January 21, 2009

Ushering in Obama in Style

Cap’n Rich strikes a pose aboard his 1933 50-ft cutter Java Head before heading out to the Obama Ball.

© 2009 Kathy Mitchell

Yesterday’s inauguration of President Obama created so much excitement here in San Francisco that even old salts like Captain Richard Gillette were inspired to take unprecedented measures — like donning a top hat and tails before attending one of several local Obama Inauguration Balls.

Gillette had so much fun getting all gussied up — and got so many compliments — that we wouldn’t be surprised if he adopted the get-up as his standard uniform while captaining daysails for at-risk kids aboard the 51-ft John Alden ketch Pegasus. Who knows, he might even start a fad.

Sailboat Abandoned Off Mexico

Just this morning we heard from a reliable source that a sailboat named Carpe Diem had been abandoned off Mexico within the last couple of days. According to reports on the Amigo Net, the cruise ship Norwegian Star picked up the crew of Carpe Diem at 22° 37’N, 108° 46’W, about 65 miles southeast of Cabo. Apparently, Carpe Diem is currently adrift.

It’s doubtful weather played a part. For the past week this area has been typical Mexico — which is to say warm and beautiful. Winds have been light and the swell low and long. We have confirmed that the boat in question is not the Fantasia 35 Carpe Diem that participated in the 2007 Baja Ha-Ha. Owner David Moore assures us that his boat is safe and sound in its Marina Village slip.

That’s all we know. If you have more information on this incident, please forward it to John Riise.

A Little Less Than Whole Foods

Karen holds up the key ingredients – which are both fresh and free – for ceviche.

© Bill Vaccaro

This just in from Bill and Karen Vaccaro of the Chico-based Moody 44 Miela. While anchored at Tenacatita Bay, they went ashore and bought five canteloupes for $1.50 from a boy with a stand on a dirt road. Mind you, that’s $1.50 U.S. for all five, not for each one. How much is Whole Foods — or any store in the States — charging for canteloupes?

Just one of these Guatemalan melons costs about $3.25 at Whole Foods.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As for the fish they caught for ceviche, there was no charge. With the peso/dollar exchange rate now at a dazzling 14 to 1, Bill and Karen caution visitors to pay with pesos rather than dollars, as many establishments insist on giving only 10 pesos to the dollar.

Video of the Day: Cruiser Quiz

The accompanying video shows the 600-ft cargo carrier Gulser Ana T-boning and dismasting the uninsured Venezia 42 catamaran Courtship about 350 miles west of Bermuda on November 18. It was done on purpose. Can you guess why? We’ll have the complete answer on Friday.

Latitude 38 at Seattle Boat Show

After years of planning and waiting, it’s a fabulous feeling to finally head south with the Baja Ha-Ha rally.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Curious about the Baja Ha-Ha cruisers’ rally or the Pacific Puddle Jump? If you are, and you’ll be in the Seattle area this weekend, come see us at the Seattle Boat Show.

For the first time Latitude 38 staff will be on hand to give informational seminars on both events: Learn all about the Baja Ha-Ha at 3 p.m. on Saturday, and the Puddle Jump immediately afterwards, at 4 p.m. Both seminars will be held on the Green Stage.

Thousands of miles from the Southern California rat race, Eric and Gisela Gosch had the time of their lives crossing the Pacific aboard Far Niente.

© 2009 Far Niente

We’ll present digital slide shows at each seminar, followed by Q & A sessions to address the subtle details. Ha-Ha and Puddle Jump veterans are also encouraged to drop by and say hi. See you there!

Readers — On December 11, Jeff Hartjoy set off from Callao, Peru, on a singlehanded nonstop trip around Cape Horn aboard his Baba 40 Sailors Run.