February 8, 2012

New Free App Reveals Bay Currents

Understanding Bay currents can give racers a huge advantage in developing winning strategies, especially during long, complex races like the recent Three Bridge Fiasco.

©2012 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Bay Area sailors who own smart phones and tablets have been using tide apps for years. But now there’s also a new current app that gives real-time and predicted info on surface currents within the Bay, and as far south as Half Moon Bay, sourced from the Coastal Ocean Currents Monitoring Program in Northern California (COCMP-NC). The data is provided by radiowave-emitting sensors.

While race committees generally prohibit offshore racers from receiving real-time weather routing coaching (i.e. via satphones), we’re not aware of any restrictions on using tide and current apps on in-the-Bay races. And while the data may not be spot on for any given portion of the Bay, it will probably help competitors — especially newbies — avoid the strongest flows of unfavorable current.

In any case, since your tax dollars helped to fund it, and it’s free, we’d encourage iPhone and iPad users to have a look. (Hopefully an Android version will be available soon also.)

Socrates Leaves Cape Town

That intrepid British solo circumnavigator Jeanne Socrates sure gets around. After a knockdown at Cape Horn ended her plans for a nonstop solo circumnavigation last January, Socrates wound up spending 13 months in South Africa effecting repairs to her Najad 380 Nereida and having all sorts of adventures — from having juice with Laura Dekker to tea with the Queen of England. But all good things must end, and yesterday Socrates sailed Nereida out of Cape Town bound for Hobart, Tasmania.

The 69-year-old grandmother plans to make her way back to Victoria, British Columbia over the next several months. In October, she’ll once again set out on a planned nonstop circumnavigation attempt — her third. If she makes it around this time without stopping, she’ll become the oldest woman to complete the feat — unofficially, of course, as record-keeping institutions don’t recognize aged-based sailing records.

To keep tabs on Socrates, check out her website. She’ll once again be raising funds for a cause close to her heart, Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Club Cruceros de La Paz Hacked

Don’t panic! La Paz’s venerable cruising club Club Cruceros has not shut down, but their website has . . . at least temporarily. "Their site was hacked," reports Michael Robertson of the Washington D.C.-based Fuji 40 Del Viento. "Nobody seems to have any control over it. A treasure trove of info is, for now, not accessible."

Club Cruceros de La Paz, located at Marina de La Paz, offers all sorts of cruiser bennies, in addition to raising funds for local kids.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Why anyone would want to hack the Club Cruceros site is baffling. The club has a history of not only helping fellow cruisers, but also giving back to the local community in a big way. What is there to gain from hacking such a site, other than proving you’re a perverted asshat? Here’s hoping the dust settles and this very informative site — which is normally found at www.clubcruceros.org — is back up soon, stronger than ever.

UPDATE: Patsy Verhoeven of the Gulfstar 50 Talion sent us the following update on the situation. "Not to fear! The site has temporarily relocated to www.clubcruceros.net. The site is also in the midst of a complete overhaul with a totally new look. All the same excellent information, just better organized and more user-friendly . . . “stronger than ever!"

Latitude 38 Associate Publisher John Arndt will talk on the state of sailing and the sailing industry at the St.
"My friends, Thies Matzen and Kicki Ericson, have just won the Cruising Club of America Blue Water Medal and the Ocean Cruising Club Award of Merit, becoming only the second sailors to win both honors in the same year," writes Beth Leonard, who, with partner Evans Starzinger, has also been the recipient of a number of high-profile cruising awards for voyages aboard their Shannon 37 Silk and their 47-ft Van De Stadt Hawk.