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November 8, 2010

Feelin’ the Spirit

Luckily there was no tattoo parlor at Bahia Santa Maria, or Jack and Leanne might have opted for permanent tats rather than these temporary ones.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Australians Jack and Leanne Hembrow had done several cruising rallies in the South Pacific before signing up for the Baja Ha-Ha, but they tell us none of them came close to being as much fun as our San Diego-to-Cabo San Lucas rally.

"It’s been fantastic, mate," said Jack. "One of the best things we’ve ever done in our lives!" And to prove his sincerity, he volunteered to be branded with a Ha-Ha tattoo on his forehead, while Leanne enthusiastically offered to wear a Ha-Ha ‘tramp stamp’.

The couple bought their Moody 54 Red Sky in Long Beach only a few months before the Ha-Ha’s October 25 start, and are planning to sail her home to Brisbane in the coming months.

With roughly 600 sailors participating this year, there was no shortage of great photos taken. To make it easier for both friends and entrants to share them, we’ve set up a special page at SmugMug. To view the galleries — which are just now starting to be uploaded — click here. Files may be downloaded for free in a variety of resolution sizes. Happy viewing!

Presumed PPJers Assisted Off Hawaii

A shot from aboard Robert C. Seamans shows three crewmembers going to the aid of Kehaulani mid-ocean.

Robert C. Seamans
©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Honolulu Coast Guard reports that the crew of the sailboat Kehaulani were given 40 gallons of diesel and assistance in repairing damaged sails by the crew of the 134-ft steel, brigantine-rigged research and sail training vessel Robert C. Seamans. The skipper of Kehaulani had contacted the Coasties via sat phone the evening of October 29, after their sails were torn and he realized he didn’t have enough fuel aboard to make Hilo. The Coast Guard put out a call to mariners, and the skipper of the Robert C. Seamans, just 150 miles away, coordinated a successful rendezvous the following morning.

The 143-ft Robert C. Seamans sailed from San Diego on October 2 with a crew of student reasearchers, bound for the equator, then Hawaii.

© 2010

We haven’t received official confirmation but we believe Kehaulani to be the Portland, OR-based Caliber 40 owned by John and Patricia Harris, 66 and 63 respectively, who signed up for this year’s Pacific Puddle Jump. According to the profile they provided, the couple would have crossed their outbound track in French Polynesia, completing a four-year circumnavigation. They noted that they planned to sail to Hawaii in the fall, leave Kehaulani for the winter, then head to Puget Sound next summer. We hope the rest of their trip is uneventful.

Still Struggling on Robinson Crusoe

The dramatic tale of how Rhian Salmon and Andy Whittaker survived the  February 27 tsunami at Robinson Crusoe Islands aboard their 37-ft sloop Zephyrus is featured in the current edition of Latitude 38. The young British couple thanked us for our interest in their life-changing experience, and wanted us to let readers know that the local school there, which was completely destroyed, is still in urgent need of support.

Not long after an 8.8 earthquake struck central Chile, an enormous wall of water destroyed every building near the Cumberland Bay waterfront on remote Robinson Crusoe Island.

©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

At this website, says Rhian, readers can learn more about the devastating effects of the massive wave, and learn about the school rebuilding project. "I’ve been in close contact with the organizers of this project and it’s impressive what they’ve managed," says Rhian, who works as a research scientist when not cruising. "But still the school is way behind where it should be."

"Donations are warmly welcome through the Gabriela Mistral Foundation in the U.S., affiliated with the Chilean Mission to the United Nations," explains coordinator Katty Kaufmann. "Please specify that the donation is for ‘RC SCHOOL’ in the comments section at this site."

Cammas Set to Win, Van Liew Builds Lead

Franck Cammas is poised on the brink of his first Route du Rhum win in a monster of a boat that was designed solely for crewed sailing.

© 2010 Yvan Zedda

Franck Cammas has never won the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale, but it looks like this may be his year. Carrying a lead of 260 miles with only 160 more miles to go, and little in the way of truly adverse weather in his path, Cammas has effectively transformed the race into a contest for second place. Thomas Coville is leading Francis Joyon by a mere 50 miles as the two converge on Guadeloupe, both holding a tremendous amount of leverage as a result of ther wide split north to south. Roland ‘Bilou’ Jourdain’s Veolia Environment has reclaimed an ever-so-slim lead in the IMOCA 60 class. There’s been carnage at the top of the Multi50 class with early leader Franck-Yves Escoffier’s Crêpes Whaou! 3 and consistent runner-up Yves Le Blevec’s Actual both suffering race-ending breakages.The former lost a section of his main hull’s bow, while the latter has damage to the front crossbeam. Go to the link above for the all the latest updates.

Brad Van Liew is riding the St. Helena slingshot straight into Cape Town.

© 2010 Velux

With just under 1,700 miles to go, Brad Van Liew has opened up a 180-mile lead over Gutek Gutkowski’s Operon Racing in Leg One of the Velux 5 Oceans Race. When the two made their left turn toward Cape Town while off the coast of Brazil, they were equidistant to the finish. However it would appear that Van Liew’s extra miles to the south allowed him to leg out. Canadian Derek Hatfield is 850 miles behind Van Liew with a lead of over 200 miles over the fourth-place Chris Stanmore Major’s Spartan.

Jeanne enjoys tea at anchor in Hanalei Bay this summer. No doubt she’s been consuming mass quantities of the stuff on the trip down the coast just to stay warm.
We fielded an interesting call from 47-year-old filmmaker Cory Wolfe yesterday asking if we knew any liveaboards who would be willing to be interviewed for a documentary project.
Franck Cammas’ Groupama 3 (in red) has the rhumbline well-protected against his closest competition, Thomas Coville’s Sodeb’O, to the north.