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Photos of the Day: Grounding in Monterey

June 2, 2010 – Monterey

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Captain Chelsea Wagner and Salvage Technician Tom Cochrane rig the tow line that diver Erik Krilanovich (not shown) swam in through surf and a rip tide. © 2018 Tim Sell

According to Capt. Chelsea Wagner, owner of Pacific Salvage in Santa Cruz, the long Memorial Day weekend was surprisingly slow. That may not be great news for a tow boat operator, but it's good news for boaters. Unfortunately, one sailor wasn't so lucky. The owner of the Monterey-based Hunter 27 Aeolus was reportedly out for a daysail on Saturday when he noticed the 30 feet of water he had been sailing in off Del Monte Beach was shoaling rapidly. "He was getting ready to tack away when it went from 30 feet to 4 feet in half a second," reports Wagner. Apparently the sailor had met the shoal area that built up over the winter — and isn't charted. "It runs a good 150 yards out from Del Monte Beach," Wagner said. If you sail in Monterey, consider yourself warned.

Aeolus's owner sailed a little too close to an uncharted shoal off Del Monte Beach in Monterey Bay on Saturday. © 2018 Tim Sell

Sausalito diver Tim Sell managed to snap these terrific shots of Wagner and her crew pulling Aeolus from the beach. "We had to drag it farther up the beach and out of the surf to wait for our boat," Wagner noted. "She was lying on her port side, so before we started towing, we managed to get her on her starboard side for inspection. There were no holes but the gelcoat was worn through in a couple spots where she'd been lying on some rocks.

The boat survived the beaching surprisingly well -- a little impact damage, rubbed-off gelcoat and loose bulkheads. © 2018 Tim Sell

"We tried pulling her around by tying to a deck cleat but that snapped off, so we wrapped the tow line around her keel. Normally a boat in this situation isn't a good candidate for towing but, even though the rudder had already sheared off at the hull, the keel was fine and the boat wasn't taking on any water."

Wagner says that the Aeolus's owner — who wasn't injured in the incident — didn't have insurance but that he intends to repair her. "Hunters seem to survive this kind of abuse better than other boats," she said. "It seems their fiberglass is more flexible than brittle."

Wagner and her crew rigged a strap around the keel since there was no chance of damaging the already missing rudder. © 2018 Tim Sell

Aeolus would pop upright as she rode higher through the surf . . . © 2018 Tim Sell

. . . then hit ground on the way down the other side. Krilanovich reports having been airborne during the ride through the surf. © 2018 Tim Sell

- latitude / ld

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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Islanders Prepare for Cruiser Rendezvous

June 2, 2010 – Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Out in the sunny isles of Tahiti, dancers are rehearsing, musicians are tuning up their ukuleles, and paddlers are polishing up their outrigger canoes in anticipation of the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, June 18-20.

Moorea Dancer
Both young and old Tahitians take pride in their traditional arts. Here, a local troupe entertains last year's fleet. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The event's aim is to welcome cruising sailors to French Polynesia, while introducing them to aspects of traditional Tahitian culture, including music, dance, sport and cuisine. If you're lucky enough to be out in the islands with your boat this season, we encourage you to register online. Fleet size will be limited to 70 boats due to space and budget constraints. It's all free except for two optional meals.

On Friday, June 18, fleet members will meet at the yacht quay in downtown Papeete where an 'event village' will be set up with all sorts of demonstrations and exhibits. Rides will be offered aboard a lightning-fast traditional Polynesian sailing canoes. Later, at a cocktail party in their honor, fleet members will toast their successful crossings while meeting local dignitaries.

Opunohu Bay, Moorea
How's this for an idyllic setting? When anchored in Opunohu Bay, beneath craggy volcanic spires, you'll know why Moorea is said to be one of the most beautiful isles in the Pacific. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

On Saturday, the fleet will cruise in company to Moorea's majestic Opunohu Bay, where they will be met by local entertainers. Cocktails and an optional BBQ will follow. Sunday will be dedicated to all sorts of traditional Polynesian games, the highlight of which will be a series of races in "V6" outrigger canoes. In each boat, three locals team up with three cruisers to compete.

canoe racing
Not surprisingly, paddlers from the 2009 fleet were all smiles during last year's Rendezvous. © 2018 Christian Durocher

Sponsored by Tahiti Tourisme, the Papeete Port Authority and other partners — including Latitude 38 — the Rendezvous is now in it's fourth year, and is considered by many veterans to be the highlight of their stay in the Society Islands. Look for our complete report in the July Latitude.

