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Photos of the Day

November 19 - Glacier Bay, AK

Today's Photos of the Day are from sailing great Skip Allan of Capitola, who passed on an opportunity this summer to defend his West Marine Pacific Cup crown with his Wylie 27 Wildflower. Instead, Allan elected to fulfill a long time dream of taking Wildflower to Glacier Bay, Alaska, in time for the summer solstice. You can read all about it the December issue of Latitude 38.

Allan left Wildflower to drift among the icebergs while paddling his kayak to take photos.

On numerous occasions orcas accompanied Wildflower for many miles up the Inside Passage, their cruising speed about five knots, about the same as Wildflower's.

Allan said the navigation heading north requires a lot of attention. The skipper of the 50-ft powerboat Discovery must have been inattentive, for he put his boat atop a charted rock in Desolation Sound. The only damage was to the owner's pride. Note the floating booms put around the boat to prevent an oil spill.
Photos Skip Allan

Start Me Up (Again), and I'll Never Stop

November 19 - San Diego

You know what the latest addition to many cruising first-aid kits is? The HeartSine 'automated external defibrillator. which is designed to start the heart of someone who has gone into cardiac arrest.

Photo Courtesy West Marine

They've been putting these on planes, airports and other public places, and in a show of hands just before the start of the Baja Ha-Ha, about five skippers said they had them aboard. They retail for $2,199 from West Marine and others.

No Ha-Ha Reunion Until October

November 19 - San Francisco

"It's come to our attention," announced Baja Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler, "that some well-meaning folks from the recently-completed Baja Ha-Ha have been trying to put together a Ha-Ha reunion party at the Golden Gate YC in mid-December. We've spoken to both the individuals and the club, and advised them to please not use the Ha-Ha name, as it will not be a Ha-Ha event, and nobody from the Ha-Ha staff will be there. Both the individuals and the club say the party will be called off, and we thank them for that. The official Ha-Ha Reunion occurs in early October of each year - when many of the participants are back from Mexico - at the Encinal YC. The Ha-Ha is officially dormant until next May when we announce Ha-Ha 12. We thank everyone for their cooperation."

Investigation Complete

November 19 - San Francisco

The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in San Francisco has concluded its investigation of the accident this summer where the freighter Pacific Highway hit the Richmond Bridge while trying to avoid a sailboat that had ventured into its path.

The incident happened on July 11 at about 4:30 p.m. The 590-ft Pacific Highway - a car carrier - was headed to Benicia, when it struck the fendering system of the bridge's north support tower. The impact caused isolated damage to the concrete fendering system (though not to the tower itself), as well as hull damage to the ship's port side. No injuries were reported. Although the Pacific Highway completed its transit to Benicia, the vessel was later drydocked to repair the damage.

A 34-ft sailboat named Della Brown was charged with violating Rule 9 (b) of the Inland Rules of the Road. This rule state, "A vessel of less than 20 meters (65.6 feet) in length shall not impede the passage of any other vessel navigating within a narrow channel or fairway." The shipping channel under the Richmond Bridge is considered a narrow channel.

The Coast Guard recommended a civil penalty against the owner of the Della Brown. The maximum civil penalty for such a violation is $6,500. MSO San Francisco is forwarding the results of its investigation to Coast Guard Headquarters, which is the final approval authority for all marine casualty investigations.

The San Francisco Harbor Safety Committee - a group of local maritime professionals which advises government agencies on matters of navigational safety in the Bay Area - says that this incident highlights the serious consequences of small boats not following Rule 9. "Large seagoing vessels such as tankers and container ships are longer than the TransAmerica building is tall, and weigh over 100,000 tons," notes a recent press release. "They require skill to navigate, especially under the many bridges of the Bay.

"When a vessel sounds the danger signal (five blasts), move out of the way and stay clear."

Big Sail

November 19 - San Francisco

UC Berkeley defeated Stanford University in the inaugural Big Sail last Tuesday. The new match racing event, part of the lead-up to tomorrow's Cal-Stanford Big Game (football), was hosted by St. Francis YC and sailed in four loaned J/105s (Arbitrage, Cuchulainn, Irrational Again, and Spartan).

The three-race BS series was tied 1-1 going into the third and final race. Cal skipper Logan Jager somehow overcame a 15-boatlength deficit to catch the Stanford boat on the final run, drawing a foul against Cardinal skipper Peter Demming in the closing seconds to win the deciding race.

Stanford hit the mark at the finish of the third race.
Photo Chris Ray

The Big Sail also included a 'young alumni' match race (Seadon Wijsen won for Cal) and a 'masters alumni' race (Peter Szasz won for Stanford). "The event was a huge success, both on the water and ashore," claimed Jaren Leet. "Not only was it close racing, but we served some 250 lunches in the grill, both school bands played, and the athletic directors from both schools attended. This is the beginning of a great tradition."

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