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Photos of the Day

September 6 - Santa Catalina Island

Today's Question of the Day involves today's Photo of the Day. Specifically, how is it possible for the crewmember of a boat to, starting from deck level, manage to get so high in the air? Mind you, he didn't jump from the spreaders, nor was a 'human cannon' involved. Answer below.

Answer to Question of the Day. It's long been common for rambunctious crewmembers, mostly young males, to take a halyard to the bow of a boat, then swing themselves out alongside the boat. The goal is to get as long and high a ride as possible, hopefully letting go before slamming back into the side of the boat or landing on the deck. This is most successfully accomplished aboard boats with canting keels, as it's possible to start out with the masthead exit of the halyard almost being off the side of the boat to begin with. The next two photos show the kind of results that are possible with this technique.

But as all males know, qualities such as bigger, faster, and higher are always admired. So the crew of the boat, in this case the 86-ft Pyewacket, got to thinking about how new heights might be scaled. The plan was actually quite simple. Put six guys on the coffee grinders, then have them grind for their lives at the instant the boatstronaut jumped off the bow. The last two photos show some of the results. Is this a great country or what?

Photos Latitude/Richard

Mind you, such an activity is inherently unsafe, and should only be attempted by professionals on closed courses. Veterans of the activity warn that all orifices must be kept tightly closed upon impact with the water.

- latitude / rs


Jazzin' It Up to Benicia

September 6 - Benicia

Mixin' it up: Dave Badtke's unnamed Corsair Sprint 750 leads the Santana 35 Spirit of Elvis, the Hunter 31 Sunset Woman and the Corsair 24 Puppeteer, all racing in different classes.

Weather conditions for the mid-day starts of South Beach YC and Benicia YC's 18th annual Jazz Cup on Saturday, September 2, were overcast and dreary - enough so that some of the hundreds of crew aboard the 105 competing boats probably wished they'd stayed home in bed. But a few miles up the course the summer sun came out, causing many to peel off the layers of fleece and Gortex.

Robert Farris' Hunter 54 Source of Sanity was well named - as he and his crew obviously enjoy sunny days on the water.

With not much more than 12 knots of breeze, this wasn't one of the windier Jazz Cups in recent memory, with a number of boats taking more than five hours to complete the 26-mile course from Treasure Island to Benicia. At the other end of the spectrum, however, the nothin'-to-it performance of a large multihull turnout may have tempted some monohullers to convert to 'the dark side'.

Bill Erkelens' D-Class cat Adreneline broke away early from Tuki (background). But by the finish, Tuki had a five minute lead.
Photos Latitude/Andy

Some of the closest boat-for-boat racing was within the seven-boat F-24 class, while Tuki, Peter Stoneberg's Morelli Prosail 40 scored a clean sweep: line honors, first in class and first in fleet. South Beachers Michael and Lorianna Kastrop again took the Jazz Cup trophy with their Catalina 30 Goose. Look for a complete report in the October issue of Latitude 38. See www.southbeachyc.org for full results.

- latitude / aet

Advertisement: Discover Two Harbors, Catalina Island - California's Boating Paradise

September 6 - Two Harbors, Catalina

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.

John Turned Out to Be Gentle to Boating Interests in Mexico

September 6 - Baja California Sur

Hurricane John, which at times was a Category 4 hurricane as it travelled up the Pacific Coast of mainland Mexico and the east coast of the Baja Peninsula last week, did surprisingly little damage to boating interests. While there was a lot of rain on the mainland, according to sources in places that had been under a hurricane warning - such as Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan - there was little or no damage at all. Indeed, although the eye of the hurricane came to within 100 miles of Puerto Vallarta, people there tell us they experienced no adverse affects whatsoever.

Continuing to the northwest, John was supposed to lay a direct hit on Cabo San Lucas and then head out to the open ocean. But you can't trust a hurricane to do what it's supposed to do. According to Norma at Marina Cabo San Lucas, "We didn't have a hurricane, just rain." That's because John passed to the east of Cabo and came ashore along the East Cape, creating extensive destruction and cutting off the roads in several places. Fortunately, John continued a little to the east, thus sparing the boating interests and most everything else in La Paz, which had been badly hit several times in the last five years.

John then pretty much hugged the east coast of the Baja peninsula. Robin of Cat's Meow reported 24 hours of high winds at Puerto Escondido, with gusts to 80 mph. Latitude readers will remember this San Pedro-based trawler pulled something like eight sailboats off the beach after Marty came through several years ago. Apparently there was just one boat on the beach this time, and it looks like she'll come off easily and without much damage. However, the region also got 25 inches of rain, resulting in terrible flooding. If you're thinking of driving boat gear from San Diego to La Paz or Cabo, you might wait a few weeks. A few vehicles have made the drive, but it was slow and difficult, and food, fuel, and cold beer are in short supply. We haven't gotten any reports of damage to boats further north.

We can't imagine 25 inches of rain falling on the up to 5,000-ft mountains behind Puerto Escondido would result in much flooding, could you?

There have been six hurricanes off Mexico so far this season, which is about the normal number. Only John posed a threat to land. September is the busiest month for hurricanes off Mexico, and the season is generally considered to be over at the end of October.

- latitude / rs

Seventeen Paid Ha-Ha Entries Received over the Weekend

September 6 - Tiburon

That brings the total to 124 paid entries. And as if that weren't enough, Baja Ha-Ha Honcho Lauren Spinder reports that nine more requests for entry packs were received in yesterday's mail - despite the fact that the entry deadline is next Monday the 11th. "If you're thinking about doing the Ha-Ha this fall," says Ms. Spindler, "please don't procrastinate in sending in your entry any longer, as we've got hats, t-shirts, tote bags, and all that other stuff to order, and the good folks at Latitude have all the bios to write for the program."

The Morgan Out-Island 41 Bronco headed south past the Coronado Islands in last year's Baja Ha-Ha.
Photo Latitude/Archives

For the record, a total of 270 requests for entry packs have been received this year, an increase of about 25% of the 219 that had been received on the same date last year. It seems that we're not the only ones who think that Mexico is a great place to sail in the winter.

- latitude / rs

Free for One More Month

September 6 - Mill Valley

A lot of you readers have been enjoying the free e-Book versions of Latitude 38 that we've been offering since May. Well, we have good news for you - the September issue will be free too! (After that, we've really got to start charging for them.) Look for the September issue to be posted online in a couple of days.

- latitude / cw

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