Trip Reports

Mayday (01-May-2003-11-00):
11:00 AM local time, Thursday, May 1 (1600 May 1 UTC) 21 44 N 107 58 W. Temp. 84, Humidity 67%, Cloud Cover 10%. Under power in the Sea of Cortez.

Warm greetings from the crew of Maverick.

There's really nothing going on of an emergency nature. It's May 1, 2003, and therefore May Day. To see the boys dressed in their finest spring attire, prancing around Maverick's mast which has been befetished with ribbons for the occasion, is quite a merry site. As sailors know, "mayday" is from the French "M'aidez," which means "Help me." This is, as far as I can tell, the most significant contribution to seamanship to come out of the great French civilization before the dome created by Moitessier.

We're motoring towards Cabo San Lucas, with about one day left of a four day passage from Manzanillo. Other than the rather rude treatment we got around Cabo Corrientes, it's been an uneventful trip. When we reach Cabo San Lucas we will be in California and will have just eleven hundred or so miles to go, albeit ugly miles, to reach San Francisco.

As there is little else to report, I'll sign off with a couple of addenda. ADDENDA:

It seems like it's been a long time, but it was just over a year ago that Maverick sailed through the Gulf of Aden and up the Red Sea. It appears our year was the only one in recent history in which no yachts were attacked by pirates, as the gunplay returned with this year's group. We have not heard of any injuries, though.

One of our readers actually asked for the Captain's opinion on the topic of whether the Panamax dimensions mentioned in one of our reports have contributed to the lack of grace of contemporary seagoing vessels. I think not. The reader may be surprised to find that I don't find tankers and container ships that ugly. The container ships look a little ungainly when fully loaded, but often both tankers and container ships have a pleasant, even rakish shear, and a proud bow. They are marvels of twentieth, if not twenty-first century engineering, just like the ships of great days of sail. The really ugly ships are the car carriers, that look absurdly top-heavy. Here, "form follows function" seems to have run amok. In any case, some fine looking vessels have been designed for the Panamax trade, so I don't think that's the issue.

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