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October 26, 2007

I Paid How Much per Hour for This Work?

It can be an upside down world if you don’t supervise work on your boat.

Richard Drechsler
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Former Northern Californian Dick Drechsler took his Catalina 470 Last Resort to a Southern California boatyard to have a bunch of work done. When the yard was done, Dick took this photo. It’s evidence, he says, that you should never let a boatyard work on your boat when you’re not around.

Coasties Rescue Two from Passing Wind II

The two crew aboard the 38-ft sailboat Passing Wind II were rescued by the Coast Guard yesterday after they were dismasted about 40 miles off Pt. San Pedro. The Coasties received an EPIRB alert around 10:15 a.m. and immediately dispatched a helo and plane. They spotted the disabled boat being tossed around in 10-12-ft seas around 1:20 p.m. The two crewmembers then jumped into the water and were hoisted to the helo with the aid of a rescue swimmer. They were treated at an area hospital for mild hypothermia. No word on the fate of Passing Wind II.

While we’re thrilled the crew were rescued safely, we’re frankly a little stumped as to why they went out yesterday at all. For days NOAA forecasts had warned of a gale that would pass through the area on Thursday — with predicted 40-knot winds. We’re not sure what the winds were doing where they were, but the small craft advisory that is still in effect suggests it wasn’t pretty. We can’t stress enough the importance of listening carefully to weather forecasts and planning your voyages accordingly.

Ha-Ha Update

From the Grand Poobah himself, here is some important info relating to the Ha-Ha:

1) Offshore flow is returning to SoCal and the air quality is much better. In any event, the conditions on the waterfront are nowhere nearly as bad as they were in 2003. "You can even see the stars at night," announced Mr. Poobah.

2) Take note of the massive amounts of kelp off Pt. Loma. The Poobah, sailing down from Newport, got caught in the kelp and both of Profligate‘s engines overheated and shut down. It’s recommended to keep some distance between your boat and Pt. Loma to avoid getting kelpified.

Conditions should be gorgeous for the start of the Ha-Ha.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

3) The weather forecast for this weekend keeps getting better and better. For Sunday’s Kick-Off Party, it’s expected to be mostly sunny, maybe some fog in the morning with highs in the 70s to 80s. For the start of the Ha-Ha on Monday, it’s also expected to be sunny and possibly even a bit warmer.

Pindar Open 60 Dismasted

Brian Thompson’s Pindar 60 was dismasted in mild conditions last night on its way to La Havre, France, for the start of the doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabré. The race, which starts in just eight days, runs non-stop from France to Brazil. Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident but, with so little time to make repairs, Thompson was forced to withdraw.

It’s a no-go for Brian Thompson’s Pindar 60 after its dismasting yesterday.

© 2007 Mark Lloyd

Sponsor Pindar will still have some representation in the Vabré with their Pindar 40 boasting an all-female crew. Keep tabs on the race at

Net Times to Note

If you’re heading south to the sunny latitudes of Mexico and are new to the cruising life you may not be aware of the cruiser nets that keep sailors updated on weather, local events and other topical news.

In San Diego, the local cruisers’ net is run by Downwind Marine on VHF Channel 68, daily 8:30-8:45 a.m.

The popular Sonrisa Net is found on SSB 3968 LSB at 7:00 a.m. daily.

The Chubasco Net has recently changed to SSB frequency 7288 LSB. The warm-up is at 7:45 a.m. daily, and at 8:10 a.m. you’ll hear a weather report for all of Western Mexico.

"We left San Diego on October 21 for points south and La Paz," writes David Addleman and Heather Corsaro, who are doublehanding their Monterey-based Cal 36 Eupsychia.
Yes, it seems that hell has frozen over, because the State of Hawaii, after all these decades, is actually taking a baby step to improve things in one part of the woefully rundown 747-berth Ala Wai Yacht Harbor in Honolulu.
Every year about this time, we get a letter or two from people in Mexico, almost always in La Paz, with some ominious-sounding news for cruisers about to head down.