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Two Sad Photos of the Day

May 25 - Santa Cruz

Today's Two Sad Photos of the Day are of the Sue Pullan - who is she, anyway? - which we believe is a Catalina 25, that has gone up on the beach at Santa Cruz for apparently the last time.

"The first photo," writes Norm Daly of Santa Cruz, "shows the Pullan on the beach at Santa Cruz on May 11, at which time, according to a Santa Cruz Marine Safety Ranger, the boat had been almost completely vandalized. The mast was broken off, the rigging and winches removed, the cabin furnishings stripped. I took the other photo on May 22, a day after the boat had been dragged from the beach at Lifeguard Tower #4, to the vehicle ramp on Beach St. near the Coconut Grove. She was moved because she'd been deemed a safety hazard because of the crowds expected with the upcoming warm weather and big swell predicted for the weekend. According to the ranger, the responsibility for the boat now lies with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff Department. No word on how the owner is (or is not) involved. It's a sad end to a serviceable boat."

Photos Norm Daly

It's indeed a sad end to the boat, but it's also sad that the owner apparently hasn't been responsible for his boat. It doesn't seem right to us that taxpayers ought to have to pay to dispose of a private individual's boat. But taking the long view, the state legislature is perhaps going to create a program to specifically address the issue.

In recognition of the number of abandoned and unwanted old boats that are creating such navigational and environmental hazards, the Department of Boating & Waterways wants to do something about it. They have recommended ways to improve vessel registration, make it easier for local agencies to remove and dispose of abandoned vessels, and increase the penalties for abandoning a vessel.

Not wanting to be complete hard-asses, Cal Boating suggests creating an Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund, "that would allow boatowners to turn in their low-value vessels to designated public agencies for disposal in lieu of abandonment. Under these recommendations, boatowners would avoid regular vessel and hazardous waste disposal costs, and they would receive a rebate from the pilot program agency." The rational is that in the long run such a program would actually save taxpayers money because it it so expensive dispose of boats once they have sunk or gone on the beach.

We're in favor of the program.

Bad Weather Continues to Bedevil Rolex Transatlantic Fleet

May 25 - Atlantic Ocean

Indicative of the weather extremes in the previously 20-boat Rolex Transatlantic fleet from New York to Britain, the R/P 78 Carrera had to drop out after the mainsail was destroyed while beating to weather in 40 knots. On the other hand, the 250-ft Stad Amsterdam, carrying members of the Storm Trysail Club, has had to drop out and start their engine because of so little wind!

In slow going right now after hours of flying along in the high 20s, the leaders are the 144-ft Mari-Cha IV and the 100-ft Maximus. They expect 12 hours of 25 to 30 knots of wind on the nose tonight, after which conditions will reportedly improve greatly.

Clearing Up the Clearing Procedures in Mexico

May 25 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

"In spite of the great news about the various port captains who have 'got the
message' about the new clearing rules in Mexico," somebody wrote in an unsigned letter, "it doesn't appear that the port captain in Nuevo Vallarta is on the same page! That would explain why the Mexican fellow who used to process ship's papers is still walking the docks.

"We are currently at dock in Paradise Village Marina, and just had a couple stop by in their dinghy after visiting the port captain for a departure tomorrow. They were told by the port captain to come back, before his office closes, at 2:30 p.m., with: 1) A letter from Paradise Marina stating that their bill had been paid, 2) Two copies of the good old Mexican Crew List, and 3) Another copy of the ship's documents.

"I asked the couple why if, for example, Mazatlan, La Paz, and other places are no longer requiring check-in papers (salida) from the last port captain, one would need to get one now from the port captain in Puerto Vallarta? If when you return from, for example Mazatlan, La Paz, where they do not issue check-out (salida) papers, what are you going to give the Nuevo Vallarta port captain? I guess I answered my own question about the paper-processing guy walking
the docks. Somebody still wants him to have a job."

The Port Captain's Office at Nuevo Vallarta. Based on what we've heard, the port captain's procedures are in compliance with the current rules.

Unsigned - We think that you misunderstand the new clearing procedures. Skippers are still required to 'inform' the port captain of their arrival or departure. Sometimes the port captain may delegate this job to the marina, where a log is kept. But no matter if 'informing' at a port captain's office or at a marina, you could - and very possibly will - be asked to produce a Crew List and your ship's document. But what's the big deal with that?

When the new Latitude comes out on Friday, you can read how Pete Boyce of the Northern California-based Sabre 40 Edelweiss checked into Nuevo Vallarta. He hopped in his dinghy for the very short ride to the port captain's office, gave him the basic information, and was done in five minutes. We don't know how anyone can complain about that. There was, of course, no charge.

With regard to the 'paperman' or ship's agents, our understanding is that no port captain can require them, and that none have been. However, that doesn't mean that some cruisers still may not prefer to have a agent do their work for them. For example, when at Barra de Navidad, where the port captain also requires that you clear in and out with him, Boyce paid an agent to visit the port captain for him. The fee was $20. We doubt that most cruisers would do that, but Pete did it voluntarily.

So everything seems to be exactly by the book - and great for cruisers - in Nuevo Vallarta as everywhere else in Mexico. The only thing that seems a little funky is that a government agency seems to be doing a job for private enterprise in checking that a boat's bills have been paid.

You also have to wonder if, when the high season begins, port captains aren't quickly going to weary of having to do a bunch of work with cruisers for which they aren't getting any money. We suspect it won't take long before they all delegate the clearing procedures to marinas.

Oh No, Not More Legal Problems for Tracy Edwards

May 25 - UK

A business partner of British legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is suing fellow Brit and fellow sailing big-wig Tracy Edwards for $2.3 million because she allegedly reneged on a deal that would have allowed him to buy Steve Fossett's Cheyenne and enter the race. Apparently Edwards spilled the beans to Fossett on what a great deal the event was going to be in terms of sponsorship that he decided to enter Cheyenne rather than sell it.

Edwards has already had big legal battles with Pindar, a huge British supporter of women's sailing, Bruno Peyron, some of her then-unpaid crew, and now this.

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