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June 2, 2008

Pterodactyl Spotted by the Navy

When Luc de Faymoreau watched his Olson 40 Pterodactyl sail away without him after he and his crew were washed overboard (and subsequently rescued by another boat) during March 29’s Doublehanded Farallones Race, he was confident that his insurance company would pay for the search and salvage. When they refused, de Faymoreau was devastated that he would likely never see his boat again.

It’s been 10 weeks since that fateful day with no word on Pterodactyl — until today. We received the following email from Navy sailor David Farley:

"I am sailing back from a Naval deployment from the Japanese coasts. Along the way we noticed a sailing vessel dead in the water whose sails appeared to be tattered. We identified the vessel as the Pterodactyl mentioned in one of your stories. I would like to get in contact with the owner to help him locate his boat."

Farley’s email has been forwarded to de Faymoureau and we will post any updates on Pterodactyl‘s whereabouts as we receive them.

Corinthian In-The-Bay Race

A little bit of chaos in the Pt. Blunt washing machine for sailors in the Singlehanded Sailing Society’s Corinthian Race on Saturday.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Ross Stein’s Corsair 24 Mk II Origami made it two in a row for the overall corrected time win in the Singlehanded Sailing Society’s 18-mile Corinthian Race on Saturday. Stein and crew Bill Pace put nearly 30 minutes between them and  Steve Carroll’s Express 27 Tule Fog.  With consistent breeze in the high teens and puffs into the low 20s as well as a couple knots of ebb, there were more than a few snafus when the kites went up at Blackaller. Pt. Blunt was a washing machine, producing some gnarly wipeouts, and the run to Southampton Shoal was the reward as the overcast skies began to break. Gordie Nash and Ruth Suzuki’s modernized Santana 27, Arcadia, rounded out the top three of the 42 starters in the Doublehanded fleet.

Steve Carroll’s Express 27 Tule Fog in the home stretch from Little Harding, en route to second overall.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Preliminary singlehanded winner, Steve Wonner’s Wyliecat 30 Uno retired after finishing when it was discovered he’d inadvertently filed an outdated rating certificate. This moved Greg Nelsen’s Azzura 310 Outsider into first among the 26 starters. Steve Hill’s Beneteau First 42 Coyote finished comfortably in second. Tactically, it was a pretty straightforward race until the fleet reached Angel Island on the way to Little Harding from Southampton Shoal. We guesstimate that about 60% of the fleet, including Origami, chose the Firehose as the optimum path around the island. "Racoon Strait popped us out like a watermelon seed," Stein said.

Ross Stein and Bill Pace put Origami’s starboard ama to the H20 on the way to a 30 minute corrected time win in the Corinthian Race.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Stein and Pace were all smiles at the dock after getting what they said were perfect conditions in a race they feel suits their boat perfectly. "For us, it was just the right amount of wind," Pace said. "Five knots more and we really need another crewmember. Five knots less and we’re not planing."

The Pirates of Clipper Cove

There’s a lot of stuff at the bottom of Clipper Cove that could cause an anchor rode to part, but this one parted above the water

© Teddius Maximus

When the Coast Guard notified me that my Santana 22 had been floating aimlessly around the eastern towers of the Bay Bridge (near the construction zone) and I needed to come get it from Yerba Buena Station right away, I rushed right over. This was so strange as I had it securely on the hook in Clipper Cove for the week, and I do know how to properly set an anchor.

When I arrived, the folks at the station were very nice and helpful. As we walked over to my boat, I noticed something odd. The remaining two feet of anchor rode was cleanly cut — not frayed at all. It was obvious to my eye that someone had cut it, and not only to mine but to the Coasties’ with me as well.

Does this line look cut to your eyes too?

© Teddius Maximus

I know I shouldn’t expect otherwise, leaving my boat unattended for a week or more on the hook but I guess I was hoping that piracy was not the name of the game in these waters. Nothing seems to have been stolen so I guess someone either wanted the spot I was anchored in or did it out of pure maliciousness.

The Santana is now safe in a marina, undergoing an overhaul. I was lucky that it didn’t cause any damage while drifting. A hearty thanks to the US Coast Guard, and for the scurvy rats that cut my line, I’ll come to collect my bottle of rum (Pusser’s, please) and take your apologies!

Black Boaters Summit’s Rainbow Expansion

When we first met Richmond sailor Paul Mixon in the Virgin Islands 20 years ago, we never would have guessed that he’d someday be operating one of the biggest sailing events in the Eastern Caribbean. At the time, he was just a typical friendly cruiser, enjoying a seemingly carefree lifestyle with his former wife.

After returning to the Bay Area, however, Mixon, who is African American, decided he ought to find a way to introduce more African Americans to the joys of sailing. He came up with the Black Boaters Summit, an all-inclusive bareboat flotilla circuit through the British Virgin Islands. After more than a decade, it has now grown to two dozen boats annually and has garnered attention from national press — including a special National Geographic segment, featuring Mixon and Captain Bill Pinkney, the first African American to solo circumnavigate (via the great capes).

"Now I’ve got my sights set on being the #1 party flotilla in the BVIs." To achieve that goal, this year’s flotilla will include both power and sailboats, and nationwide invitations to join have gone out to YC members of all ethnicities. Although the majority of past participants have been African American, we should clarify that, despite the event’s title, sailors and would-be sailors of all ethnicities have always been welcome to join the BBS.

The August 1-10 event will include stops at all the BVIs’ most popular haunts such as Foxy’s, Leverick Bay, Anegeda, Cane Garden Bay, White Bay, The Baths, and Norman Island’s Willie T. See the website for more info.

Terry and Vicki Fahey of the Richmond-based Pearson 424 Tenacity have been cruising Mexico since last fall, and have enjoyed the abundunt wildlife, including the breaching whale above.
Mark Langer’s Sydney 38 Absolute ’02 shortly after the start of Last Friday’s Spinnaker Cup.
The June issue of Latitude 38 is being distributed to all the usual outlets around the Bay today, just in time for the weekend.