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Photos of the Day: Float Planes & Crab

June 11 - San Juan Islands

Today's Photo of the Day was taken by Dave Wallace of Redwood City, while he and his wife Mary, along with Bruce Ladd, and Rick and Petra Gilmore, were sailing the Jeanneau 45 Barocco around the San Juan Islands. "Our big question" Wallace writes, "is what are the rules of the road for float planes?" Anybody know the answer?

The other photo is of a crab feed during the trip with, from the left, Merry, Rick, and Petra.

Photos Courtesy Barocco

New Costa Baja Marina Is Pre-Leasing Slips

June 11 - La Paz, Mexico

Richard Stevens of the Newport Beach-based Bellport Group marina management company reports that the new 250-slip Costa Baja Marina just outside of La Paz has begun pre-leasing slips for this fall and winter. This is a luxury marina with 250 slips between 30 and 200 feet - which will double the number of slips available in La Paz - and will also feature a luxury hotel, restaurants, a fuel dock and everything else a mariner would need. Marina Costa Baja has an excellent location, a short distance out of La Paz in the direction of the great uninhabited islands Partida and Espiritu Santo. Stevens believes the berths will go fast, so for more information and reservations, call him at (949) 723-7780 - and tell him that Latitude sent you!

Graphic Courtesy Bellport Group

Nobody Is Sinking Sailboats in Richardson Bay

June 11 - Richardson Bay

In the Wednesday 'Lectronic, we wondered if somebody was sinking sailboats in Richardson Bay, for the previous Sunday we saw three pretty decent ones sunk. Thanks to a recent police action out there, we wondered if there might have been a connection. Apparently, there wasn't. Here's how David of U.S. 46 explains it:

"We left to go fishing early in the morning on that Saturday. There was a huge negative tide, and three boats were on a berm completely out of the water. When I say the tide was negative, I mean really looooow - like I'd never seen in 15 years. They were so far aground that they were totally tipped over on their sides. If you've ever stepped in that black gooey mud, you know the incredible suction power it can have. My guess, based on the fact that the three sunken boats were all in a direct line exactly linear to the high point of the mud bar, is that they were held down when the tide came in and sank."

Bill Hughes offers the same explanation. We think they are both correct.

Catnip Cup This Weekend

June 11 - SF Bay

"We have 15 mulithulls planning to do the San Francisco to Vallejo and back Catnip Cup this weekend," reports Glenn Fagerlin of the Kronos 45 cat Perception, "which would be an all-time record. It's a nicely integrated group of 10 cats and five tris - making 35 hulls in all." The entries are: Double Play, Gemini 105 cat, Don Parker and Terri Johnson; Mood Indigo, Gemini 105 cat, Rich Kerbavaz and family; Jitterbug, Catana 43 cat, Gary and Claudette Miskell; New Focus, Catana 43 cat, Paul Biery; Bebe L'Amour, Lagoon 410 cat, Jeff and Deborah Eastman; Devoras, Kantola 38 tri, Bob Naber; Joint Venture, Corsair 31 tri, Randy and Sandy Devol; C-Monster, Corsair 36 tri, Steve and Carol Jacoby; Dolce Vita, Marquesas 56 cat, Mai Dolch; No Name, Seawind 1000 cat, Gary Helms; Even Kiehl, Kizmet 31 tri, Stuart Kiehl; Kokomo, F31 tri, Terry Smith, Lonnie and Steffi Price, Cal Ctabucchi; Yang Fan, Seawind 1000, Steve Wendl; Profligate, Surfin' 63 cat, Richard Spindler and Doña de Mallorca; Perception, Wauquiez/Kronos 45 cat, Glenn Fagerlin.

Coastal Cup

June 11 - SF to SB

Thirty boats will start Encinal YC's Coastal Cup, a 277-mile downwind sprint from St. Francis YC to Santa Barbara YC, tomorrow at noon. We'll boldly predict that the Andrews 56 Chipango will be first to finish, while the Hobie 33 Sleeping Dragon will correct out first overall again. It's been honking out in the ocean lately, which could put the SC 50 Octavia's 1997 record of 28 hours, 29 minutes in jeopardy.

