SF Chronicle Calls Golden Gate Yacht Club "Scruffy"

November 11 - San Francisco

We're not sure how the members of Golden Gate Yacht Club felt when they saw the front page of today's Chronicle, where the top fold's biggest headline refers to them as "Scruffy S.F. boaters." The article explains that 19 members of the club spent the last two weeks in Auckland observing the Louis Vuitton Cup as part of a deal forged between "the modest mechanic" Commodore Norbert Bajurin, who runs Alouis Auto Radiator in San Francisco, and "Silicon Valley mogul Larry Ellison," who runs Oracle, a software giant headquartered in Redwood City. Ellison bankrolled the Oracle Racing team (later sharing title sponsorship with BMW) but needed a yacht club to sail for. When negotiations with upscale neighbor St. Francis Yacht Club broke down, Golden Gate was able to accommodate Ellison's requirements. The excitement for all of us, of course, is the hope of bringing the America's Cup to San Francisco Bay, which Chronicle staff writer Julian Guthrie compared to hosting the Olympics.

Oracle BMW Racing's USA-76 on the course in Auckland
Photo Courtesy www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com

"The regatta is an exclusive party the band of blue-collar boaters never imagined attending," says Guthrie. The article quotes Bajurin as saying that "Most people I met in New Zealand believe we are a large club representing the upper crust of San Francisco society. I'm proud to let people know that we are a small, people-oriented club that has struggled to maintain its very existence." To read the complete article online, see http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2002/11/11/MN229535.DTL

For what it's worth, we think GGYC is a class act, and have enjoyed sailing in their races. Their new clubhouse, a huge improvement on their one old, which was damaged in the 1989 earthquake, has about the best view you could wish for, and we've held several of our crew list parties there.

A GGYC race on the Cityfront
Photo Carolynn Dean

The clubhouse
 Above Photos Courtesy www.ggyc.org

Worshiping the Sun and Celebrating

November 11 - Cabo San Lucas

We had a brief voice mail message over the weekend from the Baja Ha-Ha to inform us that all the boats arrived safely in Cabo and participants are "worshiping the sun and celebrating." The hard-working all-volunteer Rally Committee now goes into hibernation until next May, when plans for Baja Ha-Ha X will begin to take shape. Look for an announcement in the May issue of Latitude 38, here in 'Lectronic Latitude, and on www.baja-haha.com. And look for more coverage of the event just completed here later this week and in the December issue of Latitude 38.

Around Alone Race

November 11 - South Atlantic Ocean

En route to Cape Town, the Around Alone skippers have been crossing the Equator one by one. Bruce Schwab on Ocean Planet has this report: "About an hour ago, Ocean Planet, the boat, crossed over to the southern half of the ocean planet (third stone from the sun) that we all share and inhabit together. I hope Neptune enjoyed his shot of good single malt scotch as it is the only one I brought. Also, I tuned up the guitar and played "On the Sunny Side of the Ocean" by one of my favorite guitar composers. Guess correctly who the author of the tune is, and get a ride on Ocean Planet (when she's available). Hope not too many get it, so we have enough room."

Later, Schwab mused that perhaps Neptune didn't care for the scotch, or that perhaps he just wanted Bruce to stick around and play some more, as Ocean Planet was stuck for three hours in light rain, mist, and no wind during the middle of the night. "Many correct guessers of the composer of my guitar tune to Neptune. I look forward to a group tribute sail to this late, great, guitar music composer when back in the USA. A hint for those still wondering: he passed away in Portland, OR, just last year." See www.oceanplanet.org.

Meanwhile, the leaders are closing in on the Cape. Bernard Stamm on Bobst Group-Armor Lux, who has retained a seemingly comfortable lead throughout the leg, has been having a tough time. He had to climb his mast twice yesterday in order to rethread the main halyard after a tackle block had failed. Yet he hardly lost many miles as he temporarily managed to hoist the mainsail using the gennaker halyard, so that he wouldn't have to climb during the night in 25 knots of wind and rough seas. See www.aroundalone.com.

Dog Business

November 11 - Redwood City

Dave and Merry Wallace have some advice for those hoping to 'boat-train' their dogs, in response to Bob Frank's request for ideas on how he can get his Lab to 'go' in the cockpit (see Friday's 'Lectronic).

"Our two miniature schnauzers, Myka and Sasha, were veteran boat dogs, having spent many days onboard our previous boat Bahala Na, a Newport
30, in the Sea of Cortez. But we had never done an overnight trip with the dogs aboard until we faced this problem last fall when heading south on the 2001 Baja Ha-Ha. Things were okay working our way down to San Diego on our Amel Maramu, Air Ops, because, like Bob's Lab, the dogs would hold it for 24 hours, and we never had to make a passage exceeding that time.

"But we knew that the legs south from San Diego to Turtle Bay, Bahia Santa Maria, and then to Cabo would be longer than 24 hours, so a solution was needed, and Merry had the answer. While in San Diego, she went to Home Depot and bought a plastic tray used for mixing mortar - it's about 18" x 24" and 3" deep. She then bought a piece of sod (real grass!) to fill it with. We put the tray on the stern of the boat, and took Sasha to it the first day out of San Diego. She took one sniff of the grass, then hopped on and did her stuff, and Myka immediately followed.

