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June 2, 2014

Lovely Freda is Back in Action

Looking sweet minutes after her launch, Freda should be seen skimming across Bay waters soon. Originally a centerboarder, her broad beam gave stability in brisk Bay conditions.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Although her mast and sails have yet to be fitted, the legendary 50-ft sloop Freda is essentially back in action now after her launch Saturday in Sausalito. Local craftsmen recently completed an exhaustive eight-year rebuild of the elegant sloop at the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center. 

Master shipwright and project overseer Bob Darr strikes a pose with Diane Brenden, who, with her husband Jerry, owned Freda during the 1980s and ’90s. The crowd was a who’s who of historic boat buffs.

© Woody Skoriak

Several hundred history buffs and wooden boat aficionados turned out for the splashing, many of whom had wondered in years past if this local maritime treasure would ever be truly seaworthy again. Built in Belvedere and first launched in 1885, Freda is the last remaining example of America’s earliest style of recreational sailing craft, dubbed ‘American sloop yachts’. She is, in fact, the last remaining relic of her era in the entire US. 

We’ll have more on the refit in next month’s Latitude, including ways that you can get involved with her ongoing stewardship — and perhaps even go for a sail aboard her.

With Master Mariner Terry Klaus of Brigadoon officiating, a sea of onlookers ooh’ed and ahh’ed as the pretty gaff sloop was gently lowered into the Bay.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Sex And The Cruising Couple

We offer the following letter for your consideration.

"I’m a longtime reader of Latitude, and am happy to say that my husband and I are signed up for this fall’s Ha-Ha. If just a couple of things come together, we’ll be able to cruise the South Pacific for a couple of years.

"My husband and I have been busy with preparations, in terms of the boat, the gear, and ourselves. Some soon-to-be cruisers write in with questions about their boats and gear, but my inquiry is about . . . sex. I want to know if couples have more or less sex when cruising than when back home. And please, no Bevis-and-Butthead-type sniggering.

They say adventure is the greatest aphrodisiac. If that’s true, then the cruising lifestyle would logically lead to a healthy sex life. As seen here, there’s never a shortage of contestants in the Baja Ha-Ha’s annual From Here to Eternity kissing contest.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"My husband and I believe that an active sex life is an important element in optimal mental and physical health — just like eating well and getting regular exercise. As such, we both work to stay fit and attractive to each other, and make an effort to keep our sex life ‘interesting’. So far so good.

"We’ve joined friends on cruising boats for brief periods in both Mexico and Fiji, during which time I broached the subject of sex — after a few drinks — to the cruising gals. Some said the cruising life in the tropics is much more conducive to sex, as you often wear little if any clothing, and you have a lot more free time together.

"One woman said her sex life had become more active and satisfying because cruising had physically transformed her husband. She said that when she married him, her husband had been ripped, but 25 years at a desk job had left him flabby. But after about six months of cruising, she said his flab had been mostly replaced by muscle, partly contributing to ‘the best sex of our lives’. The other ‘part’, she said, was because she found sex to be more enjoyable during middle age than when she was young.

"On the other hand, one woman said cruising can sometimes be strenuous if not exhausting, and as a result she often found herself too tired to even think about sex. It makes me wonder if couples have any sex between Mexico and the Marquesas, as each one is presumably on watch 12 long hours a day.

"Another woman said that when it gets really hot and humid, physical contact falls far down on her list of interests.

"My sample was too small to draw any conclusions, so I’d like to put my question out to all couples. Are you having more sex or less sex than before you took off cruising? I’m not looking for any signed letters, but it might help if ages were included.

"P.S. I remember a letter to Latitude similar to mine about 20 years ago, but I’m fuzzy on the responses."

Please send your thoughts via email and let us know if you’d like to remain anonymous. 

Pirates of the Carib ‘Star’ Sinks

Remember that classic scene in one of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movies where Johnny Depp’s character arrives at a dock aboard a leaky skiff and steps ashore just as it sinks out from under him? The real-life sinking, May 24, of the Brig Unicorn — which was used in three Pirates of the Caribbean films — didn’t happen quite that way, but according to new reports she did slip under quickly due to yet unspecified causes, with no crew injuries or loss of life. The incident occurred in the waters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in the Eastern Caribbean.

Having cast off her dingy pirate sails, the Brig Unicorn was looking well-scrubbed and handsome when this file shot was taken.

© 2014 Rukasu / Ships and Things Wiki

According to various news reports, the vessel’s captain and nine crew were all rescued by the St. Vincent Coast Guard. Although the Unicorn played ‘starring roles’ as the Henrietta in The Curse Of The Black Pearl, and the Terrasaw in Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, she’d recently been used as a bar and restaurant while docked at St. Lucia’s Rodney Bay Marina. She was reportedly heading from St. Lucia to St. Vincent for repairs when the sinking occured.

The 148-ft double-master was launched in Finland in 1948. In addition to roles as pirate vessels, Brig Unicorn was also used to portray a slave ship in the renowned 1977 TV mini-series Roots