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Hurricane Seasons Rev Up on Both Coasts

September 3, 2008 – Eastern Pacific & Western Atlantic

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Intense storms are lined up in the Atlantic. Precisely where they'll make landfall is anybody's guess. © 2018 NOAA graphic

Luckily for Gulf Coast residents, the damage inflicted by Hurricane Gustav wasn't nearly as bad as some experts had predicted. No sooner had coastal residents breathed a sigh of relief, though, than they realized that three more named storms are currently brewing in the Atlantic — there's also storm action off the Pacific coast of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Hanna is currently marauding through the southern Bahamas on a northwesterly track with sustained winds near 60 mph. NOAA advises that she may regain hurricane strength Thursday or Friday. Next in line is Ike. Now lying 740 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Antilles Islands, he is currently near hurricane strength, and has the potential to build to a Category 2 hurricane (96-110 mph winds) before reaching the Bahamas and Hispanola early next week. Lined up behind Ike is Josephine, already the 10th named storm of the season. With perhaps eight more expected, 2008 is shaping up to be a particularly active year.

Meanwhile, the storm outlook on the West Coast is quite a bit rosier. A quick look at a weather map might lead you to fear that Tropical Depression Karina is poised to soon slam into the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. However, she is only packing winds of 30 knots, and is fortunately heading west.

But hang onto your hats. It's still only early September, so we haven't yet reached the statistical peak of hurricane season on either coast. For up-to-the-minute info on storm activities, check out NOAA's excellent resources at the National Hurricane Center.

- latitude / at

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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No Fuel for Foreign Boats

September 3, 2008 – Trinidad

"The Government of Trinidad has once again proven that they just don't have a clue," says John Anderton of the Alameda-based Cabo Rico 37 Sanderling. "I have been a supporter of Trinidad for several years, resisting the opportunity to find fault with the many strange and counter-productive issues that this country seems to delight in having. The time has come to declare an end to stupidity.

"Last week the Customs office seems to have run amok. Prior to this latest outrage, the Customs office has gone out of its way to continually demonstrate that foreign flagged yachts are really not welcome in Trinidad. Boats checking out have one hour to leave or risk fines. Boats sailing between Trinidad and Tobago may not stop at any of the anchorages along the north coast of Trinidad. Boat parts await clearance from Customs at their discretion. I'm currently waiting for a control unit for my autopilot — which I purchased through a local vendor — to be cleared. It's been here for a week. The vendor reports that Customs says they're too busy but they would clear the part after 4 p.m., charging an overtime fee. The vendor has refused. I know this is just a game, so I wait.

"On August 24, Customs notified the two fuel docks that they were in violation of Trinidadian law by selling government subsidized fuel to foreign-flagged vessels, and it was therefore banning the sale of fuel to all foreign-flagged boats. So folks, no fuel in Trinidad even though the fuel docks have been doing so for 17 years. More than 2,000 boats make Trinidad their yearly hurricane refuge so to say people are concerned is an understatement. Why the heck they just didn't raise the prices for foreign vessels is unclear.

"A meeting held August 29 was attended by boaters, vendors, and many government officials to solve this huge problem. Of couse the decision was made that more meetings are needed."

We'll keep you updated on this developing situation here on 'Lectronic and in Latitude.

- latitude / ld

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Ad: Seminars at KKMI

September 3, 2008 – Pt. Richmond

KKMI offers seminars to current and future clients to help you get the most out of your boat ownership experience.

© 2018 KKMI /

Coming up next:

Electrical Seminar — Saturday, September 27 in the Boathouse, 9am  Hosted by Ron Romaine, this is an in-depth Electrical Seminar covering everything from designing, installing and maintaining your electrical system. From tools and new equipment to "how to" and tips from over 35 years of experience in the field.

Contact Ginger at KKMI for details to reserve your space.

Keefe Kaplan Maritime, Inc. ♦ (510) 235-KKMI (5564)

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The Week in Racing

September 3, 2008 – The Bay

The Cityfront was pretty nuclear for Saturday's four races at the Express 27 Nationals. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

There was plenty of racing Labor Day weekend — intra-Bay, inter-Bay and extra-Bay — to keep everyone's minds off the impending end of summer and having to mothball their white dinner jackets. On the Cityfront, Nick Gibbens' and Bill Moore's Shenanigans cruised to an 11-point win at the Express 27 Nationals with a consistent scoreline featuring nothing worse than a fifth over the eight-race series, which was hosted by St. Francis YC from Friday to Sunday.

The Shenanigans gang from left to right: Steve Evans, driver Nick Gibbens, John Collins, Anne Alward and Tony Fisher. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A second in Friday's 18-mile ocean race to Point Bonita put Shenanigans in good stead when some other pre-regatta favorites finished further down the board.

"That gave us a little leg up on Saturday," said Gibbens, who, after years of on-and-off involvement in the class, was pleased to finally have his name on the perpetual trophy.

jazz cup
Sailors aboard the Express 37 Escapade clearly enjoying the slide to Benicia. © 2018 Peter Lyons /

Covering the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, we heard that the South Beach YC to Benicia YC Jazz Cup had good breeze aside from the typical holes here and there.

Probably the most promising moment during the 2008 Windjammers Race, where more than half the starters dropped out. © 2018 peter lyons /

Leaving the Bay on Friday was the Windjammers Race, the 67-some-miler down the coast to Santa Cruz, which suffered the same fate as June's Coastal and Spinnaker Cups — predominately light breeze, lots of retirements and not much running.

Coming up this weekend, we've got the Moore 24 Nationals at Richmond YC and the Golden Gate YC's IRC regatta, along with a whole slew of others, all noted on the 2008 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule. Find it at select Latitude 38 outlets, our World Headquarters in Mill Valley, or at the preceding link.

- latitude / rg

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'All About Cruising Mexico' Talk

September 3, 2008 – Sausalito & Oakland

Dick Markie, harbormaster at Nuevo Vallarta's Paradise Village Marina, will be giving two talks on "All About Cruising Mexico" — the first is this Saturday, September 6, at the Sausalito West Marine at 1 p.m.; the second will be held at the Oakland West Marine on September 9 at 5:30 p.m.

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