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October 8, 2010

Islander Owners United

Not all of these boats were at Catalina for the inaugural All Islander Rendezvous.

© Don Grass

We love to hear about people using their boats, and one of the best ways to ensure you’ll consistently use it is to join some kind of cruising club. We’ve run several reports from those adventurous Potter Yachters, who gather monthly to take out their little boats, but today’s report is from Don Grass, who organized the inaugural All Islander Rendezvous at Two Harbors on Catalina, September 10-12.

"Though 14 Islander owners had signed up for the cruise-out," says Grass, "only seven were able to make it. Islander owners began gathering at Isthmus Cove on Thursday, and by Friday everyone had made the trek to the safety of Two Harbors. We must have made an impression because, more than once, people told us they’d never seen so many Southern California Islander boats in one place before.

What better way to end a rendezvous than with a dinner and raffle?

© Don Grass

"Some owners spent Saturday visiting other boats, shooting the breeze, and seeing what innovations others had made to their boats. At 2:00 p.m. the coals were lit, and the festivities officially began. Like most potluck BBQs, there was no shortage of good things to eat and drink, and by early evening, most owners had retired to their boats. Since Sunday was a free day, some of us took hikes, some explored by dinghy, and others just relaxed. The event was wrapped up that night with a dinner at the Harbor Reef Restaurant, with a raffle featuring prizes from Seaman Marine Software, Cruising Solutions, San Diego Marine Exchange, and West Marine Shelter Island. It wouldn’t have been the same without their great prizes. Hopefully we’ll have twice the turn-out next year!"

Fleet Week Rules

It’s time once again for Fleet Week! While that means there’ll be cool stuff like air shows by the Blue Angels and war ship parades and tours, it also means that the Coast Guard has set aside some space for all this to take place.

Take note, the purple area will be restricted tomorrow between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.!

© 2010 Fleet Week

Tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., vessel traffic will be restricted in a band from the Gate, extending out to Alcatraz and down to just south of the Bay Bridge for the Parade of Ships. This is in addition to the 500-yard security zone that will be enforced around each Navy vessel at all times. There’s also an additional restricted area between the Cityfront and Alcatraz, reserved — but hopefully not needed — as a ditch zone for the Blue Angels from about noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The safety air box for the afternoons’ airshows is defined by the following: 37-49.389N, 122-24.354W; 37-48.888N, 122-24.272W; 37-48.612N, 122-26.786W; 37-49.113N, 122-26.868W. Obey!

© 2010 Fleet Week

Be alert, remember to have your registration and a sufficient number of PFDs aboard, don’t overload your boat, save the beer and wine for when you’ve returned to the dock, and enjoy the show. There’ll likely be plenty of boardings by the Coast Guard security patrols this weekend, so make sure to leave anything you don’t want confiscated — or that might result in the confiscation of your boat — at home.

Date Set for Panama Puddle Jump Fiesta

Every winter and spring, westbound sailboats from all over the world converge on Panama, which makes it an ideal spot for us to host a Pacific Puddle Jump Kickoff Party. Thanks to our friends at the Balboa YC, we hosted our first Panama party last winter, with the expectation that doing so would become an annual tradition. The date for this year’s event has just been set: Saturday, February 12, from noon until 4 p.m. We expect to have at least one Tahitian cruising expert in attendance, representing several Tahitian co-sponsors.

We had a huge turnout for our first annual Panama Puddle Jump Kickoff Party last February at the Balboa YC.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As with our annual Puerto Vallarta Kickoff Party at the Vallarta YC (slated for February 4 this year), our goals are to get to know as many ‘Class of 2011’ fleet members as possible, and give them tips and info on cruising French Polynesia and beyond. At both events, multimedia presentations will provide an overview of French Polynesia’s archipelagos, and a preview of what fleet members can expect at this year’s Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous next June. We’ll also have some free snack and drinks, and we’ll play some party games with valuable prizes. So if you’re heading west and will be in the area, by all means mark your calendar. Look for follow-up reports on both events here, and in the pages of Latitude 38.

