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Photo of the Day: In the Pink

October 18, 2010 – Bahia Anna Pink, Seno Purgatorio, Chile


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

"Look at those abs!" says Julie. © 2017 Julie Newton

In the October issue of Latitude 38 we profiled the crews of several cruising boats passing through the Bay. Paul Smulders and Julie Newton of the 43-ft Laurent Giles-designed woody Mia II, one of the couples we featured, are on their way south again after having cruised from British Columbia to Cape Horn and back a few years ago.

"All this discussion in Letters about taking showers onboard reminded me of one of our best showers," Julie told us. "After a day and night of dozens of sail changes while crossing the Golfo de Penas on the Chilean coast, Paul had his first shower since we left Puerto Williams three weeks earlier. We were anchored in Bahia Anna Pink at Seno Purgatorio in 30 feet of the clearest, clean water — we could see the anchor and the pattern the chain made on the bottom!"


After three long -- and no doubt odiferous -- weeks, Paul and Julie took well-deserved solar showers once they crossed the Golfo de Penas. © 2017 Google Earth

What about you? Tell us about your most memorable outdoor shower — please keep it boating related. Photos are a bonus!

- latitude / ld

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Piracy in Costa Rica

October 18, 2010 – Quepos, Costa Rica

"October 12 was both exciting and costly for us here in Costa Rica," write Bruce Stevens and Clark Nicholson of the Dana Point-based Gulfstar 50 Two Amigos. "We were anchored off the beach at a resort town of Quepos. About 7:30 p.m., while it was dark and we were below watching a movie, we were silently boarded by six or more heavily armed bandits carrying shotguns and pistols. They had been observing us for two days, it appears. We were duct taped and, because they were worried about me, I received extra tape plus electrical ties and had two armed guys watching me. They took our three computers, cash, and all the boat electronics including radar, chartplotter, two ham radios, VHF radio, two handheld radios, a pactor modum, inverter, three cell phones, two handheld lights, and our copy machine. One of the bandits was crazy and probably on drugs, waving a knife and pistol and constantly making threats. They also took our large dinghy but I was able to recover it on the rocks by the beach later. They tried to steal the outboard engine, but it was too heavy.

"We have filed the police reports but have little hope of seeing the items again. The most important thing is that Clark, myself, and a guest are still alive, especially since I gave them a hard time. Our plan is to initially get a handheld VHF and GPS. With those and our paper charts we can continue. We will gradually replace the stolen items as we progress along. We will also now move at least every two days in case we are surveiled again. To say we are disappointed in Costa Rica is to put it mildly. This is over and above the difficult time the authorities give cruisers."

We hope to have more to share about Bruce and Clark's story in the December issue of Latitude 38.

- latitude / ld

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

October 18, 2010 – The Bay

It was a big weekend for racing on the Bay, with everything from small one designs to singlehanded big boats tearing up the Bay in conditions that went from sunny to wet. The Singlehanded Sailing Society's season wrapped up this weekend with the Vallejo 1-2. A whopping 63 boats showed up for Saturday's singlehanded run up to Vallejo and Sunday's doublehanded return trip. Dan Alvarez had his JS 9000 JetStream going well enough to take the overall honors on Saturday by 1.5 minutes, while Bren Meyer and crew took overall honors aboard the Wyliecat 30 Uno on Sunday.

Wabbits
The Wylie Wabbits mix it up at their nationals this weekend. © 2017 Sergei Zavarin / www.ultimate-yachtshots.smugmug.com

Over at St. Francis YC, there were four events going on simultaneously. The Wylie Wabbits sailed their Nationals, with '09 season champion Tim Russell on Weckless beating Bill Erkelens' Jack by two points after seven races. The Albert T. Simpson Regatta featured IODs, Express 27s, and Etchells, with James Hennefer's La Paloma walking away with the seven-boat IOD division and John Rivlin's Peaches winning the eight-boat Express 27 division. The Etchells were sailing for more than just the regatta title. St. Francis YC member Bruce Stone, who competes in the J/105 class on both coasts, won the Manhasset Bay Challenge Cup by virtue of his win in the American YC's Fall Series. The 108-year-old trophy has made infrequent trips to the West Coast during its history. The trophy is mandated to be sailed in one type of boat for a maximum of three years, and the J/105 had reached its 'term limit' this year, so Stone was forced to jump in an Etchells to defend. Seven boats showed up and, while Stone posted a very credible third in this competitive class, it was Bill Melbostad, Bryan Moore and Steve Fentress aboard JR who took the three-ft tall trophy to San Francisco YC.

