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Photos of the Day: Jumping to Lightspeed

March 14 - San Francisco Bay

©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

A slick looking new cat was prowling the Bay this past weekend. It's the first Lightspeed 32, a Peteghem/Provost design all tooled up for production (of carbon prepreg over nomex and foam cores) at Lightspeed Boats in Newport, Rhode Island.

According to their Web site, the boat is "a simple, lightweight, offshore-capable rocketship with the emphasis on performance, fun and safety. The Lightspeed 32 can race hard one day, and take family and friends daysailing the next."

©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

So far so good: in its first race ever, the boat won the multihull division of the Lauderdale to Key West Race in February. Trevor Baylis raced LightSpeed in the wind-challenged Big Daddy pursuit race this past Sunday and brought her in fourth out of 39 finishers. When she docked at Richmond YC, she drew a crowd.

Photos Latitude/JR
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Daysailing is the main agenda out West. "There's been a lot of interest from the San Francisco area and from SoCal," says Lightspeed's Hunt Stookey, "so it made sense to do a three-month West Coast demo tour." After giving local sailors some thrills for the next few weeks, it's off to Southern California for more of the same. For more information, or to arrange a ride, see www.lightspeedboats.com.

- latitude / jr


The Secrets of Success

March 14 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Joe and Lori Lacey of the Reno-based Island Packet 40 Dos Amantes did the '05 Baja Ha-Ha and intended to do the Puddle Jump to the South Pacific last year. Alas, stuff happens, and they have inadvertently ended up in the charter business in Puerto Vallarta. And they are doing very well, thank you.

Photo Latitude/Richard
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

"We fried our batteries in Mazatlan after the Ha-Ha, so we sailed down to Puerto Vallarta to get them replaced," says Joe. "It took a month or so to get everything fixed, and by that time we decided that we really, really love this place. So we looked into starting a business."

The business they started is doing charters on Banderas Bay with their Island Packet. It took some time and money to get legal, but now they are really rolling. "We've been slammed since October," says Joe, "sometimes doing charters 10 days in a row."

"We had one woman from Washington who chartered our boat five days straight," says Lori.

One of the secrets to their success? Lori bakes chocolate chip cookies on the way back into the marina. But she's a gourmet cook, so they aren't just any old C.C. cookies, but ones made with chocolate chips and brown sugar imported from El Norte.

More on the Laceys and their charter business in the April issue of Latitude 38.

- latitude / rs

30 Years of Latitude

March 14 - Mill Valley

You may know by now that 2007 marks the 30th year Latitude 38 has been 'going where the wind blows'. We have a bunch of special stuff in mind to put in the magazine throughout the year, and would like your help on some of it. To wit:

* What is your most memorable article or photo? This is one specific piece of writing or one photograph that has stuck in your head for whatever reason. It can be short as a Loose Lips or as long as a feature article.

* Do you have one burning question you've always wanted to ask the founder/publisher? Now's your chance. We're planning to publish a multi-part interview with the Wanderer/Poobah himself and want to make sure we ask everything you want to know.

* How has Latitude changed your life? Obviously, this won't affect everyone. But we know there are people out there who left the corporate world for cruising because of something they read, and others who have gotten married. That sort of thing.

If you want to contribute in any of these areas, please send responses to Andy as soon as you can. Although there are no set publication dates for some of these articles, we need to see what kind of responses we're going to get in order to plan them. If you don't have a computer (wait a minute, then how are you reading this?), you can send us an actual letter to: Latitude 38 Memories, 15 Locust Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94941.

- latitude / jr

Do You Know this Mystery Couple from Emeryville?

March 14 - Caribbean Sea

©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

They sent us a Changes in Latitudes item about six months ago describing how they went to the Caribbean, bought a boat, and are having a great time. But we lost the text with their names and email. If you're them, or even just know them, please contact Richard.

- latitude / rs

We Had It All Wrong

March 14 - San Blas, Mexico

Steve Rankin has good reason to be a little miffed at us. In the March 9 'Lectronic we ran a photo of his boat Bu'Kwiis. Since she sort of looked as though she had run aground at the entrance to the estuary in San Blas, Mexico, and since some boats have done that recently, that's what we reported.

Photo 'Adrian'
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

But what we assumed had been a case of poor seamanship turns out to have been just the opposite. Rankin explains in an understandably testy tone: "The day I need help from Norm Goldie to enter San Blas Estuary - or anywhere else, for that matter - will be the day I quit sailing and take up knitting or maybe sitting around in a zocalo somewhere blowing smoke. If you have a better way to clean a prop in water you wouldn't swim in than careening your boat, please advise. Believe it or not, careening has been the way boat bottoms have been accessed and cleaned since before Travel-Lifts and rails. And we careened the boat next to the anchorage in the estuary, not at the entrance. While I'm sure there were nothing but good intentions on the part of the cruisers and photographer who were thinking there was a 'situation' with Bu'Kwiis when the photo was taken, we were actually just enjoying the sights from the fort at San Blas while waiting for the tide to drop. By the way, the cleaned prop gave me an extra half knot."

While we thought the boat in the photo might have been Bellavia because of the unusual on-deck hydraulic windlass, Rankin tells us that Bu'Kwiis is actually a steel Gazelle hull with a modification of the rig on Bellavia. "Bu'Kwiis has a 510 sq-ft foresail of the Hasler/McLeod design, and a 450 sq-ft Colvin designed fanned sail - both fully-battened junk sails. Bu'Kwiis' keel has been deepened by six inches to about five feet to compensate for the higher center of effort on the sail plan. She has a full-length keel but no skeg. I have careened her three or four times before, but this was the first time since I deepened her keel. When careened, the water reaches the ports, but they don't leak so it doesn't present a problem.

"I sailed Bu'Kwiis from British Columbia to Mexico in '04 after an extensive refit, which included adding hydraulics, widening the foredeck, reinforcing the hull to accommodate the unstayed masts, adding the fully enclosed bimini and so forth. By the way, the deck-mounted reel type hydraulic winch is used on our British Columbia fishboats and, of course, Bellavia. My boat has spent the last couple of summers on the hard in Guaymas, and will do so again this year."

We're glad we had a chance to clear this up and that Rankin has accepted our apology. By the way, have you ever careened your boat? If so, we'd love to see a photo and a brief explanation (email Richard).

- latitude / rs

Eight Bells: Jon Feldman

March 14 - Loreto, Baja California

We received this sad report from Mark Reed on his Portland-based Southern Cross. "Jon Feldman of Eugene, OR, died on Monday of cardiac arrest aboard his beloved Bristol Channel Cutter Gertrud near Loreto in Baja California. He and his partner Cathy Ellis had just pulled up the anchor and were underway when Jon began experiencing chest pain. Cathy, an experienced RN, issued a mayday, began treating Jon, and altered course for Loreto. Jon experienced cardiac arrest a half hour later and, despite CPR from Cathy, could not be revived by the time additional help arrived. Cathy and Gertrud are now in Loreto. Her sister and a good friend are en route from Eugene to help with arrangements.

Oregon-based cruiser Jon Feldman passed away Monday aboard his BCC Gertrud.
Photo Courtesy Mark Reed
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

"Jon and Cathy purchased Gertrud in Seattle about seven years ago, and sailed extensively in the Pacific Northwest, including a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in 2004. They passed through the Bay Area in the fall of 2005 on their way south to Mexico, spending a month or more in Oakland. This was their second season cruising in Baja. Jon was only in his mid-50s."

It's shocking to hear of the death of such a young and healthy-looking man, and reminds us to live our lives to the fullest every day. Our thoughts are with Jon's family and many friends.

- latitude / ld

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©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.