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May 30, 2014

June Latitude Hits the Docks

Forget the yardwork, pick up a copy of the new Latitude 38 instead, and head for the hammock.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Arriving just in time so you can use it to procrastinate on doing your weekend chores, the June issue of Latitude 38 is being delivered throughout the Greater Bay Area. 

Why are these sailors decked out like naughty pirates? Pick up a June Latitude and find out.

© Kerry Brown

Inside, you’ll find our typical eclectic mix of local and international news about racing, cruising and recreational sailing. Highlights include coverage of the Great Vallejo Race, an overview of high-tech personal safety devices, mini-profiles of all Singlehanded TransPac participants, and cruising reports from all over the world.

In our news section, Sightings, we offer a mix of topics from the silly to the sad, from the upbeat to the downright depressing; notably, an Opening Day report from a merry band of piratical wannabes, a tragically injured cruiser’s return to Mexico, the T-boning of a classic woodie, a blind sailor’s shattered dreams on Kona, and an entrepreneurial sailing project that sells watermelons boat-to-boat for the benefit of disadvantaged children.

What’s up with all the watermelons? Find out in this month’s Sightings section.

© Jim Bender

So pick up your free copy today at your favorite marine retailer or service center, put your feet up, and enjoy our editorial efforts. Alternately, the entire issue will be available sometime this afternoon on our website to read online or download for free. Have a happy — and edifying — weekend.

Polynesian Canoe Begins Circumnavigation

Weather permitting, the Hokule’a will depart today from Hawaii to Tahiti, the first long leg on her around-the-world cruise.

© 2014 Maui Tauotaha OIWI TV

No sailing craft has meant more to a people than the Hokule‘a. In 1976, the twin-hulled Polynesian voyaging canoe completed her maiden voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti using only Polynesian navigational techniques. In doing so, she not only proved merit for anthropological theory, but inspired a revival of Hawaiian culture. Nearly four very active decades later, the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s famous canoe is embarking on her most ambitious voyage yet; the Malama Honua ("to care for our earth") Worldwide Voyage.

Sailing alongside her sister canoe Hikianalla, the Hokule‘a departed Honolulu two weeks ago on what will be a three-year, 47,000-mile circumnavigation of the earth. The plan is for her to visit 85 ports in 26 countries, including a dozen UNESCO Marine World Heritage sites.

Hundreds of islanders turned out for the initial departure of the huge canoe, which is slated to visit many far-distant ports of call.

© Polynesian Voyaging Society

Famed Hokule’a navigator and Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson spoke at the departure: "As we embark on this voyage today, we are honored to join a global movement towards a more sustainable world. Malama Honua allows us the special opportunity to perpetuate the legacy of our ancestors and inspire stewardship of the earth, sharing our aloha for our environment while nurturing and learning from local solutions and relationships."

After departing Honolulu, Oahu, Hokule’a and Hikianalla sailed to Lahaina, Maui where they were honored at an awa ceremony before sailing to Hilo, Hawaii. After crossing the Alenuihaha Channel, the boats encountered rough conditions off the east coast of Hawaii before making port in Hilo’s Radio Bay. The two canoes plan to leave for French Polynesia as early as today. Track the voyage here.

All hope of finding Cheeki Rafiki‘s crew alive was lost Friday, when US Navy divers confirmed that the life raft of the overturned Beneteau 40.7 was still aboard.
If you have a soft spot in your heart for vintage wooden sailing craft, you won’t want to miss the much-anticipated launch of the historic sloop Freda May 31 at Sausalito’s Spaulding Wooden Boat Center (located at the end of Gate Five Road). 
Amanda got off the 2014 Eastern Pacific hurricane season with a powerful start, as her winds to 135 knots made her one of the most powerful May hurricanes on record.