October 30, 2013

Latitude’s Secret HQ?

We had no idea what we were looking at when we sailed into Clipper Cove on Labor Day weekend.

latitude/LaDonna
©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"Uh oh," writes reader Rod Williams, who keeps his Catalina 42 Azure at Marina Village in Alameda. "Isn’t this Latitude 38‘s secret world headquarters? Your cover is blown — better head out to sea!"

We quickly clicked the link Rod supplied and were relieved to find our cover wasn’t blown after all. It was just Google’s super-secret barge structure that CNET reported on late last week. We were wondering what was under construction when we joined friends in Clipper Cove over Labor Day weekend. Now we know . . . sort of.

The Borg Family — Laurie, Austin, Spence, Briana and Friday — aboard their Jeanneau SO 45.2 Solace joined in the festivities. They didn’t seem at all curious about the barge either.

latitude/LaDonna
©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
These crazy cats — Ronnie Simpson, Mark Rayner, Brian Gonzalez-Jones and Erik Jones — were too busy breaking in the Joneses’ new Island Packet 370 Aventura to give a rat’s ass what Google was up to.

latitude/LaDonna
©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Honestly, we were too busy having fun with our friends and enjoying the view of the freshly lit San Francisco Bay Bridge — and the eerie hush that filled the cove due to the bridge closure that weekend — to pay much attention to the ugly structure.

Besides, this view was much more enjoyable.

latitude/LaDonna
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Now excuse us while we go search Google Earth to make sure satellite images of our real secret headquarters haven’t populated yet.

Baja Ha-Ha Update

The 20th annual Baja Ha-Ha has been like all the others that came before in that the conditions just keep getting better and better. The event started Monday morning in rainy conditions and, by the afternoon, the fleet were dealing with light headwinds. And, man, that first night was C-O-L-D! 

Yesterday afternoon, we had 13 knots out of the northwest and smooth conditions. Now into the third day, we’re 50 miles north of Cedros Island and the wind is blowing 15-18 knots out of the northwest. The sun is out with scattered clouds, and life looks lovely.

Well, except the National Hurricane Center is forecasting that a tropical storm will develop near Manzanillo and possibly head up toward Baja and Cabo. Hmmm . . . the Ha-Ha fleet and a tropical storm in the same place is not a good thing. We’ll keep an eye on the forecast and see how things are developing when we reach Turtle Bay.

Passage Weather shows the depression — with top wind speeds of 30 knots — petering out between Cabo and PV by Monday.

© Passage Weather

Speaking of, tomorrow is the baseball game between the Baja Ha-Ha fleet and the women and children — all terrific baseball players — of Turtle Bay. We can’t wait to bring you the photos!

If you’re into stats, the rally started with 128 boats and 489 people, but by the time the late-starters catch up, we’ll have 130 boats and more than 500 people. The fishing has been good. One boat even hooked two dorado — they landed the first but the second ripped the rod and bracket right off the boat! And the best quote so far in the event came during a morning check-in when one crewmember reported that all was well aboard the boat. "Except," he said, "we blew a guy." 

And with that, until next time.

This plate full of tacos were looking good, but their little chili pepper seemed less than thrilled with his costume.
For the last several years, we’ve closely followed the exploits of one particularly spunky British granny, Jeanne Socrates.
In May of this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, citing unusually warm ocean temperatures, predicted that there would be 7 to 11 hurricanes in the Atlantic / Caribbean this season, and that three to six could become major hurricanes with winds of over 110 knots.