We will also be holding at least two Pacific Puddle Jump seminars in the coming weeks: Saturday, October 23, 5 p.m. at the San Diego West Marine (1250 Rosecrans) and at the Seattle Boat Show, the last weekend in January (date TBA). Online registration for the 2011 Puddle Jump rally will begin soon at the website.

Norm Goldie on New Navigation Rules

 "No boaters will give instructions to visiting vessels who desire to enter or find moorings in the San Blas Estuary."
"No diagrams or pirated satellite images are to be used [for navigation], as they are useless and in many ways confusing."
This is what Norm Goldie of San Blas tells us a "high ranking SCT official" told him. One, of course, must always consider the source of claims of this nature. As long time Latitude readers know, the aging ex-New Yorker never backs away from a good squabble with cruisers, and has liked to think he’s had a monopoly on guiding cruisers into and around San Blas. Many cruisers have used his services over the years, and quite a few have appreciated it. Others have found Goldie to be overbearing. Then there are those independent cruisers and groups of criusers who like to ‘discover’ places on their own. Goldie seems to take this as a personal insult. The ones who have really incurred the wrath of Goldie, however, are those who have dared to offer information or satelitte images to help other cruisers — even if they are old friends — enter the estuary.
We asked Goldie to provide us with documentation that the claims made at the top of this page are accurate and come from an official source at the SCT. For someone who says he wants to be Latitude‘s friend again, Goldie’s reply wasn’t very satisfactory: "No one here is obligated to send you anything. Not me, not the SCT, not the government."
Well, excuse us for trying to help you by verifying the credibility of your claim.
Such a response was not, however, surprising to us. For decades, Goldie has claimed or hinted that he has worked in an official capacity for different branches of the Mexican government. He says he has proof of this on the walls of his home. When we asked him to send copies — since many people don’t believe him — he replied tersely. "Visitors may ask for my credentials while visiting. I will invite them to city hall to meet my associates."
Dear ol’ Norm, as evasive as ever. If he ever uses the word ‘liaison’, you may want to ask him in what way a ‘liaison’ is different from an ‘official representative’.
We’re not sure if we’re going to be stopping at San Blas on our way to Banderas Bay with Profligate this year. But unless we hear some official word, we’ll continue to use whatever navigation information is available to us, from whatever source. And, we’ll be happy to share that information with other cruisers. If that’s a problem with Norm Goldie, he’ll have to reconcile it internally.
As we said before, Norm has helped a lot of cruisers over the last 40 years, including cases of serious medical emergencies. So feel free to use his services if you want. Lots of people really enjoy his and his wife Jan’s company. But many other cruisers have told us that Norm has made their lives miserable, and on many occasions hinted or even threatened to report them to the authorities for imagined infractions. We’ve also been told that Goldie has gone so far as to write to the families of cruisers to tell them what awful people they are. But until Norm comes up with some documentation proving that he’s an official representative of the Mexican government, we don’t take his word to count for more than that of the next guy on the street.
We can’t think of anyone in the world of cruising who comes close to having made as many enemies in the cruising community as Goldie. In the last couple of years, some cruisers became so infuriated with him that they made complaints to the Port Captain, the Department of Tourism, and the Governor’s office. The Mexican government apparently took these complaints seriously because Goldie writes:
"Four groups of Federal Inspectors have stopped by to see me since May. They were sent here because they wanted information about letters of complaints sent by cruisers. One group, in a very gentlemanly manner, asked us questions for six hours regarding who these people are, what they were doing while they were here, and why they were falsely accusing us of certain issues. The letters written by this foolish group will cause problems for them, not me. I’m not the one who started all this. It’s a shame they initiated these problems for their own selfish reasons.They caused a lot of poeple to waste valuable time and money on these issues."

