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Beeman's Homeward Bash

June 9, 2014 – Port San Luis, CA


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Is this man a threat to society? Nah, but he does occasionally like to dress up like a pirate. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Veterans of the 2011Baja Ha-Ha rally might recall that Steve Arnold is a pretty colorful character. Not only due to his profession as a honeybee specialist — hence the nickname Beeman — but because his boat, the 55-ft, steel-hulled sloop Go For Broke, has a unique history. 

She was built by Japanese American Mineo Inuzuka, who sailed her around the world mostly singlehanded, after building her himself in Hawaii. The boat takes its name from the motto of Inuzuka's WWII unit, which was composed entirely of volunteers from Japanese American internment camps.

If you recall our past reports on Beeman, now 47, you know that he is not a man who gives up easily. Not long after buying this boat in Hawaii in 2010 and making initial repairs, he had to abort two attempts at crossing from Hawaii to California. The second time resulted in his having to buy a new 150-hp Detroit diesel engine! On his recent 'bash' back from three seasons in Mexico he lost the use of his engine the first week out. "That didn't stop me," says Steve, "because I wanted to prove that my vessel was, in fact, a sailboat, by sailing the Baja Bash anyway. But when the auxiliary outboard was swamped during one of many gales, I had to change plans a little bit. There was no way that I could safely enter and exit San Diego Harbor in my 40-ton steel boat with sail power alone, so I decided to check into the country at Port San Luis, a legal port of call still found in some references.


Willing watchstander? "I felt a bit like Dr. Dolittle with all of the animals that took refuge on board during our passage," says Beeman. © 2017 Steve Arnold

"The local phone number was out of service, so I called San Francisco.  Eventually, they called back to say that it was fine for me to proceed to the anchorage, and that they were not going to have to come up and search the boat, and even that the Canadian citizen who I had taken on as crew in Puerto Vallarta was free to leave the boat. Less than one hour after we anchored, we were boarded by a team from the local sheriff's office that was headed by a Department of Homeland Security agent, and included a dog. They treated me as though they were sure I was a criminal, and they assured me that my boat 'fits the profile,' as they proceeded to rip into all parts of the cabin space.

"It wasn't until the 'I've-never-been-on-a-boat-before' sheriff began suggesting that not going into San Diego was 'my choice,' and asked, 'Why didn't you call the US Coast Guard?' that I started to get irritated. It is my understanding that calling the Coast Guard is literally a death sentence for your vessel, because they are more likely to scuttle it than tow it. . . Besides, if I were a smuggler, would I have called them four hours before arriving to tell them that I am here?"

We're happy to report that after about 45 minutes of questioning and searching, the officers were satisfied, thanked Arnold for his cooperation, and left. He is now contemplating repowering Go For Broke with electric engines. If you have expertise in that area — especially regarding such a heavy vessel, Steve would love to hear from you


"I never caught any fish on the entire Bash even though I had lines in the water the whole time," says Beeman. "However, four delicious flying fish voluntarily jumped aboard so we wouldn't be skunked." Photo Courtesy Go For Broke
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / andy

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

June 9, 2014 – San Francisco Bay

Excellent conditions greeted racers throughout the Bay this weekend as the slow-to-recede fog kept the breeze pumping daily.

At San Francisco YC's June Invitational on the Olympic Circle, racers enjoyed winds into the mid-20s on Saturday and somewhat lighter breeze on Sunday. It was a particularly tight race for first place in the J/105 fleet. Leading the entire fleet through the third race was Shawn Bennett, driving Jose Cuervo, with only four points. Then in the fourth race a seemingly late over-early call found Shawn and crew two minutes into the race before turning back and added a whopping 13 points to their total — that dropped them to fourth place at the end of the weekend. 

Miojo
Mojo leads the pack during last weekend's San Francisco YC June Invitational. © 2017 Leslie Richter / rockskipper.com

With Jose Cuervo out of the immediate picture Bruce Stone's Arbitrage team found themselves in a heated battle with Jeff Littfin's Mojo, leading by four points after four races. But in the fifth race, the tides turned and Littfin pulled off a bullet, while Stone came in a disappointing fifth. This dramatic turnaround brought Stone up to 16 points while Littfin held on with only 15. Third place went to Akula with 21 points. 

In the J/120s Barry Lewis' Chance dominated the five-boat fleet. Lewis and crew took five straight bullets and left the others to fight for scraps. David Halliwill's Peregrine took second with 11 points, and Stephen Madeira and crew took third on Mr Magoo with 17 points.

