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October 3, 2008

Support Today’s Vote On The Bail-Out Bill

Gotta love that bailout. Now all we have to decide is whether our new Hummer should be yellow or red.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Today there will apparently be a historic second vote in the House on the bailout bill for Wall Street and some say Main Street. Like everybody else, we have no idea if the bill will do what supporters hope it will, but we do know that if it passes, the Poobah, as a result of donations to his Congressperson, will get to write off 100% of the cost of a shiny new red Hummer he’s always wanted really, really badly. And, it will come with a handful of children’s wooden arrows made in Oregon and a couple of cases of Virgin Islands rum.

"Why shouldn’t everyone else in the United States pay for the Poobah’s new car, after all, he’s been a good friend of mine?" says the Poobah’s Congressperson. And it’s not like the Poobah is selfish. "I think," he says, "that everyone in the United States ought to get a free new car, paid for by somebody else."

We don’t know about the rest of you, but when it comes to times of national crises, we’re glad to know our country is in the hands of the best Republicans and Democrats that money can buy.

P.S.  If you don’t understand the attempt at humor here, please review highlights of the proposed bill.

Where to Find Slips in San Diego

Hundreds of sailors – some more spirited than others – are arriving in San Diego, and many are eager for temporary berths.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With the start of the 2008 Baja Ha-Ha rally just three weeks away, the 180-boat fleet is now trickling into San Diego Bay, having bid goodbye to homeports as far north as Alaska. The question on many skippers’ minds is "Where can we find a slip?"

While temporary berthing is typically tight in San Diego, many boats are finding slips this year, especially in the smaller sizes. At this writing, for example, there are at least a half dozen slips available at the Shelter Island Harbor Police docks, for the very reasonable rate of $10.50/day (for the first five days) for boats 55 feet and under — double that for larger boats. Call the Police Mooring Office for details at (619) 686-6227. Also on Shelter Island, Koehler Kraft has availability in a great location for $7.50/ft/week or $1.50/ft/nt — $60/nt for a 40-footer (see

At nearby Harbor Island, both Cabrillo Isle and Sunroad Marinas have availability in various sizes. Cabrillo Isle, a longtime Ha-Ha sponsor is offering all registered boats a 10% discount off their normal rates — i.e. about $55/nt for a 40-footer. Call (619) 297-6222. Sunroad is offering temporary slips at a pro-rate off their normal monthly rates — i.e. about $25/nt for a 40-footer. Call (800) 350-0736.

Ha-Ha sponsor Pier 32, in Chula Vista, has already accommodated a couple of dozen Ha-Ha boats, and they have room for more at 30% off their normal $1/ft/nt rate — about $28/nt for a 40-footer. Call (800) 729-7547.

As mentioned earlier, the Mooring Office has set up a special Ha-Ha anchorage at Glorietta Bay. Swing by the Shelter Island Police dock to get your permit.

Note also that Ha-Ha sponsor Downwind Marine will be holding their annual Welcome to San Diego Party, October 19 at noon (registered crews only). Call (619) 224-2733 for details. Downwind is also hosting a series of worthwhile cruising seminars all month long.

Many past participants say the best thing about the Ha-Ha is the concrete deadline it gives potential cruisers. And that deadline is fast approaching — so tear up that ‘to do’ list, skippers, pack the essentials and cast off those docklines!

Leukemia Cup Sunday

In last year’s event several 1D35 skippers, including Mario Yovkov (standing), had leukemia survivors onboard as crew.

© David Dibble

If you haven’t yet entered in Sunday’s XOJET Leukemia Cup, you still have until Sunday at 10 a.m. to enter. With more than 100 entries already, and over $300,000 raised last year, the Bay Area regatta already holds the record for fund-raising since the nationwide events began in 1993, despite having only begun in 2006. Latitude 38 Associate Publisher John Arndt will be there for the third time.

"I’ve participated in the past two years but this year really want to work harder on fund-raising to contribute to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society," he said. "They’ve made it really easy to contribute by giving us all a fund-raising page allowing you to contribute: any amount is welcome, via credit card on ‘my fund raising page‘."

Fossett’s Plane Found

Sailor/adventurer Steve Fossett’s fate has been a mystery for nearly a year.

© Media Pro

Nearly 11 months to the day since adventurer Steve Fossett disappeared, the remains of the single engine plane he was flying at the time have been found in the Eastern Sierra’s Minaret Range near Mammoth Lakes. Remains of the Bellanca Super Decathlon were located three days after a local day-hiker found Fossett’s pilot’s license, a glider license and a membership card for the National Aeronautic Association. The area where the plane was located was flown over 19 times by the California Highway Patrol in last year’s search.

To sailors, Fossett was probably best known for his Morelli and Melvin-designed, 125-ft Cheyenne, which held the Jules Verne ’round-the-world record at 58 days and 9 hours, and the West-East Transatlantic Record of 4 days and 17 hours until 2007. In the roughly twelve years Fossett spent chasing sailing records, he racked up an impressive list of records that included nearly every major passage record around the world. Indicative of his aptitude for the sport, Fossett’s first-ever solo offshore race was the stormy 1994 Route du Rhum, where despite having way less than a year of large multihull sailing under his belt, he finished fifth in his ORMA 60 Lakota, just behind some of the most storied names in French shorthanded offshore sailing. To see a comprehensive list of Fossett’s achievements whether terrestrial, nautical or aeronautical, visit

Franks Tract Project

If you enjoy sailing up to the Delta, a proposed project to improve water quality and fish habitat may affect your future plans. "The Franks Tract Project . . . involves installing operable gates to control the flow of water at key locations to limit the movement of fish and higher salinity water into Franks Tract during certain times of the year," a project newsletter from the Department of Water Resources explained.

Project Manager Ajay Goyal noted that it’s likely only one gate will be installed, but there are five possible locations for it — four on Three Mile Slough, one on False River (though Goyal said recent analysis has shown that a gate at False River might not "provide benefit"). Goyal confirmed that whatever its final location, the gate will not restrict boat traffic.

The gate will probably be located on Three Mile Slough, but shouldn’t be too much of a problem for sailors.

© Map Courtesy of DWR

As Goyal explained it, the gate would be closed on either a flood or ebb tide, whatever is most beneficial to the Delta’s ecosystem. During those times, day or night, boats — including sailboats with normal draft, say six feet — would lock through the gate. When the gate is open, regular boat traffic through the channel would resume.

It seems likely that the gate will be located on Three Mile Slough. As a popular shortcut between the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, the construction of the gate will undoubtedly impede traffic at some point, but it sounds as if the agencies involved really value the public’s input. To that end, there will be four public scoping meetings next week to field questions and concerns about the project:

  • Monday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. in Sacramento at the Federal Building, Room C-1001/1002
  • Tuesday, 6-8:30 p.m. in Rio Vista at the Memorial Building
  • Wednesday, 6-8:30 p.m. in Antioch at the Contra Costa Library
  • Thursday, 6-8:30 p.m. in Stockton at the Memorial Civic Auditorium, North Hall

For more on the Franks Tract Project, go to

In a case painfully reminiscent of the Lynn Thornton tragedy on Clear Lake, a 37-year-old female sailor was killed Saturday evening after being struck by a speeding powerboat on Seattle’s Lake Washington.
Finally! Something worth reading. Annie
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC Just when you thought there was nothing left worth reading out there.