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May 8, 2013

Volunteers Continue to Free Boats from Nelson’s

As seen in this file photo, Nelson’s used to be a thriving maritime center. Sadly, it is currently the scene of a scramble to free boats from the tentacles of bureaucracy.

©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As reported earlier, a trio of unpaid volunteers has been splashing boats at Nelson’s Marine in Alameda as fast as they can because the long-established business is being evicted by the city. According to one of the Good Samaritans, former Nelson’s customer Scott Rhoades, once the gates are locked this Friday, boat owners will have to deal with city to retrieve their property.

Despite the fact that Rhoades and two former Nelson’s employees have been launching up to eight boats a day, he estimates that "There are still at least 200 boats here." They range in size, he says, from big keelboats in the 50-ft range to a Cal 20.

From our conversation with Rhoades this morning, it sounds like the most frustrating part of the ordeal is not being able to reach all the owners, some of whom live out of the area, and thus are unaware of the eviction. "I would be pretty happy if we reached 50% of them," he said. 

Another challenge has been dealing with scavengers who’ve been hovering like vultures in hopes of taking scrap metal or boat parts from the all-but-abandoned site.

We have not seen a transcript of last night’s Alameda City Council Meeting, but we’re told that Council members took a conciliatory tone with concerned mariners, and indicated that there will be a process by which owners can retrieve their property, even after the eviction is physically formalized this Friday. 

Political red tape being what it is, however, if you have a boat in Nelson’s or know someone who does, we would strongly urge you to get it out of there ASAP. The man to contact for permission to launch is attorney Kevin Montee, (925) 943-6570, whose firm Horner and Singer LLP has been contracted by the City as outside counsel for the Nelson’s case.

AYSF Capsizes AC45


While Great Vallejo Race participants were waiting out a light wind postponement for the return trip on Sunday, the young guns of the American Youth Sailing Force were pushing themselves to the limit on the Bay, resulting in the first AC45 capsize for the team. It was the first Red Bull Youth AC team to achieve such a dubious honor.

“When things go wrong, the AC45 is a wild beast, just in a different way," said Team Captain Ian Andrewes. "We were sailing in big breeze on San Francisco Bay when we were hit by a huge puff and rolled the boat over.”

The team had prepared for this possibility, and the fact that the capsize was relatively gentle, resulted in no injuries and no significant damage to the boat. "It’s good we’re pushing our sailing and learning as a team," said helmsman Michael Menninger.

The Force’s boat should be back in the water and ready for Friday’s scheduled joint training session with USA45 Sailing.

Mexico’s Amigo Net Migrates

If you’re planning to cruise Mexico this season — or you’re already enjoying those sunny latitudes — you’ll want to make note that the much-used Amigo Net has switched frequencies.

Net Manager Jake Howard writes, "Starting May 15, 2013, the Amigo Net will switch frequencies to 6.212 USB. With the passing of Don Anderson last year, it makes more sense to operate on a 6-Meg frequency versus the two-frequency system (8.122 and 4.149) that has been used for the last 10-plus years in order to accomodate Don’s weather reports from Oxnard. 

"Our start time will remain at 1400 Zulu and we still have a weather report at 1415 Zulu so, other than the frequency change, the format remains the same."

Look for a complete overview of Ham and SSB communications in an upcoming edition of Latitude 38 magazine, which will include a complete list of cruiser net frequencies and times.

Ditch the summer gloom and head up to the Delta this summer in the Delta Doo Dah DIY © Alex Pearce If last week’s stunning weather wasn’t enough to jog your memory, we’ll remind you that summer’s nearly here and you know what that means…the Delta Doo Dah!
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Every May, when online registration for the Baja Ha-Ha cruisers’ rally opens, the rush to sign up is so intense it reminds us of the famous Oklahoma Land Rush.