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November 12, 2010

Building Community Through Baseball

In Turtle Bay, the locals take baseball almost as seriously as fishing — the most common profession.

©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

For decades, southbound sailors have been visiting the sleepy fishing village at Turtle Bay due to its well-protected anchorage and notoriously friendly people. For the past 17 years, members of the Baja Ha-Ha rally have always received warm hospitality, but this year the cross-cultural exchange reached new heights through the medium of baseball!

Believe it or not, we saw plenty of potential in some of these four-, five- and six-year-olds.

©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Through the efforts of longtime delivery skipper Mike Priest, Benito Emeterio of the local fisheries co-op, and others, a two-hour baseball exhibition was staged at the dusty town’s new ball field. First, local guys who compete regularly in the region’s hardball league put on a demo of how the game is supposed to be played. Next, a fully-uniformed squad of four- to six-year-olds demonstrated their potential. Then Ha-Ha men, women and children took the field to show off their prowess — or lack thereof. What they lacked in talent, they made up for with comical antics (mostly unplanned), which left the locals rolling in the aisles.

“Base hit!” Not all cruisers showed star quality, but with the event’s Grand Poobah lobbing underhand slow-balls to them, many sailors got on base.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It was all great fun, and the Rally Committee immediately realized that, despite all the time past fleets have spent in this remote village, there had never before been an activity that fostered such a warm sense of camaraderie between sailors and locals. We’re happy to say that a similar baseball expo will be a feature of every future Ha-Ha.

By far, the best effort from the Rally Committee came from ‘Chief of Security’ Doña de Mallorca, who whacked a homer. (Actually, a homer on four errors, as Mark Leonard’s video below shows, but a homer nonetheless.)

©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As reported earlier, the expo concluded just in time for diehard Giants fans to rush to one of two local bars where they were able to cheer on their heroes. Turtle Bay may not have one square inch of pavement, but it does have satellite TV. Look for our complete recap of this year’s rally in the December edition of Latitude 38.

Lake County Sheriff Unseated

We normally don’t follow election results in ‘Lectronic Latitude, but we felt our readers would be interested to learn that Lake County’s Sheriff Rod Mitchell was ousted last Wednesday by a reasonably close margin. Deputy Francisco Rivero received 53.9% of the vote, with 16-year incumbent Mitchell garnering 46.1%.

Many felt that Mitchell went above and beyond in protecting his #2 man, Deputy Russell Perdock, when the latter ran his speedboat over a drifting sailboat on the night of April 29, 2006, killing 51-year-old Lynn Thornton of Willows. Despite the fact that Perdock was traveling at speeds over 45 mph on a pitch black night, investigators seemingly never even considered him to be at fault, instead focusing their attention on the couple of beers the sailboat’s helmsman, Bismarck Dinius, had consumed that night. The case against Dinius, prosecuted by outgoing District Attorney Jon E. Hopkins — he was voted out of office during the primaries in June — culminated on August 20, 2009 with ‘not guilty’ verdicts on charges including felony BUI resulting in death. It seems that, with Perdock’s firing from the department this April, justice has won a trifecta.

The Trifecta of Justice: Russell Perdock, Jon E. Hopkins, and Rod Mitchell lost their jobs after aggressively prosecuting — some say persecuting — Bismarck Dinius.

© The Journal of Justice

Meanwhile, Bismarck Dinius is still struggling to pay his monumental legal bills after having been out of work for years due to the case, but the future is beginning to brighten. "I just got my insurance broker’s license and am starting a new insurance business," he told us last week. Hopefully sailors will be eager to use his services once he’s up and running.

Get Rid of Your Gear

In the ‘good old days’, if you wanted to place a Classy Classified, you sent in your ad and payment by the 18th of the month and it would magically appear in the next month’s issue. Thanks to Al Gore, the internet has changed the way folks look for stuff to buy and sell. We may be ‘old skool’, but we do our best to change with the times, so we added Classies to our website, and even implemented — hold on to your seat — online ordering.

Now, within a day or two of placing your Classy online, your ad — including a color photo, if you choose that option — will be added to our site. So if you place your ad today before, say, 3 p.m., it will likely be live on our site today. It will then appear in the December issue of the magazine and stay online all the way through the month. That’s great exposure to our boat-friendly audience!

It doesn’t costs wads of dough to place a Classy Classified, and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with qualified buyers.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

And don’t forget our free ad option. If you have a boat or gear that totals under $1,000, you can place a 40-word online-only ad at no charge. Keep in mind that this offer only applies to boats and gear for sale — regular rates apply to all other categories, as well as photos. With the costly holidays coming up, now is a great time to offload some unneeded gear and pocket a few extra bucks!

Calling All Yacht Clubs

We’ve received more than a few responses to our item in October 22’s ‘Lectronic Latitude where we highlighted the fact that a couple Northern California YCs were waiving, or significantly reducing, initiation fees for new members in an effort to bring more sailors into the fold. We’ll be printing our findings the December edition of Latitude 38, and we’d hate to leave your club out of our report if it’s doing something special to encourage new membership — drop us a line.

While this may not end up being the main staging area, the prospects of the Cup coming to San Francisco have never looked better.
If it wasn’t so darn funny, we might feel sorry for the 4,466 people stranded aboard the engineless 952-ft cruise ship Carnival Splendor.