Expresses
The Express 27s drew eight boats for the Albert T. Simpson Regatta. © 2017 Sergei Zavarin / www.ultimate-yachtshots.smugmug.com

Also at St. Francis YC was the Jessica Cup, the "other" Master Mariners event. Hank Easom's 8 Meter Yucca went home with the Jessica Cup after winning all three races in the Marconi division. Runner up Robert Rogers' Sunda took the top honors for Marconi under 40-ft while David James Leda won the three-boat Lapworth 36 division, and Don Taylor's VIP was the top Farallon Clipper.

Jessica Cup
Don Taylor's Farallon Clipper VIP kept her bow out with Bill Belmont's Clipper Credit and Tom Pier's PCC Robin in hot pursuit. © 2017 Kristen Inouye

Finally, nine Mercuries and five Stars showed up for the Logan/Paige Regatta, with Randy Smith and John Verdoia winning the Mercury division and George Szabo and Phil Toth taking the Star division with straight bullets.

- latitude / rg

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Pleasure Cruise to Rescue Operation

October 18, 2010 – Port Resolution, Vanuatu

Upon arrival and approach to Port Resolution, Tanna Island, Vanuatu, two Northern California-based catamarans — Jim and Kent Milski's Schionning 49 Sea Level and Steve May and Manjula Dean's Corsair 41 Endless Summer — jumped into a search and rescue operation for 12 locals and a baby whose panga had capsized in rough conditions on return from 10-mile distant Aniwa Island. Others involved in the search included the only ship in the Vanuatan navy, an aircraft, the cruise ship Pacific Dawn, and cruising vessels Peggy West and Sea Tropaz. Some had already been searching for a day when the two cats joined in. Given the fact that the seas were still rough and the panga had capsized many hours earlier, Jim and Steve naturally had their doubts that anyone would be found — let alone be found alive.


Kent and Jim Milski, as seen at the '09 Banderas Bay Regatta. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As Endless Summer approached Anima, May radioed to report that a fisherman had picked up the captain of the capsized panga early that morning. This gave them the first clue that everyone had been searching the wrong area because the current was running opposite of the normal direction. A short while later the search turned mystical. One of the local elders went to the bow and chanted. When he returned to the cockpit, he told Jim he'd 'seen' the victims floating in the current. The elder directed Jim to steer in a different direction. Faced with a tough decision, Jim decided to follow the elder's instructions, which was to go to the other side of the island.

A short time later, they spotted the overturned panga!

There was only one person lying on it, a fellow named Chuck. He said that everybody had righted the panga and bailed it out. But after it flipped a second time, the captain and four other men decided to swim for the island — and survived. But the others, four men, two women, and the baby had drifted away. It was difficult given the big seas, but Chuck was transferred to Sea Level. After being given some food and water, and dressed in warm clothes, he fell asleep in the salon.


Native boats of all types in the South Pacific don't have many safety features and are often overloaded. © 2017 Webb Logg

The elder directed Milski to continue to the northeast. At that point the rescue plane reported something in the water ahead of them. Soon the navy boat passed Sea Level heading toward the indicated site. Two men, who had been in the water for 34 hours without PFDs, were spotted and picked up by a dinghy from the navy boat. Unable to get the men, both of whom were barely conscious and in very poor shape, onto the navy boat, they were put on Sea Level to be rushed to the medical clinic in Port Resolution.

As Sea Level was rushing back to port, John and Amanda Neal, two well-known offshore sailing instructors from Friday Harbor, called on the radio. They said they had two Aussie doctors on their Hallberg-Rassy 46 Mahina Tiare III. The rough seas kept the doctors from swimming to Sea Level, but they cautioned not to give the survivors, whose pulse could barely be measured, any hot tea. The problem is that tea is a diuretic. The survivors seemed to rally as they were transferred ashore.

The following day Sea Level, Endless Summer and Mahina Tiare returned to the search area to look for more survivors. Their efforts were eventually called off, as it was decided that the remaining four adults and the baby were presumed dead. Although Sea Level played a big role in the saving of three lives, it had been a heart-wrenching experience because of the loss of the others.


Vanuatu's newest rescue boat -- the Milskis' Sea Level. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Two days later, the crews of Sea Level and Endless Summer were publicly thanked and presented with valuable local gifts, such as a live pig, three live chickens, feathers and so forth. Jim and Steve were also given the equivalent of $450 U.S. — which they promptly gave back to the locals so they could buy radios, PFDs and other life-saving equipment.

A longer and more detailed version of this story by Sea Level crewman Larry Mosher will appeared in the November 1 Latitude 38.

- latitude / rs

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