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July 24, 2009

Blood on the Face, Blood in the Water

Blood red really isn’t Liz’s best color, but sometimes you have no choice.

© 2009 Liz Clark

While Liz Clark’s self-portrait on her Santa Barbara-based Cal 40 in the South Pacific might be a little fuzzy, the point is clear — not every minute of a sailing/surfing safari is a good one. Our assumption is that she got the cut as a result of bouncing off a reef while surfing.

Getting Away From It All

You don’t have to worry about noisy neighbors when cruising in the Kimberley region.

© 2009 Dave Nelson

Ever feel like you want to get away from it all? You know, f-a-a-a-a-r away, where there’s no sign of humanity for miles and miles? If so, the Kimberley region, along Australia’s north coast, just might be the place for you.

Yeah, it’s deep. Like cruising the Chilean fiords, a four-point tie-in assures a good night’s sleep.

© 2009 Dave Nelson

The boat seen here is Ocean Sunrise, which was built in Adelaide, Australia, by Dave Nelson for the private school where he teaches. He trailered her across the continent to Darwin so he and his students could explore this primeval world. Talk about an education in the school of life!

Fresh water? There’s plenty available. You just have to hike a bit to reach it.

© 2009 Dave Nelson

If you want to see exactly how remote this anchorage is, check out this link to a satellite image of the region, which was updated during Nelson’s stay. If you look closely, you can actually see his boat — the only sign of humanity for miles in any direction.

Gear Up with Latitude

Did you know that, in a recent scientific study, the Foundation of Ridiculous Studies found that underwear models were more attracted to sailors who wore Latitude 38 gear? "There’s something so totally hot about a man who wears pink," gushed Victoria Zeekret. Don’t believe us? Well, we can’t really blame you but Latitude 38 gear really is hot — hot pink, vivid green, lemon yellow . . . Gear up in our online chandlery.

MOB Mentality – Send Us Your Story

People fall off boats all the time, especially racing boats. Most are recovered quickly with little more lost than a few places in the standings. But not always. For most of the sailing demographic, MOB — ‘man overboard’ — is one of the most dreaded scenarios, right up there with fire or sinking. We’ve run many articles over the years detailing the tragic consequences of some of those incidents; occasional articles about near-miraculous rescues; and countless ‘how to’ articles about the best ways recover overboard crew.

We were surprised to realize recently that in all that coverage, we have given only tacit attention to the other end of the MOB pole — the person who was actually in the water. So now we want to do that, and we need your help. We’re asking anyone who’s ever fallen off a boat (and obviously lived to tell the tale) to write a short summary of what the experience was like. At some point in the future, we’ll compile the accounts into a feature.

Please include as many details as you can — year, boat, boatspeed, conditions, etc. We’d like to know whether you were wearing a lifejacket or not, what was going through your mind, how long it took to get rescued, and what actions the crew took to make it happen. We’d also want to find out if and how the incident might have changed your life and your sailing attitude or those of your rescuers. Email all incidents to LaDonna Bubak. If you know someone with a good story who is too shy to write themselves, send along their contact info and we’ll get in touch with them. Photos are encouraged.

We’ll send Latitude 38 T-shirts to all respondents whose stories are used in the article.

From Alaska to Tasmania

Dorothy and Steve reading the latest Latitude 38s back in ’02 in their beloved Tasmania. After a stint in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the former Tiburon couple are headed back to ‘Tas’.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Can you guess what the following numbers — 154, 222, 190, 157, 157,  151, 154, 205, 193, 184, 204, 227 and 186 — represent? The first 12 are the daily runs, with the last one being the average day’s run, of Steve and Dorothy Darden’s crossing from San Francisco to Hawaii in July aboard their Morrelli & Melvin 52 Adagio. Shaun Peck was along as crew.

Adagio in her off-the-wind sail plan. Without pushing, six of her 12 days to Hawaii were runs in excess of 190 miles a day.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In 18 to 22 knots of wind, the Dardens, who used to live in Tiburon, reported that Adagio slid along at between 9 and 13 knots under a main or reefed main and a large reacher. They sailed the whole way with the ‘back door’ to the large cockpit open day and night, which allowed them to read or socialize while sailing.

Adagio at the dock at Hobart, Tasmania, a favorite of the Dardens.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Adagio was launched in Opua, New Zealand, in ’00, and the Dardens have since cruised her 30,000 miles in the Pacific. After several wonderful seasons in Tasmania, they sailed to Alaska via New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii. After a few seasons in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the couple returned to San Francisco Bay for the summer. They are now headed back to Hobart, Tasmania — which they consider to be their homeport — via New Caledonia.

In July 10’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, we posted the exciting news that former Vice President Al Gore had accepted Tom Perkins’ invitation to be the keynote speaker for this fall’s Leukemia Cup Regatta, hosted by San Francisco YC on September 19-20.
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