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July 18, 2012

Fill ‘Er Up Please

With the money you’ll save on diesel, you can buy matching shades for your entire crew.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Do you think that diesel fuel for cruising boats has to be expensive?

"Not so," says two-year-old Maya, the blue-shirted ringleader of the young Bagheera gang aboard the Montreal-based 72-ft schooner Bagheera. "Not if you know where to buy it. We paid 4 cents a gallon for ours. And we bought thousands of gallons. In fact, it was a good thing we had all the blue plastic 55-gallon drums to augment our normal tankage. But we got those free, too."

“The diesel may be cheap,” says Maya, “but they really hit me up for my formula and Huggies.”

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

So the Latitude Quiz of the Day, dear readers, is where did they buy good diesel for just 4 cents/gallon. And as a special bonus, where can you get 55-gallon plastic drums for free? Email us your answers.

SHTP Finishes Up


With the arrival of Randy Leasure’s Westsail 32 Tortuga, the 18th Singlehanded TransPac has come to a close. The deadline for the race is this Saturday, but all boats — with the exception of Derk Wolmuth’s Vindo 40 Bela Bartok (more on that in a moment) — were in and swaying in the warm Hawaiian breeze by yesterday afternoon, giving racers plenty of time to rest up for Saturday’s awards party at Tahiti Nui’s new Luau Lounge.

Ken Roper’s Finn Flyer 31 Harrier suffered from a severe case of spinnaker wrap at the finish.

© Robbie Gabriel

Ken ‘The General’ Roper was determined to finish his 12th, and supposedly final, SHTP — but he’s said that before — in style by crossing the line with Harrier‘s star-adorned spinny flying. Unfortunately a spinnaker wrap soon became a spinnaker knot, so while his finish was definitely memorable, it probably wasn’t what he’d hoped for. Regardless, the 84-year-old retired brigadier general was greeted like the hero he is.

Tough indeed. The General was greeted by his daughter Lee and a coconut cup full of mai tai.

© Robbie Gabriel

In the meantime, the racers have worked out a plan to recover Bela Bartok before she comes ashore at Maui. Through their incredible generosity — in time and money — they’ve secured a boat to go out to her location today and drop two racers aboard to bring her safely into port. Wolmuth, who reports that he’s recovering nicely from a case of septic shock due to a staph infection, is due into Oakland on a cargo ship today.

We’ll have a full report on the race, as well as Wolmuth and Bela‘s rescue, in the August issue of Latitude 38.

If you’re looking for an excuse to ditch work this week, we suggest you sneak out the back door, head down to your boat and go witness the departure of the 2012 Pacific Cup fleet.
After Bela Bartok‘s unfortunate abandonment early yesterday morning, 22 boats remain in the Singlehanded TransPac fleet, the last five of which will be finishing the race in the next two days.
After crossing 3,000 miles of open ocean en route to French Polynesia, it’s only natural that sailors would want to get together and socialize.