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April 23, 2010

Photo of the Day Contest

“Where in the world…”

© 2010 Sally Sailor

They say we must all keep our brains active so that our gray matter doesn’t become muddied prematurely. So here’s a little cyber challenge for you: Where was the photo above taken?

If you’re a well-traveled sailor, you may have parked your dink on the very beach that’s depicted here. And even if you haven’t, if you’re clever, you may be able to suss out the general location.

"Hey, it’s just a dinghy on a sandy beach," you say. "It could be anywhere." Well if you look closely you’ll notice some telling details. For example, note how clear the water is. And that sandy beach — is it soft coral sand or something else? We suggest that you blow up the photo a bit by clicking on it in order to pick up on subtle clues within it. Then email us your best guess.

The first respondent to get the general location correct will win an ‘official’ Latitude 38 cap. And if you guess the exact cove correctly we’ll throw in a Latitude T-shirt of your choice too. Best of luck!

UPDATE! We have a winner. Thanks for all the responses, and check in on Monday for the location, who won and how close he came.

This Weekend’s Big Doin’s

All sorts of good stuff is going on this weekend, starting with Marinship Day tomorrow at the Sausalito West Marine from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Being held in conjunction with the Spaulding Boat Center’s Open House — and with a raffle and BBQ benefitting the Center — the event will feature a boater’s swap meet (to take the place of the former Anderson’s swap meet) and a Port Supply tradeshow. West Marine Associate Karen Mentzer has pulled out the stops for the event, collecting some really great prizes for the raffle (including Latitude gear) and bringing in the Waterfront Roots Band, a collection of local marine industry pickers — featuring our own Managing Editor ‘Banjo Andy’ Turpin — for some entertainment at lunchtime. Call (415) 332-0202 for details or to rent a space for the swap meet.

When you’re done there, pop on over to Club Nautique on Gate 6 Road for their Open House from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Check out the fleet, take a seminar, and even go for a free sail. Call (800) 559-CLUB for details and directions, or go to their website.

Are you a die-hard monohull sailor who has ever wondered what it’s like to sail on a multihull? You can see for yourself at the Bay Area Multihull Association’s Multihull Expo Day tomorrow from 12-6 p.m. at Coyote Point Marina. As if going for a sail on a multi isn’t enough of a draw, BAMA is throwing in a free lunch for anyone interested in coming out to sail everything from the Weta trimaran and beach cats to a Catana 43 and everything in between. Also on hand will be living multihull-design legends Dick Newick, John Marples and Jim Antrim. BAMA’s website has more info, including directions and a way to get out of the parking fee for attendees!

Stockton Sailing Club will be a busy place tomorrow as well, with their annual Boater’s Swap Meet starting at 8 a.m. followed by the Opening Day on the Delta Boat Parade at 11 a.m. Stick around for lunch, free sailboat rides and games, races in front of the club and a typically fantastic Stockton SC BBQ. Check out their website for more info (click on ‘Event Flyers’ to download a PDF).

And, of course, Sunday is also Opening Day on the Bay. The Blessing of the Fleet in Raccoon Strait is 10:30 a.m.-noon, and be sure to enter from the east. After you’ve been properly blessed, head on over to Crissy Field to watch the annual Decorated Boat Parade — this year’s theme is ‘Building Bridges’ — which starts at noon and works its way down to Pier 39. See for more Opening Day happenings.

With all these choices, and a fantastic weather forecast, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a great weekend!

Folkboat Available for Donation

So shines a good deed in a weary world. This International Folkboat is ready for a new home in a youth sailing program.

©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Reader Michael Colin emailed an interesting request the other day: "I have a cherished 1973 International Folkboat located at Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard that I’d like to donate to a youth sailing program that will actually use it and not just sell it. Would you be willing to run a little blurb to see if I can get any takers?" We’re suckers for a good cause, especially kids’ sailing programs, so we readily agreed.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, this one says Colin’s Folkboat doesn’t appear to be trashed.

© 2010 Michael Colin

From the photos and specs, including a survey from ’04, Colin’s boat appears to be a clean and basic boat — while it doesn’t have a galley or water tanks, it does include a PortaPotti, cockpit and interior cushions, newer sails, Autohelm tillerpilot, VHF, GPS, PFDs, a new battery and more.

To find out if this would be a good addition to your youth program’s fleet, contact Colin directly — but please don’t bother him if you can’t commit to actually using the boat, or you want to buy the boat for personal use.

© 2010 Michael Colin

"To be clear," Colin continued, "I’m only interested in donating the boat to a bona fide non-profit youth sailing program that will commit to using it for instruction rather than selling it." Email Colin if your program can make such a committment.

The Word ‘Love’ Raised Big Suspicions

We received the following request for money the other day from Norm Goldie, who we’ve often described as a controversial figure in San Blas, Mexico:

"How are you doing? I am so sorry I wasn’t able to inform you on time about my trip to England to visit my ill cousin. It was an emergency to me because I had to be here soon enough. I am presently in Manchester with my ill cousin so I decided to write to you from here. She was diagnosed with a critical uterine fibroid. X-ray and scan shows that her condition is deteriorating because the fibroid has done a lot of damages to her abdominal area, and an emergency hysterectomy surgery must be carried-out to save her life. I am deeply sorry for not writing or calling you before leaving, the news of her illness arrived to me as an emergency and that she needs family support to keep her going. I had little time to prepare or even to inform people about my trip, I hope you understand my plight and pardon me. I will like you to please assist me with a soft loan, of $1500 urgently to sort-out my Cousin’s bills, the hospital management is demanding for a deposit of $2500 before they can invite a surgeon from Spain to carry out the surgery but she has been place on a temporary medical care prior the time we make the deposit.

"I traveled with little money because I never expected things to be the way it is right now. What scares me the most is that she is going through a lot of pain at the moment and the doctors have advice that, it is necessary that the tumor is operated soon to avoid anything from going wrong, I will appreciate whatever you can afford to assist me with, since I don’t know your financial status at the moment. I’ll pay back as soon as I return. I did not take along my phone. So it is currently switched off as I was unable to roam it with the phone company because of the time frame I had to be here, so kindly e-mail me promptly and when I get back I will give you a call I’ll be pleased to read from you soon regarding my request."

It was signed "Best Regards, Norm."

It seemed a little odd to us that Norm, who we have not been on the best terms with in years would ask us for a "soft loan." It struck us as being even more curious that a doctor would need to be imported from Spain to England’s second largest metropolitan area. Furthermore, the email hadn’t even been addressed to us, but rather just began with "Hello."

So we wrote ‘Norm’ and asked if this was an internet scam. We got the following response:

"Hey Richard,
I’m so happy to hear from you and thanks alot for your respond, No one is using my account for scam ok i sent you that note because i needed help from you, so please i will like you to assist me with whatever amount you can spare out ok. Get back to me as soon as possible. Love, Norm."

The English as a third language response was another red flag, but the one that confirmed it for us was ‘Norm’ signing anything to us with "Love." As such, we’re convinced that it’s a classic internet scam. So if you get the same letter, you might want to be suspicious, too. And if anyone in San Blas is reading this, please let Norm know his email account appears to have been hacked.

As for the real Norm, despite all the petty little squabbles, we hope all is well with him, Jan and whatever family he may have.

The crew of Southern Cross were greeted by this sad sight when they arrived at Agua Verde in early April — Little Fawn holed on the beach.
The luckiest of world cruisers have enough cash stashed away that they can set off into the sunset on an open-ended cruise and never have to work again.