'Lectronic Index

Previous 'Lectronic Edition

Master Mariners Regatta: Old Boats Rule!

May 30 - San Francisco Bay

(Click on photo to enlarge it.)

Aida (right) leads a trio of boats on the reach from Blossom Rock to Southampton.
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

The classic yachts of yesteryear had their annual day in the sun on Saturday, as the annual Master Mariners once again took over the Bay with a pageant of color and some pretty darn good sailing.

Nuovo Mondo, the SF Maritime Museum's Felucca replica, hangs with the big dogs.
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

Some 80 boats came out to play, ranging in size from 23-ft Bears to the 122-ft topsail schooner Lynx, and as old as the 1891 scow schooner Alma. All were treated to 10-15 knots of breeze right from the start, which turned into a healthy 20-22 for the homestretch to the finish under Angel Island.

The spectacular topsail schooner Lynx really wowed the crowd.
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

Afterwards, many boats continued on down the Estuary to the sponsoring Encinal YC for one of the most legendary parties of the year.

A huge wave sweeps the quarterdeck of Yankee.
Photos Latitude / JR & Andy
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

For results, see www.mastermariners.org.

- latitude / jr


Are They Starting to Pave Paradise?

May 29 - Two Harbors, Catalina Island

Things change very slowly at Two Harbors, the mariners' rustic refuge on Catalina Island, which is why it looks a lot like it did in the '90s, '80s, '70s and even '60s.

And which is why some visitors on the recent Memorial Day Weekend were shocked to find that the thin and cracked blacktop at the foot of the pier had been replaced with modern-looking pavers. Some seemed as upset as if their knickers had been in a twist.

Some folks are in a tizzy about the ancient cracked blacktop at Two Harbors pier being replaced with pavers.
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

Since little else had changed, it didn't seem like a big deal to us. The number of boats visiting Two Harbors was down a little from last Memorial Day, which had been a busy one. Some speculated that people didn't know if the island was up and running after the recent big fire. We can confirm that it is. Personally, we suspect that high fuel prices are starting to crimp the styles of some powerboat owners, particularly those with smaller boats and bigger engines. The weather didn't help much either - it was almost June and the 'Gloom' was on except from about 1 to 5 p.m. The fog at higher elevations was thick enough to have been used as a whipped cream substitute in the Buffalo Milks served in the bar.

In addition to having fun, we were surprised at how many small jobs we, with the help of our guests, Richard and Sheri Crowe, got done on the boat. The port engine alternator belt was tightened; the idle was reset on the outboard; we attached a new swivel to our anchor and rode; employed a new chain hook; removed a defective micro switch for the electric halyard winch; loosened up the upper half of the windlass in anticipation of replacing the worn out gypsy; and became best friends with our long installed but seldom-used water heater. We would have stumbled through these jobs, but Richard and Sheri, having recently completed their second Farr 44, Tabu, and having sailed all over the oceans of the world for decades, know how to get things done quickly.

So let's see, over the three-day weekend we got in a nice afternoon sail, hiked about 10 miles, renewed scores of friendships, enjoyed some live music and even a few cocktails, fixed a bunch of little boat projects, had three great BBQs on the sand - and all the while were a million miles from crowds and traffic. We hope that your Memorial Day was as enjoyable.

BBQ time. Doña, Sheri and Richard, Q-ing some Trader Joe's lamb. The secret to Q-ing at Two Harbors is to wait until 8:30 p.m., at which time you'll find plenty of abandoned coals with which to cook, and the General Store open for another half hour for whatever you may have forgotten.
Photos Latitude / Richard
© 2007 Latitude 38 Publishing, Inc.

P.S. How thorough are Richard and Sheri when putting their boat on the hard for hurricane season in La Paz? They even removed the winches to reduce possible windage!

- latitude / rs

Latitude 38 eBooks Available Worldwide in PDF Format

May 30 - Cyberspace

No matter where you find yourself, you can still get lost in the pages of Latitude 38!

You can now view the complete magazine online in PDF format with one small annual fee of $18. To subscribe, go to www.latitude38.com/ebooks.html and follow the easy instructions. We think you're going to love it!

America's Cup: The Crew Factor

May 30 - Valencia, Spain

To many people, the lack of nationalism on boats at the America's Cup is a big deal. In the old days, crews had to be citizens of the country to race on the boat. Now teams are a hodgepodge of nationalities - most top-heavy with Kiwis. For many sailors, that makes the A-Cup seems like just another boat race - albeit the most expensive one in history.

