Photos of the Day
October 14 - La Paz, BCS
Today's Photo of the Day is of Glenn Tieman and his $3,000 homebuilt Wharram Pahi 26-ft catamaran Peregrine as they appeared about 15 years ago in La Paz, Mexico. He later spent 10 years cruising that small cat through the Pacific, living on - all expenses included - just $1 a day for the first eight years or so. After working as a substitute teacher in California for six months, he had so much money that he cruised "extravagantly" for several more years on $3 a day. In our estimation, what Tieman did is not for everyone - but was so totally cool and inspirational.
In the December issue of Latitude 38, we're going to have a report from Tieman, who is about to take off cruising again, this time on a 38-ft Wharram designed cat he's now finishing. Using "the best materials," the new boat will have cost him $14,000. No, we didn't leave out a zero. It turns out there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Photos Courtesy Glenn Tieman
The second Photo of the Day - which raises the Question of the Day - is of Glenn having a feast with some of his many great friends in Tonga. Tieman specialized in cruising primitive areas, which he really liked. Memorable events for him included the time he was the guest of honor at a feast in Tonga and the minister in charge knocked open the skull of a pig and spooned out some fresh brains for him to enjoy.
Ken Fairchild of Tahoe recently spent some time with us aboard Profligate, and reported that he'd been doing quite a bit of cruising in places like Vanuatu and the more remote islands of Fiji. He said that he, too, loved primitive cruising.
We have to confess that when we've sailed the South Pacific, we've never been moved by the simplicity of the culture. It just seemed so, well, simple. We love the simple life, but what really gets us excited is human achievement in its many manifestations. You appreciate that most with access to big cities. As such, our ideal cruising grounds would be the Med - if only, of course, it had warm water and consistent wind - because it offers such economical and quick access to great cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Istanbul, Vienna, and such. No matter where you anchor in the Med, it's not too far or too expensive for a quick jaunt to any of these places. Heck, many of them can be afternoon trips.
So our Question of the Day is this: What stirs your imagination the most, primitive cruising or cruising with access to First World achievements?
Pacific Seafarers Net Up and Running Again
October 14 - Humboldt Bay
We spoke to Robert Reed the other day about the status of the Pacific Seafarers Net, which is the main sailing net for West Coast sailors in the Pacific. They do a roll call, provide a 'watering hole' where hams can meet up and go to other channels to talk, do phone patches, and run emails for those without SailMail or Winlink.
Thanks to a diminishing number of net controllers, and Reed feeling completely burned out, it looked like the Pacific Seafarers Net was going to go dark after decades of tremendous volunteer service. But a reenergized Reed says the net is up, and despite a few hiccups, going again.
What it really needs, however, is some additional volunteer warn-up and net controllers. The action starts at 8 p.m. on the West Coast, and the warm-up and controller jobs usually last for no more than 30 minutes. Ham operators who are at sea tend to be great for these jobs, Reed says, as they generally have strong signals. It's not an every night job; once or twice a week would be a great help.
If you'd like to be part of the great Pacific Seafarers Net tradition, email Robert.
The Time to Get Your Ham License Is after the Start of the Year
October 14 - Newport Beach
Gordon West, the Newport Beach-based man who knows everything about ham radios, particularly for boats, confirms that as of January 1, applicants for general class ham licenses will no longer need to pass a Morse Code test.
A lot of younger sailors, of course, have no idea what Morse Code is. Did you see the movie Titanic? Remember the guy tapping out the dahs and dits? That's Morse Code. Thanks to things like improved electronics and Satphones, Morse Code is no longer needed - except in unusual cases. Thus there's no need for the test anymore, which many applicants considered a form of legalized hazing anyway.
Special San Diego Anchorage Designated for Baja Ha-Ha Entrants
October 14 - San Diego
For many years the San Diego Harbor Police have been extremely supportive of Baja Ha-Ha fleets, and this year is no exception. As of this week, a special anchorage at Glorietta Bay has been designated for use by registered Ha-Ha participants only.
Located adjacent to the Coronado (Island) Golf Course, the anchorage will be open to fleet members until November 1, the day after the event's official start. No reservations are required, but each boat must stop at the Shelter Island Police Dock on their way into the bay and pick up a special anchoring permit from the Mooring Office (619-686-6227). Due to limited space in the Glorietta anchorage, the Harbor Police request that San Diego-based boats do not use the special anchorage. The Mooring Office staff there will also give you a welcome packet which includes a chart of the Bay, info on local activities and discount coupons for local businesses.
Available slips in San Diego Bay marinas are rare, so all Ha-Ha participants should be prepared to anchor. However, Baja Ha-Ha sponsor Downwind Marine (619-224-2733) keeps track of any available openings.
Commercial Fuel Prices for Ha-Ha Boats
October 14 - San Diego
If you are entered in this year's Baja Ha-Ha, Kevin Day of the Harbor Island Fuel Dock in San Diego is once again inviting you to take advantage of his offer of commercial rate discounts on fuel. "Fuel prices have risen to all time highs, and although it looks as though things will be better by the end of the month, Ha-Ha boats will probably still be paying the highest fuel prices ever. So I'd like to help by offering my best possible rate."
Harbor Island Fuel Dock is conveniently located at the tip of Harbor Island, which is also where Cabrillo Isle Yacht Harbor, site of the Kick-Off Party, is located. The Harbor Island Fuel Dock is convenient to all of San Diego Bay.
Ha-Ha Seminars at the Seattle Boat Show - by Popular Request!
October 14 - Seattle
Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler was pleased to receive the following email from LaDonna Bubak, seminar coordinator at the Seattle Boat Show: "Last year we handed out surveys to every attendee to help us make next year's seminar program better. You may or may not be surprised to learn that a Baja Ha-Ha seminar is the one most requested - and by a long shot!"
And so it is that the Grand Poobah or Assistant Poobah, fresh from having done the 12th Baja Ha-Ha, will be giving a seminar on that event, plus cruising in Mexico in general, on January 14 and 15 at the Seattle Boat Show. We'll let you know when we get the exact times. We hope to see you there.