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It's Delivery Day for the October Latitude 38

September 29 - Mill Valley

Check it out! After all, among other things, it's got a great photo of Randy Repass, West Marine founder, reefing the main in a strong breeze in the South Pacific, and of his cat ketch Convergence, ripping along at 20 knots.

- latitude / rs

Convergence at 20 knots
Photos Courtesy Convergence

Don't be afraid - it's just the October issue of Latitude 38.
Setting Melange, Mill Valley
Photo Latitude/Annie

And the Couple Who Own Her Have Another Boat, too!

September 29 - San Francisco

"There's another superyacht on the Bay," reports Doug Thorne. "She's the ketch Timoneer, which measures 147 feet and has a cool Web site at www.timoneer.org that gives you a 'virtual tour' of the entire boat."

Timoneer sailing in full glory. A timoneer, by the way, is a helmsman.
Photo Rick Tomlinson

We're sorry that we missed her, because two New Year's Eves ago we had the honor of crewing aboard her for the St. Barth around-the-island race. She's not only an amazing yacht, she's surprisingly fast upwind. But the real shock is that the couple who own her didn't take delivery of the Vitters-built vessel until they were in their 80s! What's more, they also have an ultralight 77-footer called Nantucket Sleighride that daysails around the Northeast at 20 knots and more. The couple look like a typical grandpa and grandma, but their love for sailing is obviously something unusual.

The boat's Web site is great. Here's the log entry from their arrival in San Francisco: "Timoneer arrived at Pier 40 Marina San Francisco at 0915 local time, completing the 1,247-mile trip from Ketchikan in 4 days 18 hours and 15 minutes. We had some nice sailing last night with the reefed main and genoa pushing us at 13 kts. As we reached Pt. Arena, the northwesterly really started to kick in, gusting to 35 kts. The wind tapered off nicely as we turned toward the Traffic Separation Scheme in San Francisco Bay, and although there were patches of fog, we lucked out passing under the Golden Gate Bridge in hazy sunshine."

A cruising ketch sailing from Ketchikan to San Francisco in less than five days. The mind boggles.

- latitude / rs

The crew of a big boat catches a couple of big fish. These two bluefin tuna were caught off Tunisia, and each weighed in at about 200 pounds. Who says there are no more fish left in the Med?

Have you ever seen a tender quite like this one? We presume the steps and hand-grab poles are in deference to the limited mobility of the owners.
Photos Courtesy Timoneer

16th Annual Racer Chaser

September 25 - San Francisco

We invite you to advertise in the 2007 Latitude 38 YRA Calendar, a comprehensive full color guide to Northern California racing. Ideal for any club, class, association or business wanting to reach local racers. Click here for details (a PDF flyer will download).
(415) 383-8200; John Arndt, ext. 108; Shawn Grassman, ext. 107.

A Passel of Nationals

September 29 - San Francisco

Starting today, the Express 27s, Antrim 27s and Ultimate 24s will all be having their national championships out of the Richmond YC, with the Ultimate 20s competing for their NorCal championships. The Express 27s have more than 20 entries, demonstrating some new energy in this class. The Ultimates/Antrims are celebrating their first 'UFEST'.

Meanwhile, down in Santa Cruz more than 40 boats have signed up for the 30th anniversary national championship regatta for the Moore 24, perhaps the most lasting tribute to the design skills of George Olson of Santa Cruz. Like the Express 27, the Moore is a Northern California signature boat.

A herd of Moores approaches a leeward mark during their PCCs this May, hosted by Tibuon YC on the North Bay.
Photo Latitude/Archives

Mystery Photo Location Solved!

September 29 - see below

We got plenty of responses as to the location of Wednesday's 'Mystery Photo' - most of which were correct. Some even knew about the 'sailing incident' we referred to that took place on the peninsula in the background.

First, for a few of the wrong answers. Fred Walter, Mike Miller, and Mike Joyce all guessed that the peninsula in the background was the site of the Battle of Trafalgar near Cadiz, Spain, where the outmanned Admiral Nelson destroyed the combined fleets of France and Spain, leaving England as the world's leading naval power. Nelson, unfortunately, returned to Old Blighty in a butt of brandy to preserve his dead body. Nonetheless, it was the wrong answer.

