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September 14, 2009

Name That Boat Wreckage

Beachcombers at Muir Beach found some substantial flotsam recently. “It certainly created quite a discussion point for all the beachgoers over the hot Marin weekend,” said Craig Allender.

© 2009 Craig Allender

"While walking along Muir Beach this recently, I stumbled across some substantial wreckage," writes Craig Allender. "I was hoping Latitude could help put a name to the mangled mass of fiberglass."

In his email, Allender noted the July 25 loss of the Flying Tiger Savage Beauty on the rocky Marin Headlands in the YRA Second-Half Opener. Beauty ran into trouble when she edged a little too close to shore and her keel became lodged in some rocks. No one was injured in the incident but the boat had to be abandoned and was unrecoverable. In the September issue of Latitude 38, Racing Editor Rob Grant reported that owner John Lymberg received full market value for the boat from his insurance company — within a month! — and he’s working on getting a replacement Tiger.

Savage Beauty foundered around the corner at Kirby Cove in late July.

© 2009 Peter Lyons

We’ve compared the photos Allender sent with those of other Flying Tigers and, though it’s tough to be 100% certain with so little to compare, we believe the wreckage shown is probably from Savage Beauty. Considering that Lymberg watched her break apart at Kirby Cove, Beauty‘s final six-mile journey seems pretty impressive.

Beauty’s final voyage started just outside the Gate, included a right-hand turn at Pt. Bonita, and appears to have ended at Muir Beach.

© 2009 Google Earth

Freak Squalls Lash Papeete

Normally, conditions are pretty tranquil in Papeete’s harbor, shown here, and in the nearby anchorage off Marina Taina.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One thing you can say about Mother Nature is that she can be a bit moody. As longtime voyagers will confirm, you just never know when she’s going to get a bee in her bonnet and lash out at you.

A case in point took place in Tahiti two weeks ago. According to USVI-based cruiser Kirk McGeorge of the Hylas 47 Gallivanter, "savage winds gusting to 56 knots" ripped through Papeete’s normally peaceful cruiser anchorage off Marina Taina, causing instant havoc. "At least four vessels were driven onto the bricks, and I saw two genoas unfurl and tear to threads in a matter of minutes." Although Gallivanter dragged, Kirk and his Aussie wife Kath kept her safe by hauling up their 65-lb anchor and 300 feet of chain, then repositioning her. "We’re talking about full throttle maneuvering in a very tight space!"

Seen here on approach to Moorea, Cap’n Kirk is no stranger to squalls. But that recent seven-hour barrage definitely got his attention.

© 2009 Julie Turpin

As Kirk puts it, "If you stand up in the back of a pickup doing 65 mph, offroad, at night in the rain, while trying to lasso a rhino, you’ll kinda get an idea of what we were going through! Ten mph more is hurricane force." Kirk, Kath and their young son Stewart came through the seven-hour series of intense squalls weary, but otherwise unscathed. On the upside, Cap’n Kirk now has another dazzling tale to add to his arsenal. And as his friends verify, this consumate storyteller’s war chest of sailing yarns is chock full already.

Driving Taxpayers to Drink Cheap Rum

The following are first three paragraphs of a story by Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten that appeared in the August 2 Los Angeles Times. While the connection between sailing and rum is somewhat tenuous, we thought the story was so outrageous, but so typical, that we couldn‘t resist.

"Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

"With little fanfare, a deal is moving forward to provide billions of tax dollars and tax breaks to an unlikely beneficiary — the giant British liquor producer that makes Captain Morgan rum.

"Under the agreement, Diageo in London will receive tax credits and other benefits worth $2.7 billion over 30 years, including a $165 million cost of building a state-of-the-art distillery on the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, a U.S territory." So ends the Times excerpt.

Once a pirate, always a pirate. More than 300 years after he plundered the Caribbean, Captain Henry Morgan is back to his looting ways, this time here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Of course, he couldn’t be doing it without the full support of our representatives – Democratic, Republican and Independent – in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Government
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A couple of interesting facts:

  • Diageo is the largest distilled spirits maker in the world.
  • The $2.7 billion that Diageo will receive in benefits can also be expressed as $2,700 million.
  • The agreement will result in the creation of 40 to 70 jobs in St. Croix — but will also result in the loss of up to 300 jobs in Puerto Rico.
  • According to the article, the deal has attracted “little opposition in Congress or elsewhere,” except for a few representatives of Puerto Rican interests.
  • Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — which means he oversees tax policy and therefore has the “highest perch in the House” — cited his long time support of the rum tax, and refuses to intervene in the massive giveaway.
  • Also in the September 2 L.A. Times, there was an article reporting that the same Charles Rangel failed to report $600,000 in income, is delinquent on taxes on two parcels in New Jersey, failed to report the sale of a $1.3 million brownstone, and is illegally occupying four rent-controlled units in New York City. He’d previously admitted to have no paid taxes on $75,000 worth of income on a condo in the Dominican Republic.
  • If you’re a taxpayer, you shouldn’t be sailing and drinking rum — especially Captain Morgan rum — at the same time. But given the way the government pisses away taxpayer resources, we’d sort of understand if you did.
Trekka wasn’t too roomy, but this Laurent Giles-designed sloop took the young singlehander safely around the world.
"I am convinced that had the U.S. government hired Mexico to handle the post Katrina clean up in New Orleans, that city would have been up and running in three weeks," writes Charlie Bloomer, a yacht broker at Sea of Cortez Yachts in San Carlos, Mexico.