The name Glenn Tieman should ring a bell with regular visitors to this site and readers of Latitude 38 magazine. He’s the Southern California traditionalist who hand-built a primative Wharram catamaran, and recently sailed from Mexico to the South Pacific. In the excerpted report below, we catch up with Tieman in Moorea, a few days after his crossing from the Tuamotus:
"At Moorea I met Hans Klaar on his one-of-a-kind 73-ft voyaging double-canoe. On his previous boat, also a Wharram cat, Hans was one of the first westerners to use crab claw sails — like the ones I have on Manu Rere. His current boat is likely the only yacht even more radically stone-age than my own. Although he does use a 5-hp outboard engine, he had the Ontong Java built, along Polynesian lines, from big planks cut from two trees in West Africa. The gaps between the planks are sealed with strips of rubber tacked over.
"Before leaving Papeete I got an email from him saying he was at Moorea with one too many girls aboard and hoping I could take one. They were beauties too. Several people at Moorea appreciate Polynesian vessels like Manu Rere and they kept me entertained with diving, touring and dining.
"I moved on to Huahine, then to Bora Bora, which, despite its drawbacks, looked like the Matterhorn heaving out of the sea and mist. Again at Bora Bora I anchored next to Ontong Java, and I’ve come across a few other Wharram catamarans and their crews as well during these last couple stops. From here it’s a thousand miles to Wallis Island, possibly first stopping at Samoa, then north through Tuvalu before the southern hurricane season begins." Look for more on Tieman’s travels in an upcoming issue of Latitude.
More often than not, strong Eastern Pacific storms and hurricanes threaten the Mexican mainland and Baja Peninsula, but veer offshore or diminish in strength before inflicting much damage. It could be a different story with Hurricane Jimena, however, which is now slowly advancing toward Cabo San Lucas, packing sustained winds of 127 knots (145 mph), and gusts reported up to 155 knots (172 mph)!
If the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s three-day prediction simulation is correct, hurricane-force winds could lash lower Baja by mid-day tomorrow. Historically, however, wind strengths generally diminish substantially as they approach or cross land masses. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that this monster hangs a sharp left soon.
Friends and family of singlehander Jim Cheshire, 63, are asking Pacific Puddle Jumpers to keep an eye out for Cheshire’s Alberg 35 Godot. Cheshire left Manta, Ecuador, on July 21 bound for the Marquesas but has not checked in with his shoreside contact. Godot has a white hull with no name, and the main is emblazoned with Pearson’s logo and the sail number 153. His EPIRB has not been activated.
USCG Pacific Search and Rescue in Alameda was advised on Saturday of Cheshire’s overdue status and has notified commercial traffic along his proposed route. Hopefully Cheshire has simply been experiencing a slow crossing — it’s a 3,500-mile journey — and will make contact soon, but if you have any information on his whereabouts, you might ease some very worried minds by emailing his family or calling (860) 304-5733.