Photo of the Day
July 19 - Pacific Ocean
Photo Jim Mather
In a world torn with violence, today's Photo of the Day shows that it's still possible for different forms of life - although perhaps not humans - to live in harmony. The photo is of a blue-footed boobie resting atop a turtle, and was taken by Jim Mather as he and his family were sailing their Redondo Beach-based Down East 45 Blue Sky between Mexico and the Marquesas.
Going to the Source
July 19 - London, UK
Since Profligate's replacement forward beam hasn't yet been completed, the Wanderer and Doña de Mallorca spent early July in Europe capturing stock color photographs for use in future issues. The Wanderer is a huge fan of London, one of the most brilliantly confusing places in the world, because to a large extent it's inextricably connected to the history of world trade, most of which was conducted under sail. Naturally, we visited the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, just outside of London. It has the best open space in the area, and positively reeks of history. As many of you know, the Prime Meridian passes right through the facility, so all the visitors get a kick out of straddling it. Doña de Mallorca wasn't going to miss it for anything.
"How does it feel?" we asked.
"It tickles," she replied.
The Prime Meridian
The Royal Observatory
The downside of London is that it's very expensive. We ordered a simple Pakistani meal in a sort of rundown place near Covent Garden that cost so much we had to take out a fourth mortgage on our home. It's so expensive that the English couldn't even afford to refurbish Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square without the help - we're not making this up - of the city of Zurich.
Advertisement: Discover Two Harbors, Catalina Island - California's Boating Paradise
July 19 - Two Harbors
Moorings are always available during the week, as well as on most weekends. Shore boat service available. Onshore amenities include restaurant and bar, general store, dive and kayak rentals, restrooms/showers, fuel, boat parts/repair shop, Wi-Fi access, and land tours. www.VisitTwoHarbors.com.
Incompetent, Ineffectual, Blundering, Inept, Inadequate . . .
July 19 - Honolulu, HI
Any and all of the adjectives would seem to be applicable to the bungling state government in Hawaii, which insists on trying to run marinas, despite the fact they've relentlessly demonstrated that they wouldn't have the business skills to profitably operate a Sno-Cone stand in Hell.
It wasn't long ago that 70 of the state-run Ala Wai Yacht Harbor's 699 berths were condemned as unsafe, with all the boats being kicked out. And now it's being reported that nearly 50 more berths will be lost this week, and another 50 likely to be lost in the next several months.
What's the problem? Despite having had a waiting list for berths a mile long, for the last 30 years the folks running the Ala Wai have charged about the lowest berth rates in the country. Even now it's only around 27 cents a month to berth a 60-footer. Despite the passing of decades and the crumbling of the facility, it still apparently hasn't dawned on the geniuses in state government that they are not charging enough to maintain the facility. So with each passing month, and with the loss of ever more boat slips, they are taking in less revenue all the time. Pathetic. Next the state will probably try to run a medical program for all the residents.
The solution to the Ala Wai problem is simple. It, along with all marinas in Hawaii, ought to be privately managed. But that's not enough. If the abused voters and taxpayers of Hawaii had any sense, they'd have their state government privatized, too.
Last Boats Finish the Solo TransPac
July 19 - Hanalei Bay, HI
The last two sailors in the 2006 Singlehanded TransPac safely made it into Hanalei Bay on Monday and officially finished the race. Paul Woodward sailed his Kirby 24 Hesperus the last 200 or so miles without the benefit of a rudder, as it had fallen off several days before. All racers are required to carry emergency rudders, and Woodward fitted his. But as so often happens, the emergency rudder failed, too. Woodward was left with no option but to steer using a combination of sail trim and trailing warps. Sounds like fun.
Singlehanders look out for each other, however, and so Chris Humann aboard the Dana 24 Carroll E, the fleet's second smallest boat, slowed down and 'sailed' alongside Hesperus under bare poles for the remainder of the race. Woodward didn't have enough steerage to cross the actual finish line, so after consulting the officials rules, the race committee announced that both Hesperus and Carroll E had indeed sailed the minimum 2,200 miles required to complete the race, and had therefore officially finished.
Al Hughes motored his Open 60 Dogbark out the last remaining miles to tow Hesperus into Hanalei Bay, where the final two finishers were greeted by the rest of the fleet.
Photo Lou Freeman
For the full story on the Singlehanded TransPac, pick up the August issue of Latitude 38. You can also track the progress of the returning boats - many of which left for home yesterday - at www.sfbaysss.org.
Get Your Entry Pack in San Diego
July 19 - Tiburon
"We're #10 on the Baja Ha-Ha list of paid entries," write Mike, Marylyn, and Bear Morehouse of the Mariner 50 Ladyhawke, "and are wondering if we will receive our Ha-Ha entry pack before August 1. The deal is that we'll be leaving for Southern California on August 1, and will be relying on mail forwarding from then on."
Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spindler explains how the process works: 1) You send for a Ha-Ha entry pack. 2) You take the forms from that pack and send in your paid entry. 3) You get the final pack, which is the race instructions, as well as a huge bag of swag, at the Kick-Off Party in San Diego on October 29.
For what it's worth, the Ha-Ha currently has 51 paid entries. A total of 203 boatowners have requested entry packs so far, an increase of 40 over this time last year.