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Fleet Week Ends With a Boom

October 11, 2010 – San Francisco Bay

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Too close for comfort! Jeff Berman snapped this shot of a Blue Angel through the rigging of his Catalina 36 Perseverance. "It was LOUD," he said. © 2018 Jeff Berman

Fleet Week couldn't have ended on a more perfect weekend. Saturday and Sunday were mild, relatively windless days — ideal for the fantastic show the Blue Angels put on as a finale to the week's festivities.

If you were watching the show from Pacific Heights, like Paige Brooks was, you had a fantastic view! © 2018 Paige Brooks

Seemingly every boat on the Bay came out either Saturday or Sunday and staged under the prime viewing area just off Alcatraz. Some of us chose less congested spots, such as Clipper Cove, and while the show wasn't as impressive as if we'd been on the main Bay, the fly-bys  — which included a couple sonic booms — still rattled our fillings!

Those of us in Clipper Cove may have missed the more acrobatic parts of the show, but they fly-bys were still impressive. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"Jimmy, pass the Windex. I just puked on my ceiling." © 2018 Paige Brooks

But hoards of wake-producing boats can cause problems for others a little lower to the water. "After watching the fantastic Blue Angels on Sunday aboard our Hunter 33 Concord, we were headed back to Brisbane Marina," said Frank Solinsky. "We'd been passed by the mass exodus of powerboats when we noticed a kayak and two people in the water under the Bay Bridge. We stopped to help them and discovered they had been swamped in the huge wakes of the stampede. We got them out of the water — they had been in 10 minutes or so and were pretty cold — and called for their rescue on channel 16. The SFPD came out and picked up 'two wet souls and all the parts' and took them back to Pier 40. What was particularly disturbing was that two USCG Auxiliary boats passed right by the overturned kayakers. But all's well that ends well, I guess."

The Coast Guard and CG Auxiliary strictly enforced the no-go zones. © 2018 USCG / PO3 Levi Read

We congratulate — and thank — anyone who's had the opportunity to rescue an accidental swimmer; you'll read about more in upcoming editions of 'Lectronic and in the November issue of Latitude 38.

- latitude / ld

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Classy Deadline the 15th

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The Rest of the Story

October 11, 2010 – South Pacific

When the massive 8.8 earthquake struck Chile last February, triggering a huge tsunami, the British-flagged sloop Zephyrus was the only boat anchored in Cumberland Bay on Robinson Crusoe island, which lies roughly 400 miles off the Chilean coast.

Rhian and Andy
They met while doing research in Antarctica, and decided to cruise the world together. Little did they know they'd experience such a calamity at their first offshore destination. Photo Courtesy Zephyrus
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

When the first massive wave washed under Zephyrus in the middle of the night, owners Rhian Salmon, 35, and Andy Whittaker, 36, were awakened by the sound of water rushing rapidly past their hull, but they initially had no idea what was happening. They had heard no warnings of any sort.

In the darkness, the couple began making out the shapes of all sorts of rubble in the water, then heard the screams of desperate people. Eventually a 14-year-old boy floated by and they were able to rescue him. Then whole houses drifted past, one of which got hung up on Zephyrus' forestay. Later, Andy had to fend off an unmanned Naval cutter which had gone adrift after the whole station got wiped. 

Yup, it's quite a story. Luckily Andy and Rhian lived to tell it. In fact, we got the full blow-by-blow version on tape recently when we ran into this bright-eyed young couple in Tonga. What makes the whole tale that much more remarkable, is that this was Rhian's first ocean adventure — and to her credit, she didn't jump ship at the first opportunity afterward. We'll share all the details an the upcoming edition of Latitude 38.

- latitude / at

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Get Fruity in Latitude Gear

October 11, 2010 – Latitude 38 World Headquarters

AJ Goldman could have been spotted from space wearing his lime green Latitude T-shirt as he crossed the Singlehanded TransPac finish line this summer.
Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

There's no better way to stand out in a crowd than by wearing a Latitude 38 T-shirt, available in an array of fruity colors. Choose your favorite color in our online chandlery. While you're at it, pick up an extra for your ditch bag — they make great signal flags!

