December 1, 2010

New Latitudes Out Today

Ho ho ho! The December Latitudes are hot off the presses and headed your way for some holiday cheer.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As the weather around the Bay Area continues to be chilly, the December issue of Latitude 38 is hitting the streets to heat up your holidays. Spike your egg nog and settle in to warm up over recaps of the Baja Ha-Ha or Regatta Vava’u. Or freshen your memory if your nog was a little too spiked to recall much about the Great Pumpkin party. And don’t miss the photo spread in Sightings on the ever-popular Ha-Ha ‘From Here To Eternity’ Kissing Contest. If none of that is enough to get your blood pumping, jump over to Changes for another titillating report from Andrew Vik who sails his Islander 36 Geja in the Med every year. Oh, and did we mention our stunning cover girl, Lindsay? There’s more than enough in the December issue to keep the chills away all month long!

One Step Closer

The San Francisco Port Commission voted 3-0 yesterday on two proposals to host the 34th America’s Cup on the San Francisco waterfront. The overflow crowd of about 100 people was joined by a cadre of local mainstream media to hear the arguments for and against the two proposed locations for the Cup. After a presentation by Port staff member Jonathan Stern outlining the pros and cons of the two plans — one on the southeastern waterfront that primarily utilizes Piers 30-32 and 50 for the event, and the other on the northeastern waterfront utilizing Piers 19, 23, 27 and 30-32 — there was vigorous public comment.

Almost all of the comments were prefaced by "I(we) support bringing the America’s Cup to San Francisco, but . . . ." The "buts" were divided primarily into three categories. The first was that hosting the event should not come at the expense of funneling revenue from the Port to other parts of City government or the Event Authority. The second was that it should be done with the least possible disruption to long-term tenants and Port maintenance facilities — all of which are located on Pier 50. The third was voiced by various union representatives who objected to the Jones Act waivers that are outlined in the Host City Agreement, which would allow foreign-flagged vessels to operate commercially on the Bay in order to attract superyachts.

Although they unanimously agreed to both proposals, the three-member Port Commission of Rodney Fong, Anne Lazarus and Kimberly Brandon expressed their support for the northeastern proposal, one that could dovetail into the long-proposed cruise ship terminal at Pier 27. The ultimate takeaway from the meeting was that there’s a lot of support out there for the Cup, and we’re one step closer to a victory announcement.

Who Knows the Pacific Northwest?

In the tidepools of the Gulf and San Juan Islands, kids – like Hayden Stapleton – can find all sorts of fascinating creatures.

© 2010 Tim Stapleton

Do you know your way around the prime sailing venues of the Pacific Northwest? If you have recent experience cruising or chartering in the Gulf or San Juan Islands, Desolation Sound, Princess Louisa Inlet or Vancouver Island, we’d love to hear about your favorite places, and learn what you consider to be essential tips for Pacific Northwest sailing (and especially chartering). And, of course, we’d also love to see a few of your best photos. 

Since we don’t pretend to be experts on the greater Puget Sound area — recently dubbed the Salish Sea — ourselves, we’re reaching out for reader input, which will be distilled down into a special January feature in our World of Chartering section.

You know you are livin’ large when you’re lucky enough to get a slip in front of the landmark Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC’s picturesque harbor.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If we use your tips and tidbits, we’ll send you some official Latitude swag as a thank you. Email text and photos here.

In Memory of Alex Milski

Alex was an avid outdoorswoman.

© The Milski Family

"It was on the first night of last year’s Banderas Bay Blast that we learned of the death of our daughter Alex in Costa Rica," write Jim and Kent Milski of the Colorado-based Schionning 49 Sea Level. "An avid outdoorswoman, she had an accident while hiking down a river alone.

"As we rushed to catch the first flight to Costa Rica, fellow cruisers collected a rather large sum of money to help with our expenses. We want to thank them all, and let them know how much we appreciate this.

"While headed south through Banderas Bay earlier this year, the money donated to us was donated, in Alex’s name, to La Posada de los Ninos del Orfanato en Bucerias. Lupe Dipp, of the Catana 47 Moon & Stars, used the funds to purchase computers for the kids. We believe Alex would have approved.

The Milski Family — Evan, Jim, Samar and Kent — think Alex would have been proud that the money collected after her sudden death went to buy computers for orphans.

© 2010 The Milski Family

"We are enjoying our journey down the coast of Oz toward Sydney, and have scheduled a bottom job at Port Stephens. We are excited that our daughter Samar, now an officer aboard the ship Soderman in Guam, and our son Evan, will join us in mid-December for the passage to Tasmania, then to New Zealand.

"We wish we could see the other cats such as Cat Cat, RotKat, and Profligate in the Blast again this year, but we shall return."

Patsy Verhoeven (right front) and friends are obviously pleased to be celebrating a barefoot Thanksgiving.
There wasn’t much racing scheduled this weekend, given the holiday, so instead of wrapping-up what wasn’t, we’ll give you a heads-up on what’s coming.
Ideal tropical sailing conditions are on tap for Wednesday’s start of the Banderas Bay Blast, three days of socializing, fundraising and ‘nothing serious’ cruiser-style racing just outside of Puerto Vallarta.