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SF Sailor Jim Gray Missing

January 31 - San Francisco

By all accounts, Sunday was a beautiful, mild day on San Francisco Bay. The waters outside the Bay are reported to have been mild as well, with the seas at just four feet and light wind. All of which have left Bay Area sailors shocked that one of their own went missing that day.

Tenacious, a red-hulled C&C 40, is reported to be equipped with a liferaft and EPIRB.
Photo Sven Thorsten Dietrich

Jim Gray, 63, left his berth at San Francisco's Gas House Cove Marina Sunday morning aboard his C&C 40 Tenacious for a daysail to the Farallon Islands with the purpose of scattering his mother's ashes. Just before losing his cell phone coverage, Gray called his wife and his daughter, reporting gorgeous conditions. Both have said that Gray, a prize-winning computer scientist for Microsoft, seemed in good spirits.

Experienced sailor Jim Gray never returned from a daysail to the Farallones on Sunday.
Photo Courtesy Gray Family

The trip out to the islands and back is roughly 60 miles - a good long day for any sailboat - but by 8:30 p.m., Gray should have been back in cell phone range, if not home, but his wife could not reach him. It was then that she called the Coast Guard to report him overdue.

Since Sunday night, the Coast Guard has searched nearly 16,000 square nautical miles - from San Francisco Bay to well past the Farallones, as far north as Mendocino and as far south as Monterey - with no sign of Gray, Tenacious or any debris. The Coast Guard have dispatched a C-130 Hercules plane, an HH-65 Dolphin helo, two 87-ft patrol boats and a 47-ft life boat to aid in the search.

The Coasties have searched nearly 16,000 miles of ocean, including well past the Farallones. . .

. . . and as far north as Mendocino.
Graphics Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

The Coast Guard reports that Tenacious is believed to have a liferaft and EPIRB aboard but that the EPIRB has not been activated. Gray's family says he's an experienced sailor, often sails solo and always wears a tether when he goes it alone. Speculation about what's happened to Jim Gray and Tenacious has run rampant in sailing circles, with every possible scenario being rehashed over and over. Until we know more, we're just hoping he's found quickly and in good health.

We regret not posting a report on this mysterious incident yesterday. As with most 'overdue' notifications, we assumed Gray would return home safely.

- latitude / ld


A 92,000-Mile Circumnavigation for Larry and Maxine Bailey

January 31 - Lake Union, WA

Larry and Maxine finished their 14-year circumnavigation in October, 2006.

The couple left Seattle in May of '92 aboard their Sceptre 43 Shingebiss II planning to have a five to eight-year sailing voyage. But the voyage grew and grew. By the time it was over, they'd visited all the continents, all oceans and 71 countries. But what's unusual is they didn't do canals and were adverse to "sweating in the tropics." Well, that and the fact they wintered at St. Catherine's Haven on the Thames River next to the Tower Bridge in London. We'll have more on their trip in the March, not February, issue of Latitude 38.

Having cruised all those years, the couple made the following observation: "We think there is a trend recently whereby bluewater cruising is becoming a competitive sport. Have we become so worldly and sophisticated that a childlike enthusiasm for a new adventure is beneath us? It seems to us that our society has created so much discretionary wealth that a large percent of the population can do whatever they want. Cruising stories in magazines or conversations around the cocktail table turn to thinly disguised 'one-upsmanship' events: 'I went around the Horn.' 'Yeah, well I went around in the winter.' 'How about me, I went around when I was 80 years old?' We seldom hear cruisers wax romantic over the glory of a sunrise, the beauty of a special anchorage, the excitement of a new country, the joy of meeting new people, or the thrill of expanding horizons. Where is the excitement, the fun, the love or passion for cruising? Or chasing a dream? For us, cruising is still special. Incidently, we believe that Latitude 38 exemplifies this ideal."

- latitude / rs

The Baileys still own their Sceptre 43, and plan to continue cruising in the Pacific Northwest, which they say they feel qualified to proclaim as the best cruising area in the world.
Photos Courtesy Shingebiss II

Woman on the Water Day

January 31 - Los Angeles

Friday, February 9, 2007, will be designated Woman on the Water Day at the 51st Los Angeles Boat Show, announced Dave Geoffroy, Executive Director of the Southern California Marine Association.

All women will get into the show for free on the ninth. Woman on the Water (WOW) activities can be found in Kentia Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center 1-9 p.m. Special activities include Nordstrom's Spa with free skin care treatments, seminars taught by woman, women's boating organizations, and demonstrations for female show-goers.

For more information, contact Suzanne O'Rourke at (949) 280-2312.

- latitude / cw

More on Eos and Groovy

January 31 - St. Barth, French West Indies

Eos at anchor

On Monday we wrote that the recently-launched sailing yacht Eos, often reported to be 93 meters, and often reported to be owned by a German, is now the largest privately-owned sailing yacht in the world. Well, we made at least one mistake. According to Tom Perkins, owner of Maltese Falcon, the recently-launched Eos is not owned by a German, but rather Barry Diller. Who's he? Diller began his career in the mail room of William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills after dropping out of school, and, after a series of major successes, became the media executive who created the Fox television network. Diller is currently the Chairman of Expedia and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp, an interactive commerce conglomerate and the parent of companies including Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, Match.com and Citysearch. In 2005, IAC/InterActiveCorp acquired Ask.com, marking a strategic move into the Internet search category. In 2005, Diller received $295 million in compensation, the highest of any executive in the United States. That's who he is.

Unfortunately, we mistakenly zorched Perkins' email after just scanning it, so we can't say for sure, but believe Perkins said that Eos actually isn't the largest sailing yacht in the world. Hopefully we'll get another copy of that email so we can report the correct information.

In that same Monday 'Lectronic, we noted that Jimmy Buffett took delivery of a new sailboat down here in St. Barth but we didn't know what kind she is. Several readers have written in to report that she's a Tofinou 9.50, designed by Michel Joubert, and said to be as fast as she is expensive. Be that as it may, there was a humorous hiccup to the launch, as the boat somehow became stuck to the cradle and couldn't be lifted off. After some prying, she was released. Once that was done, Buffett and friends, including 83-year-old Marius Stackelbough of Le Select, enjoyed a brief christening, then he went out for an afternoon sail. Since Groovy sailed right past where we were anchored, we took the accompanying photograph.

Groovy sails by.
Photos Latitude/Richard

Calling Spindrift: There was a problem with the article and photo that you sent to us. Please contact us. Thank you.

- latitude / rs

Don't Call the Ship Ishmael

January 31 - Off the California-Oregon Coast

"Here's an interesting photo of a large whale, presumably a Blue, that was T-boned across the bow of Matson containership Kauai," reports Skip Allan of the Capitola-based Wylie 28 Wildflower.

Photo Courtesy Skip Allan

"The ship was southbound yesterday evening off the coast of Oregon and Northern California en route from Seattle to Oakland, when the bridge watch noticed the rpms had dropped from 100 to 90, with a subsequent drop in speed from 22 to 20 knots. There was also an abnormal wake pattern astern.  At daybreak the whale was spotted just above the bulb on the bow. The ship was backed down to clear the whale."

- skip allan

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