We never would have suspected, but the most hard fought competition in the Baja Ha-Ha has become the Here To Eternity Kiss contest, which celebrates the most famous smooch in film history, the adulterous one in the crashing Hawaiian surf between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the 1953 classic flick From Here To Eternity.
The Ha-Ha version — the only one in the world, we might add — takes places at the end of the Ha-Ha in the warm waters of Bahia Cabo San Lucas. Unlike previous years, in which the Grand Poobah had to sometimes cajole folks to get participants, this year there were many volunteers. We presume the surge in participation was in response to the recent death of Kerr.
The competition got off to a bang, with one couple dumbfounding their daughers with a rolling embrace in the sand-filled surf. They were followed by another 10 or so equally amorous couples. While Chris and Victoria Nugier of the Sonora-based Fraser 51 Wingstar — "We have three kids and have been married for 16 years" — won the prize, every couple had been a ‘contenda’.
As we reported on Monday, Chris Perkins’ J/105 Good Timin’ was stolen from its slip at San Francisco Marina sometime over the weekend. We are happy to announce today that Chris was reunited with his boat on Monday afternoon in Pillar Point Harbor, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Aside from a few scuffs and missing items, the boat seems to be in sound condition, though Perkins has yet to do a thorough survey. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the thief. Here’s the story as we understand it:
About mid-day Monday, Pillar Point Assistant Harbormaster John Draper received a cellphone call from a guy claiming distress offshore. Draper called the Coast Guard and they went out to render assistance. What do you know: the boat in trouble was Good Timin’. When the wetsuit-clad man aboard saw that his saviours were the Coast Guard, he jumped in the water and tried to swim away.
Once hauled back aboard, "Dan" — age 30-something and hometown unknown — claimed he had "fallen in love with the boat and just wanted to go for a sail." Pond had apparently sailed before; Perkins said the main and spinnaker had been rigged more or less the right way. But it was obvious to most — including, apparently, Dan himself — that he was "off his meds" and not thinking correctly. As if to underscore the fact, when Perkins went below he found numerous items missing, including the cupboard doors, companionway ladder, the engine cover, engine belts and so on. Even the engine mounts had been partially unbolted. Dan was apparently throwing almost anything and everything he could get loose over the side as he headed south. When asked why, he replied, "The boat surfs faster down the waves."
It appears that Dan first slipped aboard Good Timin’ sometime on Saturday night, when it was pouring rain and blowing about 20 knots outside the Gate. The main companionway was locked, so he got into the boat through the forward hatch, found the ignition key and motored out.
There was no food on board. And the only gear that Dan had was a bag of clothing, but no foulies. Officials speculated that he might have been planning on returning to the Bay, since he mentioned his car was still parked in the StFYC’s parking lot.
Dan was arrested and is currently being held. For his part, Perkins went through "all the stages of grief" over the brief loss of the boat, and was fully prepared to throw the book at Dan. Upon seeing the situation firsthand, however, most of the anger is gone and he now just feels sorry for the guy. Good Timin’ will be hauled at Andersons within the week to inspect for damage, but so far, it just seems as if it only needs replacement of various odds and ends that Dan jettisoned on his strange ride down the coast.
Look for more coverage of this story and how to keep your boat secure in the December issue of Latitude.
Just when you thought it was safe to buy your ticket to Valencia, negotiations between America’s Cup Defender Société Nautique de Genève (SNG)/Alinghi and GGYC’s BMW Oracle have come to a screeching halt. If you’ll recall, GGYC objected to SNG’s proposed rules for the 33rd running of the world’s most famous yachting event, claiming they favored the Swiss team. GGYC quickly filed a lawsuit which a New York court is reviewing.
Meanwhile, both teams had, with the encouragement and assistance of other competitors, been working toward a compromise that SNG could live with and GGYC felt was fair. Both sides claim they were very close to a final agreement then, in a surprising twist, SNG apparently decided they’d had enough. They sent GGYC a letter yesterday demanding they drop the lawsuit and enter the race by this Friday at 5 p.m. EST. GGYC shot back a letter claiming that SNG clearly didn’t want the race to start in 2009 as GGYC had no intention of dropping the lawsuit until all points of contention had been resolved — something they still believe is feasible.
"Today negotiators for GGYC and the Defender had verbally agreed to most points needed for a resolution, only for Alinghi to call back and say the deal was off," reported GGYC’s Tom Ehman. SNG countered with "Alinghi has lost confidence in BMW Oracle having any intention of negotiating a settlement in good faith."
Regardless of how the New York court rules, it’s almost certain that the ‘loser’ will appeal the decision causing a delay to the event’s start. Unless a mutual agreement can be hammered out, you might want to hold off on buying that ticket to Valencia.
The crew of Profligate fueled up at Marina Cabo San Lucas last Saturday and would like to report the following prices:
- Diesel was 6.63 pesos a litre or 25.11 pesos a gallon
- Gasoline was 7.85 pesos a litre or 29.71 a pesos a gallon
The exhange rate between the peso and the dollar is about 10.5 to 1, which means that diesel was a little less than $2.50 U.S. a gallon. Gas was just under $3 U.S. a gallon.
Because Pemex is controlled by the state, the price of diesel and gas should be about the same everywhere.
John Kilroy Jr., who calls San Francisco as well as Malibu home, went east to Annapolis, Maryland on November 2-4 to take top honors at the IRC East Coast Championships with his TP52 Samba Pa Ti. The year-old Botin Carkeek-designed 52 bested two other boats, including Daniel Meyers latest Numbers, his new Judel-Vrolijk 66 designed specifically to the IRC rule, to take honors. Readers may remember that Kilroy and Samba Pa Ti started fast and held on to win their division in September’s Rolex Big Boat Series at the St. Francis YC.
In a move which falls under the heading of "unclear on the concept" the outer (red and green) channel markers at the La Paz harbor entrance were moved west recently, apparently due to operations near the Pemex fuel facitlity. The problem? Keelboats passing between the two buoys were led directly onto a shallow shoal. Unfortunately, the puzzling change came as dozens of sailboats were headed for La Paz earlier this week, having just completed the 14th annual Baja Ha-Ha Rally.
Cruiser reports out of La Paz this morning indicate that the Port Captain was due to address the problem today. Until changes are made, however, arriving boaters are advised to hail nearby Marina Costa Baja on VHF channel 16 for specific directions, or hail local cruisers for info via VHF 22A.
Several hundred sailors are expected to arrive via the channel this week to attend the annual Governor’s Race and party at Costa Baja. Festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. this Saturday.