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Ad: NorthStar Risk Management

June 2, 2010 – Walnut Creek

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Editor Bubak Smells Something Fishy

June 2, 2010 – The Cyber World

As journalists, it's our lot in life to be skeptical — if not downright cynical. So when the publisher of Latitude created the 'Latitude Fishing — and More — Contest' item for the May 24 'Lectronic, which included the photo below, Editor LaDonna Bubak wrote back, "You know, of course, that the photo has been heavily Photoshopped." As we all know, thanks to Photoshop and similar image manipulation software, you can no longer blindly trust the veracity of any photograph.

Here's a slightly larger version of the photo of Ethan Smith's big fish. What do you think -- is it the real deal? Photo Courtesy Meshach
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Our immediate response to our editor's evaluation was, "Baloney!" After all, we not only knew Ethan Smith of the Ya Ta Hey, New Mexico-based Ovni 36 Eyoni, who speared the fish, but we had him and the rest of the crew from Thor Temme's Custom 45 tri Meschach, on which the fish had been landed, over to our BBQ in Punta Mita to cook and eat some of the fish that very night. It was delicious.

But ever the professional, LaDonna was relentless in her skepticism:

"First, the fish looks way too big to be 75 lbs. It's almost as long as Ethan is tall! Secondly, the resolution on the fish looks suspiciously different from Ethan, and its edges look just a little too sharp. I also noticed that Ethan's left arm looks as if it's at an angle to be holding something that's dangling below it. Where is the rest of his left arm? Additionally, the shadows, to my eye at least, don't quite match. Finally, having seen the original as it was sent to us, I noticed that this photo was the only one of the entire batch with an edited name — instead of 'IMG_0075' or similar, it was titled '1 Pargo 75# 2010 copy'. The file info on the photo showed it had been edited four days after it was taken, and the version we received has the bottom corner cut off at an angle. Of course that could be explained by Smith wanting to straighten the horizon a bit, or perhaps it's a piece of the boat, but combined with all the rest, it seems a little hinky. So, while I'm not totally committed to the idea that the photo has been doctored a little to make Mr. Pargo a wee bit more impressive-looking, I'm confident enough to keep that 30-cent bet with the publisher on the table."

To make things more interesting, the folks at Yachting World, England's most prestigious yachting magazine, emailed us to say they'd seen the piece in 'Lectronic, and wondered if we could put them in touch with Smith. Not wanting to be the source of what we thought had even a slight possibility of being a fraud, we told them we'd get back to them as soon as we could get confirmation — perhaps via other photos — from Smith that the photo was legit. We have not yet heard from Smith and family, although it's likely because they are now cruising the wilds of the Sea of Cortez and haven't been in email range.

For the record, not only do we still believe in the photo, but so does Racing Editor Rob Grant, and he knows all about fish.

But what about you? Is the fish photo fishy or the real thing? Email us your opinion.

In the item Smith sent to us, he said he included a photo of his five-year-old daughter Zada getting a 180-yard long ride on a surfboard at Mantanchen Bay, Mexico. Because of incompetence on our part, we were unable to open the photo at that time. But as you can see from below, we've solved that problem. And no, it doesn't look Photoshopped — not even to LaDonna.

Little Zada at the start of a nearly 200-yard long ride at Mantanchen Bay, San Blas, a legendary place for long rides. © 2018 Ethan Smith

By the way, the response to our 'Fishing — and More — Contest' was absolutely underwhelming. About the only other good response we got was from Tom Frey, who sails San Juan Flyer, a Cal 2-30, out of West Sound, Orcas Island, in the summer, but is smart enough to be based out of San Carlos, Mexico, in the winter. It was out of San Carlos, obviously, that he landed the 44-lb dorado in the photo below. 

Tom Frey, getting ready for a fish fry, after landing a nice dorado off San Carlos, Mexico. Photo Courtesy San Juan Flyer
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / rs

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Weekend Racing Wrap-up

June 2, 2010 – The Bay

Bill Turpin's R/P 77 Akela smokin' toward Monterey and a new elapsed-time record in the '10 Spinnaker Cup. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Whether you were bombing down the coast in the Spinnaker Cup or rumbling around the Bay in the Master Mariners, you couldn't have picked a better weekend to be out on the water. With breeze, clear skies and warm air temps for both races, conditions were about as perfect as they get.

