June 8, 2009

Cruisers Head for Tahiti Rendezvous

Chris and Lori of Mandolin strike a pose at the equator as they toast their new status as shellbacks.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Dozens of westbound cruisers will be gathering at Papeete, Tahiti, later this month to take part in the 4th annual Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, a free three-day event (June 19-21) intended to celebrate the fleet’s safe arrival in French Polynesia, while exposing them to local traditions, sports, entertainment and cuisine. 

Having set sail from many different starting points along the west coast of the Americas, this year’s Pacific Puddle Jump fleet is as varied as ever. Some arrived aboard million-dollar yachts, while others made the 3,000-mile crossing aboard recently refurbished bargain boats. As in years past, many are retirees, yet others are young folks — like Chris Thompson and Lori Serocki — who are simply taking a sabbatical from the rat race to seek out a bit of South Pacific adventure.

Chris and Lori set out directly from San Diego on April 19 and arrived at Nuku Hiva aboard their Panda 40 Mandolin 30 days later. Look for a complete report on the Rendezvous in the July edition of Latitude 38, and a recap of this year’s Puddle Jump — complete with a detailed table of crossing data — in August.

Young Sailors Missing off Catalina

The Coast Guard is asking for the public’s help in the search for two Northern California sailors who set off from Catalina Island on Friday bound for Santa Cruz. Zebulon Tryon, 21, and Chris Reuter, whose age is somewhere between 18 and 25, set sail from Avalon Harbor aboard their newly acquired 1973 Coronado 27. It’s been reported that the boat’s small outboard wouldn’t be up to the job of long distance motoring, so the young men planned to sail the entire way. Their families were understandably concerned about the safety of the inexperienced sailors and required that they check in every day as they harbor-hopped their way up the coast.

Zeb and Chris are aboard a Coronado 27 similar to this. The color accents on their boat are unknown, but it does have a white hull.

© 2009 Webb Logg

On Sunday, the families called the Coast Guard when the young men failed to check in as scheduled. The Coasties began their search yesterday, and are continuing the search today with a C-130 airplane and two helos. At this point, the pair have not been spotted but hopes are high that their cell phones simply died.  Thankfully the weather has been relatively benign along the coast.

Zebulon Tryon, left, and Chris Reuter, right, failed to check in with their families as they harbor hopped up the coast. If you’ve seen them, please contact the Coast Guard immediately.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you have any information on Zeb and Chris’s whereabouts, please contact the Long Beach Command Center at (310) 521-3801.

Ad: Boat Groupies Get a Bonus

© 2009 Seaworthy Goods

Seaworthy Goods proudly launches their ‘Boat Groupies Gift Program’ for the 2009 boating season. This program is designed to support boat groupies: those organizations who encourage sailing and spread the love of boating — the ones who make it fun! Regional and national owners’ associations and groups can now request a free pair of PortVisors™ for door prizes or to be auctioned off at their annual meetings, rendezvous, and/or get-togethers.

Organized groups and associations can apply for a PortVisor™ donation by emailing us or calling (941) 448-9173. For more details about the Boat Groupies Gift Program, or to see how PortVisors™ combat stinky, hot, stuffy cabins during rainy weather, visit www.SeaworthyGoods.com.

© 2009 Seaworthy Goods

Seaworthy Goods designs and manufactures PortVisors™, lexan shields that protect opening portholes from rain. Their mission is to produce smart products to increase the comfort, safety, and enjoyment of your time afloat.

The Scratch Boat

All 100 feet of the carbon fiber, Nomex and tungsten that make up Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo came out of their cradle at Knight & Carver last week to meet up with their new rig.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With a little over 20 days to go until the start of the 2009 Transpac, boats all over the West Coast are in the midst of their final preparations for the 45th running of this offshore classic. For some, those will include the Encinal YC’s Coastal Cup which starts on June 17 and 18. For others — like Neville Crichton’s R/P 100 Alfa Romeo — they include substantial modifications, like a new rig. The Wanderer was down in San Diego last week and caught a glimpse of the elapsed-time favorite taking delivery of her brand-new Southern Spars-built rig. At 145-ft tall, the new stick will super-charge the already speedy boat, and features the builders’ EC6+ continuous carbon fiber standing rigging.

Alfa’s new Southern Spars rig is glossy for about the first 20 of its 145 feet. Beyond that, it’s flat black.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The rigging starts at the deck as one bundle of fibers that includes all of the fibers for both the cap shroud and diagonals, with the latter splitting off as needed. Interestingly, the majority of the tube and spreaders of the New Zealand-built rig — above about the first 20 or so feet — are a matte-black finish, while it’s glossy below. We called Southern Spars to find out why, thinking there may be some speed advantage, that maybe the matte finish was lighter than clear coat.

"It’s basically the owner’s preference," said Southern’s Tony Reaper. "Most of the racing rigs that come out of New Zealand tend to come out that way. There’s no speed or weight advantage."

While the boat was shipped to Knight & Carver’s facility in South San Diego Bay, the rig arrived in San Francisco, and had to be trucked down to meet the boat. Good thing I-5 is pretty darn straight. As promised in this month’s Latitude 38, we’ll go a-hunting with the Latitude ‘Jinx’ — making predictions on who will take their divisions — when the division assignments are released later this week, as we’ve been advised. On Wednesday, we’ll wrap-up the weekend’s racing action with what sounded like a great Ditch Run, a trip to Drake’s Bay and some awesome match racing on the Cityfront.

Today Is World Oceans Day

Another way to celebrate World Oceans Day today is to go sailing!

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

No, this is not just another lame Hallmark Holiday. When the United Nations recently designated June 8 as World Oceans Day, its aim was to increase public awareness of the dire state of the world’s underwater ecosystems, and to inspire both public and governmental action.

Tragically, three quarters of the world’s fisheries are now overexploited, fully exploited, significantly depleted or recovering from overexploitation, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). But there’s good news too. Andrew Sharpless, CEO of the environmental organization Oceana, points out that "restoring abundant oceans is the most solvable global ecological challenge that we face today.” In short, local and international fisheries are a mess, but are not beyond hope of recovery.

With that positive spin in mind, World Oceans Day is meant to be a celebration of our oceans — which make up more than 70% of the Earth’s surface — as well as a reminder that important steps need to be taken to restore healthy fisheries for future generations. Locally, the Academy of Sciences is hosting a variety of special programs this week "designed to help visitors explore and protect the amazing biodiversity of our marine habitat," and Oceana V.P. Jim Ayers will be giving a special presentation at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the St. Francis YC (open to members of all PICYA clubs.)

It’s not too late to reverse course, and as sailors we should all educate ourselves on the issues so we become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

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Prior to departure, Schrader (far right) and his crew strike a pose with Seattle’s renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly (with eye patch).