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Photos of the Day

February 3, 2014 – Chacala, Mexico

The other day we were taking photos and visiting with cruisers at the Chacala anchorage, which is about 45 miles northeast of Punta Mita. While there, we noticed the hopeful way that some cruisers secured their dinghies to shore. You can see the prime example in the accompanying photo, where the painter is secured by compression between two modest sized rocks. Yikes! We have to admit that we tried the technique in our younger days, only to discover the 'compression' method had almost no holding power at all. Please be careful folks, as dinghies are hard to replace.


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

You won't find this method recommended in Chapman's Guide to Seamanship, but it apparently works to some degree. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Actually, a family of four, also in Chacala, who lost their dinghy on the way down Baja proved — to our surprise — that it's actually possible and easy to build a great dinghy in four days. But that's a story for the March issue.

On an entirely different and non-sailing subject, while talking with the great folks from four cruising boats at Chacala — more on them in the March issue — the Wanderer enjoyed a delicious tuna, veggie and salad lunch at a wine bar that we can't remember the name of. Actually, we shared the meal with de Mallorca, which is partly why, thanks to a mostly-plant-based diet, the Wanderer has now lost 34 pounds since the start of the Baja Ha-Ha less than three months ago, putting him on the verge of the doctor's 'don't lose anymore' limit.


With the tendency toward fresh, fresh food, it's relatively easy to loose a lot of weight. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Our intention is not to brag, but rather to encourage you who might need it to give a mostly plant-based diet a try. We were surprised how quickly we lost our appetite for all the total crap food we'd been consuming, and have been thrilled to see the dramatic change in our blood test numbers.

- latitude / richard

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Castaway Drifts for 13 Months

February 3, 2014 – The Marshall Islands

In news that might be categorized as 'miraculous,' CNN and other news agencies cautiously report that a fisherman washed up on the 2.2-square-mile Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands after drifting at sea for 13 months.

Jose Ivan Alvarengo, an El Salvador native, tells authorities that he and a teenage boy left a harbor near the Mexican city of Tapachula, not far from the Guatemalan border, on December 21, 2012, for a day of shark fishing. The two encountered heavy winds which blew them off course and eventually into a heavy storm where their engines became disabled.

Apparently, after a month of refusing to eat raw birds, the teenager died. Alvarengo says he survived on the birds, fish and turtles that he caught. When rainwater wasn't available, he drank his own urine to stay alive. The Telegraph of London interviewed him and reported that his heavily damaged boat washed onto the island and Alvarengo said, "I cried, 'Oh, God.' I got to land and had a mountain of sleep. In the morning, I woke up and heard a rooster and saw chickens and saw a small house. I saw two native women screaming and yelling. I didn't have any clothes; I was only in my underwear, and they were ripped and torn." 

Alvarengo, who claims to be 37, was taken to a hospital in Majoro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, according to the U.S. Ambassador Tom Armbruster. "He's in much better shape than one would expect after such an ordeal."

The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs states they've sent personnel "to learn directly about the case." A similar 5,000-mile journey across the Pacific has been done before. Back in 2006 three Mexican fishermen drifted for nine months surviving on fish and rainwater and read the Bible for support and comfort. A producer for CNN Weather, Judson Jones, relates that currents can transport a vessel approximately 27 miles a day, making Alvarengo's 13-month drift feasible.

- latitude / ross

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Ad: North U. Boatspeed!

February 3, 2014 – North America and online

North U. 2014 Seminars

© 2017 North U. / www.NorthU.com

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Nelson's Auction Delayed

February 3, 2014 – Alameda, CA

We've done our best to help publicize the much-anticipated auction of boats and marine-related equipment at Nelson's Marine, which was slated for February 8. But we've now been informed that the auction has been delayed indefinitely.

No specific reasons for the postponement have been given by the event's facilitator, Michaan's Auctions of Alameda, CA.

Stay tuned for further updates. 

- latitude / andy

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Thirty More Foreign Yachts "Liberated" in Mexico

February 3, 2014 – Ensenada, Mexico


The marina at Coral Hotel and Marina just a few miles north of downtown Ensenada. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Following the liberation of all 53 impounded boats at Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz last Thursday, we've been told that approximately 30 out of 50 boats impounded at Marina Coral in Ensenada were released a day or so later. It's a four-day Flag Day holiday in Mexico, so the exact numbers of released boats was not available.

Among the released boats is one that fled Mexico for the States in the middle of the night a while back. "Liberating" a boat that already illegally fled your country . . . that pretty much sums up this fiasco.


Last Thursday an AGACE official at Marina Riviera Nayarit explained to a boat owner that it would be just a few more minutes before all the boats there would be liberated. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While more than 100 of the original 338 boats are still impounded after more than two months, the situation remains outrageous, but at least things have been picking up speed in the right direction. But the quicker Mexico can resolve this dreadful public relations blunder and begin the long road of restoring the faith with foreign boat owners, the better.

If your boat is impounded, please keep us informed, as we don't want you or your boat to be forgotten.


John and Gilly Foy of the Punta Mita- (formerly Alameda) based Catalina 42 Destiny joined us for Profligate's "Liberation Day" sail across Banderas Bay. It was a spectacularly mellow late afternoon and early evening white sails cruise. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / richard

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