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November 30, 2011

High Wind Advisory

If it’s been awhile since you’ve checked on your boat’s mooring lines, your lunch break would be an excellent time to do it. The National Weather Service has issued high wind advisories along the central coast for this afternoon, with gusts predicted to hit upward of 40 knots or higher. The high pressure system that will usher in the northerly winds should weaken overnight, leaving "steep fresh swells" in its wake. Be careful out there!

Mexican Navy Aids Beached Singlehander

The 34-ft sloop Waltzing Matilda was lost on the rocks at Punta Camarones, Mantanchen Bay, San Blas, yesterday morning in relatively calm conditions, report several cruisers on the scene.

Waltzing Matilda on the beach at Punta Camarones.

Younger Girl
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"At about 6:30 a.m., while anchored at Mantanchen Bay, my partner Debbie Hayward awoke me with the news that someone was calling for help on the VHF," reports Marco Sciarretta of the San Diego-based Lagoon 380 Younger Girl. "We found that it was a Kiwi singlehander on his sloop who had gone aground at Punta Camarones. Although often the scene of great surfing, there was very little swell at the time, but the boat kept getting pushed further on the rocks. The skipper reported that he’d lost his steering and drive shaft by the time I got there. I offered assistance with my dinghy, but he insisted on staying aboard as long as possible."

"When Norm Goldie came on frequency for his regular morning net, he learned of the situation and contacted the Mexican Navy," reports Katie and Phil Habegger of the Marina del Rey-based Catalina 42 Avalon, continuing the story. "By then Waltzing Matilda was taking on water fast and Norm advised the skipper to put on a life vest and abandon ship. We were anchored in Mantanchen Bay, so we hurriedly raised anchor and motored around Punta Camarones to see if we could render assistance. We spotted Waltzing Matilda on the rocks, and were relieved to see a dinghy and a man on the beach, and no one in the water."

A Mexican Navy vessel arrived on the scene a few minutes after Avalon, and attempted to pull the boat off the reef. It’s unclear if the boat was pulled free, but it seems not.

"Norm Goldie later got back to me on the VHF and told me the shipwrecked sailor was destitute and in need of assistance," says Sciarretta. "But Norm was emphatic that he personally couldn’t get further involved without somehow jeopardizing his official relations with both the U.S. Consulate and the Mexican government. I later bumped into the shipwrecked Kiwi as I was leaving the office of the Singlar Marina in San Blas. He was with some official and asked if I had a Citibank credit card, which I didn’t. He then entered the Harbormaster’s Office, and that’s the last we know of it, having continued on down the coast."

Mark Sciarretta is something of an expert on boats aground, having put his Younger Girl on the sand during the Ha-Ha beach party in Turtle Bay.

© Fin Bevin

(We can’t help but wonder if the skipper of the lost boat is Aussie rather than Kiwi, as the notion of a Kiwi naming his boat after the unofficial Australian National Anthem is a little hard to believe.)

Win a Ride on an AC 45

The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame is auctioning off the ride of a lifetime on Friday. BASHOF scored a sail for one person aboard an AC 45 with none other than Oracle Racing CEO Russell Coutts! Tune into KNBR 680 AM starting at 6 a.m. Friday for the details — you can call in to bid or contact BASHOF president Tom Martz by email or at (415) 296-5610. We don’t expect this one will go for a song!


Latitude Drops Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first day of December, and that means that the December issue of Latitude 38 will be making its way around the Bay Area and beyond. In it you’ll find a recap on the ‘Barely Legal’ edition of the Baja Ha-Ha, an interview with Rich and Sheri Crowe, the second installment on the Season Champs, the low-down on Kame Richards’ land sailer, Max Ebb’s gift-giving guide and more than Santa could carry in his sack. Grab one for yourself, and some for friends who might not have easy access to them — they make great stocking stuffers!

We’re sad to report that a liveaboard boater in the Oakland-Alameda Estuary drowned Friday night, apparently having fallen into the 55-degree water and becoming tangled in docklines or other rigging.
Need the perfect holiday gift for your favorite sailor? Check out our chandlery for T-shirts, tank tops, long-sleeve shirts, and hats — they make great stocking stuffers!
Over the holiday weekend, two of the three boats remaining in Leg One of the Volvo Ocean Race made port in Cape Town, South Africa.