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Friends on the Water

Few forms in nature are more gracefully streamlined than a dolphin cutting through the water. 

Hula Girl
©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As Wayne Zittel of J World Performance Sailing School points out below, sometimes unexpected encounters can be the highlight of an offshore sail. 

"Earlier this week, we jumped on a rare convergence of ‘gap-in-the-schedule’ with ‘perfect-weather-window’ to run [our Santa Cruz 50] Hula Girl from our S.F. base to San Diego in anticipation of the 2015 Newport to Cabo Race, which is coming up in March. We had some nice sailing at the outset, but on day two a high pressure down in Southern California killed the breeze. But it also smoothed out the ocean and cleared up the skies. Man, was it beautiful. Absolutely crazy visibility coming down the coast. At Point Conception we could see the oil platforms from over 20 miles out. A ship passed seaward. AIS showed her to be 12 miles away, but I kept having to do double takes: She was so clear, I would have sworn she was a 30-ft model boat 100 yards off (not an 800-ft ship 12 miles away!).  Absolutely surreal.

"Then the dolphins came. We see them all the time up and down the coast, but in the sunset lighting and a glassy sea, this was a great encounter…  This absolutely never gets old," says Wayne. 

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We received many responses to Wednesday’s Mystery Photo quiz — some correct, some incorrect, and some creative.
"Our friend Dereck Vance here in Kerikeri, New Zealand, has not heard from his son Andrew and wife Megan for nearly one month and understandably he is curious to know where they may be," write Michel and Jane Deridder.