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July 11, 2008

Gulliver the Parrot Arrives in L.A.

At long last Gulliver the macaw is back home in the U.S. Gulliver and his furry pal Snickers the cocker spaniel were abandoned on Fanning Island last December when their owners lost their boat on the reef. Robby and Lorraine Coleman of the Honolulu-based Angelman ketch Southern Cross first spread the word about the animals’ plight, and were instrumental in getting Snickers aboard an NCL cruise ship and ultimately to his new home in Phoenix. Gulliver’s journey was longer and more difficult, thanks to international laws against trading in endangered species, not to mention bird flu fears. And the pressure the Kiribati government was putting on locals to kill Gulliver (importing birds is illegal) didn’t help matters.

But thankfully Laureli Lunn, the Honolulu-based animal behaviorist who worked tirelessly to get Snickers off the island, found Sybil Erden of The Oasis Bird Sanctuary in Arizona. Sybil and her team waded through the miles of red tape involved in bringing Gulliver home — from finding someone in the Kiribati government willing to give him a stay of execution to getting permission from Geneva (home of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) to take him to the States — and managed to make a miracle.

Last week, Gulliver was flown from Christmas Island to Honolulu, where he was then transfered to a Hawaiian Air flight — gratis — bound for L.A. Gulliver will have to remain in quarantine for a month before he can then make his way to his new home in the largest bird sanctuary in the country to live out the rest of his very long life.

Kudos to all those who worked so hard and supported the cause to bring these two wayward pets back home.

The Seven Day Racing Outlook

After a relatively racing-light Fourth of July weekend, this week is ramping up to be a doozy. Racing concludes tomorrow in the US Sailing Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy hosted by Sausalito YC. The two starts for the record fleet in the 2008 Singlehanded Transpac leave the Corinthian YC at noon and 12:15. Then, there’s the inaugural Inter-Yacht Club Challenge presented by SLAM apparel with fleet racing on Saturday and match racing on Sunday, sailed in 1D 35s and hosted by Golden Gate YC. Oh, and there’s the Island YC’s Silver Eagle Race, an inside-the-Bay odyssey. On Monday, the 2008 Pacific Cup gets crackin’ with the first of 5 days of starts for the 61 boats in nine divisions.

So where can find events like these? In the 2008 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule of course. It’s available as a hard copy in most places you’ll find a copy of Latitude 38, and it’s also available online at the above link for easy reference. See you out there!

Salute and Her Big Stick

Salute at Puerto Venere, Italy, showing a mast too tall to slip beneath the Golden Gate.

© 2008 Bernie Barden

"Mine’s bigger than yours!" writes Bernie Barden, Docent at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park. "We spend our summers in Porto Venere, Italy, where we see some of the world’s classic yachts drop anchor every summer. Among them, Tom Perkins’ 289-ft Maltese Falcon by Perini Navi, and the 184-ft Rosehearty, also by Perini Navi.

"Then, on June 11, in came Salute, a Ron Holland co-designed sistership to Rosehearty. What makes Salute different from her six sisterships is that she’s a sloop rather than a ketch. Her mast is 246 feet tall, which according to information on the web, makes it the tallest in the world. Too tall, in fact, to slip beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, so I guess we won’t be seeing her on the Bay any time soon."

The Perini Navi photo of Salute just before she tastes water for the first time.

Perini Navi
©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Actually, Bernie, Joe Vittorio’s 247-ft sloop Mirabella, another Ron Holland design, still has the tallest mast in the world, at 290 feet tall. If you read closely, you’ll learn that her mast is made of carbonium, which means that Salute‘s 246-ft mast is only the tallest aluminum mast in the world.

By the way, we like your first sentence, which is a play on the title of Mine’s Bigger, the fine book by David Kaplan about the design and building of Maltese Falcon, with lots of good info on Mirabella, and Jim Clark’s 292-ft clipper ship Athena.

Ron Holland has lived in Ireland for many years now but he left his mark on the Bay Area.

© Dana Jinkins / Ron Holland Design

Folks who have been sailing the Bay for many years will remember that Ron Holland, originally from New Zealand, kicked around the Bay for several years, and eventually designed Dave Allen’s San Francisco YC-based 40-ft Imp, which set the racing world on its ear. The soft spoken Holland moved to Ireland long ago, where he’s become one of the premier designers of mega sailing yachts. In fact, another design of his, the 190-ft ‘super green’ Ethereal, for Bill Joy, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, is soon to be launched by Huisman. Hasn’t Ron done well for himself, proving that you don’t have to be a loudmouth to be successful.

Bill Joy’s NEW 190-ft ketch Ethereal, dedicated to being as ‘green’ as possible, is soon to be launched from the Huisman Yard. Come to think of it, so is another Silcon Valley-funded yacht, Jim Clark’s new J Class yacht Endeavour.

Ron Holland Yacht Design
©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Looking for Schooner Crew

We normally don’t do ‘crew wanted’ ads for individuals, but when it comes to folks who have made circumnavigations aboard schooners they’ve restored, we make exceptions.

President of the Pacific Ocean, Merl Petersen, is looking for crew for the Great San Francisco Schooner Race in August.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Merl Petersen has owned the 75-ft schooner Viveka, which was built in 1929, since 1965, and spent a lot of years with her in Hawaii. She grew a little tired, so when Merl announced that he would be fixing her up and sailing her around the world, there were skeptics all up and down the Ala Wai. But Merl and friends busted their butts, and indeed did something like a seven-year circumnavigation in the early ’90s.

Viveka would be a fun ride for the right crew.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

When Merl read about the Great San Francisco Schooner Race — created by Alan Olson and to be hosted by the San Francisco YC — it got his juices flowing. He wants to be on the starting line with Viveka for the August 23 race, but he needs crew. This is where you might come in. If you’re interested in crewing for a guy who once took an elephant waterskiing on San Francisco Bay — there are photos — email or call Merl at (510) 236-2336. For more on the race, see for details.

As luck would have it, every arrival was at night. Last night Fortaleza was greeted at the line by the commodore of the Tahiti YC and others, who welcomed the crew with an armload of cold Hinano beers.
Women’s Circuit Queen Lucie Mewes asked us to remind everyone that the 33rd Annual Silver Eagle Long-Distance Bay Race is this Saturday and it’s not too late to sign up.
Barritt, Renee, and a friend, standing beneath the Colombian flag at Cartagena, one of the many great places they’ve visited.