December 8, 2010

Giving Thanks – Caption Contest

And you thought it was cold at your marina lately!

© Chris Maher

Last week, when we ran a few photos of happy, barefoot cruisers celebrating Thanksgiving in the sunny latitudes of Mexico, we invited readers to send in snapshots of other on- or near-the-water Turkey Day celebrations.

We didn’t get much response — perhaps because those sunny, al fresco dining shots were tough to beat. But former Bay Area sailor Chris Maher put the issue in a different perspective with this Thanksgiving Day shot of his wife Sheila aboard the couple’s Rough Water 37 Rough & Ready. Several months ago — long before the snow started falling — Sheila agreed to move to Seattle with Chris. 

We’re guessing the idea of heading down to the marina on Thanksgiving to check on the boat wasn’t Sheila’s favorite part of the holiday weekend.

© Chris Maher

While the photo pretty much tells the story, we’d like to invite readers to give us a caption for it. For example, what do you suppose Sheila was thinking when this shot was taken? Send responses here

Ultra Flip Anchor Swivels Recalled

Only UFS8 (#8) Ultra Flip Swivels made between June ’09 and October ’10 are included in Quickline’s recall. The company says all other versions of that model, and all other sizes, can be used with confidence.

© 2010 Quickline

Quickline USA has issued a total recall of all UFS8 Ultra Flip anchor swivels for 1/4" and 5/16" chain. "Simply put, the UFS8 swivels do not meet Quickline’s high quality standards and strength requirements,” said Quickline USA President Randy Boelsems. The swivels, manufactured by Boyut Marine between June 2009 and October 2010, are easy to identify by the eagle molded into the side. No other size of Ultra Flip swivel, and older versions of UFS8 — ones lacking the molded eagle — are not included in the recall.

A recalled swivel can be easily identified by an eagle molded into its side.

© 2010 Quickline

If you have one of the recalled swivels in your anchoring set-up, stop using it immediately and contact Quickline at (714) 843-6964 to arrange for a replacement swivel. They ask that the defective units be returned via the pre-paid FexEx label they’ll include with the replacement.

Blast Raises a Couple of Grand

When it comes to cruiser fundraisers in Mexico, the Banderas Bay Blast / Pirates for Pupils is a modest one, in part because it’s so early in the season that a lot of boats still haven’t arrived. Nonetheless, Ronnie ‘Tea Lady’ reports that just under $2,000 was raised for educational materials for local children in last week’s event. By the way, $500 of it was in the name of participants in November’s Baja Ha-Ha, who will also contribute another $500 to the Spring Pirates for Pupils fundraiser.

Ronnie ‘Tea Lady’, Ms. Probity herself, hands out educational gifts to the enthusiastic children of Punta Mita’s Emiliano Zapata. One hundred percent of money donated to the Blast goes to the kids, as there are no ‘expenses’ or other cuts. And Ronnie, bless her heart, carefully makes her purchases and distribution with great care.

latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While this year’s Blast fleet wasn’t as big as in years past, the sailing was terrific and the smaller group meant just about everybody got to know one another. As for Banderas Bay, it again proved itself to be one of the most delightful — and beautiful — sailing venues in the world. Check out the photos for proof.

Yes, there is a god. You can tell because just 3 hours and 15 minutes south of San Francisco you can be sailing in a great, tropical, ‘nothing serious’ regatta on beautiful Banderas Bay. This shot was taken aboard Ken and Cheryl Sears’ Tennessee and Puerto Vallarta-based J/160 Blue, with the Surfin’ 63 Profligate and the Hughes 45 Capricorn Cat on her starboard quarter. The air temp is in the mid-80s, and the boats are gliding along at 10 knots toward the Paradise Village Marina finish line.

latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With the holidays fast approaching, about half of the participating boats will be staying in the Banderas Bay area, while the other half are starting, or about to start, making their way down the Gold Coast to Tenacatita Bay, Barra, and Zihuatanejo for the SailFest there at the end of January. The sun is out, the air temp is in the mid-80s, the water temp is in the high 70s, the people of Mexico couldn’t be nicer, and the 25,000 or so Americans in the Vallarta coast area couldn’t feel safer. So if this part of Mexico is in your future cruising plans, you’ve got something great to look forward to.

The third race in the Blast is the Pirates for Pupils Spinnaker Run for Charity from Punta Mita to Paradise Marina. It’s a great course that usually starts with a tight spinnaker reach on port, a gybe to starboard at the radio tower toward the middle of the bay, after which the fleet gets increasingly knocked so they end up on a very tight spinnaker or white sails reach to the finish. To the left is Piko, Lauren and Lauren Buchholtz’s Seattle-based Pretorien 35 and another Ha-Ha boat, Roger and Diana Frizzelle’s Richmond-based Catalina 470 Di’s Dream. Both boats were able to carry all the way to the finish.

latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC
Another view of the luxurious Di’s Dream, as she just barely lays the finish line. Once across, there was no time to waste in getting the chute down, as the heavy summer rains have greatly extended how far out the shoals come from the Rio Ameca. By the way, the main highway bridge over the Rio Ameca that collapsed during 23 inches of rain in 24 hours in September is expected to reopen before Christmas — more than 50% ahead of schedule.

latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC
The kids must have their fun! Commodore Ginger — the fifth female commodore in a row at the prestigious Punta Mita Yacht & Surf Club — initiates Dustin Houseknecht into the club with the carbon fiber SUP paddle. Since he sailed to Punta Mita, paid $1 for his membership, and took the paddling, Dustin is eligible to renew his lifetime membership every year.

latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC
A wayward duckling gets some special instruction Sunday on inducing heel and trimming for light air.
Canadian cruiser Milan Egrmajer, 58, was killed on the evening of December 3 as a result of being shot four times by robbers attempting to board his Ericson 35 MkII Adena at a remote cove on the northwest coast of Honduras.
The final chance to show your support for San Francisco’s bid to host the 34th America’s Cup is coming up this Wednesday.
The Swan 80 Berenice took line honors in the ARC. © 2010 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers The fact that it took Marco Rodolfi’s Italian-crewed Swan 80 Berenice 14 days, 1 hour to be the first boat to complete this year’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is a testament to how light the winds have been for most of this year’s crossing.