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October Issue of Latitude Hits Streets

October 1, 2007 – Bay Area

Oct. '07 Edition
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Amongst the first fallen leaves of Autumn. Here is Latitude's October edition - one of the biggest of the year! Pick-up a copy today! Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As you can see from the accompanying photo, the October issue hit the streets today, and should be at most Northern California locations by late this afternoon. It's got our full Rolex Big Boat Series coverage, as well as great stories on locally-built electric power plants for boats, primers on SSB radio, spearfishing for those headed to Mexico, Letters, Changes, Max, and much more. We like this issue and think you will, too!

- latitude / rs

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Skippers/Crews to Mingle at Encinal YC

October 1, 2007 – Alameda, CA

Looking for a ride to Mexico? If so, you'll want to mark your calendar with a big red Sharpie: The Latitude 38 Mexico-Only Crew List Party will be held this Wednesday, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Encinal YC in Alameda.

Sailing Resumes
A good way to 'show whatcha got'. Previous Ha-Ha party attendees wear their resumes...literally! Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If recent years are any indicator, there should be several hundred sailors in attendance, some looking for a ride to sunnier latitudes and others hoping to find reliable crew for their imminent departures. Having minimal experience isn't necessarily a deal-breaker, as some skippers would rather sign on an eager neophyte than a seasoned know-it-all.

Inflatable Demo - Ha-Ha
If you really had to use one, you might not see so many smiles. Here party-ers help Sal's Inflatables (from the East Bay) perform a demonstration. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The event also serves as a Pre-Kickoff Party for this year's Baja Ha-Ha cruisers rally. Registered Ha-Ha skippers and first mates get in free. All others pay $7 at the door. Cash bar, but muchies will be provided.

For complete details and driving directions see: www.latitude38.com/crewlist/CrewParty/CrewParty.html.

- latitude / at

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Ad: A Sailing Vacation in the Sun

October 1, 2007 – Somewhere Sunny

Now's the time to get your friends or family together! The new 2008 Sunsail brochure is packed with great ideas for chartering around the world, including new bases in the Abacos, Bahamas, Koh Chang in Thailand, Ohaniye in Turkey or a new eco-friendly base in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. With 27 destinations worldwide, sailing courses for all levels, fun flotillas and more than 100 new yachts joining the fleet this winter, your options are endless.



© 2017 Sunsail Yacht charters

Give Sunsail a call at (800) 327-2276 or visit  www.sunsail.com to get your 2008 Sunsail Yacht Charter Brochure! Click here for Reefweek savings of up to 25%!

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Understandable Fears: Safety In Mexico

October 1, 2007 – About To Head South

"I'm planning to to take my family to Cabo on our very expensive yacht," writes Brian Littlefield, "and am wondering if there have been any recent pirate-type attacks down there. And if so, what should we bring for security, as guns are obviously out of the question. I want to go to Mexico, but not if it's going to put my family in danger. Should I be worried about officials messing with my boat? Are there any other types of dangers to be concerned about?"

For folks who have cruised in Mexico, fears about personal security will no doubt bring a response of laughter, but if you're like Littlefield and haven't been down there before, it's a perfectly reasonable question. We've taken various boats we've owned — Freya 39, Olson 30, Cal 25, Ocean 71, and 63-ft cat — to Mexico more than 20 seasons in the last 30 years, and have never had a problem with individuals or officials. And in our 13 years of being the Grand Poobah of the Ha-Ha, can't recall any significant incidents with members of our fleet. For those who take basic common sense precautions — be careful in poorly lit areas at night when alone and drunk, and don't flash your wealth —  we consider Mexico to be very safe.

No crime out here.
It's not surprising that there's no crime at remote areas such as Isla San Francisco, but if you use common sense, you won't be a victim in cities, either. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

That's not to say there has never been any crime against cruisers in Mexico. More than 20 years ago a cruiser was killed in Turtle Bay by a local who had just returned from living in the States. There was a drug element to the incident, although the man killed had nothing to do with drugs. About 12 years ago a man who had been crewing on a boat was found dead in a room in Mazatlan, in an incident that was almost certainly drug related. If you want to put your life in danger in Mexico, the one sure way to do so is by getting involved with people who sell/transport drugs. But unless you going looking for them, you're never going to cross their paths. It's true there is an incredible amount of drug violence in Mexico, but the drug smugglers are smart enough to keep it far away from tourist areas and amongst themselves. There are no commonly-frequented cruiser destinations/anchorages that we consider to be dangerous to regular folks out to enjoy the cruising life. As such, we've never seen the need to carry any weapons . . . other than a nearly useless flare gun.

