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Spread: The bottom half of this Komatsu doing a little dredging at the La Cruz Marina site had better be made of stainless steel or there could be corrosion issues. Inset: An aerial photo of the marina site. The latest rumor is that there will be a large Holiday Inn built in the left-hand corner of the marina site. Of course, it was also rumored that boats would be able to move into berths as early as June. That's not true. A marina official told 'Latitude' that slips won't be available until December, and that everything won't be done until a year after that.

ing advantage of a good window along the 'wild coast'. As many know, the coast here is infamous for enormous waves that are created when a southwesterly gale or more builds up against the fast south-flowing Aghulas Current. We all listened carefully to weatherman Fred Meyer on the Peri-Peri Net at 7 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. to get the green light for a long enough window to carry us to whatever the next port would be. From Durban, in particular, it's a long stretch with no place to hide, and it's dangerous, because if a southwesterly does kick up, it does so with a vengeance. Our first stop was East London, a true river port. We were locked in there for 10 days by the weather. Most boats then made it to Mossel Bay. But the three slowest boats, my 30-footer, a 31-footer, and a 32-footer, stopped in Plettenberg Bay to sit out the southwesterly. From

there I made it all the way to Simon's Town. 'S-Town' is in False Bay, and is just a short train ride from downtown Cape Town. 'S-Town' is a delightful old town with a large navy base and older homes at beach level and newer ones on the surrounding hills. The False Bay YC treated us with the then-taken-for-granted South African-style hospitality. Some of the boats of our group had gone on to Cape Town, but the S-Towners all agreed that we'd picked the better spot. Besides, the Royal Cape YC is far from town, and the moorage is more expensive. I celebrated my 70th birthday on February 28th. My cruising pals spoiled me with a party, dinner, gifts, cards and their attention. It was very special. For my birthday, three couples and I toured the wine country near

Cape Town. The wineries and vegetation reminded me of Sonoma County. I made three trips into Cape Town in the commuter train that follows the breathtaking coast for part of the way. They even have a restaurant car. Cape Town is beautifully laid out beneath Table Mountain. But now, it's time for me to head north into the Atlantic. — jack 03/04/07 Puerto Vallarta Marina Walking The Docks The Wanderer In the two years since we last visited Puerto Vallarta Marina, which is located at the busy edge of Puerto Vallarta near the airport, much seems to have changed. While the marina was pretty much full two years ago, there were lots of empty storefronts and restaurants, and many of the condos surrounding the facility looked empty and rundown. As for the restrooms, they were disgusting. In just two years, just about everything but the deplorable condition of the restrooms has changed. The marina is jam packed, the marina-front restaurants seem busy, the condos looked occupied and spiffed up — it's hopping. We'd taken a $2 bus in from 40-minute-distant Punta Mita at the tip of Banderas Bay to visit our old friend Barritt Neal aboard his Peterson 44 Serendipity. We'd last seen him and his lady Renee Blaul on the hook in St. Barth three years ago. Having had to resort to using WD-40 to start his 26-year-old Perkins diesel on the way up from Panama, Barritt decided he'd better come up with a solution to his engine problems before making his sixth Baja Bash. Shortly after entering the marina perimeter, we were idling in front of a Yamaha repair facility trying to decide Who ya gonna call in P.V. when you've got a question, want to charter a boat or buy a villa on the water? Why not 'Go To' Del Mar? 'LECTRONIC / RICHARD

'LECTRONIC / RICHARD

IN LATITUDES

Profile for Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Latitude 38 April 2007  

The April 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 April 2007  

The April 2007 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.