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Send a blank email to LectronicLatitude-on@latitude38.com and we'll notify you when 'Lectronic Latitude is updated!

There will be no 'Lectronic Latitude on Monday or Tuesday, as the editor will be in Mexico hard at work checking to see if the sun is still shining and the sea is still blue.

Photo Quiz of the Day

January 26 - Mystery Location

Name this record-holding ketch. (email richard@latitude38.com.)

Photo Latitude/Richard

Crew Party Date

January 26 - Tiburon

Pending confirmation with the Corinthian Yacht Club, the date of the April Crew List Party has been changed back to April 5, in order to precede the first Friday night races. We'll keep you updated, and bring you more details as the event approaches.


Yachtie Bars

January 26 - Ports the World Over

Yesterday a call went out for the great yachtie bars around the world. Ron Killian of 'S Mine', a Catalina 310, says he has "two nominations, and I am sure they will receive seconds: 1) Anna's, 2) Bounty Bar, both in Neiafu, Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga - all the mega-yacht crews who were on their way to New Zealand for the America's Cup [stopped there]. The Berliner Bar on Kenutu, which catered to European cruisers primarily, has gone upscale and moved to Ofu Island, and is now known as the Mahina Lodge. Moses and Johanna would still get my vote as the best barkeeps there."

Speaking of great yachtie bars, the Soggy Dollar in Dutch St. Maarten, which certainly qualifies, just announced that they have reinforced both their bar and tables to make it safer to dance on them. As if that weren't enough, they've put a roof over the men's loo. They're calling that progress, but not everyone would agree. Meanwhile, the search for San Francisco Bay's great yachtie bar continues.

Why Cruise in Mexico?

January 26 - Mexico

Perhaps some of the photos from Jan and Signe Twardowski of the lovely Sundeer 65 'Raven' will give some clues. For even more fine photos, visit their Web site at http://www.ravencruise.com/.


January 26 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/


The Race Update

January 26 - Southern Ocean

For quite a while, Cam Lewis has been dismissed as something of a 'cowboy' who has just been winging it with 'Team Adventure'. That may be true, but in the last 10 days or so - when the problems have been the biggest - he's been standing tall and doing himself proud. First there was the problem with the main beam and the two injured crew that couldn't continue. Then there was the two-day repair stop in Cape Town that stretched to 4.5 days. And during that time two of the healthy crew bailed. Now that 'Team Adventure' has finally left Cape Town, minus four crew, they're stuck in zephyrs and can't get away from the shadow of Table Mountain. Yet just 50 miles away they'll be hitting headwinds of 55 to 65 knots, with huge, confused seas. Throughout all these tribulations, Cam has - at least in public - said the right things and done the right things. Despite finding himself 3,000 miles behind and with everything against him, he's rallied his crew and hasn't abandoned hope. "When we hoist sails and pursue the odds are against us to win. But, the odds have been against us for a long time," said Cam, "So we are going to forget the odds and get down the track." With his responses to constant adversity, Cam is quickly earning a lot of respect that he didn't have before.

Meanwhile, Grant Dalton and 'Club Med' stretched their lead over Cam to 3,000 miles by racking up 584 miles during the last 24 hours. That's good, but Loïck Peyron and 'Innovation Explorer' chalked up an even better 599 miles, and have steadily been cutting 'Club Med's lead down to 600 miles. Peyron and his crew may not have all the sails they need, but they're putting up a great battle. Right now 'Club Med' is about two days faster than the Jules Verne course record held by Olivier de Kersauson's big trimaran 'Lyonnaise des Eaux'.

What's the story with the two crew who bailed from 'Team Adventure'? One of them, Rick Deppe, is a seasoned offshore racer who has done 1.5 Whitbread Around The World races. In an interview with the 'Washington Post', he said sailing all the way to the Southern Ocean was fine, but once down there he was over his threshold. "I was never comfortable speeding through the night, dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean at 25 to 30 knots on a 110-foot catamaran. We were down there 48 hours, and I kept saying, 'Get me off this boat. I hate water, I hate water'." When damage to the main beam gave Deppe, who has two young children, the chance to get off the boat, he took it.

Repair of main beam on 'Team Adventure'
Photo Courtesy 'Team Adventure'

Blue Club Med
Green Innovation Explorer
Orange Team Adventure
Yellow Warta Polpharma

Graphic Courtesy 'Club Med' www.catamaran.clubmed.fr/

Ranking of 26 Jan 2001 19:00:00 GMT
1. Club Med / dtf 14,653.2 miles
2. Innovation Explorer / dtl 652.3 miles
3. Warta Polpharma / dtl 3,226.0 miles
4. Team Adventure / dtl 3,259.3 miles
5. Team Legato / dtl 4,667.5 miles

Vendée Globe Update

January 26 - Atlantic Ocean

As they close in on the doldrums, Michel Desjoyeaux on 'PRB' holds an 86-mile lead over Ellen MacArthur aboard 'Kingfisher'. MacArthur had gotten to within 70 miles, fell back to nearly 100, but has closed the gap a little again. Both boats are making good time heading for the tricky doldrums, where everything could change dramatically.

Last night, MacArthur's wind instrument sensor atop the mast failed, so she switched to the backup system on the stern of her boat. It was getting the job done, so Ellen went aloft with a drill and sandpaper to make repairs. She was up there for two hours. "It was pretty physical," she reported, "I had a bit of a fight with the drill which, as we bounced over the waves, was pretty keen on drilling me not the mast, but we got it done. Quite a neat job in fact considering the conditions of work! I completely replaced the masthead wand unit, and we're back to 100% again. Fantastic!"

Graphic Courtesy http://www.madforsailing.com/

This reminds us of the time we sent a guy aloft to replace a halyard on 'Profligate' during the last Ha-Ha. The wind was light and there was only a slight slop - and it was still a difficult job just to replace a halyard. And that was with the help of a full crew. We don't think that any of us can really appreciate what almost supra-human efforts each one of these Vendée participants is making. See http://www.vendeeglobe.com/ for more.

Weather Updates

January 26 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/.

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.

Pacific Ocean Weather

Today's University of Hawaii Department of Meteorology satellite was not available again this morning. You can try it yourself at http://lumahai.soest.hawaii.edu/cgi-bin/satview.cgi?sat=g10&region=hus&channel=uI4&anim=no&size=large.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.

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