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September 19, 2008

Dockwise Home After the Ha-Ha?

Is anyone interested in possibly having their boat shipped home on a Dockwise ship after the Baja Ha-Ha?

Tim Holl, one of the crew of the Catalina 34 Caitlin Marie, entry #168, contacted Dockwise Marine to see if they had any ships coming north from Mexico. Donna Blom, the Dockwise representative, responded that they had a ship leaving La Paz around December 10, and that it’s possible they could make a stop in Long Beach. However, it would be subject to a minimum number of yachts because they normally don’t stop there. We were unable to find out where they normally stop, although in the past it’s often been Ensenada or Vancouver. We have no idea what Dockwise would consider to be a minimum number of boats, or what the cost per boat might be but if you’re interested, contact Dockwise Yacht TransPort USA at (954) 525-8707.

In a related matter, we want to remind everyone of our recent report that Marina Seca, which used to truck about 80 boats back to the States a year from San Carlos, has gotten out of that business. To our knowledge, nobody else trucks boats north from Mexico.

Settlement in Clear Lake Civil Case

Does everyone recall that the Lake County District Attorney has steadfastly refused to file any criminal charges against Lake County Deputy Sheriff Russell Perdock in the death of Lynn Thornton? This despite the fact that on the evening of April 29, 2006, Perdock slammed his powerboat into the stern of the sailboat Thornton was on at between 40 and 55 mph on pitch black Clear Lake.

Based on a settlement of all the insurance companies involved, as reported by Dan Noyes of KGO’s I-Team, the experts disagree with the D.A.’s view of who was responsible for what. The coverage from the various policies of those involved were pooled. The amounts were: $300,000 from Russell Perdock’s policy; $300,000 from the policy of Bismarck Dinius, who happened to be seated at the helm of the sailboat; $100,000 from the policy of Mark Weber, the owner of the sailboat; and $100,000 from the policy of James Walker, who was the lookout on Perdock’s boat.

The pooled money was awarded as follows:

$760,000 to Thornton’s son.

$18,000 to Weber.

$13,000 to Dinius.

And a big fat goose egg for Perdock.

In other words, the marine industry experts, who deal with such tragedies all the time, have made it clear that they believe Russell Perdock was primarily responsible for the accident and death of Thornton. It’s something that we, the overwhelming number of Latitude readers, and the overwhelming number of respondents to a poll in Lake County have been saying all along.

You can’t help but wonder how long it’s going to take for the D.A. to do the right thing, which would be to drop vehicular manslaughter charges against Bismarck Dinius, and file them against Deputy Russell Perdock. Just don’t try to hold your breath until it happens.

Click here to read Noyes’ excellent coverage on this travesty of justice.

Trash Talk

It would be funny if it wasn’t real. Most animals who get tangled in trash aren’t lucky enough to be found while they’re still alive.

© 2008 NOAA/Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center/Brenda Becker

Tomorrow is the third Saturday in September, which means it’s International Coastal Cleanup Day. Now in its 22nd year, ICC is the day when more than a quarter million people put on old shoes and ‘beachcomb’ the shorelines, lakes and rivers of the world, picking up the junk discarded by less caring segments of the population. Last year alone, six million pounds of debris was picked up — along with 237 animals who were entangled in old nets, plastic bags, fishing line or six-pack holders. In addition to the pollution and eyesore it causes, every year trash kills more than 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, either by getting tangled in it or ingesting it.

ICC volunteers at Ocean Beach last year get final marching orders. Be there by 9 a.m. tomorrow if you want to be part of this year’s cleanup.

© California Coastal Commission

We are happy to note that the International Coastal Cleanup Day — started and still run by the Ocean Conservancy — has gotten bigger every year. And we don’t doubt that the record 378,000 people who recovered those six million pounds of trash last year will likely be outdone by an even bigger group this year. We hope you will consider being among them — if not by ‘official’ participation, then by just picking up some trash around your marina, or even some bits of floating garbage you see while out sailing. For more on International Coastal Cleanup Day, visit To see where you can be of the most use here in the Bay Area, visit or

Great Pumpkin Open for PHRF and Multis

For all you dinghy sailors out there, you won’t want to miss Richmond YC’s Totally Dinghy Regatta this weekend, with racing on Saturday and Sunday with an inexpensive dinner on Saturday night. Currently the Lasers, El Toros, Optimists, Bytes, International 14s and Flying Dutchmans (or is it Dutchmen?) have the biggest one-design numbers and will be joined by Portsmouth handicap classes on two courses. The regatta will also mark the West Coast debut of the new Weta, a smokin’ little Kiwi-built, singlehanded trimaran that’s already drawn five entries despite having been introduced in the States just this year.

Looking further ahead in RYC’s regatta schedule, the October 25-26 Great Pumpkin Regatta is undergoing some changes this year which should open it up to even more boats than the 250 or so that showed up last year. The three buoy races on Saturday and the pursuit race on Sunday will remain, but for the first time there will be dedicated handicap divisions for Saturday, and multihulls are invited for Sunday’s race.

"There were so many requests to come to the Pumpkin from boats that were in small classes, or were one-of-a-kind, that we decided to simply open it to all boats with PHRF certificates on Saturday," said regatta chair Eric Arens. "We tried to restrict it to monohulls in the past. However, there were beseeching appeals from some multihulls to be allowed to come, so we are inviting BAMA for Sunday’s pursuit race."

More info for both of these is or will be available at

One of the big lessons that Vik learned during his summer of cruising in the Med and Adriatic is that Eastern European girls “love to pose.”
While more than 150 people and 15 ships are being held hostage by Somalian pirates, two French yachties are now free.