Unfortunately, the water-ballasted Andrews 77 Alchemy, which was assigned a whopping -153 rating, will not be racing due to engine problems encountered on their delivery north. Too bad, as they would have almost certainly lowered the course record, maybe even finishing in less than a day. Two other boats recently withdrew - the Beneteau 42s7 Tivoli, which tweaked its mast on the hateful delivery home from the Spinny Cup, and the Jeanneau 41 Kitsune, which is short of crew.

Hopefully, the results will be posted early next week at www.encinal.org.

Yacht 'Tax Loopholes' Become Front Page News

June 11 - Sacramento

There's a front page story in today's Chronicle about state Democratic legislators seeking to close what they are calling the "yacht tax loophole". As most readers know, if you follow the steps closely when buying a boat, you can take delivery offshore, then actively use it in Mexico for three months, at which point you won't owe state sales tax.

But if the state Democratic legislators think they are going to collect $55 million more a year by closing this so-called loophole, they should wait before spending the money. The truth is there are a number of ways for buyers of expensive boats - when was the last time you heard anybody near the water call them 'yachts'? - to legally avoid paying California sales tax. For instance, it takes no more than a couple of hours and a couple of thousand dollars to set up an offshore corporation - complete with a board of directors - in one of many island-nations in the Caribbean, and have that corporation buy and own the boat. Along with this foreign ownership comes the possibility of saving even more money with regard to things like personal property tax, insurance, and liability. It's not for nothing that most of the large boats around the world are flagged out of places such as the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, and the British Virgin Islands.

Is doing this right or fair? When we took offshore delivery of Profligate - fully approved by the State Board of Equalization - we took comfort in the fact that Democratic icon Hillary Clinton got her start by creating real estate tax shelters to help far wealthier people than us save much greater sums of money. If playing hard by the 'rules of the game' is good enough for progressives such as her, how can it not be good enough for everyone? What a cynical world we're living in, eh?

Shared Expenses Trips on Profligate

June 11 - Bay Area

Now that Profligate's back in the Bay Area, we're getting ready to head south again in two months for fun in Southern California. Some of you might be interested in some of the trips:

August 5, 6 & 7 - Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race.
We think this is the most fun race in all of Southern California, as there are tons of boats, and you sail across the Santa Barbara Channel, down around Anacapa Island, come back to the coast at Malibu, and then across Santa Monica Bay to Redondo Beach. It's about 86 miles, and the last couple of years we've finished around midnight. But what really makes it fun is you get to spend a day before at Santa Barbara, a great town, at the best time of year, and it's really fun at the yacht club. And after the race, you're in Redondo Beach, for more fun at the club and for miles in either direction along the beach. What a killer event! The only thing better than doing it on Profligate would be doing it on your own boat.

August 13, 14, & 15 - Long Beach To Catalina To Newport Beach.
They say you should never start a voyage on a Friday, let alone Friday the 13th, but we're going to give it a go. If you want an action-packed weekend that really gets you away - without having to go far - this one's for you. We leave Long Beach at noon, put up the screecher for the sail to Avalon where we mess around on the beach under the bright lights, and spend the night. The next morning we motor a couple of hundred feet off the coast up to Two Harbors, the rugged and rustic little island oasis further west on the island. After an afternoon's sail, we do a beach BBQ and hit the dance floor under the stars. There are also great opportunities for hiking and stuff. The next day we hoist the chute and set sail for 35-mile distant Newport Beach, arriving about 6 p.m. This is not your boring weekend, and it's perfect for those who want to learn all about cats. Despite the normal light air of Southern California, last year we had everybody driving the cat in the teens on hot reaches.

For these and other shared expenses opportunities on Profligate, email Doña.

Sailing with the chute up off Santa Cruz Island

Catalina - What a great place in August, with the bright lights
of Avalon and the camp-like atmosphere of Two Harbors.Photos Latitude/Richard

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