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December 16, 2016

Joyon & Crew Restart Record Attempt

The crew of IDEC Sport waved farewell this morning as they relaunched their attempt to be the fastest to sail around the world.

© Mer et Media / Wanaii Films

At 08:19:00 UTC in the first glimmer of dawn light this morning, IDEC Sport crossed the start line off Ushant (Ouessant) Island in the English Channel. The 104-ft trimaran was sailing at more than 20 knots as she began her dash to grab the outright round-the-world record. The six men on board must return by 22:00:53 UTC on Monday, January 30, to improve upon the time set in January 2012 by Loïck Peyron’s crew and thus claim the Jules Verne Trophy.

The big tri’s small crew (left to right: Gwénolé Gahinet, French, 32; Alex Pella, Spanish, 44; Sébastien Audigane, French, 48; skipper Francis Joyon, French, 60; Clément Surtel, French, 38; and Bernard Stamm, Swiss, 53) held a press conference prior to their second attempt for the Jules Verne Trophy, awarded for the fastest nonstop circumnavigation.

© 2016 Jean-Louis Carli DPPI / IDEC

The six men had previously started their record attempt on November 20, but turned around to await a better weather window. See

Meanwhile, Thomas Coville is sailing up the Atlantic in his 102-ft trimaran, Sobedo Ultim’, 40 days into his attempt to break Joyon’s solo around-the-world record. He’s been ahead of the record since his start on November 6, and although he slowed down considerably during the past week, he never fell behind. Having left the coast of Brazil in his wake, he has covered more than 500 miles in the past 24 hours. Track him at

Another Shout-Out for Boating App Tips

One frustrating aspect of living in this ‘app-happy’ era of endless innovation is that is it seems almost impossible to keep up with the latest, greatest developments. That’s certainly true when it comes to smartphone, tablet and computer software related to boating — which is precisely why we did a call-out to ‘Lec Lat readers last week asking for tips on their favorite boating apps.

Since then, we’ve been introduced to a variety of great programs, but we suspect that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.

Both fascinating and genuinely useful the Windytv app is a marvelous adaptation of real-time and projected weather data that not only shows wind direction and speed, but also offers swell height and direction, temperatures, humidity and more.

© 2016

So if you use an app (or apps) that you find to be genuinely useful, we’d love to hear about it. Please email us a brief description of why you like it and, if possible, snap a screen shot of it, and share that with us also. (On an iPhone, simultaneously hold down the "power key" at the top, and the "home key" at the bottom.) 

We’ll distill down all the reader input we receive for inclusion in an article in the January or February issue of Latitude 38. Thanks for the help!

Caribbean Cold Case Cracked

A 75-year-old former sailor from Northern California has been arrested in the case of two 25-year-olds who were killed and dumped off a boat in 1978. A resident of Paradise, CA, Silas Duane Boston was indicted last week in US District Court in Sacramento. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of the British travelers in the Caribbean. Christopher Farmer and his girlfriend, Peta Frampton, had been passengers on a cruise aboard Boston’s boat out of Belize.

British traveler Christopher Farmer with Silas Duane Boston’s young sons aboard Boston’s boat in a photo from 1978.

US District Court
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

According to the Sacramento Bee, the indictment stated that Boston, then 37, promised to take the couple to Mexico. "But instead Farmer was beaten with a billy club, stabbed in the chest with a fillet knife and tied up after an apparent argument on the boat with Boston, who also tied up Frampton and then pushed them overboard, the FBI said. Their bodies were later found off the coast of Guatemala," reported Peter Hecht on December 8.

The crime was allegedly committed in front of Boston’s two sons, Russell, age 11, and Vince, age 13, who sailed aboard the boat with him. Apparently the boys were afraid to talk to authorities at the time, as their father had threatened to kill them too.

The Caribbean case came to light during investigations into an even older cold case, the disappearance of Boston’s wife May Lou, who was last seen in Sacramento in 1968. There may be other victims as well.

Greig and Leslie Olson’s Napa-based Brown Searunner 31 trimaran Doggone heads out toward the center of Banderas Bay during the light-air first race of the Blast.
With a little luck, you can snag a berth in front of Victoria, BC’s Empress Hotel — at the center of that sparkling-clean port’s many shoreside attractions.
If you never intend to sail your boat to Mexico, you may be weary of reading our occasional updates on obtaining, canceling and renewing that country’s mandatory Temporary Import Permits.