Latitude home Latitude 38


Previous 'Lectronic

'Lectronic Latitude Latest 'Lectronic
Subscribe to LectronicLatitude to receive emails when 'Lectronic Latitude is updated.

Mexican Mood Lighting

January 4, 2010 – Sea of Cortez, Mexico

San Gabriel sunset
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

One of the rewards of the cruising lifestyle is unexpected gifts from Mother Nature, such as glorious sunsets in tranquil anchorages. Photo Courtesy Proximity
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We once had the privilege of traveling with a bona fide National Geographic photographer. Naturally, we picked his brains about his techniques and favorite equipment, but the thing that impressed us most about the time spent with him was that he did most of his work shortly after sunrise and shortly before sunset. He claimed the light at those times is always wonderful for picture-taking, with dramatic highlights and shadows, and super-saturated colors.

Judging by these photos, Rod and Elisabeth Lambert of the Swan 41 Proximity must also know a thing or two about dramatic photography. Since completing the Baja Ha-Ha rally in November, they've been cruising the Sea of Cortez on an open-ended schedule. Lucky them. In addition to the scenery being beautiful, the climate is obviously sunny and warm — which is something we can't say about their Sausalito homeport. 

Elizabeth at sunset
Elisabeth's sunny smile says it all. Photo Courtesy Proximity
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / at

Bookmark and Share

Latitude 38 Crew List

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Sydney Hobart Goes to the Little Guys

January 4, 2010 – Hobart, Tasmania

Neville Crichton's R/P 100 Alfa Romeo pounds toward Hobart. © 2018 Rolex / Daniel Forester

The largest-ever collection of custom, 100-ft maxis were no match for three Australia-based, 40-ft production boats in the '09 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Andy Saies' Beneteau First 40 Two True beat out another First 40, Mike Welsh's Wicked, and Ian Mason's Sydney 38 Next, to win overall honors in the 100-boat fleet.

"The wind was in, the wind was out, we drifted, we went backwards, we lost internet access, we didn't know what was going on until the last few minutes," Saies said. "It was a classic Rolex Sydney Hobart event and we were in it up to our back teeth, and it came our way in the end. We may be privileged enough to have a boat and a team that gets to this position as people have in the past. But in yacht racing to have everything going right in one event at the right time is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Andy Saies
Andy Saies is flanked by his new Rolex and the Tatersall's Trophy. © 2018 Rolex / Kurt Arrigo

The variability Saies referred to — the fleet saw everything from 30-knot southwesterlies to near-calms — meant that the leaderboard was shuffled around many times. The top-performing big boat was Skype founder Nikolas Zennstrom's Judel/Vrolijk 72 Ran, and the bevy of Maxis was led by TransPac monohull record-holder Neville Crichton's Alfa Romeo — the first to reach Hobart after 628 miles of racing.

We'll have a full recap in the February issue of Latitude 38.

- latitude / rg

Bookmark and Share

Dehumidifier Recall

January 4, 2010 – Nationwide

Fewer things on a boat are less sexy than a dehumidifier, but damp winters certainly justify their use. The small, passive marine air dryers sold at chandleries are just the thing to keep the mildew at bay in Southern California, but when winter presents itself in buckets of rain, a little more 'oomph' is needed. Popular among many sailors — and relatively inexpensive — are portable home dehumidifiers that can suck gallons of water out of the air. These units generally sell at home stores such as Home Depot and Wally World for about $150.

This dehumidifier - labeled either Goldstar or Comfort-Aire - is being recalled for being a potential fire hazard. Photo Courtesy U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Unfortunately, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of 98,000 dehumidifiers sold under the Goldstar and Comfort-Aire brands between January 2007 and June 2008. The model in question, manufactured by China's LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co., has a 30-pint resevoir with a front-loading bucket, and a red shut-off button. This unit has been determined to be the cause of a number of fires — and we all know how boat fires usually turn out. To see if your dehumidifier is on the recall list, check this site.

- latitude / ld

Bookmark and Share

To Fill or Not To Fill

January 4, 2010 – Hong Kong / San Francisco

We figure that every 30 years or so it's important to visit another part of the world to see if we can learn from the way other people do things, particularly with regard to boats and the water. So the publisher is currently on a month-long research mission in Southeast Asia.