It's been our experience that officialdom in Mexico has become much more professional in the last five years. We've really been impressed. The main exceptions would be when it comes to importing stuff across the border by land and, as always, when trying to ship parts into Puerto Vallarta via customs in Guadalajara. You might as well just write the latter off as lost.

Our greatest safety concern in Mexico is, believe it or not, drunken drivers. If you walk around with a beer in your hand on the street other than during a fiesta, you'll attract the attention of the police. But if locals drive with an open 24-pack, nobody says anything. Combine drunken drivers with an all too prevalent macho attitude of passing on blind curves and the like, and it can be dangerous. Sunday afternoons can be particularly bad.

With regard to your boat, from time to time dinghies have been stolen, but at nowhere near the rate it happens in the Caribbean. Lock your dinghy to your boat and/or lift it up at night just to be sure.

We've taken our boats and family to Mexico many times in the past, and would do it with complete confidence in the future.

- latitude / rs

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A Win-Win for the Ladies

October 1, 2007 – San Francisco Bay

The only thing better than sailing on the Bay is sailing on the Bay for a good cause. Skippers of the feminine persuasion will get two chances this month to do just that. On October 13, Golden Gate YC will be hosting the inaugural Ruth Gordon Schnapp Regatta, benefitting the San Francisco affiliate of Susan G. Koman for the Cure. The day after raising money for breast cancer research, you can then raise more of the green stuff for the Tall Ship Education Academy's Semester for Girls (read more about this worthy program in the October 1 issue of Latitude, due out today, or go to www.tallshipacademy.org) in Sausalito YC's 27th Annual Women Skippers Regatta.

Hey Ladies!
Last year's largest all-women crew placed second in Sausalito YC's Women Skipper Regatta onboard 1D35 Alpha Puppy. Photo Courtesy Krista Hill
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A woman must be constantly at the helm for both regattas but the rest of the crew can be co-ed, though all-women teams are encouraged. As an added incentive, there'll even be separate prizes for them. If you're interested in crewing, our new Racing Editor Lindsay Cohen, who will be skippering Michael Campbell's Lancer 30 Geronimo that weekend, is looking for a few good hands. Email her if you're interested. If you'd like to sign up your own boat, go to Golden Gate YC's site at www.ggyc.org and Sausalito YC's site at www.syconline.org.

- latitude / lc & ld

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Buccaneer Day This Saturday

October 1, 2007 – Two Harbors, Catalina

The fact that the days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and skippers are turning the bows of their boats toward Mexico can only mean one thing — it's time for Buccaneer Day at Catalina! That's right, this Saturday is the one day of the year when, or so we're told, everyone can unleash their inner naughty child, assisted in no small degree by the fact that they can hide behind a pirate or wench costume. As a result, the old "What happens at Buccaneer Day, stays on the island" rule is invoked.

Couple In Costume
Fantasies become realities at Buc Day. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

There are three main rules: First, don't even think of coming to Buccaneer Day without having put some effort into your costume. If you don't  dress for the occasion,  you'll feel as welcome as a parson at an orgy. Second, just because you get a little wild and crazy doesn't mean you're no longer responsible for yourself. Be safe! Third, if you and your new friend just can't take the long wait for the shoreboat in order to get back to your boat and consumate your new love, please be gentle with the walls of the little red schoolhouse, they just aren't that strong.

Mr. Right
For you single wenches looking to hook up with Pirate Right, there will be many excellent candidates at Two Harbors this Saturday. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While Buccaneer Day is Saturday, some people just can't wait. As a result, it's wild at Two Harbors on Friday night, too. So if you arrive early, pace yourself. If you want a mooring, it would be best to get your boat to the island by Thursday, for every mooring and will be taken by Friday. The anchorage will be packed unlike any other day of the year, so work with others.

    Arrrghhhh!

- latitude / rs

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