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Catchin' a Ride

April 9 - San Francisco

A good time was had by all at Latitude 38's spring Crew List Party Wednesday night at San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club. We tell you this not to make you feel as though you missed the boat, but to remind you that there are many excellent opportunities out there for joining a race crew, a daysail group or to go cruising. Among the many captains who were trolling for crew, we met a guy who needed help bringing a boat back from the Med, a gal who needed crew for a Hawaii to S.F. delivery and an old salt who intends to take his schooner around Cape Horn - again.

Holger and Tracy are looking for hard-working crew for an around-the-world trip aboard their famous schooner Lord Jim (415-331-1968).

Talk about unique party favors! It's always a big hit when Sal (of Sal's Inflatables in Alameda) pops open a liferaft and allows partiers to test the fit.
Photos Latitude/Andy

If you missed the party, fear not. Contact info for many who attended can be found in the March (racing) and April (everything else) issues of Latitude 38.

Puddle Jump Boat Rescued by Mexican Navy

April 9 - South Pacific

John and Renee Prentice of San Diego were among the most experienced sailors in this year's Pacific Puddle Jump fleet, and their Serendipity 43 Scarlett O'Hara was very well equipped. But that did not make them immune to breakdowns.

John and Renee posed for this shot last month at Latitude's Puddle Jump Kickoff Party at the Vallarta Yacht Club in Paradise Village.
Photo Latitude/Andy

Having departed Puerto Vallarta on March 15, they had sailed 700 miles of the 3,000-mile passage to the Marquesas when, at 3am on March 20, their rudder broke off. "We tried to build an emergency rudder," explained John, "but it lasted only a few minutes in the large seas and strong winds."

Luckily, they were able to raise Don Anderson of Summer Passage who assisted them in contacting the Mexican Navy, which initiated a rescue and eventually towed Scarlett O'Hara all the way back to Manzanillo. "We cannot say enough good things about the way the Mexican Navy handled us - they towed our boat for six days!!!" said John. "They were professional and very concerned about our safety and were careful to not cause any further damage to the boat."

The Prentices are now completing repairs and say that they'll probably give the Puddle Jump another try next year. Three cheers for the Navy!

Geronimo's Crew Breathes a Sigh of Relief

April 9 - South Atlantic Ocean

"Phew!" exclaimed Olivier de Kersauson soon after rounding Cape Horn. The crew of the maxi-tri Geronimo had just made their escape from a hellish and very hostile Pacific Ocean. Still reeling from 10 days of relentless tumult, the 11 French sailors have now begun the long trek home through the full length of the Atlantic.

Photo Jacques Vapillon/DPPI/Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Schneider Electric

This difficult crossing of the southern seas will certainly leave its mark on those involved and probably on their collective memory as well. "If we'd known at the beginning, none of my lads would have been down there in such sailing conditions," explained the Breton skipper in a very tired voice.

Now on day 43 in their quest for the around-the-world record, they want nothing more than to find a little warmth and forget all about beating to weather in freezing temperatures. One last effort and Geronimo's crew will finally be free of the accursed Howling Fifties and into the tropics as they head for the Equator.

For more and for future updates, see www.trimaran-geronimo.com/index.php?lang=en.

Corinthian Speaker Series to Feature NOAA Meteorologist

April 9 - Tiburon

The Corinthian Yacht Club in downtown Tiburon invites you next Tuesday night to an evening with one of the most knowledgeable marine weather forecasters on the planet today. Lee Chesneau, Senior Marine Meteorologist for NOAA, will be speaking in person on Tuesday, April 13.

Whether you are planning a long offshore passage, some coastal racing or cruising, or just sailing in the Bay, you need to know about the weather, and the technological advances that are putting an unprecedented amount of information in your hands. Lee is just the person to help you advance your knowledge. Lee received his BS degree in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin. A 20-year veteran weather forecaster for the U.S Navy, he has been employed since 1988 by the National Weather Service Marine Prediction Center in Camp Springs, MD, as a senior marine forecaster. In that capacity he prepares and issues marine warnings in both text and graphical format for the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Lee is a colorful, articulate speaker who will take your knowledge of weather technology to the next level.

The doors will open at the club at 6pm, and a no-host bar will be available. Lee will start his talk around 7:00, wrapping up around 9:00. Admission is $10 per person. Reservations are recommended, seating will be limited. To make reservations, call CYC at (415) 435-4771 or visit www.cyc.org/speakers/leechesneau.html and fill out the online reservation form.

Don't Miss the Ha-Ha Shindig at Pacific SAIL EXPO

April 9 - Oakland

If you are a Baja Ha-Ha veteran or simply want to know more about this much-talked-about annual sailing rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, be sure to attend Latitude 38's Ha-Ha Vets get-together Friday, April 16, 7pm at the Latitude booth #321. All vets and wannabes are welcome.

We particularly encourage curious young sailors to drop by. In past events many sailors in their 20s and early 30s have proven that you don't need a gold-plated yacht with all the bells and whistles to successfully do the Ha-Ha. Last year, for example several couples in their 20s did the event and had the time of their lives. (There are also entry discounts for entrants younger than 35 with boats under 35 feet.)

At last year's Sail Expo Ha-Ha party we first met newlyweds Elan and (Captain) Katy Stewart. They doublehanded the 2003 Ha-Ha in their vintage Golden Gate 30 and had a blast. As far as we know, they're still out there somewhere on an extended honeymoon.
Photo Latitude/Andy

Note also that Latitude's founder and publisher Richard Spindler (a.k.a. The Grand Poobah) will be giving two Sail Expo seminars. The first will be Friday, April 16 (Tent A at 4:45 pm), focusing on the differences between cruising Mexico and the Caribbean. The second will be held Saturday, April 17 (Tent A at 6pm) and will give a complete overview of next fall's Ha-Ha, which starts October 25.

For a complete seminar schedule, see www.sailamerica.com or pick up the April issue of Latitude 38, which includes a full-color pre-show planner.

More to See on the Oakland Estuary

April 9 - Oakland

KFOG deejay Big Rick Stuart checks in on the subject of the Oakland Estuary, the venue of the upcoming Sail Expo: "I wrote up a little thing for KFOG about the Oakland Estuary with some pictures and links to just some of the historical boats and places there. People coming for the Expo might not all know the cool stuff there. Things like the Lightship tend to get passed by during a busy weekend, but are definitely worth a look." See www.bigrick.fm/kfog/oakestuary.html.

The WLV 605 Lightship Relief served in Delaware, off Blunts Reef (off Cape Mendocino) and as the Relief ship for all West Coast lightships. The light was visible for up to 23 miles from the ship's station. The ship is also equipped with a pair of diaphone fog signals, a radio beacon antenna, and radar. The ship's hull is painted bright red for increased visibility as a day mark. Now she is open to the public at Jack London Square and is a national historic landmark.
Photo Rick Stuart

"The polar bear pictures are just amazing. I emailed that story to lots of friends." For the polar bear item, see Wednesday's 'Lectronic Latitude.

Classy Classified Ad

April 9 - Southern California

BENETEAU 50, 1996. Registered Nov. 1995. Bruce Farr designed hull. Major rework in March 2003. Radios, instruments, sails, running rigging, LP paint. $235,000/obo. Call for complete information. (909) 360-7534 or (480) 396-8606.

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