Lou Freeman of the San Diego-based Swan 51 Seabird reports a surprsingly delightful late-night ‘boarding’ last night by the Mexican Navy at the docks of Grand Bay Marina in Barra de Navidad. "My wife Marge and I, joined by Wytie and Sally Cable of the IP-420 Reality Check, returned to our dock after a late dinner to find three unlikely Mexican Navy boats tied up and the crews over-running the dock. They were coming from Acapulco and headed for Banderas Bay, but stopped here for a six-hour rest while their big gray escort ship waited out in the bay.
"The boats were very impressive racers owned by the Mexican Navy and crewed by active duty officers and enlisted men. Their mission: MEXORC 2010. Cmdr. Carlos Acona was in charge of the group who, in spite of the fact that some of us drank and chatted until 2 a.m., were back underway for Banderas Bay at 5 a.m. I watched with awe as they woke up and departed in less than seven minutes.
"These young men were friendly and fun-loving but quite professional, and very knowledgeable about politics and the world. Mexico and the Mexican Navy can be very proud of these young men and I certainly can relax even more as I sail in Mexican waters."
Racing Editor Rob Grant will be heading to P.V. this week to cover MEXORC — you’ll find his reports in future editions of ‘Lectronic Latitude and in the April issue of Latitude 38.
Los Gatos’ Bill Turpin and Southern California-based partner Dave Janes’ Bay Area-based R/P 77 Akela set new record in the San Diego YC’s Vallarta Race when it crossed the finish line off Punta Mita around 9 p.m. PST after a roughly 3.5-day run last night. Akela navigator Ernie Richau beat his own record, set when he performed the same role for Doug Baker’s Andrews 80 Magnitude 80 — a more powerful canting-keeler — in the previous edition of the 1,000-mile biennial race.
The other Bay Area boat in the 13-boat fleet, Tom Akins’ Bay Area-based TP52 Flash, finished at 11 a.m. today. The final results haven’t been posted yet as not all the boats have finished, but you can check back at the race’s website to see them when they come up.
Document your voyage, with the Sailing Log iPhone application. This interactive logbook will provide you with a simple and effective method of tracking your sailing or boating adventure. Similar to the required paper version, Sailing Log can provide the required official documentation of your voyage. Using the Float Plan screen, you can email your proposed voyage to any land-based email address, keeping your friends and family informed of your plans. Available now in the Apple App Store.
For millennia, the wind has moved people from Point A to Point B, and on San Francisco Bay, we have an abundance of it for much of the year. So it seems odd that, in an area so forward-thinking and eco-friendly, we don’t have any wind-powered public transportation. Wind+Wing Technologies hopes to change that.
Started by the same group of sailors that owns and operates Adventure Cat Sailing Charters, Wind+Wing has partnered with Orange County’s Morrelli & Melvin Design Engineering and Harbor Wing Technologies out of Honolulu and Seattle to design a catamaran ferry that uses solid wing technology.
"Morrelli & Melvin’s engineering study makes a strong argument that adding a wing sail could cause a 42% annual fuel reduction over current usage," says Jay Gardner, co-owner of Wind+Wing. "A bus gets about 300 passenger miles per gallon (PMG), BART gets 450, but our design would get 150." And according to Lee Helm’s calculations in the December issue of Latitude, WETA’s ferry Gemini gets a dismal 9.1 PMG at its average 30% capacity.
While the concept is still in development, Gardner says they’ve received nothing but positive feedback from ferry operators. "After some initial skepticism, they’ve been very supportive," he said. "We took them out on Adventure Cat and ran their routes so they could see it was possible. They’re getting excited about it."
Gardner says production of the test ferry is slated to begin next year. They hope that after testing — which will likely take most of ’12 — ferry districts and their captains will feel comfortable ordering the boat. If so, we may see the first sailing ferry plying the waters of the Bay by ’14. Find out more about the project at www.windwingtech.com.