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April 6 - San Francisco Bay

The crew of Little Packet look pretty happy to be out on the water.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

If you haven't taken advantage of the beautiful spring weather we've been having for the last few weeks, it looks like you'll have to wait at least another week. Tomorrow's rainy forecast may keep you from sailing but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your boat. Pack a nice lunch, grab the book from your nightstand, 'forget' to bring the cell phone, and head down to the marina for a nice relaxing day of doing nothing.

Valhanna poses for a postcard shot on a beautiful summer-like day.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

To inspire you - or just tease you a little - this is what some of us enjoyed last weekend. We hope to see you out there the next time the sun comes out!

- latitude / ld

Small boats especially enjoyed the light winds and sunny skies.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Nicely trimmed, L'Chaim splashes up Raccoon Strait.
Photos Latitude/LaDonna
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Dog Couple Falling for Cats?

April 6 - Austin, TX

Remember Mark and Liesbet Collaert, the couple who got a boat all set to go cruising, then gave it up after a couple of days when their two dogs got sick? You may remember that they sold their boat and spent a year traveling in Central America by car and, at last word, decided they were going to move to Belize. Well, their saga continues.

While in Austin, where they discovered it was harder to sell their truck than their cruising boat, and the sailing bug bit Mark once again, really hard. Their solution - in addition to Liesbet learning to sail - is to get a cat for the dogs so they won't be so uncomfortable at sea. But before deciding to shell out all the money for a cat, they'd like to try one out. So, they write, "Is there anybody in Texas or on the east coast of Florida who might be wiling to do a young couple, and their two beautiful and friendly dogs, a huge favor by giving us a sailing trial on their boat?" If so, they can be reached by email.

Speaking of dogs and cats, when John Haste recently arrived in Banderas Bay from years in Panama aboard his Perry 52 cat, it was with what appeared to us to be a husky. The dog looked happy and so did John.

- latitude / rs

Got Crew?

April 6 - San Francisco

No Crew List Party would be the same without Sal's liferaft demo. Jami Ballantine, bottom left, is so eager to get a crew spot on a boat, she was the first to hop in.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

If you didn't make it to the Latitude 38 Spring Crew List Party at the Golden Gate YC on Wednesday, you missed a great time. While Latitude staff were busy playing matchmakers, hundreds of connections were made by Bay Area - and at least two out-of-area - sailors.

Zoe Parsons wants to hitch a ride south this fall.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Zoe Parsons, 23, lives in Sitka, Alaska, but was visiting her parents in Eugene, Oregon, when she heard about the party. Jami Ballantine, 27, flew down from Seattle at the urging of a family friend. Both are eager to crew on boats heading south this fall so if you have a spare berth, shoot these adventurous gals an email. Email Zoe here and Jami here. Neither are looking for romance, just adventure.

But love has been found at many a Crew List Party. Just look at Ethan Hay and Alexandra Cantin. They met at last year's party and now Alexandra is due with their daughter in July. "Ethan works fast," Alexandra noted wryly.

Ethan and Alexandra met at last year's party. Their newest crewmember is due July 23.
Photos Latitude/LaDonna
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

If you missed the party and didn't make it onto the Crew Lists printed in the March and April issues of Latitude 38, it's not too late. Go to www.latitude38.com/crewlist/Crew.html and start making calls. Summer's right around the corner!

- latitude / ld

World's Wackiest Regatta

April 6 ­ Majuro, Marshall Islands

S/V Irish Melody trades tacks with a windsurfing competitor.
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

Regatta quiz: What annual Pacific regatta sees cruising yachts, traditional sailing canoes, windsurfers and sailing dinghies, all racing the same course?

If you answered, "The Coconut Cup," you're ready for the nautical version of Trivial Pursuit and, we assume, you've probably been to Majuro, capital of the Marshall Islands.

S/V Promise experiencing a close encounter with the outrigger canoe.
Photos Courtesy Moana
©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.

As wacky as it sounds, Sally and Sam Peterson of the San Diego-based Downeast 32 Moana report that all who participated in this year's event (March 24-25) had a blast - especially the 10 boatloads of cruisers. In an upcoming issue of Latitude 38, we hope to bring you an article by Sally on sailing the Marshalls and other areas far from the cruiser 'Milk Run'.

- latitude / at

Race Management Workshops

April 6 - San Francisco

St. Francis YC is hosting a race management workshop later this month and has asked us to help spread the word. If you ever wanted to be on a race committee but were afraid you don't know enough - or if you've ever complained about an RC and said you could do it better - here's your chance to learn what it takes to run a good event.

The one-day Basic Race Management Seminar on April 22 will be taught by National Race Officers Jeff Zarwell and Bill Gage. Topics include organizing an event, writing the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, setting the course, starts, finishes, post-race RC responsibilities and scoring. If you like what you're learning, there's a two-day Advanced Race Management Seminar on June 30-July 1 led by US Sailing National Race Officer and certified Race Management Instructor Stan Betts. While both events are geared toward folks seeking US Sailing race officer certification, they're open to anyone who wants to help make races run smoothly, regardless of your yacht club affiliation. "Our goal is to help get more trained race committee people on the water around the Bay," says StFYC's John Siegel.

There's a fee to attend each seminar (it includes food and workshop materials), and advance registration is required. The deadline to sign up for the basic seminar is April 16; June 8 for the advanced one. For complete info go to www.ussailing.org, type "scheduled seminars" in the search box, click on the top link and scroll down to the StFYC seminars.

- latitude / ss

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©2007 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.