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Photo of the Day

March 24, 2010 – Latitude-land

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

"A typical night in the Higgins' house," says Jerry. © 2018 Jerry Higgins

"My wife is a voracious, cover-to-cover Latitude 38 reader," writes Jerry Higgins of the Bulls Eye Lia. "One evening a couple months ago, things got so ridiculous, I couldn't resist taking this unposed shot. Just so someone doesn't get stuck reading a back issue while the other has the current one, we've taken to picking up two copies each month so we don't have to fight over it. Pretty sick, huh?"

We don't think that sounds sick at all. In fact, we think it it sounds downright brilliant.

- latitude / ld

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Latitude 38 Crew List

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

California Dismasted, Crew Safe

March 24, 2010 – North Pacific

California Dismasted
California's rig goes the way of Cal's '10 NCAA Tournament trip. Photo Courtesy Clipper Ventures
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In what has to be one of the most saddening developments to date for supporters of the first Golden State entry in the '09-'10 Clipper 'Round the World Race, our namesake boat California was dismasted Sunday evening some 1,800 miles from the Bay. Sailing under only a storm jib in 60-knot winds, the boat was rolled to 120º and came back up without its rig. The knockdown flooded the boat's nav station, so skipper Pete Rollason's only option was to activate the boat's EPIRB while they could attempt repairs to their comms equipment. The Coast Guard scrambled a C-130 from Kodiak Island, Alaska, which dropped a radio to the boat — a feat we'd have liked to have seen.

Crewmember Clive Cockram got tossed across the cabin in the knockdown, splitting his head open in the process — an injury which, although apparently not life-threatening, caused him to be successfully medevaced to a nearby Danish commercial vessel for stitches. As of this writing, three of the other boats in the race have rendezvoused with California and have begun transferring fuel while the crew attempt to set up a jury rig to mitigate Cali's need for diesel. According to Clipper Ventures, the boats will convoy into the Bay for California's safety. One of those boats, Uniquely Singapore, was also knocked down in the same storm, and suffered some damage to the steering system that the crew has been able to effectively repair.

This is really a huge bummer. For one, it would have been great to see our state's namesake sail through the Gate. Secondly, after a race that's thus far been heavy on the breakdowns for our team, the crew was having a really good leg — running in the middle of the pack and well within striking distance of the leaders.

But there may be a silver lining. With Team Finland having just started the leg after having their replacement rig fitted in Qingdao, they are considerably behind schedule, with 3,500 miles to go yet. And given that California's replacement rig will have to be stepped once it gets here to the Bay, there've been hints from Clipper Ventures that the start date for the next leg may be moved back — which would give the boats more time on the Bay, and possibly give the mainstream media a chance to give them their due also . . . one can only hope.

- latitude / rg

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Ad: DH Farallones Race & Multihull Expo

March 24, 2010 – To the Rock Pile and Back

BAMA's Doublehanded Farallones Race is a simply challenging race course with only one mark to round. The deadline to enter is March 31!
© 2018 BAMA /

BAMA's 31st Doublehanded Farallones Race is Saturday, April 3. See sailing instructions for new equipment and registration information requirements at DHF 2010 online, or email or call (510) 864-8888. Have a great race!


"Oh Lord -- I went sailing in a multihull and LIKED it!"
© 2018 BAMA /

BAMA's 1st Multihull Expo Day is Saturday, April 24, at Coyote Point YC from noon-6 p.m. As far as we know, Larry won't be there but if the recent big boat racing in Valencia has you interested in multihulls, come join us to learn more! Info at Multihull Expo Day or via email.

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Watch Out for Whales

March 24, 2010 – S.F. Bay and Beyond

"Boaters on the Bay and outside the Golden Gate will be 'sharing the road' with some pretty big critters," says Mary Jane Schramm of NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary. She's referring, of course, to the thousands of whales who migrate north along the coast at this time of year.

