The forecast for the long Memorial Day weekend is for sunny skies with mild temps and winds. So before you take the boat out for the weekend, stop by your favorite Latitude 38 distributor and pick up the brand-spanking-new June issue. It’s chock full of good stuff, from a recap of the Great Vallejo Race to stories on cruising the Mexican Galapagos and transiting Pirate Alley to a preview of the Singlehanded TransPac.
If you do go sailing this weekend, make a point to be out there tomorrow for the Master Mariners Regatta, one of the most drool-inducing races on the Bay. The first start’s at noon — see www.mastermariners.org for more details.
San Francisco Bay is fortunate to be hosting some pretty amazing sailors on a pretty amazing expedition. Last May 31, the 64-ft steel cutter Ocean Watch, skippered by two-time solo circumnavigator Mark Schrader, left Seattle on a planned 13-month, 28,000-mile journey to circumnavigate both North and South America dubbed ‘Around the Americas’. They are now on the last leg of their trip, with stops in Portland and Port Townsend before arriving in Seattle on June 17.
Accompanied by scientists and researchers, Around the Americas’ objective has been to educate local residents at each stop about the fragile ecology of our oceans and to inspire them to become involved in making positive changes. They’ve also kept the internet buzzing with gripping accounts of the voyage written by our old friend Herb McCormick. (If you haven’t read Herb’s fascinating accounts on www.aroundtheamericas.org, you should do so but only when you have a few hours to spare — once you start reading, you won’t want to stop.)
To further their goal of education, the Around the Americas crew has a full slate of events planned for the Bay Area before their scheduled departure next Saturday morning. We highly recommend doing everything in your power to make one (or all) of their presentations as they’ve received nothing but rave reviews.
- Saturday, May 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. — Stop by Ocean Watch at Pier 39’s J Dock to meet the crew, tour the boat and check out their research equipment. Free!
- Tuesday, June 1, 12:30-1:30 p.m. — Capt. Mark Schrader will give a presentation at the California Academy of Sciences. Free with museum admission. See www.calacademy.org/events for details
- Thursday, June 3, 7-8:30 p.m. — Dinner presentation by the crew at Corinthian YC speaker series. $10 per person, plus $15 for dinner. Reservations recommended! Boat tours start at 4:30, dinner at 6 and the talk at 7.
Santa Cruz sailor Malcolm Brown and the rest of the crew of Scott Hipsley’s Santa Cruz YC-based Melges 24 Wild Thing had a close call that thankfully ended well. During the second run of a double windward-leeward SCORE race off Santa Cruz on Sunday in a heavy sea state and breeze building into the 30s, Brown was on the leeward side of the boat when it wiped out. Another crewmember fell across the cockpit in the broach, knocking Brown into the 52° water for what would prove to be 20-25 minutes about a mile offshore halfway between the Wharf mark and Mile Buoy.
"The boat started dragging sideways," said Brown, who added that he didn’t stop coughing up seawater until 36 hours after the incident. "I was tangled in the main and spinnaker sheets and the boat drifted over me — I was being dragged underwater."
Thanks to some quick thinking, instinctual response, or both, Brown put his hands above his head, and the sheets obliged, slipping off of him, and thus freeing him from the boat.
"The good thing was I wasn’t being dragged anymore," he said. "The bad thing was I wasn’t attached to the boat anymore. One of the guys scrambled for a heaving line that’s kept on the transom, but by the time he got to it, they were too far away."
Brown said he figured it would be awhile before Wild Thing could get back upwind to his position — the remaining five crew designated a spotter, called 911 from a cell phone, and ended up having to cut the kite away. So Brown tightened the cuffs of his foulies to maintain as much warmth as possible.
"At that point, the B fleet was rounding the weather mark, but they were all jibing to head inside," he said. "I was thinking, don’t jibe, don’t jibe, don’t jibe. My drift would have taken me fairly close to the R/C boat, but it was a ways away. I knew they couldn’t see me after awhile, because I couldn’t see any of them; all I could see were the sails. It was definitely a struggle to stay calm."
He said part of what helped him was the fact that the crew was accustomed to the windy conditions off Santa Cruz and had all sailed Hawaii and coastal races together. Yet when Wild Thing made its way back upwind, it passed Brown 100 yards away and none of the crewmembers were able to spot him. Another boat passed some 50 yards away and also didn’t see him. Finally, Hipsley and the remaining crew were able to locate Brown.
After getting him ashore and warmed up, the crew started the process of debriefing on what went on and what they could have done better. Brown said he used a brand new Gill Sport Vest which worked well, but he’d forgotten to transfer his whistle from his old PFD.
"We started thinking about what else would have been nice to carry to increase my visibility in the water," he said. "I picked up a couple waterproof handheld flares that fit in my pocket. We talked about having a handheld radio. The problem with that is that it relies on someone hearing it: the VHF antenna on Wild Thing had snapped off in the wipeout, so the race committee would have been my only hope in the short term."
