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September 28, 2012

Sailgating at a Giants Game

In late August, Discover Boating released their list of favorite ‘boatgating’ — we, of course, prefer to call it ‘sailgating’ — locations in the country. "The combination of two American pastimes — boating and tailgating — is still one of the most unique ways to enjoy game day at stadiums across the country," said the press release.

Naturally, San Francisco’s AT&T Park, home of the Giants, made the cut. "Catch all the action or even a splash hit — home runs that land in the water on the fly without hitting the Arcade or Portwalk — from a boat in McCovey Cove, where the scoreboard and replay screens are visible." The Giants have clinched their division and playoffs will begin soon. Tickets have already gone on sale but there may still be time to get some. Whether you take a slip at South Beach Harbor (advanced reservations are a must) or pop into McCovey Cove, a family cruise to enjoy a ball game will not soon be forgotten.





Check out the most recent splash hit made by Brandon Belt on September 4.


Norman Heads North into the Sea

When it comes to hurricanes off the coast of Mexico, September has been a model of regularity. For if you look at the tracks of Miriam, Kristy and Tropical Storm John, they’ve had remarkably similar tracks, starting well off the coast of mainland Mexico at about the latitude of Puerto Vallarta and then paralleling the coast to pass several hundred miles west of Cabo before petering out.

Miriam, Kristy and John all have taken the same track.


But now there is Tropical Storm Norman, which isn’t a threat so much because of wind — maximum speeds of just 40 knots — but rain. Pat and Carole McIntosh of the Roseville area, who had said they weren’t buying any more sailboats but who are nonetheless closing a deal on a "not a project" Cheoy Lee 35 in Barra de Navidad, report they had a "good old-fashioned gully washer" there last night. "Tell the folks up in the Sea of Cortez, where Norman is headed, to keep the scuppers clear because there is a lot of water headed their way." Based on the Unisys hurricane weather satellite site, it appears that Norman is sweeping up the mainland, not Baja, side of the Sea of Cortez.

Tropical Storm Norman’s predicted track through Wednesday.


Based on historical data, October can still be a busy month for hurricanes off the coast of Mexico, with the number suddenly plummeting toward the end of the month, particularly for storms in northern Mexico.

Wild, Wild Lake County

Latitude readers probably best know Lake County as the place where, on a pitch black night in ’06, Sheriff Deputy Russell Perdock slammed his powerboat into a nearly stationary O’Day sailboat at high speed, killing passenger Lynn Thornton, a just-retired employee of the state of California. In a move that drastically undermined our faith in law enforcement and district attorneys, Lake County District Attorney Jon Hopkins inexplicably didn’t charge Perdock with any crime, but rather charged Bismarck Dinius, a passenger on the idle sailboat who happened to be sitting in the helm position, with manslaughter. His defense cost Dinius a small fortune, but he was acquitted by a jury in a matter of minutes — about as big a slap in the face that a jury could have given Hopkins.

Apparently U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag sees nothing wrong with running your powerboat at full tilt after dark and killing a woman.

Channel 7 I-Team
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

According to a fine story in the August 25 Sacramento Bee by Stephen Magagnini, Lake County is one hell of a crazy place. In a ‘clean out the old boy network’ move in ’10, Cuba-born Francisco ‘Frank’ Rivero was elected Sheriff, beating out the incumbent of 16 years, by campaigning on the promise to eat his hat if voters could find a more corrupt place in California.

"I’m a rough character to deal with when you’re screwing around," Rivero told the Bee. "Aggressive law enforcement’s taking place. We’re going out, kicking down doors and taking people to jail in volume, which creates controversy."

No kidding. According to the story, his critics include the current district attorney, motorcycle gangs, an army of marijuana growers, both local newspapers, and the chairman of the Board of Supervisors who — and we’re not making this up — is a bounty hunter who says he tracks down 900 bail jumpers a year (who apparently come from all over the country to lie low in Lake County), raises buffalo, and who says he called the sheriff when he found 7,500 pot plants growing on his property.

Rivero is proud to say that he’s cut $1 million in waste from the Sheriff’s Department while throwing many more criminals in jail. But his most controversial move was to ask the FBI to reopen the investigation into the boating death of Lynn Thornton. In a move that pretty much finished off what little faith we had left in the U.S. legal system, Melinda Haag, the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, declined to reopen the case. Why, Melinda, why? You see nothing wrong with not charging someone for slamming his boat into another boat and killing someone? As for former D.A. Hopkins, who charged Dinius but not Perdock, he claims there was no corruption in his handling of the case. He reminds us of a woman who once tried to convince us that buttermilk was a diet beverage.

In related news, Perdock was let go from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department in ’10. But just a couple months ago he was sworn in to the Lake County Fire Protection District Board. As for Dinius, he and his attorneys are suing the county of Lake, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, 34 county employees (in their inpidual and official capacities), Jon Hopkins, former Sheriff Rodney Mitchell, Russell Perdock, Dennis Ostini, Lloyd Wells, C. Brown, Captain James Bauman, James Samples, Wesley Frey, Dean Pick, Andy Davidson, and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Dept. Sgt. Charles Slabaugh. Attorney Laurence Masson alleges that the county’s conduct was “unconstitutional and corrupt” following the incident and throughout the court proceedings, accusing the employees of “conspiring” or “aiding and abetting one another” to conceal and fabricate evidence and defraud the court in order to prosecute Dinius for a “homicide that he did not commit.” Masson argues that this not only constitutes malicious prosecution but is also a violation of Dinius’s civil rights as granted by Title 42 section 1983 of the United States Code.

Like we say, it’s wild up in Lake County.

Looking for whales in sunny Cat Harbor on Monday afternoon. latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC Late Monday afternoon we took a hike from Two Harbors out to some benches overlooking the far end of Cat Harbor, Catalina.
Happy hour for cruisers in Baja California Sur was disrupted last night by a 6.2-magnitude earthquake, which was followed by four sizable aftershocks.
Over the past several months, we’ve been reporting on the progress at the new Sausalito Community Boating Center at Cass Gidley Marina.