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Photos of the Day

October 20 - Half Moon Bay

Today's Photos of the Day, courtesy of Capt. Randy Leasure aboard the Westsail 32 Tortuga in Half Moon Bay, are of Monday's first gale of the year. As you can see, boats on hooks or moorings were under some strain, and several boats went on the beach.

Photos Randy Leasure

This won't be the worst storm of the year by far, so if you're not on your boat all the time, please make preparations for bad weather. We've got a feature on specifically what to do in the November issue of Latitude 38.

We hope nobody making a late dash to Southern California for the start of the Baja Ha-Ha got caught in the blow. Leif Vosstrom of the Beneteau 51 Solar Planet left a couple of days before that and reported there was plenty of fog - "we could hardly see the bow" - but no wind whatsoever all along the California coast.

The most recent weather forecast for San Diego calls for sunny skies on Friday, Saturday, and the Kick-Off Party Day on Sunday. Previously there was a 30% chance of showers for the start on Monday, but that's been dropped to 10%, with a greater chance of showers in San Diego on Tuesday. Time to get south or what?

More on the Fines for Boats without Temporary Import Permits

October 20 - Mazatlan, Mexico

Here's the latest from Mazatlan on a few boatowners being severely fined for not having Temporary Import Permits for their boats. The report is from Derek Holden of the Privateer 35 Albatross III, one of the boats facing such a fine.

"The quick story is that back in 2000 the port captain said that I only needed an Import Permit if I wanted to bring replacement parts for my boat into Mexico duty-free. After I'd bought Albatross, I went to the marina office to check, and was told she had all the correct papers for entering Mexico. Also in 2000, the marina office wrote a letter to the port captain stating that I could not get a copy of the permit. I was also told I didn't need one. So I fixed up the boat and sailed her to Mazatlan. I have the boat at the Isla Marina in Mazatlan, where I was never asked for a permit, and was always told I didn't need one unless I wanted to bring boat parts into Mexico. By then I was also worried about the amount of time that had passed from when I guessed I should have gotten a permit. The bottom line is that I've initially been fined $42,000 U.S. because of the number of laws I supposedly broke and because they value my boat at $60,000. How they came up with this value is unclear because I showed them the bill of sale proving that I'd only paid $2,500 for the semi-abandoned boat. Before I bought her, the boat was temporarily impounded by Aduana.

Albatross III

"I've seen three lawyers," Holden continues, "and they all say the problem can't be fixed because of a manager at the marina - who had promised me that if I wired him $600 U.S., the problem would go away. Four months later I was faxed an 18-page document that stated my fines. Now I owe $60,000 U.S., as they add their own interest. In addition, the boat has been confiscated. I went to see the people at the Tax Department, and they explained to me that the case was closed and nothing can be done. For them to take boats away and charge interest of 7% a month for not having a free piece of paperwork seems crazy. The Ericson 35 Beyond Therapy and the Catalina 38 Grapeshot are in the same situation."

We don't know how anyone could have gone for so long without knowing that such permits were eventually required, but we're really sorry what's happening to your boats, because the penalty seems way out of line to us. We hope some solution pops up.

Yankee Cup & Champion of Champions

October 20 - San Francisco Bay

Encore, a Wylie Gemini Twin

Sixteen boatloads of class champions sailed in three light-to-moderate Cityfront races last Saturday to determine the 'overall winner' of HDA and ODCA this year. While some may suggest the contests have more to do with who has the best PHRF rating for the weather conditions and courses, we watched two of the three races and can vouch for the fact that the two winning boats were very well sailed and deserved to win.

Bonito chases the Catalina 30 Starkite

Taking HDA's Yankee Cup with a 5,1,1 record was Andy Hall's Wylie Gemini Twin Encore (if you missed it, go back to the October Sightings piece for the interesting story behind this boat). Repeating as the ODCA Champion of Champions was Michael Andrews' Santana 22 Bonito, which fired off three bullets. See the upcoming Latitude 38 for a little more about this small, but always fun, regatta, as well as results.

Bonito's winning crew: (l-r) Shawn Grassman, Michael Andrews, Wayne Best

From Encore: Back row, (l-r) Tom Bliss, Chris Penn, Andy Hall, Barry Dauphinee. Front row: Arnie Quan, Ron DeBlasi
Photos Latitude/Rob

Did You Start on the Baja Ha-Ha Diet?

October 20 - Tiburon

The Wanderer/Grand Poobah, who is 56, has been on it for just under a month now. He's lost 18 pounds, and is just 14 from his ideal weight. His blood pressure has tumbled from 168/92 to 130/75.

"The idea behind sharing these numbers is to encourage the rest of you who need it to do the same thing and to demonstrate that it's possible. Most of you can get the same results if you do what we've all been told all along - eat smart and get plenty of exercise. Good luck, and I hope to see less of all of you on the Ha-Ha!"

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