Victor Jones guessed the Grand View Beach Hotel in St. Vincent. Alas, that was off by the breadth of the Atlantic Ocean. Tom Dick of Honolulu wrote, "It looks like former Italian P.M. Silvio Berlusconi's summer house near Santa Margherita de Ligure, which would mean the background is Portofino - which doesn't seem quite right." Correct on the latter count, as Portofino is one country to the east of the site of the mystery photo.

Jim Rogers was one of several with the right answer - and he also knew what 'sailing incident' we were referring to. "That's St. Jean Cap Ferrat, France, in the background, and you were thinking of the incident in which the then-new 247-ft Mirabella V went aground." Exactly. Jean Vaury, Deputy Trade Minister at the French Embassy in San Francisco, says our question was "too easy," and answered Villefranche-sur-Mer and Mirabella going aground. That's mostly right, although Villefranche, which was home the U.S. Sixth Fleet after World War II, is on the far side of the Cap Ferrat Peninsula.

Dave Court, having done some sailing in the area in May with his wife Carol, also identified it as Cap Ferrat, and noted that Mirabella went up on the Beaulieu-sur-Mer portion. By the way, if you're ever passing that way and need a hotel, we most highly recommend the Hotel Frisia in Beaulieu, a very nice and reasonably-priced place in a great setting across the street from lovely Port de Beaulieu.

Josh Rothe knew exactly where the mystery photo was taken, as he grew up in the area - and loved it.

Michael Dougan had the longest answer and the best photo: "Thanks to Google Earth, I'd say the anchorage is about 37 25.818, N, 122 05.36, W. I stayed at the cliffside hotel Chateau de la Chevre d'Or, in the village of Eze, a few years ago, and never tired of looking off at St. Jean Cap Ferrat.

Cap Ferrat from Eze
Photo Michael Dougan

"There were wonderful little harborside restaurants there if I remember correctly. When I heard about the Mirabella V grounding near there, I thought back to a storm we encountered one evening at the hotel, which is several hundred feet above the water. The storm blew in from the SSE and took us by surprise. While winds were probably only 40-45 knots, it seemed like much more, with signs crashing around the hotel, shutters banging, and glass breaking. Looking down at what had been beautiful tranquil anchorages during the day, and seeing whitecaps blowing on to a lee shore, I was very grateful not to be anchored out that night. The storm departed as quickly as it had arrived, but it left me curious about what we'd just experienced. I'd heard about the infamous mistral winds, but when I searched for more information, I discovered that the area is beset by many different winds, each with its own name, each coming from a different compass direction. I believe that our storm might have been an example of the scirocco blowing in off of the African continent, whereas the mistrals blow down offshore from the Alps in the north."

The bottom line? If you ever get a chance to cruise that area, don't pass it up.

- latitude / rs

Correction to a Correction

September 29 - San Francisco

In the September issue of Latitude 38, we ran the following in Loose Lips on page 108:


"We misplaced a decimal or two in our coverage of the collision between the Sea Scout boat Viking and a Catalina 36 on July 8. Damage to the former vessel, which capsized after being T-boned, is close to $50,000 (not $5,000 as was printed). 'The hull repair alone is estimated to exceed $25,000, and that doesn't include the original salvage bill, transportation to the yard, rig, gear, or anything else,' notes Sea Scout Director Nick Tarlson.

"Our apologies for this error.

Photo Courtesy Nick Tarlson

"At this writing, despite the fact that Viking was on starboard tack (and therefore had the right of way), the insurance company was charging 'comparative negligence' and offering the Scouts a settlement of 70% of the boat's value. If accepted, that would mean the Scouts would still be out of pocket approximately $15,000 for repairs to Viking. Anyone wanting to donate to this worthy restoration can contact Tarlson at -"

And here we put in Nick's email address with a spelling error. To email Nick and possibly help out with finances for the restoration, click here.

Our apologies for this error.

- latitude / jr & cw

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