For those who have a lot of time on their hands and want to learn more about Norm Goldie, he asked us, as a personal favor, to publish the following very long and rambling letter. After reading a bit, we warned him that it cast him in an unflattering light. He responded that he has "big shoulders." To be honest, we didn’t have time to read all the way through it, let alone correct all the mistakes, so let the reader beware.

♦ ♦ ♦

Who are Captain Norman and Janet Goldie in San Blas,Nayarit,Mexico?

I am writing this article in response to a conspiracy by specific visiting boaters relating deplorable lies and slander directed towards me,my wife and San Blas written by Richard Boren of S.V.Third Day and his personal boater friends. During this year these articles have appeared in the magazine Latitude 38 owned by Richard Spindler.

I have lived a great part of my life in San Blas.I have proudly and safely navigated over 226,000 nautical miles.This past boating season I guided into the San Blas estuary the 4140th visiting vessel into our port;except for the last few vessels I never had asked for payment for this 24/7 service.Recently I ask for donations for the needy children’s fund;I discontinued asking as untruthful Richard Boren claimed it a charge.This is untrue.

Since 1968 I have had a special Federal Permit to operate all VHF and Marine SSB frequencies.I was asked by the SCT to do all I could to help visiting boaters;to do this I had to give up my lucrative big game fishing business.I did so even though I knew I would not receive any personal financial rewards.I am very proud to say that I have personally saved the lives of numerous hundreds of fishermen and boaters through my service.I am the person who arranges the sea searches;I am the person who monitors the operations.I am and have been for many years the Liaison to the various Admirals and Vice Admirals.When I have asked the Mexican Navy to assist they have never failed me;they are and will always be my very dear friends.In addition to my past assistance and responcibilities that the SCT of Mexico had asked me to complete this year they have asked me to expand my services.I have been told by the SCT officials that henseforth "ONLY THE PORT CAPTAIN’S OFFICE" (no boaters)will give instructions to visiting vessels who desire to enter or find mooring the San Blas Estuary;no diagrams or pirated satelite images (Boren,Fields) are to be used as they are useless and very dangerous in many ways confusing.Because of a new governmental position my time is limited but by request of the SCT I will continue to do the nets,initiate searches,specific weather,emergencies and pass messages and information from the Unites States of America’s  State Department.

David on the vessel "Exit Stradegy"stated that he is positive that I have stolen donated funds.I want every person to know that my entire life has been devoted to helping the needy and the infirm at my cost.I have held numerous positions and never has asked for a salary;I do what I do because of my concern for my fellow men and that the Mexican Government asked for my help.David of "Exit Stradegy" is a liar and I find it quite amazing that he has made that decision having only spent a few days in San Blas and has never met me.I know Richard Boren asked him to make this statement.I would like to state at this time that I have gotten my fishermen friends from the U.S. to donate over four million dollars in hospital equipment to the state hospitals that service the needy.A number of years ago a HA Ha group donated about $2500 Dollars;that money was used to educate a blind child and to pay for his many expences. Some of the money was used to repair a hospital microscope and purchase clothing.Other than the above mentioned money donation over the last 44 years visiting boaters donated have less than $1000 dollars which was used to purchase clothing for the children.Recently the government presented me with a letter of gratitude for the 40,000 articles of clothing that I and my wife have purchased with our own PERSONAL funds.Through the years at my request some caring boaters have brought children’s clothing to us for donation.In total they have donated about 2000 articles in 44 years.We are and always have been extremely grateful for all and every donation;this poor community celebrates you.This year we will give  the 9th Needy Children’s Party;it is sponsored by a group of my big game fishing friends from Missouri and California.Jan and I are the organizers and also donate some personally purchased clothing,toys,piñatas and food.The children are fed a meal and truly love this wonderful day.The party is a grand event,150-200 children and a parent always attend..Officials from all levels of the Mexican and American governments have always attended. They also bring gifts to share with "our kids".I also sponsor 3 Huichol Indian Communities,3 churches,2 schools and 2 hospitals;I was on the building committee for the local Catholic Church for 8 years.I also sponsor the Community Center and the Center of Rehabilitation.My Janet was an instructor at the community center for 4 years;she donated her salary to a needy single parent student.Upon my personal request,life long friends searched for,found, and recently sent to San Blas an Electrocardiogram and a Fantastic Ultrasound which were donated to the San Blas Hospital.My wife and I gave many types of support to 20+ children as they grew;today these "children" are Doctors,Lawyers,Engineers, Accountants,Teachers etc;all  had been members of poor families.I also acquired 3  academic schlorships for "our kids’ to study in the United States,Japan and Russia.

