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Lighted Boat Photo Contest

December 5, 2011 – Wherever You Are


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Stationary boats are much easier to photograph but you still need a motionless platform or you'll end up with fuzzy pics. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As we mentioned in Friday's 'Lectronic posting of all the Bay Area lighted boat parades, shooting such events is notoriously tricky. Photographing moving objects at night is difficult enough, but throw in an often shaky platform — whatever dock or boat you're standing on — and it can become downright impossible. But David Esser of the Prout 50 Tigress achieved the impossible on Saturday night during the 35th annual Lighted Yacht Parade on the Oakland/Alameda Estuary. "Lots of great boats this year," he noted before sending several great shots of some entries.


The entries in the Estuary's lighted yacht parade never fail to impress with their elaborate designs. © 2017 David Esser


Simple and elegant, a classic sailboat scheme. © 2017 David Esser


Though we prefer photos of sailboats, powerboats offer lots of real estate for terrific displays. © 2017 David Esser

Though he doesn't know it, David is the front-runner in the just-created Latitude 38 Lighted Boat Parade Photo Contest. As the only entry so far, he certainly has an advantage, so if you took fabulous photos of 'Christmas ships' this weekend (please don't send shots from previous years), send your top three to LaDonna. If you weren't able to hit a parade on Saturday, there are still plenty coming up in the next couple of weeks. And we're not limiting the contest to Bay Area photogs — everyone is welcome to submit their favorite shots!


Long exposures can be used to interesting effect. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We'll announce the winner, who will receive a cool Latitude T-shirt for their efforts, in the December 19 edition of 'Lectronic Latitude, so grab that rusty old tripod, pump up the ASA on your camera, and get your paparazzi on!

- latitude / ld

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Homeward Bound

December 5, 2011 – Mexico and Beyond

Thousands of West Coast sailors share a common goal: to cruise their boats in sunny latitudes, far from their home waters. But after finally getting 'out there', one of the biggest challenges they face is how to get their boat home again from Mexico, Central America or the South Pacific.

In addition to simply 'bashing' home up-wind and up-current, some opt to truck or ship their boats home, or have paid delivery crews sail and/or motor them home, thus saving the owners the inevitable bumps and bruises.

For the past few months we've been gathering input from experienced cruisers on homeward strategies, as we plan to publish a synopsis of their advice in an upcoming issue of Latitude 38. So if you've got a new perspective to add, feel free to email us a note and a few related photos.


Looking as jolly as one of St. Nick's toymakers, John Cahill catches up on the sailing news during his 10th 'Baja Bash' last spring. Photo Courtesy Sunday Morning
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Of course, if you're an old salt like John Cahill, there's only one way to get home: sail it yourself. He completed his 10th 'Bash' last spring at the age of 78, while crewing aboard his friend Van Anderson's Tayana 42 Sunday Morning. They hit all sorts of nasty weather, but averaged 3.8 knots during the 12-day trip from Guaymas to San Diego. As far as we know, John was still smiling when he arrived.

- latitude / at

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Ad: KKMI Says Keep Your Outdrive Happy

December 5, 2011 – Pt. Richmond and Sausalito, CA

KKMI Says: Keep your Outdrive Happy and Healthy All Year

Every 100 Hours
1. Stern drive oil change
2. Engine alignment
3. Engine coupling/universal joint/shaft spline lubrication
4. Shift linkage check and lubrication
5. Remove drive and prop for inspection
6. Grease U joints
7. Inspect and grease gimbal bearing
8. Inspect drive bellows for cracks and water intrusion
9. Inspect water hose between drive and transom assembly
10. Clean knotmeter intake
11. Replace drive and prop zincs
12. Contact KKMI Pt. Richmond to schedule your projects - don't wait until spring!

KKMI - Keefe Kaplan Maritime, Inc.

© 2017 KKMI / www.kkmi.com

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Blast Wrap-Up

December 5, 2011 – Banderas Bay


Roger and Diana Frizzelle's Catalina 470 Di's Dream and John and Gilly Foy's Catalina 42 Destiny, both from Alameda, battled it out in the last race of the Blast. The greenery behind them was slated to be a Ritz-Carleton hotel, but the plans are on hold. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"The newest celebrity hotspot in the world." We don't know how 'experts' determine things such as that — surely they just make them up — but that's what Harper's Bazaar magazine has been calling Punta Mita and the Nayarit Riviera, which are on the north shore of Banderas Bay about 10 miles from Puerto Vallarta. We know this because Virgin America, which just started nonstop service from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, it touting the area with juicy quotes to attract customers.