Just the other day at least one gray whale was spotted inside the Bay. Typically, not much of a gray's body can be seen above the surface, so watch for its 'blow', which looks like a puff of smoke about 10 to 15 feet high. © 2018 Keener/NOAA

Throughout the late fall and winter, offshore mariners always have to keep a look-out for southbound gray, blue and humpback whales. But during springtime, while they migrate north from breeding grounds off Mexico to feeding grounds off Alaska, there is a greater probability of seeing them — and colliding with them. "Gray whales are at a particularly high risk of collisions with vessels," explains Mary Jane, "as they often travel near shore and may even wander into the Bay itself. Many of these whales travel directly through the busy shipping lanes off San Francisco in the Gulf of the Farallones sanctuary just outside the Golden Gate. Grays — including mothers with newborn calves — swim closest to shore in the spring. Cow-calf pairs can sometimes be seen from shore, and may even pause in the surf zone for the calf to nurse or rest."

While it may be tempting to get up close for a photo op, let us remind you that whales are not as nimble as, say, dolphins, and a collision with one could be disasterous to both you and the visiting cetacean. All whales, by the way, are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and both blues and humpbacks are also protected by the Endangered Species Act.

We urge you to follow these NOAA guidelines: Do not approach a whale closer than 300 feet (the length of a football field); don't cross its path; don't make sudden speed or directional changes; and never get between a whale cow and her calf. Because, if separated from its mother, a calf may be doomed to starvation. (For more more on the Sanctuary visit the website.)

- latitude / at

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Ha-Ha Solves Robbery in Auckland

March 24, 2010 – Auckland, New Zealand

And yes, we mean Auckland, not Oakland.

The girls
Having moved to the southern hemisphere, Jamie, Mera and Aeron have a new perspective on life. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We'll let Toast Conger of the Seattle based-Lagoon 380 Don Quixote — who along with husband Dean and daughters Jaime, Mera and Aeron, had been cruising Mexico the last two years — explain.

"The Don Quixote girls arrived safely in New Zealand. We rented a house here in a suburb south of Auckland far from the busy city life. We named our rental 'Chicken House' after the Rhode Island Reds that browse the property daily. Two days after moving some of our bags into the house, thieves broke in and took 7 of the 10 pieces of luggage we had moved to New Zealand. Those bags contained basically everything we owned: clothes, electronics, nautical gear, and all the girls' personal items such as diaries, souvenirs and trinkets.

The Group
The Don Quixote girls, with other Sea of Cortez participants, high above Caleta Partida in '09. © 2018 Glenn Twitchell

"Despite the set-back, Jaime, Mera and Aeron forged ahead. They started school, moved into their new 'cabins', and set about making as many new friends as possible. To recover from the theft, they initiated The Memory Project, a shout-out to their cruising friends and family requesting letters and souvenirs from the places we'd visited over the years. One of the very first items to arrive was a letter from Heather and Jim Donnell of the Ventura-based 49-ft cat Meerkat, including a Latitude 38 clipping about Don Quixote. It was a tremendous pick-up for the whole family.

"Naturally, I reported the burglary to the local police, including a very long and highly detailed list of what was stolen. Well, yesterday the police called me. I was asked to go to a residence where the police thought I might be able to identify some of our stolen goods. They were pretty certain the items were ours because carefully displayed on a bookshelf were two beautifully decorated glasses embossed with sailboats and the words 'Baja Ha-Ha 2008'. Yes, our stuff was found because the thieves couldn't bear to part with our Ha-Ha wine glasses, including the companion 'I Survived the Ha Ha' certificate. The certificate even had our names on it! While the thieves sold all the valuable items, we anticipate recouping our financial losses through our insurance. And the girls' memorabilia? We found a good fraction of it in the trash nearby. 

"So thanks to all our friends participating in The Memory Project and special thanks to the Ha-Ha and Latitude 38 for making our worldly goods so obviously unlike anything else in New Zealand."
Don Quixote, the cat at left, is currently for sale in Mexico. If she doesn't sell, the Congers plan to sail her to New Zealand next season. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / rs

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