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March 21, 2008

Sea of Cortez Sailing Week Revived

Patsy Verhoeven, seen here driving her Gulfstar 50 Talion to class honors in the recent Banderas Bay Regatta, has come up with the Sea of Cortez Sailing Week courses.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Twenty-five years after it was founded by Latitude 38, Sea of Cortez Sailing Week is soon to be revived, starting, appropriately enough, on April Fool’s Day. Unlike the previous incarnation, the revived Sailing Week will intentionally be a much smaller event for those cruisers who like sailing as much or even more than socializing. For folks more into the social aspects of cruising, the Club Cruceros will be holding their La Paz Bay Fest the following week.

Patsy Verhoeven, skipper of the Gulfstar 50 Talion, formerly of Portland but now of La Paz, has been kind enough to put together provisional courses for four days of racing. There will be long and short courses for each day in recognition of the fact that Sea of Cortez winds are often light and/or fluky. Here is the tentative schedule:

  • April 1 — La Paz to Caleta Partida, with the length of the course being anywhere from 11.5 to 14 miles.
  • April 2 — Lay Day at Caleta Partida.
  • April 3 — Caleta Partida to Isla San Francisco, which could be anywhere from 16.5 to 20 miles.
  • April 4 — Lay Day at Isla San Francisco.
  • April 5 — Isla San Francisco to Caleta Partida, the distance once again being 16.5 or 20 miles.
  • April 6 — Caleta Partida back to La Paz, with an ‘awards dinner’ at some restaurant.

The schedule is subject to change. For example, if there’s good wind on the 4th, we’ll probably race back to Caleta Partida a day early and have the second lay day there.

The little anchorage at Isla San Francisco looks like a good finish line and place to have a lay day potluck aboard Profligate, don’t you think?

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This is a super casual event, so if you don’t want to do the legs to and from Isla San Francisco, you can either cool your heels at Caleta Partida or leave your boat on the hook and sail with someone else.

There will be a pre-race skipper and crew meeting on the evening of March 31 at a restaurant to be announced. Listen to the La Paz VHF net that morning for details on which restaurant and what time it will start.

So far, about 15 skippers have announced their intention to participate. If you’d like to be included, please email Richard, listing your boat name, boat type, your name, and your hailing port. The entry fee will be the smiling faces of you and your crew. It goes without saying that this will be a ‘no whining’ event.

We’d like to make some T-shirts for the event but, as we’ll be delivering Profligate from Banderas Bay to La Paz, need to find somebody who will be flying from the Bay Area to La Paz on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday before the start of the event to deliver them. If you fit that bill, please email Richard.

Don’t Fear the Rays

Cherie Williams gives a belly rub to an appreciative ray in Belize.

© 2008 Rod Williams

"The death of the woman struck by a jumping eagle ray during a freak accident in Florida last week, and the earlier death of the ‘Crocodile Hunter’, may give some people a wrong impression of these generally harmless cartilaginous fish," writes Rod Williams of the Alameda-based Catalina 42 Azure. "Unless stepped on by humans, these gentle creatures are perfectly willing to peaceably share their ocean. The photo is of Cherie, my wife, obliging a ray’s polite request for a belly-rub in Shark Ray Alley, off Caulker Caye in Belize. Ras, our diving guide, is standing nearby."

The deaths of both the croc hunter, who was barbed, and the woman off Florida, who was killed by blunt trauma, were indeed freaks accidents. Unless stepped on, rays are as friendly as they are beautiful.

Daisy Reminder and Search Update

Just a reminder that all boats entered in tomorrow’s OYRA Crewed Lightship Race are invited to pick up daisy flowers from volunteers on the docks at  the St. Francis and Golden Gate YCs prior to the start. As a tribute to Kirby Gale and Tony Harrow, OYRA crews are invited to drop a daisy in the water as they around the Lightship buoy. Gale and Harrow were lost last weekend when Gale’s Cheoy Lee 31 Daisy failed to return to the Bay during the Doublehanded Lightship Race,

If you are not racing but would still like to take part, you’re invited to join Island YC members ashore who will drop daisies in the Bay at the end of the breakwater (at the wave organ) just before the start of the race. For details, call Janet at 415-387-5807.

We understand that other clubs and races are also planning tributes to Gale and Harrow, so check with your club before you go sailing.

In an update on the ongoing investigation, a combined team of divers from the Coast Guard and San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department located underwater wreckage yesterday that’s believed to be from Daisy. The wreckage was located approximately three miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge. Divers went down to examine the wreckage but reported finding no person among the underwater debris. As reported earlier, the body of Tony Harrow washed up near Half Moon Bay the day after the race. Kirby Gale’s body has not yet been found.

Who’s Who?

We know that this is Robby Fouts (left) with Robert & Kristi Hanelt of the S&S 53 yawl Skylark, but where are they and what are they celebrating? They went around from 1972-74.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In gearing up to publish an article celebrating the dozens of West Coast sailors who’ve circumnavigated the globe, we ran across a number of vintage photos that we somehow neglected to identify clearly. This is a first, of course, in our 30 years of publishing (not!).

Anyway, we thought we’d post a few of them and see if you can help us figure out who’s who? Please email us with info and, if applicable, a related anecdote. Many thanks!

This guy circumnavigated aboard a gaff ketch with tanbark sails. Who is he and what’s the boat’s name? Extra points for the bird’s name!

Parrot Loving Sailor
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC
This one really stumped us. All we know is, it’s a wooden boat . . . somewhere.

Mystery Woodie
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC
We sorta recognize these folks, but can’t quite place them. We’re guessing this was taken as they returned home to the Bay.

Mystery Couple
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC
Yesterday New York Supreme Court Justice Herman Cahn struck down America’s Cup holder Alinghi’s appeal in the protracted battle for who gets to challenge for the Cup and when.
As you read in Monday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, last weekend two local sailors perished during the Doublehanded Lightship Race on March 15.
Strictly Sail Pacific at Jack London Square in Oakland is coming up April 16-20, and a great way to plan your assault on the show is to download the free Pre-Show Planner.