October 5, 2007

A Little Lube’ll Do Ya

As any female diesel mechanic will tell you, proper lubrication is critical for good sex – but no less critical for proper engine maintenance. When it comes to engines, lots of clean lube oil is the main thing, but don’t forget the little stuff like waterproof silicone grease – such as seen in today’s Photo of the Day.

We found out the importance of the latter a few weeks ago while trying to replace the impeller on the port engine of Profligate. The impeller came out easy enough, but trying to get the new one in – hampered by strange angles and a cramped engine compartment – was a study in frustration and failure. Fortunately, Richard Bernhard of the Oceanside-based Valiant 40 Surf Ride came along with a suggestion – swab a little waterproof silicone grease on the impeller. He says it always does the trick for him, and he replaces his impeller every other time he changes the oil in his engine.

A little lube was indeed the key, for as soon as we put a little on the impeller, it went in like a . . . well, this is a family magazine, so we’ll let you mentally complete the metaphor.

Notorious Palmyra Murderer Freed

As noted in recent ‘Lectronic reports, the remote North Pacific island of Palmyra is a quiet, peaceful place these days. But it has one particularly dark chapter in its past – a chapter which burst into the headlines again recently when convicted murderer Wesley G. ‘Buck’ Walker, now 70, was released early from prison on August 28 after serving 22 years.

The haunting chain of events which led to his incarceration was chronicled in the best-selling novel And the Sea Will Tell, by attorney Vincent Bugliosi and Bruce Henderson. Initially, Walker and his girlfriend Stephanie Stearns were only convicted of stealing the sailboat Sea Wind belonging to Mac and Muff Graham of San Diego in 1975. The owners’ whereabouts remained a mystery.

It wasn’t until six years later that another piece of the puzzle fell into place, when a box containing Muff Graham’s charred bones washed up in the Palmyra lagoon. At the time, however, Walker had escaped from prison for the earlier charge, but was eventually caught and convicted of the murder. Represented by Bugliosi – who, when working as an L.A. Deputy DA, put Charlie Manson behind bars – Stephanie Stearns was acquitted. Walker argued his innocence in a self-published, 895-page tome titled Palmyra: The True Story of an Island Tragedy.

The sea has yet to reveal the fate of Mac Graham.

It is Glenn Tieman’s New Catamaran

Glenn Tieman’s new 38-ft cat sails off the San Diego waterfront.

Bill Barker
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It’s as we suspected in Wednesday’s ‘Lectronic, the photo we ran, as well as the one above, is of Glenn Tieman’s new catamaran Tama Moana. You’ll remember that he cruised his previous catamaran, the 26-ft Wharran Peregrine for 10 years between California and Asia, living happily on $1 to $3 a day. For you  liberal arts students, that’s between $365 and $1,100 – a year. He built his old cat for $3,000; the new one, a 38-footer, was going to cost him under $15,000.

We know the cat with the ‘crab claw’ sails belongs to Tieman because Bill Barker, who sent us this photo, says he and his son did their first ever sails on the cat, an overnighter from Oxnard to Santa Barbara. "What a great time we had!"

We’re going to track down Tieman, who is something of a hero of ours, to get more details on his boat and what he has planned for her. Nice looking, isn’t she?

One of the Biggest Sailboat Sales Ever

The folks at KKMI in Richmond are understandably proud to announce they have have sold Adele, the spectacular 180-ft Hoek ketch, to Northern California owners. The new owners wish to remain anonymous, but we do know they started out with an Express 37 and then moved up to the Swan 112 Song of The Sea.

Adele
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Ken Keefe, who is a partner at KKMI with Paul Kaplan, is the one who sold the boat, and who will be managing the boat. For those not familiar with megayachts, you just don’t buy one and take off. It’s much more like running a fairly large and very complicated business. For example, there are only four places in the world that can haul the boat without having to take her masts out.

If we’re not mistaken, this would be the third largest Northern California-owned yacht, topped only by Tom Perkins’ Maltese Falcon and Jim Clark’s Athena, both of which are nearly 300 feet.

Making Connections for Mexico Cruising

As usual, a broad assortment of potential crewmembers showed up Wednesday night at Latitude 38’s Mexico-Only Crew List Party, some of whom made solid connections for a ride to Ol’ Mexico in Baja Ha-Ha XIV.

Rub-a-dub-dub, six crew in a tub! Hopefully these crew-listers will never have to use a raft in a real emergency.

latitude/Annie
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

At least one guy flew up from L.A., and another came all the way from Idaho with hopes of snagging a berth. Lovely Heather of Gerry Sea of Cotez Charts discussed navigation issues, and gave each Ha-Ha skipper a free sample chart, accurate to GPS. And Sal Sanchez of Sal’s Inflatables dropped by to demonstrate what happens when you pull a liferaft’s ripcord — a Crew List tradition.

Heather of Gerry of Sea of Cortez Charts explains the subtleties of navigating the Sea of Cortez.

latitude/Annie
©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you missed the fun but would still like to find a ride, check out the new online Crew List at www.latitude38.com/crewlist/Crew.html, and/or show up at the event’s Costume Kickoff Party (co-sponsored by West Marine) at San Diego’s Cabrillo Isle Marina, October 28. See www.baja-haha.com/ for complete event details.

Dan Lawler of Idaho is determined to Ha-Ha. He even had a shirt custom made to prove it.

latitude/Annie
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A Free Mooring In The Ha-Ha Spirit

 "We’d like to offer use of our mooring in Port San Luis, on California’s Central Coast, to any of the Ha-Ha boats heading south," writes Richard Boren of the Port San Luis-based Pearson 365 Third Day. "We’ve already gone further south to meet fellow Ha-Ha’ers in San Diego. Our mooring is #670, weighs 1,700 pounds, and should be secure for boats up to 45 feet. If anyone is interested, they can email me for the GPS coordinates and more information."

Would you sail this cat around the world for 10 years? latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC Take a look at the catamaran in today’s Photo of the Day and tell us what you think she was built for.
Got crew? Just in case you missed our earlier reminders, let us tell you once again that tonight’s the night to make crew connections for the fall season.
Asking a dedicated Macintosh computer user to switch to a PC is about like asking an adolescent to eat a pound of brussel sprouts.
Team trials begin this weekend for both the Olympics and Paralympics, the former at several Southern California locations, the latter in Rhode Island.
It’s official – as of Monday, October 1, passports are now required for any American citizen traveling by air out of the country, including Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.