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Photo of the Day

September 21 - San Francisco

Photo of the Day
Photo Nancy Potter Tompkins

Today's Photo of the Day is one to warm our hearts, as it's of Warwick 'Commodore' Tompkins of Mill Valley appearing to be having a wonderful time with some local kids in French Polynesia aboard his self-built Wylie 39+ Flashgirl. He spent something like seven years building the red-hulled beauty, and we were worried he'd become one of those guys who always worked on his boat but never sailed her.

A Little Reminder of the Old Days

September 21 - San Francisco

Blade Runner
Photo Ben Ailes

Ben Ailes sent us the accompanying photo of the Express 37 Blade Runner broaching at the Big Boat Series last Friday. Although it was only a moderate broach, it made us long for the good old days of the late '70s and early '80s when the pinched-transom lead mines used to repeatedly broach - really broach - at the jibe mark in front of the St. Francis YC. The new boats - such as the MaxZ86 Morning Glory seen below chasing the Dubois 90 Genuine Risk - are so light and nimble, they just hiss through the water at incredible speeds and virtually never lose their feet.

Morning Glory
and Genuine Risk
Photo Latitude/Richard

No Thanks on the Northwest Passage

September 21 - Northwest Passage

Two Marin sailors, Bob van Blaricom and Carl Seipel, joined the Minnesota-based Bowman 57 Cloud Nine for an attempt on the Northwest Passage this summer. Seipel, who bailed before the attempt was thwarted by pack ice, said it was no pleasure cruise. And the landscape wasn't that cheerful either. Check out, for example, the bleak graves of the members of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition of 1845:

They were missing for 50 years before the bodies - well-preserved in the ice - were found. The cause of death? Bad canned food!

Even on the days the sun came out, it wasn't that inviting an environment.

The crew of Cloud Nine: Chris, owners Roger and Gaynelle, Bob van Blaricom, and Carl Seipel. Carl is holding a rifle because there are polar bears all around, they're hungry, and they have no fear of man.

Having apparently had enough of the gloom, Seipel, an instructor at OCSC, will be setting out on his Yankee 30 in November for a cruise to New Zealand. In so doing, he'll be retracing the beginnings of the circumnavigation he did with Hans Bernwall in 1970 aboard the 40-ft wood cutter Fia. Unlike the last time, Carl won't have to rely on a sextant and leadline, and will carry a radio.

Simple Pleasures

September 21 - Redwood City

Photo Courtesy Kia Orana

"After a five-year absence," write Dudley and Teresa of the Coyote Point Marina-based Catalina 36 Kia Orana, "we returned to the Redwood City sloughs last week, and can confirm that they continue to be the most peaceful anchorages in San Francisco Bay. There is some traffic noise from nearby U.S. 101 and the currents to consider, but the holding is excellent and the water flat. The photo is of our boat anchored in Smith Slough just behind Pete's Harbor."

What Were They Thinking?

September 21 - San Francisco

It's in very bad taste to speak badly of anyone's boat, of course, but what did you think of the Genuine Risk's paint scheme? Based on the front of the boat being painted a sort of diarrhea brown, it almost looks like she pitch-poled in the Delta and they didn't have time to clean the mud off. She didn't strike us as being the best looking boat in the fleet.

Genuine Risk
Photo Latitude/Richard

It's all terror and triage here at Latitude 38 as we prepare for an unexpectedly large October issue, so there will be no 'Lectronic on Friday. Sorry.

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