter 420 Decade Dance from San Diego to Alaska and back - twice - and are now in the Sea of Cortez. "Today our dinghy and motor were stolen from the San Carlos dinghy dock some time between 1:30 and 4:15 p.m. We're stunned. We can use our inflatable kayak to go in for the little stuff we need to do ashore, and so far two crews in the anchorage have offered to give us rides. But it's still a shock. The signs at the dinghy dock request no locks on the dinghies but now I bet no one will honor that request! I'm planning to announce the theft on the Sonrisa Ham net in the morning as well as the local net that covers Marina Real, Marina Guaymas, Marina San Carlos and the anchorage. What a finale to a really great four months of cruising since we left San Diego.

David and Betty Lou Walsman had their dinghy stolen yesterday in San Carlos. Have you been a victim of theft in Baja?
Photo Latitude / LaDonna
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

"On another note, we met a German couple on the 35-ft Hallberg-Rassy Lucy who bought their boat in Spain, spent two seasons in the Med, then over to the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal. Now they're here in the Sea and say they think this is the best of their cruising grounds!"

While we don't think crime is a big problem in the Sea of Cortez, we'd like to hear if you've had anything stolen while cruising there. Email the details to LaDonna.

- latitude / ld

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