Richard Boren   
In retrospect I realize that I should never have associated with Richard Boren for many reasons.However upon meeting him I had become invloved in the numerous repairs that his aged and neglected vessel needed;this went on for two seasons.He told me that he was impressed by the excellent repairs and extremely low costs that my friends,the local mechanics and technicians charged him.I did not realize at that time that he and others had planned to violate numerous Mexican laws and prevent the Mexican people from making a very badly needed living.Boren and his friends plan to set up a base in San Blas where they hope to continue their illegal operations and capitalize on the visiting boaters.Boren is personally writing and filming material on Baja California,Mazatlan,Isabel Island and San Blas…..he will do anything to prevent anyone else from interfereing with his projects.Through various means he deleted Toast (S.V. DonQuixote) from the boating scene in Mexico;an example was by telling everyone that "his friend Toast was vicious and a liar".She had started to do what Boren is now doing i.e.filming,reporting on the anchoragesand general information; he felt she would be in his way so he got rid of her.Boren did this by drafting a petition that was laden with lies and had his cohorts sign it.The result was that her sponsor dismissed her.Boren brags that he plans to combine the material in Charlie’s Charts and the Rains Guide and put "those people out of business".What Boren and Russ Fields offer is a useless pirated Google "chart";their disrespect and audacity is so great that their "chart" clearly exhibits the Google copyright emblem.When a vessel is near San Blas Boren intercepts the vessel and makes people believe he is an authority;anything of any value that he has to offer he learned from me and my wife during the five months he followed us around night and day.Boren took a San Blas visitor’s guide compiled by former cruisers that we give away and added what he felt was valid.An example of what He has to offer is HIS guide is that one of the restaurants He recommends has caused 9 people to contract food poisoning.Jodee Fields stated that I refused to accept the "new" guide of San Blas; she like Boren is lieing.They and 10 others comfronted us on the plaza;none were further that 5 feet from us;in truth I had no interest at all in their pirated map and unrelieable guide. I tried to explain to Boren that we have always been asked by the government to do all we able able to do for all the ocean going communities;He convolutes the truth and has no reservations regarding the lies he tells.Boren has interfered with what I do with a lot of misinformation.He completely took over my VHF Net and because he did so Chad Carvey of the Seven Seas Cruising Association "suggested" that he (Boren) leave the Port of San Blas.Interefering with an established government net is illegal.I feel that this is a good time to relate that Boren had for years operated his VHF radio and Marine SSB radio in the U.S. and Mexico illegally (without a permit)and was told by someone very important in the Radio Society to get off the air.Wherever Boren is he is constantly on the air;he actually made some boaters leave La Paz because he brought  them to the point where they "wanted to vomit".He has been an illegal alien in Mexico;I feel there is a very sinister element in his being.I find it very interesting as a past student of psychology to observe that he unable to look any person in the eye when he converses with them.What Boren did was when a vessel entered San Blas he rushed over in his dinghy and began his slander and lying rap;Many people complained to me about him;he did not know that some of these people had come here to personally visit us.Some of the vessels complained that he even began pestering before they  had the anchor down.

I am very well aware that at times one boater will and should help a fellow boater in need,but visitors who set up illegal businesses in the marinas and anchorages are a disgrace;they are helping to destroy the lives of our so many needy.Others that smuggle repair parts insult this country.What everyone needs to understand is that one of the main reasons the Mexican Government built the Marinas was to provide services from the townspeople to all boaters.Last year those who worked here illegally prevented me from recommending the Mexican people who provide all the services.

