A Gentle Giant Falls

February 8 - Alameda

We are saddened, devastated actually, to report that our friend Carl Schumacher passed away unexpectedly last Tuesday night at his Alameda home. He was only 52 years old, and we - like everyone else in the sailing community - are struggling to make sense of this incomprehensible loss.

Carl, as most West Coast sailors know, was a gifted naval architect and an excellent sailor. Thousands of sailors have enjoyed racing on his production boats - most notably the Express 27, 34 and 37 - and his many custom boats, including Wall Street Duck, National Biscuit, Heart of Gold, Swiftsure 2, Recidivist, Surprise and, most recently, Q. Carl was working on two more big custom projects, and was scheduled to go to New Zealand in a few weeks to check on their construction.

Carl was a member of the Encinal and St. Francis Yacht Clubs, and he gave his time and knowledge unselfishly to many other sailing organizations, including the local PHRF board and Sailing World's annual Boat of the Year judging. He sailed in many fleets during his lifetime, and achieved national prominence by winning the Quarter Ton NAs twice with his breakthrough boat, Summertime Dream. He also owned two Express 27s over the years (Moonlight, New Moon), and was currently active in the Mercury class, as well as a partner in a new project, the Express 37 Golden Moon.

Photos Latitude Archives

But these are just some of the facts, cold and hard. What's more difficult to capture is Carl's spirit - his humility, patience, intelligence and kind demeanor. He was respected and loved by all, one of the real class acts in the sailing industry. We sailed dozens of races with Carl over the last 20 years, including long trips to Hawaii, Mexico and Jamaica, and in the course of many night watches came to know and appreciate him on many levels. He was a deep man, devoted to his family and also quite active in his church. Through his faith, Carl believed strongly in the afterlife, a fact we find comforting in this difficult time.

We've received dozens of emails and phone calls about Carl in the last few days, an outpouring of genuine emotion from his many friends and admirers. Of course, we plan to run a tribute to Carl in the March issue of Latitude 38, and welcome any and all further remembrances. We'll keep you posted about plans for a memorial service.

In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Marilyn, and children Sutter and Evan - and for Carl, one of the finest men we have ever had the privilege to know. We already miss Carl tremendously, and will never forget him.

- rob moore

Solo Sailor Hits Iceberg

February 8 - Southern Ocean

It's not just Volvo Race competitors who have to watch out for icebergs. According to Dan Mills, on October 1 of last year, Ed Arnold departed Sitka, Alaska, on what he hoped would be a non-stop solo circumnavigation aboard his 36-ft Nomad. Arnold, who is in his mid-60s, had done a circumnavigation with his family many years ago, and recently completed another circumnavigation with his wife. It took Arnold just under three months to sail from Sitka to Cape Horn, and about five weeks to near South Africa. Alas, at about midnight on January 8, Nomad struck an iceberg. While the hull and mast were not damaged, the jib furler and bow pulpit were. As a result, Arnold will have to put into Cape Town for repairs. It should take him about a month to get there. For more information, visit www.gonesailing.com.

Photos: Above, Ed Arnold; Below, Nomad in Alaska

Photos Courtesy www.gonesailing.com

Aloha, Mahina Tiare!

February 8 - Hawaii

John and Amanda Neal report that they are about to make landfall at Hilo, Hawaii, in the next few hours, having sailed from Cocos Islands by Clipperton Atoll. They started this year's voyaging from Northern Europe in May. "There's a drought here, and Hawaii is crystal clear in front of us, with snow on both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa."

Mahina Tiare III sailing in tropical waters
Photo Courtesy www.mahina.com

Boat Shipping Info Needed

February 8 - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

We recently reported that longtime Canadian cruisers Les MacNeill and Marcia Stromsmoe of the Victoria, B.C.-based Corbin 39 Rio Nimpkish were badly beaten during a robbery in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. Here is an update from Marcia:

"First, thanks for the report of the attack on Les and I in Rabaul, PNG. We are both back in Victoria, British Columbia. I am okay. Les will be okay also, although he is still in the hospital and he has lost his left eye. For the record, we were attacked by a total stranger - he didn't attempt to rob us - while we were hiking. It was not boat related - other than we would not have been there if we didn't have a boat. It was our only negative experience in five and a half years of sailing. While Les is recovering, my job is to get Rio Nimpkish back to Victoria from Rabaul. I know Latitude did an article on shipping boats some time ago, and would appreciate a copy. I'd also appreciate any information on hiring a delivery skipper. We know it's going to cost a huge amount of money to have the boat brought home, but I can't imagine myself on her with anybody but Les. And he's not going to be sailing for a long time, and maybe never offshore again. Thanks for any help that you can give."

We're emailing you a copy of that article today, although it only deals with shipping boats from as far south as Tahiti. We know other readers have shipped boats back from New Zealand and Australia, and are hoping we'll get some response from them, as well, perhaps, as some recommendations on delivery skippers. We can be reached by email.

Photographer Identified

February 8 - Juneau, AK

Yesterday's photos of snowbound boats in Juneau, Alaska, were taken by Jeff Coult, who is up there with his Alameda-based Landfall 39 Northern Exposure. "In winter, only the really hard-core sailors get out. Even these really dedicated sailors can have a difficult time, since the harbor is pretty well frozen in and you have to chop the ice to move your boat. As you can see, the harbor department provides a totally different type of service here than we are used to in the Bay Area."

Photo Jeff Coult

Paul Cayard Reports from the Volvo Race

February 8 - Southern Ocean

"I get up on deck and immediately I am pelted in the back by a wall of water. I work my way to the back and acclimate for three minutes. Then grab the wheel. The boat is very much under control and I am able to weave in and out of the 30-foot seas easily while we sit on 25-28 knots. My top speed was 32 knots for the two hours. At one point, two or three waves had come together to make one huge wave. We got up on it and looked down a 120-foot runway that was about 30 degrees. Everyone's eyes were huge. It was a phenomenal wave that Dalton said was the biggest he had ever ridden. The water was coming down the deck so hard and deep when we would plow into the back of the waves that Bouwe Bekking was pushing against my back to hold me forward. It just went on and on. There were endless waves to surf, endless amounts of fun. It was simply the reason I came to do this leg."

Technical Delays

February 8 - Zihua Bay, Mexico

We'll have a report on last weekend's Zihua Sail Fest and the Tenacatita Regatta in Monday's 'Lectronic. We've had technical problems. Meanwhile, here's a shot of some of the foredeck crew aboard Profligate as she begins to overtake Capricorn Cat in the charity race at Z-town.

Photo Latitude/Richard


February 8 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at http://www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/

Weather Updates

February 8 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/. The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay has moved to www.wrh.noaa.gov/Monterey/.

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.

Pacific Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at: http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/RSSA/PacRegSSA.html.
For another view, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/global.html.

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