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August 13, 2012

Haven’t Been Aground, Haven’t Been Around

Oops! Yeah, so they strayed outside the channel just a wee bit. No worries. It happens. If there’s no major damage, the best thing to do is chill out and wait for the tide.

©2012 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

There’s an old saying first heard when cruising the Chesapeake Bay: "If you haven’t been aground, you haven’t been around." The many sandy shallows and substantial tidal ranges there make it a near certainty that keelboat sailors will find themselves high and dry sooner or later.

Here on the West Coast going aground is also a common occurrence, especially when sailing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta or up in the Gulf and San Juan Islands.

When we ran across this file photo recently, it reminded us that, yes, we’ve been aground a time or two ourselves. In our experience, doing so is always a tense experience initially, where you quickly realize there’s nothing you can do but chill out, make the best of it, and wait for the tide to turn. In fact, if you have the right attitude, it can even be fun.

So tell us, have you ever been aground, and if so, how did you pass the time? Did any laughable memories come out of it?

New Hurricane App

The Red Cross hurricane app allows you to see the hurricane history of your favorite cruising grounds.

©2012 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The American Red Cross has released a useful free app for your iToy and Android device that allows you to track hurricanes. Developed to help people find shelters and resources in hard-hit hurricane holes, the app can also help cruisers keep track of systems coming their way. You can enable it to alert you when hurricanes are coming near your location (using the device’s GPS signal) or you can add places you’d like to receive alerts about, such as Mazatlan or Cabo. One nifty feature is seeing the history of hurricanes of a particular place. While it may not be an app you use every day, it’s certainly worth adding to your weather suite.

Thriller & Clueless

Sometimes boat names are funny, even if they weren’t meant to be.

For example, a few days ago we were tied up at the Cal YC in Marina del Rey, and noticed a pretty good sized powerboat across the fairway. It was a distance away, so we could see that clearly, but there appeared to be a couple sitting on deck chairs on the back ‘porch’, enjoying catnaps in the warmth of the afternoon August sun. Right above their heads, in big letters, was the name of the boat — Thriller. We’re sure the boat can be exciting at time, but at the moment, it seems as though Sleepy would have been a more appropriate name.

Now this Thriller earns its name.

© 2012 Noosa Thriller

Then yesterday we were anchored atop Harbor Reef off Two Harbors, Catalina, when a rather large powerboat came abnormally close to us. The boat was putting out quite a wake, so we gave them the palms down signal, hoping they would slow down a little. They were kind enough to throttle back, but de Mallorca, having been rattling by countless boat wakes already, laughingly asked, "What are they, clueless?" Seconds later, we could see the boat’s name on the transom — Clueless.

Seen any boat names that struck you as being inherently funny? Email them to Richard.

A sunken boat? No, it’s upside-down photo of an upside-down diver. © 2012 Courtesy Kurt Roll Kurt Roll of San Diego loves a warm ocean.
Word has trickled down to us via the ‘coconut telegraph’ that an unidentified trimaran has been beached on a remote stretch of the west coast of Baja, roughly 22 miles north of Santa Rosalillita.