November 1, 2010

Boo! Here Comes the New Latitude

If you were spooked yesterday by the thought of the November issue of Latitude 38 being late to hit the streets, your fears were in vain. As this is being uploaded, our drivers are delivering bundles of Latitudes, hot off the press, to all the normal locations. And if you don’t live in an area with easy access to your favorite sailing magazine, you’ll be able to download the entire magazine from our website in the next day or so. In it, you’ll find a riveting story by survivors of this spring’s devastating Chilean tsunami, the first third of this year’s Season Champs, an interesting spinnaker-dousing method from Max Ebb, and boatloads more. Now go grab a Latitude and your kids’ leftover candy, and enjoy!

Ha-Ha Fleet Aids Singlehander

Tachyon ran aground just a few miles north of Bahia Santa Maria, where the bulk of the Ha-Ha fleet was anchored.

© 2010 Google Earth

At sunrise this morning, as the Ha-Ha fleet was trickling into Bahia Santa Maria, the crew of Profligate was alerted to a beached boat just north of the bay. According to the Grand Poobah, they quickly upped anchor and motored out to see if they could help. Tachyon, a Napa-based Downeast 38 owned by 62-year-old Mark Cholewinski, was high and dry (at this point, it’s unclear what caused the grounding). "The beach is much like San Francisco’s Ocean Beach," the Poobah said. "It’s really shallow water a couple hundred yards off the beach, so there was no way we could get a tow line to the boat." The Mexican Navy arrived on scene to assess the situation. Sadly, everyone quickly realized that there was no way Tachyon could be pulled to the safety of deep water.

Tachyon’s situation could have been much worse — he’s uninjured and members of the Ha-Ha fleet are helping him salvage everything they can.

© 2010 Google Earth

"As sad as the situation is," said the Poobah, "he couldn’t have picked a better place for it to happen. In no time, at least 50 Ha-Ha’ers in no fewer than 10 dinghies — not to mention a number of local fishermen — came out to help salvage what they could from the boat. Mark’s obviously disappointed, but he’s fine physically and staying calm. I’m sure we’ll have no shortage of volunteers to carry his stuff wherever it needs to go."

As for Leg Two of the Ha-Ha, the Poobah claims that Profligate saw her best night sail ever in winds ranging between 15-30 knots. "We had the full main and Santa Cruz 70 chute up and were at the maximum limit of what we could do. We were seeing 15 knots for two minutes at a time!" As they closed in on Bahia Santa Maria, though, a cross swell developed and the seas became a little sloppy, but the ‘Mothership’ still dropped anchor hours before the bulk of the fleet arrived.

As for the rest of the fleet, just a handful of boats reported normal breakages — a wrapped chute, some steering issues, etc — with the worst being a broken boom aboard Patrick Scroggin’s Kamekazi. Even with problems, every single boat made it to stop #2 safely, and as the Poobah was calling in this morning’s report, the last of the fleet was pulling in.

Leg Three begins Wednesday morning with winds forecast at 10 knots. "So far it’s been a great Ha-Ha," said Poobah. "Everyone’s doing well. This is really a terrific group of people!"

Bonvivant’s dinghy can be seen on deck, ready to launch if the mast punched a hole in the hull.
After completing one race today, the Cal Maritime Keelhaulers have locked up fifth place overall in the ’10 Student Yachting World Cup in La Rochelle.