Royal Hong Kong YC
The Royal Hong Kong YC on the waterfront of Victoria Harbor. Once an island, it now 'anchors' the tube taking heavy traffic beneath Victoria Harbor from Hong Kong to Kowloon. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In order to get to Southeast Asia, we had to stop at Hong Kong, where former residents Pete and Susan Wolcott of the Southern California-based M&M 52 cat Kiapa urged us to visit the Royal Hong Kong YC. Occupying a prime spot of the Hong Kong waterfront, we expected the RHKYC to have lots of big yachts. After all, Hong Kong is home to some very wealthy people. Furthermore, the only two RHKYC members we've ever heard of have very big boats. The first is Frank Pong, who won the St. Barth Around-the-Island Race a few years ago with his R/P 77 Jelik, and who last year bought the late Roy Disney's R/P 94 Pyewacket. The other is Robert Miller, who raced his 140-ft modern schooner Mari-Cha IV in the Pacific Cup a few races back.

Mari Cha
When it came to choosing which of his 140-footers to keep, the Hong Kong YC's Robert Miller stuck with Mari-Cha III. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As it turned out, the RHKYC didn't have as many or as big boats in residence as we'd expected. The fleet was sort of like that of the Richmond YC, with a lot of small trailer boats. But the yacht club itself is grand in an old-style way, as is befitting a club that was started by a bunch of Brits in the late 1800s. The club has several places to eat on its spacious grounds, meeting rooms, a couple of swimming pools, a boatyard and a chandlery. It's also the only yacht club we know with a four-lane bowling alley. When Peter Wolcott wrote of the many grand times he enjoyed at the club, we can imagine he was referring to afternoons or evenings racing in Victoria Harbor off the club, then coming back to the clubhouse for a drink and a meal with friends in a splendid setting against the background of the spectacular Hong Kong waterfront. And what an oasis it would be in that teeming city.

The downstairs dining room of the RHKYC features delicious food and arched brick ceilings that give it a most unusual ambience for a yacht club. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One of the more interesting things about the Royal Hong Kong YC is that, when it was founded, it was on Kellett Island, about a quarter mile off the shore of Hong Kong — and just a little further from the world famous Hong Kong Jockey Club. As time passed and Hong Kong prospered, the part of Victoria Harbor between the two was "reclaimed." The reclamation process really got going when a causeway to the club was built in the 1950s so that an underwater tunnel could connect Hong Kong with Kowloon. With that, the club and Kellett Island became part of Hong Kong proper.

A full-size bowling alley in a yacht club? That's a strike! when it comes to the RHKYC. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Filling in bodies of water to increase land is, of course, nothing new. Much of what is now San Francisco's waterfront is bayfill, Treasure Island is man-made, and so is California City, the seldom used name for Paradise Cay. The difference between San Francisco Bay and Hong Kong is that about 40 years ago the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) was created and given the power to stop anyone from so much as putting a shovel of dirt into the Bay. In Hong Kong, on the other hand, development interests still have the upper hand, and massive harbor fill continues.

The bigger Royal Hong Kong YC boats tie to moorings in Causeway Bay, which was once the home to thousands of liveaboard sampans. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

People might argue about which is better, to have more or less development. We're going to side with the latter. For while Hong Kong's 7,758 high rise buildings — 228 of them over 500 feet tall — are certainly impressive, and perhaps appropriate for such a densely populated area, we think they'd be a little much for San Francisco.

Talk about your endangered species; there were once thousands of people living on sampans in Causeway Bay. These are all that remain. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Once an island, the RHKYC continues to enjoy a privileged and oasis-like location, just across the main highway from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Like any good yacht club, the RHKYC uses old sails on roller furlers to protect swimmers from too much sun. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / rs

Bookmark and Share

Top | Index of Stories | Previous 'Lectronic Edition
Copy this link and paste it into your RSS reader 'Lectronic RSS feed
How to submit your own story, visit here


'Lectronic Latitude | Download the Magazine | Crew List & Party
Calendar | Letters | Changes in Latitudes | Features
Classy Classifieds | Place a Classy Ad | Advertisers' Links | Display Advertising
Links | New Stuff | Subscriptions | Distribution | Contact Us | Home
  The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine.
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC. All rights reserved.