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Sailor Found After Search Abandoned

December 10, 2014 – Molokai, Hawaii

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The little Hawaiian sloop Malia is safely back in port today, nine days after the search for her was abandoned. 

© 2018 US Coast Guard

After receiving two mayday calls November 27 from Hawaiian sailor Ron Ingraham, 67, US Coast Guard aircraft flew 59 search sorties, scouring roughly 12,000 square miles of ocean, but no sign of the solo sailor's 25-ft sloop Malia was ever found, and he was not heard from again — until yesterday, 12 days after the initial call for help. 

At 7:55 yesterday morning, Coast Guard personnel in Honolulu picked up a brief mayday from Ingraham on VHF 16. His position was then approximately 64 miles south of Honolulu. The 505-ft US Navy destroyer Paul Hamilton, which was 14 miles away, was dispatched to assist in addition to Coast Guard aircraft and the Hilo-based CG cutter Kiska, which successfully towed Malia to Kaunakakai, Molokai. At the time of the initial Thanksgiving Day mayday, Ingraham reported that his boat was taking on water and in danger of sinking. Details on the nature of his problems and any repairs he might have made have not yet been released. Evidently Malia did not have an EPIRB or similar tracking device on board.

If you squint, you can make out Ron Ingraham, shirtless, in the cockpit of his sloop, talking with US Navy rescuers from the destroyer Paul Hamilton

© 2018 US Coast Guard

In recent days Ingraham's friends have been planning an event in his honor. But now, instead of a memorial to his loss, it will be a celebration of his rescue! A Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Scott Carr made the point that it is extremely rare for a sailor in peril to be found after a search has been abandoned — in this case, on December 1.

In other South Pacific sailing news, West Coast sailor Rimas Meleshyus finally made it to safe refuge yesterday, arriving under tow at Pago Pago, American Samoa, 122 days after leaving San Francisco Bay aboard his San Juan 24 Pier Pressure. His was not a mayday situation, but he was unable to make landfall in his engineless boat without assistance. Although the sailing skills of this Russian-born American are extremely limited, and his tiny trailer-sailer was never meant for offshore sailing, he is absolutely determined to sail or drift around the world aboard Pier Pressure — at least he was prior to making this epic four-month, 4,000-mile crossing.

- latitude / andy

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Latitude 38 Crew List

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

December 10, 2014 – San Francisco Bay and Beyond

GGYC Midwinters December race

Left to right: The GGYC Midwinters' defending champion, Scott Easom's Farr 30 Eight Ball, Dave Rasmussen's Synergy 1000 Sapphire, Stan Phillips' Farr 30 Frequent Flyer, and Jonathan Hunt's 1D35 Dark and Stormy work their way east along the Cityfront in the mostly-sportboat PHRF 2 division.

© 2018 /

After a 20-minute postponement, Golden Gate Yacht Club's second Midwinter race on Saturday started on a light easterly and an ebb that would build to three knots by mid-afternoon. "The first five fleets inched their way across the start line, hugging the Cityfront and sailing through a large Opti race going on in Gas House Cove," describes Pat Broderick of the Wyliecat 30 Nancy. "No one had reached the windward mark before the wind shifted 180º and the beat became a run." The crews that had their spinnakers ready to go got the jump on the rest.

Cold Drinks II drops their spinnaker

Steve Strunk's crew on the Newport 33 Cold Drinks II douses the new spinnaker at a mark near Cal Maritime Academy in VYC's Midwinter #2.

© 2018 Martha Blanchfield /

Saturday's Midwinter race at Vallejo YC started with spinnakers up. Eleven boats glided down the river on the start of an ebb in 1-3 knots of wind. The two divisions (spinnaker and non-spinnaker) sailed a seven-mile course that took them down to the Carquinez Bridge. After rounding two marks in Carquinez Strait, "They pointed head to wind for a slow glide to the channel mouth," said Martha Blanchfield, crew aboard Ken Leslie's J/37 Albannach. "Most cut wide to hug the western side of the channel, but all boats soon fell victim to a three-knot ebb and lessening wind. After forty minutes of a slow slide backwards, ignition keys started turning — no finishers, but then again, no busted halyards."

On Sunday, Sausalito YC's Midwinter #2 began with two postponements, as variable breeze came and went. After about half an hour, a light northerly filled in and boats were sent on a windward/leeward course. "The first two divisions encountered a major header and aimed for Belvedere instead of Sausalito," reports Pat Broderick, who won Division C, "while the last divisions benefited from a westerly shift and sailed a close reach headed for the first mark." Several smaller non-spinnaker boats were not able to finish in the building ebb.

We'll have more on the above races in the January issue of Latitude 38.

SOLAS Big Boat Challenge

Three of the biggest boats in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge (left to right): 100-ft super maxis Perpetual Loyal (ex-Speedboat, ex-Rambler 100), Wild Oats XI, and the new kid in town, Comanche.

© 2018 Andrea Francolini

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 21st SOLAS Big Boat Challenge in Sydney served as a tune-up race of sorts for Rolex Sydney Hobart, which will start on December 26. Bob Oatley’s 100-ft maxi Wild Oats XI led for much of the race and finished 1:22 mintues ahead of Netscape founder Jim Clark's new 100-ft American yacht Comanche, sailing in her first race with the Bay Area's Stan Honey navigating and Ken Read skippering. Comanche was launched on December 5 and had her maiden sail on the 6th.

Due to dire storm warnings, the Latitude 38 crew will stay off the roads and freeways tomorrow, and the Mill Valley office will be closed.


- latitude / chris

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Latitude Logowear for the Holidays

December 10, 2014 – Mill Valley, CA

Deadline extended to Friday at noon

© 2018 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC /

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Where Is This?

December 10, 2014 – The World of Marinas

Those 5,000-ft mountains in the background make it unlikely this is a photo of Florida. 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If it weren’t for the mountains, the above photo would look a lot like Florida. But it’s actually a shot of the channel leading out of the Vallarta Marina into Banderas Bay. You sure get a different perspective on things from a couple of hundred feet up.

Vallarta Marina, which has something like 300 berths, was in bankruptcy for many years. During that time the gates and docks crumbled because of a lack of maintenance, and the restrooms regularly scored an 11 on a 1 to 10 scale of disgustingly filthy.

The docks on the lower right are being rebuilt. The docks and gates across the way have been completely refurbished.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The marina was purchased about 18 months ago, and last spring harbormaster Christian Mancebo showed us the renovations that were underway. At least three gates and many docks have been replaced, but the biggest change of all has beenthe restrooms. “They are very nice,” several visitors have told us.
The three major marinas in Banderas Bay — Marina Vallarta, Paradise Village Marina and Marina Riviera Nayarit — all have their pros and cons, and their ardent fans. Marina Vallarta scores big points for being very close to downtown Puerto Vallarta and all its many attractions. On the negative side, it’s surrounded by buildings and thus can be hot and windless. Paradise Village Marina gets high marks for being clean, well run, and a part of the very large Paradise Village Resort. Others don’t like the fact that it’s part of a large resort with so many tourists. Marina Riviera Nayarit is beloved by many cruisers because of adjacent La Cruz, which is an authentic Mexican town largely free of tourists, and because it’s popular with so many cruisers. Some people don’t like Marina Riviera Nayarit because it’s the furthest marina from Puerto Vallarta proper, which to the minds of others is a big plus.

This is the third of the marina that can't be seen in the other photos. 

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As for us, we like them all, as they all have something different to offer.

Coming soon, our aerial coverage of Paradise Village Marina.

- latitude / richard

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