"The sod only lasted about a week, but by then the dogs knew where their spot was. We then replaced the sod with an outdoor carpet piece. We put a grommet in the corner and tossed it over the side on a line every day to clean it. The dogs used their spot for the next eight months until we returned to the Bay Area this June, but only when we were at sea for an extended time - if they could go ashore they much preferred that and would hold it until it was 'time for a walk'."

On the Rocks

November 11 - San Mateo

We received a bunch of suggestions in Friday's photo caption contest, wherein we asked readers to send us excuses for the hapless powerboater who ran his craft up on the breakwater at Coyote Point.

Apparently several of you are looking forward to the impending release of the new 007 feature, as you have Bond on the brain. "It looked a lot easier in that Bond flick!" John Boggs; "What you are seeing is really a photo of a stunt from the new James Bond movie, Live and Let Fly," AShannon38; "Just saw the James Bond movie, Live and Let Die - if Roger Moore could do it . . ." Tim Crowe.

George Backhus may have been subconsciously thinking of the suave superspy: "Would you like that martini straight or on the rocks?" Also on the subject of alcohol with ice were "Bartender, I just had one on the rocks. This time, I'll take it with water," Tim Ellis; "I said I was really looking forward to a rum on the rocks, not run on the rocks!" RWCAT.

In the other distracting vices department, Bob Clark thought that perhaps the skipper could say, "Confident that my new Raymarine autopilot and GPS/chartplotter would guide me safely to Coyote Point, I went below to enjoy Ravel's 'Bolero' and engage in some creative nautical aerobics with my girlfriend. Unfortunately the boat made it before I did."

"The driver of this boat figured out how to let the dog 'go' [see item above]. Just make a quick stop at the closest spot that's high and dry, and let the dog do its thing. I'll bet the driver did his thing on the spot, too!" Pat McIntosh.

Bob Tellefsen reminded us of a previous grounding. "The owner of the vessel on the breakwater at Coyote Point obviously is related to or has similar DNA to the party that ran up on the Ballena Bay breakwater a number of years ago. He was the one that took the broker that just sold him the boat to court for telling him that his autopilot once activated would take him back into his slip! The owner and his companions had been partying at Coyote Point YC and activated the autopilot for their return trip to their Ballena Bay slip. Duh!"

Our Classy Classifieds manager especially liked Eric Stephan's "For sale: 26' runabout; fallen on rocky times; permanent moorage; best offer takes." Another one for the ad department: "Boat for sale currently on the hard," Pat M.

The Webmistress particularly liked Reed Hazen's homage to the Verizon Wireless commercials, "Can you hear me now?" and the topical "The election forced me to the right," also from Reed. "I was asleep, this is a No Wake Zone, isn't it?" from Peter R. Ciriscioli, PhD, garnered one vote from today's admittedly small staff, but the favorite was "Cross training in sports is great, but never give the helm to a rock climber." Carl Ondry is the lucky winner of a Roving Reporter T-shirt, a collector's item you can't buy or beg from us.

Robert Hu had a thoughtful explanation of the incident. Since his response is serious, we saved it for last. "While I'm not making excuses for the power boater who ran on top of the Coyote Point harbor jetty, I do think the navigation lights played a contributory role in this unfortunate mishap.

The entrance to Coyote Point's harbor
Photos Bob Frank

"As I understand it, this 'grounding' took place sometime overnight on a Friday when there were high spring tides. If you have ever approached the entrance to the Coyote Point Marina following the range lights at the harbor, it will lead you more or less straight to the tip of this jetty. Furthermore one or more of the range lights are often blocked during high tides by various power cruisers' superstructures.

"On a moonlit night, the jetty can just be seen in the dark as there are no navigation lights on it. But approach on a dark, moonless night and this jetty can suddenly appear in front of you with barely enough time to react. Or, if you take false comfort in the range lights guiding you safely all the way into the harbor, you will have this surprise waiting for you."

"Having sailed many Wednesday night beer can races at the Coyote Point Yacht
Club, most local sailors are well aware of the jetty and expect to turn right at the entrance to the harbor basin. But for the boater approaching an unfamiliar harbor on a dark night, adding a set of lights on either side of the harbor entrance could prevent this sort of mishap."

BC, Not WA

November 11 - Pender Islands, BC

Randy Johnston wrote in response to Friday's item on Summer Sailstice, "Your test to check on the number of Northwestern readers has worked; hopefully you haven't stepped on too many of our fine Canadian friends' toes, eh, but at least as far as last summer (and the summer before that) the Pender Islands that Bedwell Harbor is between were still in beautiful British Columbia." Guess that means we need to change 'Harbor' to 'Harbour' too.

Friday's caption under this photo mistakenly
identified the locale as "Bedwell Harbor, WA"
Photo Courtesy www.summersailstice.com, who
also need to change the caption under this photo

The Pender Islands are part of Canada's Gulf Islands, just north of Washington's San Juan Islands, a cruising ground you could easily lose yourself in for a whole summer. For more, see www.gulfislandsguide.com.


November 11 - 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

November 11 - 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/. Regarding this site, Kevin Dowling wrote in to point out that, "The link to SF Bay Winds is largely a one way trip. Rapid fire on the back key will eventually lead back to Lat 38." We find that if we hit our 'back' button three times quickly, our browser will return to this page. Using the 'Go' function in Netscape or the 'History' function in Explorer also works.

The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at 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/Maps/Southwest.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 views of sea states anywhere in the world, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data/.

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