July 13, 2012

Crew of the Week

It’s not unusual to see lovely ladies aboard sailboats. But nine of them?

© Sylvia Stewart

We always think it looks a little goofy for civilians to wear naval hats — a la Gilligan — but we have to admit that atop this cadre of sailors the mock naval headgear looks splendid. But then, girls this pretty would probably look sexy no matter how you dressed them up.

They were spotted in Sausalito recently while about to shove off for a daysail. Turns out some or all of them are Oakland Raiderettes, and talk around the docks was that they were heading out to the Central Bay to do a photo shoot in their bikinis. Sadly, we don’t have those images to share with you, but you may soon be able to access them, as we’re told the Raiders produce an annual calendar featuring their gorgeous cheerleaders wearing extremely skimpy ‘uniforms’. No doubt Gilligan would approve.

The sight of this crew probably would have frozen Gilligan’s face in a wide-eyed stare.

© 2012 Gilligan’s Island archives

When It Rains, It Pours

Brian VanderZanden on TurboCamper will have finished the 2,120-mile solo race by the time you read this.

latitude/LaDonna
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As this post is being uploaded to our servers, Brian VanderZanden on the Hobie 33 TurboCamper has crossed the finish line of the Singlehanded TransPac and is probably enjoying his end-of-race drink of choice — a piña colada — the second boat to do so. Presumably due to the grey skies that have plagued the solar-powered entries in the fleet, VanderZanden has been relatively quiet in regards to updates, but yesterday reported, "As this is most likely going to be my last night at sea, I’m working hard on resting now while there’s the opportunity. It’s pretty difficult actually, as the anticipation of land is so great."

Jim Quanci on Green Buffalo will also finish today…with plenty of TP to spare.

latitude/LaDonna
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Just 60 miles behind Brian and threatening a sunset finish is multiple Pacific Cup vet Jim Quanci on his Cal 40 Green Buffalo. In stark contrast to Brian’s infrequent reports, Jim has been communicating daily (or more) throughout the race. Some of his posts describe current conditions, some are more educational, such as last night’s report.

"It’s hard at times to judge how much provisions one needs on a race to Hawaii. My wife and I have had numerous debates on how much toilet paper, paper towels, wet wipes, and more to bring per person and for the boat. Well, now being singlehanded I know. A few usage stats:

  • One roll of toilet paper. I have a bit left on the first roll. It’ll make it to tomorrow. I suspect my low intake had resulted in low outflows – so low toilet paper usage.
  • One roll of paper towels. I have been real careful preventing it from falling on the floor and becoming a soggy lump.
  • 60 pints of water. All used for drinking. So, of the 20 gallons the race requires you bring, I’ll have used less then 8 (of course if I dropped my mast and took 3 weeks, I would need every drop of the 20 gallons)."

The fleet has begun to feel the effects of former hurricanes Daniel and Emilia. Though the projected path of the storms didn’t come near the course, sloppy seas and increased wind speeds will create challenges for skippers as they make their final approach to the islands. A third system — Tropical Storm Fabio — spinning up off Mexico is predicted to roll up closer to Baja, so even the back of the pack should be spared too many ill effects. 

Cliff Shaw’s Crowther 10m catamaran Rainbow is one of 16 boats finishing the race over the next three days.

latitude/LaDonna
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

But they won’t have to suffer for too long. If projections hold true, 17 of the 23 entries will have finished by Sunday. Keep track of their progress on the race’s tracking page.

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Rocinante Lost on Baja Coast

There was misfortune on the coast of Baja last month, as 81-year-old Bill Fox of San Francisco lost his Beneteau 42 Rocinante on the beach at Punta Redonda, which is about 9 miles down the Pacific Coast of Isla Margarita. The island is about 175 miles north of Cabo and forms the western shore of Mag Bay.

… cruising dreams were shattered when his Beneteau First 42 drifted ashore on the Isla Margarita.

© 2012 Sheldon Caughey

The circumstances surrounding the boat going on the beach aren’t exactly clear, but former Bay Area sailor Sheldon Caughey, who currently lives in Cabo and who went to the wreck site, told Latitude that a line got caught in Rocinante‘s prop, after which she was blown/drifted 15 miles to leeward and onto the beach. It would seem that the singlehander could have set a sail and kept the boat off the beach, but perhaps there were other issues.

Although the boat was not holed, and there was virtually no damage above decks, she lay too far from deep water to be refloated.

© 2012 Sheldon Caughey

The uninsured boat came over a sandpit to get ashore, and according to Bob Hoyt of Mag Bay Outfitters and Caughey, the boat wasn’t badly damaged. Her new Volvo diesel and rig didn’t suffer any damage at all. Alas, despite digging a trench and bringing float bags to the site, the boat couldn’t be pulled off. Apparently she needed to be pulled across 600 feet of thin water over sand to reach water deep enough in which to float, and it just couldn’t be done.

We’re told that Fox had purchased the boat in Puerto Vallarta about six months ago and was bringing her north to California.

An army of top photographers participated in the Body Issue project. We have to assume Steven Lippman’s task – capturing Tunnicliffe’s winning form in rough waters – was one of the most challenging assignments.
The Vic-Maui race had a scenic start. © Andrew Madding / Bow Shot Productions As the Vic-Maui Race fleet are passing San Francisco Bay’s latitude (at 128 to 132 degrees longitude), they’re beginning to swoop south-southwest.
Within the southbound cruising community there’s been a lot of chatter lately about a new Mexican regulation which supposedly requires that "sea visas" be obtained in advance by all vessels heading south.