Brown said that afterward, everyone on the boat went home and inflated their inflatable PFDs; one sailor’s stayed inflated for all of three minutes.
"It was one of those times when it turned out well, so everyone was joking around, the way you do after something serious like that happens," he said. "They were happy to have me back aboard the boat and I was really happy to be there! I didn’t really feel the cold until after I was out of the water, and I’m glad I didn’t have to find out what it would be like to be out there any longer. Basically, everybody kept their heads on, and did a lot of the right things."
Seventy-five sailors converged on the Ullman Sails loft in Newport Beach Wednesday night, coming from as far away as Santa Barbara and San Diego. Although their backgrounds and the types of boats they sail on vary greatly, they all had one thing in common: a burning desire to do the Baja Ha-Ha cruisers’ rally this fall.
The occasion was the first-ever Ha-Ha seminar held at Ullman’s, which introduced attendees to each leg of the event via a digital slideshow, followed by an extensive Q & A session. In addition to ‘nuts and bolts’ issues such as check-in protocol and the availability of supplies along the way, topics of discussion included boat prep, provisioning, sail inventories, crewing considerations and more.
If you regret missing out on our little shindig and are eager to know more about the event, we suggest you check out the FAQ page on the Ha-Ha website, as well as the First Timer’s Guide to Mexico. Between the two, you’ll find answers to nearly all commonly asked questions about the rally — which has grown to be the second largest cruising rally in the world.
If you’re looking for a crew spot on this year’s Ha-Ha, or are a captain in need of more able-bodied watchstanders, be sure to peruse the Latitude Crew List, which is online and interactive 24/7, and updated constantly. Also, check out our feature article on crewing considerations in the June edition of the magazine, which will be on the street — and on the docks — today.
Below is the Ha-Ha entry roster to date. See anyone you know?
- Thee Amazing Grace / Vector 39 / David Bloom & Karin McGinley / Long Beach
- Piko / Wauquiez Pretorien 35 / Lauren Buchholz / Seattle, WA
- Day Dream / J/122 / Robert Day / San Francisco
- Cat’s Meow / Catalina 36 / Nancy DeMauro / Richmond
- Noho ‘ana / Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 / Heather McKnight & Peter Lewis / Marina del Rey
- Last Resort / Catalina 470 / Dick & Sharon Drechsler / Marina del Rey
- Di’s Dream / Catalina 470 / Roger & Diana Frizzelle / San Francisco
- WindChime / Hunter 430 / Neal Albrektsen / San Diego
- Dolfin / Crealock 37 / Bill Meanley / San Diego
- El Tiburon / Tayana 47 / Sarah Powell & Darrell Erickson / San Francisco
- Braveheart / MacGregor 65 / Bob Callaway / Pleasant Harbor, WA
- Andiamo III / Hans Christian 43 T / Eugene & Tami Reynolds / Olympia, WA
- Arione / Mason 44 / Art Stiers & Jaye Eldridge / Anacortes, WA
- Norwegian Steam / Jason 35 / Alan Westhagen / Seattle, WA
- Robon III / Columbia 50 / Dale Walter / San Francisco
- Cygnus / Sabre 402 / Gerald Kitchen / Sausalito
- Independence / J/32 / Joel & Danielle Wells / San Francisco
- Loose Pointer / Kelly-Peterson 44 / Daniel Best & Kathryn Sieck / San Francisco
- Finarrow / Swan 38 / JIm & Cathy Revard / Sitka, AK
- Sweet Cherri / Columbia 36 / Joshua & Julia Siudyla / Alameda
- Althea / O’Day 28 / Shawn Passeri & Cindy Spangler / Antioch
- Blade / Valiant Esprit Nordic 37 / Ed & Karen Lare / San Diego
- MissTeak / Morgan 45 / Chip & Katie Prather / Dana Point
- Venti / Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 / Lori & Ken Styles / Berkeley
- Pua’ena / Outbound 44 / Mark & Dorothy Hazlett / Waikiki YC, HI
- Hotel California / Hunter 376 / Rick Rheingans & Pam Coite / Alameda
- Serendipity / Kelly-Peterson 44 / Barritt Neal / San Diego
- Liberty / C&C 37 / Russell Cooper / San Francisco
- Dancer / Hylas 44 / Charles & Patricia Skerry / Marina del Rey
