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December 31, 2010

SPECIAL EDITION: Mia Wrecked on Baja

Mia II was a beautifully maintained all-teak work of art.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We can think of few worse ways to end 2010 than to lose your boat. Sadly, it appears that B.C.-based Paul Smulders and Julie Newton, who were interviewed for October’s Passing Thru article, lost their beloved — and beautiful — 43-ft Laurent Giles-designed woody Mia II on a remote Baja beach the night before last. Julie’s brother John emailed last night with the few details he had:

"Mia suffered mechanical troubles as the weather came up near San Jose and was driven first onto a beach, then onto rocks. Julie and Paul, with the aid of local fishermen, have been salvaging as much gear as possible from the boat but require assistance."

Mia was wrecked on the beach at 29 17.5N, 114 54.0 W, about 100 miles north of Turtle Bay. Julie and Paul are ok, but they need help moving their salvaged gear.

© Google Earth

Paul and Julie, who call Mia home, have sailed together for many thousands of bluewater miles — from B.C. to Cape Horn and back — and are undoubtedly in shock. They’re currently at a loss for how to move their salvaged gear back north. If you are in the area, or know anyone who is, and can help ferry gear to San Diego, please email John.

Paul and Julie ended their first extended cruise early after Julie’s breast cancer diagnosis. Two years later, they spent a couple of months hanging out in Richardson Bay before heading south on their second attempt at an open-ended cruise. We’re thankful they’re safe, but saddened by their loss.

©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC


UPDATE (12/31/10 17:53): Americas Cup 34 is coming to San Francisco Bay . . . Happy New Year!

Although nothing has been confirmed at this point, San Francisco may be close to being named the host of the 34th America’s Cup. Citing Mayors office spokesman Tony Winnicker, the Examiner’s Katie Worth — who has been following the venue selection process since the beginning — wrote this morning that San Francisco is expected to be selected. At this point, no details have been nailed down, nor have Ellison, Coutts or any other Oracle Racing officials publically commented on the venue decision. We’re curious as to what has taken so long. The fact that the team has not scheduled a press conference leads us to believe that a venue announcement is a fifty-fifty proposition by the end of the day, the protocol deadline not withstanding. We’re waiting with bated breath and as soon as we know one way or another, we’ll try to let you know.

Friday is New Year’s Eve so to ensure everyone can get their hands on the first Latitude of the year before they’re too drunk or hungover to stumble into their local chandlery, marina or boatyard, the January issue will be delivered to all the normal places tomorrow.
We’ve been on assignment in Mexico — lucky us — for all but three days since the start of the Ha-Ha in late October.