'Lectronic Index

Previous 'Lectronic Edition

Photo of the Day

August 11 - Why Yes, We'd Love To Be Boarded - Panama

Judging by the looks of this photo, the Coast Guard is issuing a new kit for its personnel in the tropics - which apparently consists of a rather heavy jacket and a lightweight transparent thong. If this is indeed the case, we'll not only have the most competent Coast Guard in the world, but the hippest looking, too.

The photo comes to us courtesy of the Winship Family aboard the Alameda-based Crowther 33 cat Chewbacca, who have been enjoying cruising Panama's San Blas Islands during rainy season. They report that the model, the lovely Ms. C., "is over 21, is hooked on cruising, and will be at the Ha-Ha Kick-Off Party in October looking for a berth." Don't despair Ms. C, for if none of the other 130 expected starters can find room for you on their boats, we'd probably be able to squeeze you aboard Profligate."

Photo courtesy Chewbacca

Ken Hellewell Completes Solo Circumnavigation

August 11 - The Sailing World

When the then 35-year old Ken Hellewell of Seattle took off cruising with his girlfriend in October of '99, he had no idea that he'd end up doing a solo circumnavigation aboard his C&C 38 Topaz. But that's the way it turned out. In the process, he wrote cruising guides to both Tonga and to the Torres Strait. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of his trip is that he spent the first 3.5 years in Mexico and the South Pacific - which he loved. In the last year he sailed all the way from Tonga to San Diego - about 5/6ths of the way around the world - but didn't think it compared at all with Mexico and the South Pacific. More in the September Latitude.

By the way, this was Topaz's second circumnavigation. As for her original Yanmar diesel with 6,000 hours, it didn't give Hellewell an iota of trouble the whole time.

Photo courtesy Ken Hellewell

Capricorn Cat Back from South Pacific,
Getting Ready for Mexico

August 11 - The Sailing World

Ho, hum, Blair Grinols, along with his wife Joan, daughter Vye, and her two teenage sons, just completed a three-week trip from Tonga to Hawaii, followed by a 15-day passage from Hawaii to San Francisco. It used to be that a 5,000-mile trip across the Pacific was a major adventure, but Blair, who turned 70 about a year ago, and his 46-ft cat make it seem like a walk in the park.

If you think Blair has had enough of sailing for a while, you'd be wrong. For as soon as he and Joan finish their motorhome trip to Minnesota, he'll probably start building two daggerboards to replace the ones that broke, in order to cruise down to Mexico this winter. Blair and Joan plan to be at the Ha-Ha Kickoff Party in Alameda on October 6 to say hello to all their friends from the Pacific and Mexico.

More on the Grinols' trip in the September issue.

Another Witness to the Ship and Bridge Collision

August 11 - Loch Lomond

Yesterday we got a call from Paul Olson of the Loch Lomond-based 47-ft sloop Dionysus, who reports he saw the entire incident last month in which the car carrier ship swerved to avoid a sailboat beneath the main span of the San Rafael Bridge and hit the fenders protecting the base of the bridge. "I saw a lot of dust and debris from when the ship hit the base of the bridge, and thought the bridge was coming down," he says. Olson wonders what happened to the pilot who was steering the ship, and why he didn't simply run over the sailboat that wasn't supposed to be blocking the channel. Olson reasons that by trying to avoid killing one wayward skipper, the pilot might have brought the whole bridge down, killing several hundred people.

We're going to look into whether a ship could bring the bridge down and if bar pilots are trained in deciding whether it's better to kill a few to avoid the possibility of killing many.

Front Row Seat for Coast Guard Training

August 11 - Strand Beach

"On Monday, we had a front row seat for a spectacular Coast Guard rescue demonstration," report Bob and Bonnie Fraik, former Tiburon residents who own the SC 52 Impulse and who now live in Laguna Niguel. "We are assuming this was done for the Life Guard training camp that is held every year on Strand Beach directly in front of our house. It just so happened that I had my image-stabilized zoom on my digital SLR, so I took a bunch of shots of the three rescues they simulated."

From the looks of things, California Coasties hadn't yet been issued the 'thong' kit being used in Panama.
Photo Bob Fraik

Top / Index of Stories / Previous 'Lectronic Edition

Subscriptions / Classifieds / Home

©2004 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.