Bob Smith's "Self-Inflicted" Broken Leg
December 29 - La Paz
Pantera's Bob Smith, far right, at the Ha-Ha Beach Party in Cabo in November, along with Paul Biery, far left, and Paul's crew, center.
Vancouver's Bob Smith is an excellent boatbuilder, having built his own hi-tech cruising cat, the 44-ft cat Pantera, but he's also an excellent sailor, having singlehanded from Puerto Vallarta to Vancouver twice without using an engine. But as his following report proves, even the best and most experienced sailors can have accidents.
"Here's the real story on the self-inflicted
broken leg that I acquired on December 3 while anchoring Pantera
off Marina de La Paz: The circumstances were these. A flood tide
current of about 4 knots combined with a boat speed through the
water of another 3-4 knots, resulted in a boat speed over the
ground of 7-8 knots. The boat speed, caused by a 15-18 knot tail
wind, was reduced to 4-5 knots over the ground by running my
9.9 hp high-thrust Yamaha outboard in reverse at about one-third
throttle. With the knowledge that there would be little time
between the anchor, a Fortress FX85, hitting the bottom and the
forward speed being arrested, the anchor rode was cleated off
prior to launching the anchor. As Pantera behaves much
better anchored from the stern than the bow, this maneuver is
performed from the stern and, until now, has been accomplished
safely for over 10 years. After launching the anchor, with concern
for the potential for collision with other boats downwind and
downtide, I returned to the side deck to ensure that the 5/8"
nylon rode was properly cleated. Unfortunately, I stood in a
bight of the rode, which if I was aware of it at all, I assumed
was on the the tail of the rode rather than on the loaded side
that was about to snap tight. S-T-U-P-I-D !
Photos Baja Ha-Ha Archives
I consider myself a spiritual person, although
not religious. But what were the chances of the composite universal
joint connecting the tiller to the tiller connecting bar (catamaran)
breaking, just when I thought my foot would be pullled off the
end of my leg? In any event, that is what ocurred, the connection
broke, the tiller rotated upward allowing my leg to align itself
with the load - I was horizontal on the deck - the rode somehow
unwrapped itself from my leg, and I was free!
Photo of the Day - January Issue and YRA Calendar Delivered Today
December 29 - Mill Valley
Today both the January issue of Latitude 38 and the 2007 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Schedule hit the docks.
Be sure to pick them up wherever Latitude's are found. And to all our readers, have a Happy, Happy New Year!
Setting Up For A Big, Big New Years
December 29 - St. Barth, French West Indies
And even though it was only December 26, there were countless other 100-ft foot yachts, such as the 350-ft Le Gran Bleu, owned by Russian oil oligarch Roman Abramovich. In years past, many of these yachts wouldn't show up until the 29th or 30th, but a large number of them were already here. And ashore, mon dieu, we've never seen the streets, restaurants and shops so crowded. It's gonna be fun, but it's going to be even more fun after the 2nd or so, when most of the New Yorkers and Parisians have returned home.
As usual, there are many celebrities on the island, the most important of which to sailors is Jimmy Buffett, who not only has his small seaplane here, but in the last year bought a house.
Two days ago he turned 60, and played two hours for a small crowd at La Plage on Baie St. Jean. Had more people known, the place might have been overrun. He was there again last night, and sat in with Papagayo, a local band. They started off with a tribute to James Brown who, thanks to his relentless work ethic, has always been a hero of ours. Buffett later said a few words about turning 60, saying it was just fine with him, and he was very happy. He has a very content look about him these days. About an hour into the gig he called Catherine Zeta-Jones - wha!!! - to come up and help sing No Women, No Cry.
Leaving her husband Michael's side, she sure enough did come up and sing. Despite a crummy sound system, it was clear that the girl has a voice. She looked smashing, too. Of course, that's exactly what all the women said when the next performer, Jon Bon Jovi, stepped up to sing with Jimmy a few songs later.
All Musician Photos by Stephanie Schutz
A few older Bay Area sailors may remember Warren Stryker, who used to sail the Bounty II Dulcinea on the Bay in the mid-'70s, then cruised her to St. Thomas, where he has lived ever since. An old Bounty II buddy of ours, he sailed over to St. Barth with his son and a friend aboard his Hunter 54 Botox Betty. He's looking good, doing good - and intending to kick ass in the around-the-island race. We'll let you know how he does.
Aerial Photos Latitude/Richard
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Christmas Eve Cruiser Breakfast
December 29 - Barra de Navidad
If you're in Mexico and having fun, and taking photos - such as this one of cruising kids playing in the surf at Cabo...
we'd love to see what you've got, in order to share them with others. Email your high-res photos to richard.
Rolex Sydney-Hobart Update
December 29 - Sydney, Australia
Heading towards a back to back line honors win,
Wild Oats XI sailing off the 'organ pipes'.
Photo Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
Crossing the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht
Race finish line in just under 57 hours, Wild Oats XI
has won line honors for the second consecutive year. It is the
first back-to-back win in the 630-mile race since 1964. Second
across the line was the modified Volvo 70 Ichi Ban, followed
by Skandia, which suffered a broken forward daggerboard
on the race's second day.
At presstime, 50 boats were still racing. Complete coverage, including live boat tracking, is at www.rolexsydneyhobart.com.
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Velux 5 Oceans
December 29 - Fremantle, Australia
Sir Robin Knox-Johnson celebrates as he arrives in third place
aboard his yacht Saga Insurance.
Photos Courtesy onEdition
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston sailed across the finish line of the first leg in the Velux 5 Oceans in Fremantle on Thursday local time. He'd spent 67 days, 57 minutes sailing the 12,000 mile course. Sir Robin finished the leg in third place behind Bernard Stamm (SUI) and Kojiro Shiraishi (JPN). For more race coverage, go to: http://www.w-w-i.com/velux_5_oceans/
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