Criminal Mischief R/P 45, Double Trouble J/125
This was the overall finish order . . . Andy Costello's J/125 Double Trouble crosses Chip Megeath's R/P 45 Criminal Mischief. The final overall standings had the two boats 1-2. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

The weather forecasts in the week leading up to the Monterey Pensinsula YC- and San Francisco YC-hosted Spinnaker Cup weren't looking too favorable for the roughly 90-mile run down the coast to Monterey. But after about a 45-minute postponement, all five divisions set off in a building flood before rounding the corner and heading for Monterey in a westerly that built from the 8- to 10-knot range up to 30-plus knots farther down the course and clocked as the day wore on.

Shaman Cal 40
Steve Waterloo's Cal 40 Shaman won PHRO 3 for the sixth time in seven years! © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Andy Costello's J/125 Double Trouble crushed everyone to win both PHRO 1A and overall honors. David Rasmussen's Synergy 1000 Sapphire survived an EPIRB scare — for everyone else — when Sapphire's went off accidentally, to win PHRO 1. The Doublehanded honors went to Skip and Jody McCormack's Farr 30 Trunk Monkey, which survived a wind check at 23 knots of boatspeed that resulted in a shattered spinnaker pole. Mark Thomas' CM 1200 Raven took the honors in PHRO 2, while Steve Waterloo's Shaman won PHRO 3 for the sixth time in the last seven years!

Raven CM 1200 Mark Thomas
Mark Thomas' CM 1200 Raven won PHRO 2. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

We were fortunate enough to have been invited aboard Bill Turpin's R/P 77 Akela for the race, and at least had it in the back of our minds that it would sure be nice to set a new elapsed-time record for the race. It's nice to know there's at least one racing-oriented thing we can't jinx here at Latitude 38, because Akela did in fact set a new record — its third so far this year. Although we never got pressure above about 26 knots, we put the boat's prodigious waterline to good effect in knocking down the time to 7h, 11m, 6s, an 8-plus-minute improvement over the old record set by Lani Spund's SC 52T Kokopelli² in '06. While we were stoked enough to be invited aboard the boat, we were even happier when we nailed the record, and even happier that it's a soft record that's within reach of more than a few boats on the West Coast.

Trunk Monkey
Jody and Skip McCormack's Farr 30 Trunk Monkey on the way to a convincing win in the Doublehanded Division. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

There are plenty more great stories from this year's Spinnaker Cup, such as when the crew of Steve Stroub's SC 37 Tiburon knocking a big gray whale out of their way — none of the humans were hurt; no word on how the whale's feeling. We don't have space here for all of them here, but we'll make sure to get them in — including why the new NorCal PHRF downwind ratings (this was the first time they were used in anger) need a lot of work, in the next issue of Latitude 38!

It was "champagne sailing" during the '10 Master Mariners on Saturday. © 2018 Sergei Zavarin /

Back up on the Bay on Saturday, the Master Mariners Benevolent Association Regatta couldn't have been better. There was enough breeze to power the fleet around the Bay, but not so much that the split-rigged boats couldn't carry all the sail they have.

Tahiti Ketch Sequestor Taihoa
Hans List's Tahiti ketch Sequestor chases Jody Boyle's Tahiti ketch Taihoa. The two flip-flopped and finished at the top of Gaff 2. © 2018 Sergei Zavarin /

As usual, the Sausalito YC ran the race, while the Encinal YC ran the party for the 56 boats that showed up. The results are already up on the MMBA's website, and the winners are here:

Big Schooners — Seaward, Call of the Sea
Bears — Kodiak, Peter Miller
Bird — Widgeon, David Cobb
Gaff 1 — Brigadoon, Tery & Patti Klaus
Gaff 2 — Sequestor, Hans List
Gaff 3 — Stardust, Mary Moseley
Lapworth 36 — Papoose, Allen Edwards
Marconi 1 — Elizabeth Muir, Peter Haywood & Ivan Poutiatine
Marconi 2 — Nautigal, n/a
Marconi 3 — Viking, SF Sea Scouts
Marconi 4 — Morning Star, Barbara Ohler
Ocean 1 — Kate II, Roger Emerick
Ocean 2 — Credit, Janice & Bill Belmont

- latitude / rg

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