- Charisma / Tayana 37 / Bob Johnson / Berkeley
- Another Girl / Santa Cruz 50 / Jim Bewley / Richmond
- Tribute / Beneteau 473 / Bruce Crockard & Ed York / Long Beach
- Mind Magic / Newport 41 MkII / Dennis & Pamela Young / Long Beach
- Camelot / Catalina 470 / Thomas & Lori Jeremiason / Alameda
- Salt Shaker / Cape Dory Cutter 36 / Richard & Mardi Brayton / Sausalito
- Fullshell / Catalina/Morgan 440 / Eric & Marilyn Anderson / San Francisco
- Balquhidder / Hunter Passage 450 / Don & Stella Patterson / Tacoma, WA
- Hotel California / Catalina 375 / Michael & Linda Stafford / San Francisco
- Voyager / Cooper 42 / Ronald Nieman / Homer, AK
- Toucan / Tanton 43 / Kevin Belcastro / San Francisco
- Sans Souci / Gulf 32 / Gary Kunz & Julie Demaree / Portland, OR
- Feliz / O’Day 37 / Victor Gumper & Hanna Malm / Berkeley
- Valparaiso / Irwin 52 CC ketch / Joe & Susan Arnold / Portland, OR
- Rambler / Ericson 32 / Tom Bradley & Linda Hackett / Corona del Mar
- Procyon / Gozzard 44 MkII / Randy & Sheri Schneider / Sunriver, OR
- Sundancer / Bluewater Vagabond 47 / Heather Reimer / Vancouver, BC
- Rose of Erin / Hughes 40 / Damon & Erin Cruz / Juneau, AK
- Bravo / Wauquiez 35 / Aaron Wangenheim / San Francisco
- Taya / Island Packet 45 / Clifford & Lynne Quesnel / Montreal, QC
- At Last / Skye 51 / Scott Neal / San Diego
- Misty Blue / Cascade 44 / Kenneth & Mary Ruth Frazee / Friday Harbor, WA
- Jasdip / Passport 40 / /Crit Dowler / Alameda
- Shemya / Hunter 41 / Thomas McCarten / St. Augustine, FL
- Slow Dance / Hunter Legend 37 / William Sumner / Channel Islands
- Rainbow / Crowther 10m 36-ft cat / Clifford Shaw / Emery Cove
- Intrepid / Swan 44 MkII / Carl Bertelsen / Marina del Rey
- Valparaiso / Irwin 52 CC ketch / Joe & Susan Arnold / Portland, OR
- Flibbertigibbet / O’Day 34 / Jim & Betty Adams / Discovery Bay
- Caprice / Seawind / 1160 38-ft cat / Dan & Carol SeifersPoint Richmond
- R3 / Beneteau First 42 / Randy & Ramona Garrett / Coos Bay, OR
- Apeiron / Com-Pac 27/2 / David Vecera & Linda Cramer / San Diego
- Diamond Girl / Beneteau 393 / Larry & Nelda Read / Bellingham, WA
- Varuna / Pearson 367 / Mitchell & Elizabeth West / Portland, OR
- Sarah Jean II / Saga 43 / Norm & Beth Cooper / Vancouver, BC
- Rocinante / Beneteau First 42 / Bob Lesnett / Pt. Richmond
- Santosha / Catana 471 / Patrick & Tammy Finnerty / Ventura
- Tropicana / Gulfstar 60 / David Perry / Alameda
- Duct Tape / Cal 29 / Sig & Phyllis Horneman / Berkeley
- Sundance / Beneteau M38 / Richard Donker & David Remp / San Francisco
- Red Sky / Moody 54 / Jack & Leanne Hembrow / Brisbane, AUS
- Content / Perry/Litton 47 / William Holmes & Paula Collins / Homer, AK
- Windfall / Maple Leaf 42 / Sam & Nancy Cockrell / Portland, OR
- Sudden Stops Necessary / Beneteau First 38s5 / Chet Chauhan / San Francisco
- Sulaco / Swan 371 / Glenn Brake / Marina del Rey
- Symphony / Fuji 32 / Joel Tuttle / San Francisco
- Mazu / Outbound 46 / Mel & Elaine Bryson / Rainier, OR
- Double Dharma / Hunter 466 / Dale & Dena Snearly / San Leandro
- Coppertop / Bayfield 32 / Paul Moran / Brookings, OR
- Wind Rose / Cabo Rico 40 / Walter & Patricia Simmons / Los Angeles
- Sonrisa / Baba 40 / Scott Bowen / Green Cover Springs, FL
- Rosebud / Cal 36 / Greg Rodgers / San Pedro
- Dodger Too / Tartan 37 / Leif & Jackie Watson / Edmonton, AB
- C’est La Vie / Amel Mango 52 / Bob Bohn / Anacortes, WA
- Otter / Westsail 32 / Greg & Joyce Parfitt / Scappose, OR
- La Condessa del Mar / Herrshoff 65 schooner/ /Bill & Karen Gates / Sausalito
- Island Time / Seawind 1000 / Larry & Nancy Robertson / Dana Point
- Barramundi / Seawind 1000 / Steve & Pam Ellsworth / Newport Beach
- Santorini / Mariner 48 / Dawn Fleming & Thomas Clifford / Wilmington
- Seasilk / Hylas 46 / Craig Blasingame & Sue Steven / Coronado
- Bonnie Lass / Catalina/Morgan 440 / Bill Alexander / Tiburon
- Setting Sun / Pearson 323 / George Johnstone / San Rafael
- Gratitude / Island Packet 485 / Mike Irwin / Alamitos Bay
- Abagwit / Niagara 35 / Werner Landry & Allison Sherwood / San Diego