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Weekend Racing Wrap-up

October 11, 2010 – The Bay and Beyond

The racing calendar fnally lightened this weekend, and rather than three or four bigger events, there were only a couple. On the Bay it was the San Francisco YC's Belvedere Cup, which featured six J/105s sailing a double round-robin match racing regatta. Defending champion John Horsch lost only one race en route to a convincing 2.5-point win over Rolex Big Boat Series winner Bruce Stone.

It was champagne sailing on Tomales Bay for the Vanguard 15 Fleet 53 Championships this weekend. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With the '10 Svendsen's Thursday Night Series a fading memory, 15 teams of Bay Area Vanguard 15 sailors loaded up their boats and headed for Tomales Bay for Fleet 53's championship hosted by the Inverness YC.

Adam Rothschild and Sally Madsen put up a strong final day's scoreline to become the '10 Fleet 53 champs. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After sailing all of PRO Rolf Kaiser's 29 races, skipper Sally Madsen and husband Adam Rothschild took top honors, finishing just one point clear of Andrea Cabito and Andrew Kobylinski, who shared the helming duties.

Andrew Shaw, left, showed the sailors how it's done in the galley. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Although it was a camping regatta, with the bulk of the sailors pitching tents at the Olema Campground, the meals — included in the entry fee — was anything but campstyle. 'Sailing widower' Andrew Shaw, professional chef and husband of Fleet president Natasha Baker, seized control of the Inverness YC galley and cooked gourmet fare. He opened Saturday's dinner with a tomato and pasilla chile gazpacho which was followed by roasted pork tenderloin with plum sauce, or savory fritatta, with red quinoa on the side. Dessert was a scratch-made puff pastry with fresh fruit filling. And all that came in between the gourmet lunches he prepared on both Saturday and Sunday!

The full results aren't up yet, but you'll find them at the link above soon. And you'll find more details on both these events in November's Racing Sheet.

- latitude / rg

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Readers Respond to Norm Goldie

October 11, 2010 – San Blas

As one might expect, we got quite a bit of response to the long and rambling letter in Friday's 'Lectronic that Norm Goldie of San Blas insisted that we publish.

Norm Goldie of San Blas, who claims to have "personally" saved the lives of "numerous hundreds" of mariners. © 2018 Arjan Bok

We warned Norm that the letter would reflect badly on him, but he didn't care, saying he had "big shoulders." Well, we hope he has big enough shoulders to withstand what everyone is dumping on him, because there wasn't a single letter in his defense. The following is a selection of letters we received:

"Publishing that wacky diatribe by Norm Goldie is the most damaging thing you could have done to him. What a complete nut-bag! I loved the part where he calls you names, then say he wants to 're-establish his friendship' with Latitude." — Dan Weyant

"When Latitude asked Norm Goldie for some kind of documentation to verify his suspicious claim that he's an official representative of the Mexican government, the American's reply was right out of the great Humphrey Bogart movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which was set in Mexico. 'Badges. What badges? We don't have to show you no stinkin' badges!' I almost wet my pants." — Cathy Anson

San Blas
The estuary at San Blas, as seen from the Singlar Marina fuel dock looking out toward the bar and open ocean. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"In his letter in 'Lectronic, Norm Goldie claims that he is very proud to have 'personally saved the lives of numerous hundreds of fishermen and boaters.' If he could provide Latitude with the names of just the first 100, I would be inclined to put more credence in his other claims."  — Jason Waston

"For all these years, our West Marine ads have helped pay for Latitude paper and ink, and our stores have played a role in Latitude's distribution strategy. But now, after reading Norm Goldie's whistle-blowing missive, I learn that the publisher of Latitude has apparently aged to resemble Rosie O'Donnell — and spews misinformation at a rate that can only be matched by our favorite politicans. I guess we were misinformed." — Geoff Eisenberg, CEO, West Marine.

Some of the longer letters, by cruisers who have had more personal experiences with Norm, will appear in the November issue of Latitude 38. But please, no more letters, we've had enough of this subject for at least another year. As for those of you who wrote in to say that you will now avoid San Blas because of Norm Goldie, no, no, please no, don't do that. San Blas is a great place, Norm is all bark and no bite. If you're not interested in his assistance, tell him, and if he continues to annoy you, report him to the Port Captain or the Department of Tourism. You won't be the first.

The plaza at San Blas, where all the socializing takes place at night. In the background are the historic ancient church and the newer church. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / rs

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