The good news is, you can still root for 'home boys' in both the upcoming Louis Vuitton Cup finals (starting June 1) - and the America's Cup (starting June 23). According to the team rosters on www.americascup.com, each of the players in the final battle for the Auld Mug has a small but significant number of Americans on their teams. We're not saying all these guys sail every day on the 'A' boat, just that they are all listed as official crew members. Here's who they are, and to give it some perspective, we will also tell you how many 'native' sailors are listed, along with the 'Kiwi factor'.

Luna Rossa Challenge leads the 'Yankee' group with six Americans: Jonathan McKee (afterguard), Charlie McKee (main trimmer), Steve Erickson (afterguard), Tom Burnham (pit), Andy Horton (afterguard) and Phil Trinter (grinder). As a percentage of the 37 crew listed, Americans comprise 16.2% of the Italian team. A full 41% of the Italian team are actually Italians, while just two New Zealand sailors puts their Kiwi factor at the lowest at .06%.

Over on Emirates Team New Zealand - well, there goes the bell curve. Naturally, they have the largest 'native' population as well as the biggest Kiwi factor with fully 75% of the crew from the home country. But there are also a few Yanks: Terry Hutchinson (tactics), Kevin Hall (navigator) and Mark Mendelblatt (afterguard, traveller). As a percentage of the 28 crew listed, they are lowest on the 'yankometer' with only 10.7%.

America's Cup defender Alinghi also boasts a small but significant group of Americans: Ed Baird (helmsman), Mark Newbrook (mast), Brian Sharp (grinder), Josh Belsky (pit) and Matthew Welling (grinder). That's 13.5% of the crew. The Kiwi factor is moderate at 27%, while only four Swiss crew put the nationality quotient at 10.8%

Yes, they've been eliminated, but since they were the 'American' team, we thought it would be interesting to note the crew factor on BMW Oracle. Not too surprisingly, they ranked second only to ETNZ . . . in the number of Kiwis aboard! And lower than any of the other 'big three' teams (except ETNZ) in Americans listed! There were only four - Peter Isler (tactics), Eric Doyle (afterguard), Jon Ziskind (trimmer) and syndicate head Larry Ellison. American/Nationality factor: 10.8%. Kiwi factor: 54%.

So if you still want to root for those prodigal American sons, hey, we're right there with ya. Go Italy!

- latitude / jr

Spinnaker Cup

May 30 - San Francisco and Monterey

Fog, moderate breeze and flat-out cold temperatures greeted a record fleet of 60 boats on Friday for the 10th annual Spinnaker Cup, hosted by San Francisco YC and Monterey Peninsula YC. Welcome to summer.

With a strong ebb tide at the start off the Knox race area, it didn't take long for the fleet to get outside the Gate.
© Serge Zavarin / www.flickr.com/yachtshots/sets

The race from San Francisco to Monterey Bay is a downwind favorite, particularly for boats preparing for warmer and longer-distance races like the Coastal Cup or - depending on the year - the Pacific Cup or the TransPacific Yacht Race. This year, the first boat to finish, at 9:15 p.m., was the turbo'd Santa Cruz 52 Kokopelli2, under charter to Chip Megeath and tuning up for the TransPac. The overall winner was Caleb Everett's Melges 32 Stewball, so new to the Bay Area that her PHRF rating was not assigned until just days before the race. Stew32 will be a boat to watch, as it beat Kokopelli by more than one hour corrected over the 88-mile course. Third place went to John Cladianos's Schock 40 Secret Squirrel, co-skippered by Peter Stoneberg.

Roller Coaster and Secret Squirrel outside the Gate and heading south. Gray was the color of the day on Friday for the 10th annual Spinnaker Cup.
© Erik Simonsen / www.h2oshots.com

Unfortunately, the race start coincided precisely with our deadline for the June issue of Latitude 38, so you'll have to hold out until the July issue for complete coverage. But we'll try to make the wait worthwhile. If you just can't hold out, however, results are online at www.sfyc.org.

- latitude / ss

End of an Era at Daniel's Bay

May 30 - Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

For decades, Daniel's Bay has been the favorite stopover for westbound cruisers when visiting the primeval island of Nuku Hiva, largely due to the warm hospitality shown to them by the place's namesake, Daniel, and his wife Antoinette.

As reported earlier, Daniel passed away earlier this year. Today, a note from cruiser Bob Bechler of the Seattle-based Gulfstar 44 Sisiutl informs us that Antoinette has passed on also, marking the end of an era. No doubt hundreds of ocean adventurers have fond memories of spending time with this friendly Polynesian couple, whose peaceful refuge would seem to be a million miles from the mainstream of fast-paced modern living.

- latitude / at

Top / Index of Stories / Previous 'Lectronic Edition

Subscriptions / Classifieds / Home

Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.