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Photo of the Day

September 1 - San Francisco Bay Area

Still life with Golden Delicious
Photo Latitude/Annie

Can it really be September already? Must be, 'cause here's the September issue (posing with some freshly harvested apples). Grab one or two for your lunch room!

The new issue is chock full of good stuff, like an incredible interview with the skipper of Mureadritta's XL, the Pac Cup boat that sank out from under the crew on the trip home; a preview of the awe-inspiring Big Boat Series; a cruising guide for Southern California and, of course, much more. Don't miss it!

- latitude / cw & ld


The Best Day and Worst Night for Thomas Dale

September 1 - Oxnard

August 21 was a great day for 69-year old Fullerton art teacher Thomas Dale, for after 27 years of work in his back yard, he finally launched his 27-ft Irish Galway Hooker sailboat. After putting the boat in the water at Wilmington, he and a young crew member headed north for Morro Bay, with a planned stop at Channel Islands Marina. Alas, that glorious day ended in a night of misfortune. Having mistaken an outfall marker for a navigation buoy near Channel Islands Harbor, Dale soon found his boat bouncing off the bottom. Indeed, the initial jolt was said
to be so strong that it knocked the cell phone he was using to talk to his wife out of his hand and into the water.

Dale and his crew were rescued by members of the fire department, who swam out to bring them in. After washing ashore, the damaged boat was also recovered. Dale reported that his boat is insured for $60,000, but that hardly will
be compensation for what he's invested of himself in the project.

- latitude / rs

Hurricane John Bears Down on Baja

September 1 - La Paz, BCS

Hurricane John, a storm taking aim at the Baja Peninsula, was downgraded two days ago from a Category 4 to Cat 2 but strengthened overnight, receiving an upgrade to Cat 3. Cruisers report the Puerto Vallarta area felt no effects from John. Marina Mazatlan says they had rain, which was briefly torrential, with thunder and lightning. Scattered remnants of clouds and sprinkles remain, but the worst is past, and everyone found the leaks in their boats.

Things don't look as optimistic for the southern end of Baja, where John is expected to make landfall this afternoon. The sustained 115-mph winds and possible 18 inches of rain the storm could unleash on Baja prompted the Mexican government to order the evacuation of 10,000 people from the Cabos and another 5,000 from La Paz, with forced evacuations promised if residents refuse to leave voluntarily. Thousands of tourists who were unable to get a flight out before the airport was closed are taking refuge in hotel ballrooms, while residents hunker down in schools and other large shelters.

Greg Delezynski aboard the Nor'Sea 27 Guenevere reported that "Prepare today, pray tomorrow" was the general attitude at Marina de La Paz yesterday, which was severely damaged by 2003's Hurricane Marty. "Marina de La Paz has added a lot of breakwaters since Marty," Delezynski said. "They've asked a number of the larger boats to find more secure moorage, so the marina's nearly empty and most of the remaining boats have double slips to use. If I must be in a marina, I'm glad to be here!"

Delezynski will double up Guenevere's chafe gear and move her to the middle of the slip to ride out Hurricane John.
Photo Greg Delezynski

We'll post an update on Hurricane John in Wednesday's 'Lectronic - the office will be closed Monday - but in the meantime, we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that Baja gets a well-deserved pass. You can track John at http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/e_pacific/2006/index.html.

- latitude / lb

Baja Ha-Ha Entry Deadline

September 1 - Tiburon

The Mexico hurricane season officially ends November 1, just in time for the start of the Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally, which departs San Diego on October 30 this year.

No hurricane weather has ever threatened a Ha-Ha fleet.

A gentle reminder from the nice folks at Baja Ha-Ha world headquarters to those of you planning to sign up for this year's rally: the deadline is the 11th of this month. Before you can sign up, you need to order an entry packet by mailing a check for $15 made out to Baja Ha-Ha, Inc., to 21 Apollo Road, Tiburon, CA 94920. Please don't send anything that requires a signature. For complete details on signing up, go to their Web site at www.baja-haha.com.


What are these goofy people up to? To find out, you'll have to Ha-Ha!

To date, 260 application packets have been sent out, which is a 20% increase over last year on this date - and more are being requested every day. Fortunately, the Rally Committee subscribes to the philosophy that "the more the merrier," so there has never been a cap established on the number of boats which can enter.

Here are the latest entries in good standing:

93) Escapade / Beneteau 473 / KKMC, LLC / Sun Valley, ID
94) Flying High / C&C Landfall 39 / Ed Lungren / Sunnyvale
95) Flying Fox II / Dragonfly 1200 tri / D. Steven Fox / Malibu
96) Heart 2 Heart / Irwin 41 ketch / Jeff Overley / Cucamonga
97) Kind of Blue / Island Packet 380 / Jim McGihon / Gig Harbor
98) Sosiego / Westsail 32 / Joseph Graham / Vacaville
99) Flying Fox / Corsair F31UC / Paul Ludgate / Costa Mesa
100) Mirage / Hunter 410 / Robert Leslie / Redding
101) Brisa / Custom 50 / Ed Martinex / Mill Valley
102) Wave Goodbye / Hunter 44DS / Dan Redding / Carlsbad
103) Yachtsman's Dream / Fountaine-Pajot 43 / John Bickford / Richland, WA
104) New Focus / Catana 431 / Paul Biery / Livermore
105) Gettin' Around / Catalina 400 / Doug Springstead / Buford, GA
106) Itsabout / Valiant 42 / John Graff / Denver, CO
107) Wind Trekker / Corsair 31VC tri / Tom Brown / Palo Alto

Whether you're planning to Ha-Ha this year, have done it in a previous year, or are interested in cruising to Mexico this fall, be sure to put the Latitude 38 Mexico-Only Crew List Party and Baja Ha-Ha Reunion on your calendar. Southbound cruisers will gather on Wednesday, October 4, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda. Price of admission is a paltry $7, including complimentary munchies and a whole lot more. For details, see www.latitude38.com/crewlist/CrewParty/CrewParty.html.

Sal's Inflatables' liferaft demo is always a big hit at the Crew List Party.
Photos Latitude/Archives

Also at the party, prospective crew will be looking for rides, and skippers can find willing crew. You don't have to be on the Crew List to find what you're looking for at the party, but it sure helps - and you get into the party for free! For more on the Crew List, to be published in the October issue of Latitude 38, see our crew list pages. The deadline to sign up for the Crew List is September 15, so don't delay!

- latitude / cw & aet

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