I will give now give you an example of what I had to deal with.A boat’s Captain had asked me to bring his vessel into the estuary at low tide with a surf running across the bar.I was using a hand held radio to accomplish this chore:during the entire process some boater was keying his microphone on and off.These interuptions had been going on for a number of weeks;what kind of a person would intentionally endanger another’s vessel just to make me look incompetant?I had reported these incidents to the Port Captain’s office and the Mexican Navy who monitor my radio transmissions and they confirmed what I have just reported to you.Please be advised that I have never personally put any vessel aground while bringing them into the San Blas estuary.This is major accomplishment as there were at times raging seas and an enormous surf in the entrance.

Richard Spindler of Profligate Fame
Richard Spindler champions the world in the field of misinformation;he never investigates any fact that he is told.He has reported my demise twice,that I am a no body,come from Brooklyn,have never had a position in the government,am almost 80 years old etc.etc.All the above is false.

He has been described as "a cross between Rosie O’Donnell and Rex Reed and leans towards sensationalism and overexagerations".By stating what he thought my age to be and where my home is he subjected me to identity theft and endangered my family;that is a serious legal violation of my personal life.

You’re wrong Mr.Spindler for many,many years I have have had ties and held positions in both the Mexican and American Governments.Unlike "other people" who are blabbermouths I am modest regarding those who I represent.My credentials past and present are at my homes in the U.S.A. and Mexico;visit me,and I will be glad to display them.At this time I want to state that I am very proud of doing what I do for all Americans,Mexicans and people from all other countries.Mr.Spindler states that I have no connection to the Mexican Govenrment;this is because he is either ignorant to the facts or he is trying to alienate me from the boaters and the many free services I offer to the them.I stated to Boren that the Mexicans dislike Americans;this is true and it is because of people like him.The Mexican people barely are able to financially support themselves;at present they have 70% unemployment and when noticeably wealthy people come here and take what little business away that they depend on it creates anger.To complicate matters in San Blas a number of foreign boaters took up residence in the estuary and marina and without government permission operated businesses.I asked these people on the radio to not work here illegally;this became the catylyst for their slander and lies against me.Besides being illegal, it is immoral and an insult to the Mexican people who for many years have been kind in many,many ways to all visitors.

Once again I wish to stress that I have never accepted a salary or received personal payment for my 44 years of multi services to all people.I abhor anyone who states otherwise as it proposes to discredit all that I have ever done for my fellowmen.

To all who have ever helped San Blas,the Mexican People,my Janet and I send our Respect,Gratitude and LOve.It will always be our pleasure to be here for all decent people who need our assistance.

With all my heart I want to thank those who have faithfully supported San Blas,my Janet and myself.We are very inbebted to Pat and John Rains,Charlie’s Charts,Attitudes and Latitudes,The Log and all the caring,wonderful friends of the boating communities.May you all stay the wondeful and so very,very beautiful people that you are.

In closing I want to state that it is my desire to reconnect and become once a friend of all at Latitude 38.

With respect and gratitude     
        Capt Norm

Hurrah! Two steps closer to the AC! © 2010 America’s Cup / Carlo Borlenghi After months of buildup, the race to clear the two most significant initial legislative hurdles for hosting the 34th America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay happened so fast that we had to pinch ourselves.
Oops! We made a mistake in the October issue’s Calendar, noting that the Oktoberfest Regatta on October 16 was sponsored by Richmond YC.
"I never singlehand by choice," says Evi Nemeth. But when there’s no able-bodied crew around to recruit, this salty Coloradan doesn’t hesitate to go it alone — even on long, lonely ocean passages.
If you’re sailing to Mexico and have a diesel engine — which most sailboats do — you’ll want to be clued in on the pricing of motor oil, because it varies wildly.