Dorain McKelvy and crew on board the J/111 Madmen continued to keep their competitors in this fast-growing fleet on their toes. Scoring three bullets and twin seconds, they totaled out with only seven points for the weekend. Rob Theis' Aeolus crew broke a tie for second over Roland Vandermeer's Big Blast which came in third. Get the complete results here.

Over at Encinal YC the last of the Mercury Series took place in conditions that couldn't have been more different than those in the Circle. "Eight Mercurys finished the Norcal Series in beautiful weather on a warm sunny day with 4-8 knot winds," says Pax Davis — overall winner of the series. "With big shifts, it was like lake sailing with smooth water." Second place went to Jim and Kathy Bradley and third to Michael Baird. Click here for upcoming details.

In the South Bay, Sequoia YC's Summer Series #3 participants enjoyed, "a moderate 11- to 16-knot breeze, a sunny 79 degrees and flat water," says series captain John Draeger. "It was another one of those 'it doesn't get any better than this' days for South Bay racers. Even the water temperature in the Redwood City turning basin was logged by NOAA at 70 degrees!"

"The sport boats dominated the leaderboard in the spinnaker division as Tim Anto's Melges 24 Daredevil and Stan Philips'Farr 30 Frequent Flyer continued their series duel and exchange for first and second place." Third place went to Rich Butts and his J/105 Melilani

SYC
Tim Anto heads to the windward mark on his Melges 24 Daredevil, squeezing by John Draeger's Jeanneau 40 Yellow Brick Road. © 2017 John Draeger

In the non-spinnaker division Dan Lockwood's Catalina 36 Ohana took first place. In second place was Rick Dalton's Hunter 380 Iowa, and coming in third was Ray Collier's Catalina 320 Linda Carol. Complete results are here online.

- latitude / ross

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Accidental Coral Crunching

June 9, 2014 – The Big Island of Hawaii

On May 2, Hurst Lehmann, 59, of Germany, having sailed his 47-ft boat across the Pacific from Mexico, sought a berth at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor on the lee side of the Big Island. The harbormaster told him all the slips were reserved for local boats and directed him to Kailua Bay. Charts and the Hawaiian Cruising Guide confirmed that the bay was a designated anchorage. As there were no mooring buoys in the bay except for those belonging to local boats, Lehmann anchored in sand. But the winds shifted, as they often do in the lee of the Big Island, which resulted in about half of the boat's chain dragging and coming to rest over some coral.


When the wind shifts, an anchor rode carefully laid down on sand may find its way onto a coral reef. In Hawaii, that can result in big fines. © 2017 Pam Miller

It just so happened that a local law had been passed the day before that amended penalties for maliciously damaging coral. Before May 1 the maximum fine was $1,000 per incident. As of May 1 the maximum fine was $1,000 per square meter of damaged coral. It also just so happened that swimmer Pam Miller and friends noticed Lehmann's chain lying on a bed of coral. Most coincidentally of all, Miller had an underwater camera with her. She took photos of the alleged crime. Somehow these photos ended up in the possession of DOCARE, a division of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources. That agency investigated and charged Lehmann.

Reports of what happened next are conflicting. One report says that Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Terri Fujioka-Lilley asked for a $1,000 fine. District Court Judge Joseph P. Florendo then offered Lehmann the option of going to a full trial so he could plead not guilty on one or more of the following grounds: 1) He had been directed to that location by the harbormaster. 2) He had taken all reasonable precautions to make sure his boat was anchored in sand. And, 3) The Division of Boating & Ocean Recreation was negligent in not providing moorings in the bay for transient vessels. For Lehmann, the downside of going to trial was that it would have been very expensive, as he probably would have needed an interpreter as well as a lawyer, and that it would have taken up to three months.

The other version is that Fujioka-Lilly recommended Florendo impose only the minimum for the conviction, because "Lehmann was very apologetic" and it was his first offense. Judge Florendo offered Lehmann the opportunity to pay a $100 fine, plus $30 in court costs. With his crew already arriving for a long-planned trip to Alaska, Lehmann came up with $130 and took off for Alaska. Mahalo.

What, you might wonder, about the case of John Berg, a blind sailor whose sloop Seaquel ran aground near Kailua-Kona on May 18? Investigators didn't find any damage to the reef at all. It may have helped that the grounding came just a few days after a full moon and near high tide, with high surf, and that the reef there is in relatively deep water.

- latitude / richard

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