Skip to content
February 25, 2013

Four Sailors Missing off Monterey

The Coast Guard are actively searching off Monterey for a family of four — a married couple, their four-year-old son, and his under-eight-year-old cousin — who reported their sailboat was sinking yesterday afternoon. Around 4:30 p.m., crew from the 29-ft sailboat Charm Blow (make unknown) radioed the Coast Guard that their boat was taking on water off Pillar Point and their electronics were failing. An hour later, the crew notified the Coast Guard they were abandoning ship, but that they didn’t have a liferaft or EPIRB aboard. Instead, they said they were fashioning a makeshift liferaft using a cooler and a lifering. It was unclear if there were PFDs aboard. After that transmission, the Coasties lost communications.

Using the radio transmission, the Coast Guard used a line of bearing from a radio tower to determine the vessel’s actual position was about 65 miles off Monterey. Several Coast Guard and Air National Guard assets, including C-130 aircraft, H-60 helos and several patrol boats, began searching immediately, with the boats continuing through the night. This morning the aircraft returned to the search zone, but as of 11 a.m., no signs of the crew, the boat or any wreckage has been spotted.

USCG Lt. Tim Martin reported that due to the garbled transmission, they’re not entirely certain that Charm Blow is the boat’s actual name. They’re requesting that anyone who might have an idea who the crewmembers are, where the boat was sailing from and where it was heading, contact the Sector San Francisco SAR Command Center at (415) 399-3547.

Looking for Bora Bora YC Burgee

"I sailed through Bora Bora in 1982 and stopped at the Bora Bora YC," writes Gig Harbor, WA’s Randy Mueller. "I had a very enjoyable few days there. I bought some BBYC burgees from Michelle, who owned the yacht club at the time. She didn’t have them made up at the time so she said she would mail them to my home, which she eventually did. However, the problem was that she sent them to me unassembled. I’m wondering if any of your readers might have a picture of what the burgee is supposed to look like so I can finally have them assembled. 

"I am only guessing that I have it oriented correctly. The blue tape obviously goes around the edges, with the larger white section to be sewn along the vertical edge. The larger white reinforcing piece has a blue insignia with the following: YACHT BORA, (Club Nautique), B.P. 17 BORA BORA Vin TAHITI, POLYNESIE FRANCAISE. They’ve been sitting around my house in the envelope for many years — I think it is time to get them finished!

"P.S.: When I was there in 1982, Michelle said she almost had the club sold and would be moving to Arizona, of all places. That surprised me as she was obviously a French citizen with a very ‘bubbly’ personality!"

Readers, if you have a photo of an early-’80s era Bora Bora YC burgee, you can share it with Randy by email.

Catching Up with Stuff on the Bay

The Wanderer, having been traveling, just caught up with the February 20 ‘Lectronic, and was particularly enthralled by the 17 Takes Flight item. That’s the one with the video of the launching of the new, improved Oracle AC72, with footage of her sailing on the Bay. In case you missed it — or just can’t get enough of watching it — you can see it below. We’re knocked out with how spectacular she looks sailing. What do you think?

Lake Havasu Pocket Cruisers Convention

Chiquita leads Clarsa in a friendly Venture 23 match race.

© Jeff D

My sailing buddy Jack Foster flew out from Warrenton, VA to join me for the 600-mile tow from Napa to Lake Havasu, AZ, for the 6th Annual Havasu Pocket Cruisers Convention with my Venture of Newport 23 Clarsa, the first visit for both of us. The seven-day event — held February 8-18 — was attended by about 200 boats, from as far away as Michigan (2,100 miles!) The weather was pleasant all week, though veteran attendees said it was cooler than normal for this time of the year. Winds varied from calm to perhaps 15 knots during the week.

Daily afternoon sailing events such as races and fun sails were preceded by informative seminars that were well-attended. The racing events concluded on Sunday with the  Manufacturers’ Cups, offering separate races for MacGregor, Catalina, Potter, Montgomery, and International Marine fleets. Due to nearly non-existent winds that day, these events were terminated at the windward mark, which took those who didn’t withdraw early about 90 minutes to reach. 

Not a bad way to spend your winter vacation!

© 2013 Jeff D

Jack and I left our boat in her slip that day to crew for fellow Venture 23 sailor Henry Rodriquez, who had towed Chiquita 2,000 miles from Mound, MN. We raced in the MacGregor fleet against 25- and 26-ft boats, over which we prevailed by a mere foot-and-a-half in a photo finish.

The GPS familiarization/poker run was a weeklong event that took us all over the area by land and water to match 30 landmark photographs with their appropriate GPS coordinates. The number of correct answers on your score card got you playing cards to turn into your best poker hand, which in turn were traded for prizes. A entertaining and educational game.

The annual Parade of Sail under the original London Bridge is always a head-turner.

© 2013 Jeff D

Saturday was set aside for a dockside boat show that was well attended by sailors and the public, followed by the Parade of Sail under the London Bridge. A nicely catered awards banquet on Sunday night concluded the weeks’ festivities, and it was punctuated by many sailors talking about their plans to return in 2014. For more info on the event, go to

Time flies when you’re watching some of the most talented solo racers sail around the world.
Remember back at the end of September when the French Energy Team’s AC45 cat broke loose from its mooring off the San Francisco waterfront and drifted onto the rocky western shore of Treasure Island?