Food for thought. The scrumptious mahi fillet dinner at the Punta Mita Yacht & Surf Club, right on the beach in front of the Mexican Malibu surf spot, cost all of $7. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While it's true that the Nayarit Riviera is becoming home to lots of $5-$10 million dollar beachfront mansions, as well as very expensive and exclusive hotels, and is attracting all kinds of one-percenters seeking quiet vacations in the tropics, it also has some great things for cruisers, even the lowest-budget cruisers. For instance, lots of room to anchor for free, with good access to shore at both Punta Mita and La Cruz. Great tropical sailing on flat water. Excellent surfing. The terrific authentic Mexican towns of La Cruz, Anclote, El Risko and Emiliano Zapata, which means prices are low. For instance, haircuts are about $4, and anybody spending more than $7 for a delicious dinner risks coming off as being pretentious. And the free music — every type you can imagine — is really superb.


Red Witch II in action, as seen between the shapely legs of Punta Mita Yacht & Surf Club Commodore Katrina. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Nayarit Riviera, along with Nuevo Vallarta's Paradise Marina, was the venue for the just completed Banderas Bay Blast. While the participant numbers were down this year to about 18 boats — we think because a lot of skippers took their time coming down from Cabo, La Paz and Mazatlan — Ronnie 'Tea Lady' was thrilled to announce that, as a fundraiser for the kids of the Nayarit Riviera, it was the best Blast ever. A bunch of the kids showed up to perform at the Punta Mita Yacht & Surf Club the morning of the last race, and these kids were cute!


The Blast is all about raising money for the school needs of the kids along the Nayarit Riviera, who are seen here putting on a performance for the Blasters. More than $3,000 was raised from among the small group of sailors, $1,000 of it having been donated by the Grand Poobah in the name of this year's Ha-Ha fleet. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


The Mexians kids are as cute as can be. The sailor holding the little pirate up, however, sure could use one of the local $4 haircuts. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The winds for this year's three Ha-Ha-style fun races were light, but made for lots of close finishes. The 'results' were determined by Randy Hough of the committee boat Yemaya: The winners were Doer Anderson's Jeanneau 41 Bright Star; Stephanie Mortensen and Robin Kirkcaldie's Santa Barbara-based Bounty II Red Witch II; and Arjan Bok's San Francisco-based Lidgard 43 cat RotKat. The cool thing about the Blast is that it's all about camaraderie rather than competition. For example Rich Crowe of the fast Farr 44 Tabu, who has sailed 250,000 ocean miles, made sure that everybody appreciated the efforts of Pat and Jeannie Hughes and their crew aboard the 65-ft Patricia Belle, who demonstrated sailorly resolve getting their heavy steel schooner around the courses in such light winds.


Some folks, we won't mention any names, came up with excuses to sail on other boats rather than sailing their own. What's that about? Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One thing everyone learned from this Blast is that you can't mess with the offshore reefs as much as three miles to the east of Punta Mita. The reefs are great for creating waves to surf, but bad for bouncing off of with boats. Sailmaker Mike Danielson guided the J/160 Blue at the very edge of one of the reefs in search of a smidgen more wind. They gybed just short of the reef, but fouled a spinnaker line in the bowsprit, fell off, and slammed into the reef. They struck so abruptly that the bowman flew right off the front of the boat, looking just like Superman in the old television show. We saw it with our own eyes. It took about 15 minutes of banging before Blue was able to get free of what will surely become known at Mike's Recife Azul, and while she was eventually able to continue racing, she'll be hauled today for inspection and repairs to the keel.


Blue, with her bowman swimming off the starboard bow, just after hitting the reef. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The cool thing about small events is that everybody gets a chance to know everybody else. For example, while talking with Robin Kirkcaldie and Stephanie Mortensen of Red Witch, we learned that  generations of his forefathers were captains of sailing ships hauling cargo between New Zealand and England. And that Stephanie is an excellent surfer and a vet of the Pipeline. "Malibu was my home break," she says, "so every morning I had to battle with about 175 guys to get my share of waves."


Robin and Stephanie of the 55-year-old Bounty II Red Witch II, a relatively heavy and narrow boat, sailed the daylights out of her, both upwind and downwind. They always freaked themselves out by sailing between two growlers too close to shore for comfort. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Anyway, it was a great event in a great venue for a great cause. Next stop on the fundraiser trail for cruisers in Mexico? The Zihua Sailfest in Zihuatanejo February 7-12.

- latitude / rs

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