August 2, 2017

Reader Submission: The South Pacific

The following comes to us from Lynn Stokes as part of our Cover Contest and Reader Submission Series. While we love sailing in the Bay, we like to remind ourselves that the horizon beyond the Gate merits our attention. 

"Here we are at the water/ public dock on Huahine, French Polynesia," wrote Lynn Stokes. 

© 2017 Lynn A. Stokes

Thanks for the photos, Lynn. If you have a picture or story you’d like to see in print, please send it here.

"Sunset of the Hotel Kia Ora, Rangiroa, my jumping-off spot on the way to Oahu." 

© 2017 Lynn A. Stokes

PS: You don’t have to be in the South Pacific, racing or wearing a captain’s hat and blue blazer to be considered. In fact, we would love to see what all the weekend sailors are up to out there. Anyone have some shots of exotic Angel Island? 

"The Hotel Kia Ora," in Rangiroa, French Polynesia. It doesn’t get much more picture-postcard-perfect than this.  

© 2017 Lynn A. Stokes

August’s Latitude Walks the Docks

By now, the August 1 issue of Latitude 38 should have made its way to the usual waterfront venues, plotting its course into the soon-to-be-ink-stained hands of West Coast sailors.

Sharon Green of Ultimate Sailing took to the sky in Hawaii to capture this photo of Merlin surfing into Oahu sporting a ’70s-retro spinnaker. We’re grateful Merlin finished the Transpac in daylight!

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Gracing the August cover in all her Generation-X splendor (but with a millennial paint job) is Bill Lee’s 40-year-old 68-ft sled Merlin, on final approach to Diamond Head and the finish of the 2017 Transpac. Within the pages you’ll find a recap of said race, plus stories about the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendez-vous, YRA’s Westpoint Regatta, the New Age of Russia and Nathalie Criou’s Solitaire du Figaro. Max Ebb takes on back-staffing, and World of Chartering offers tips on bareboating worldwide.

Within Sightings, you’ll find news about whales in San Francisco Bay; young people on old boats; Delta Doo Dah deadlines; a women’s match-race Clinegatta; sailing with veterans; a Kiwi Cup announcement; the offspring of a sailor; and boatbuilder Kim Desenberg; plus a plethora of summer-reading book reviews. As usual, Calendar, Letters, Loose Lips, Racing Sheet, Changes in Latitudes, Classy Classifieds and display advertising round out the issue.

Pick up your paper-and-ink copy at one of usual places, take out a subscription, or read one of our free digital editions.

Brilliant Simplicity

Why didn’t I think of that? 

© 2017 James Tantillo

At some point in your boat owning career, it’s likely that you’ll have to tension the belt(s) on your engine. If your experience was like ours, the belt(s) were hard to get at, and you used some kind of lever to pry things apart to create the proper amount of tension.

The only problem was, you could have used a third arm and hand to tighten the necessary nut(s) to maintain the tension. If only there were some tool to maintain that tension for you while you tightened everything up.

It turns out there is. James ‘Twinger’ Tantillo, who was formerly crew on Profligate in the Ha-Ha (and a good friend), reports that he purchased "a cool gadget some time ago" that fit the bill. It’s so simple that it’s brilliant, and it’s obvious how it works from the photo. James had a chance to use it for the first time on Katherine II, a friend’s boat — and its utility was immediately apparent.

Where do you find one? We don’t know. We did a little Googling on the Internet and didn’t unearth anything. 

Does anyone know where to buy such a simple but necessary device? Do you have any wondrous tools in your tool box? Let us know.

Sailboat Sinks Off Treasure Island


A sailboat sank off Treasure Island over the weekend, according to reports from the Coast Guard. 

John Boggs, one of our readers, said he saw a sunken ketch off the east side of Treasure Island on Sunday. "Just the masts sticking up — none of the hull showing," Boggs wrote us on Facebook.

The Coast Guard confirmed that over the weekend, a sailing vessel was rapidly taking on water one mile north of the Bay Bridge and east of Treasure Island, with three people on board (the boat’s size and make were not identified).

Vessel Assist was called to the scene and attempted to dewater the boat. All persons were removed, as Vessel Assist tried to tow the boat to shore — but it sank in 25 feet of water. The vessel was not in a "sensitive site," and a diving company was contracted to raise the boat this week, according to a report from he Coast Guard.

Since we posted this story at noon today, we’ve gotten a few responses about the wreck:

"We passed it motoring home to Tiburon Yacht Club from the Encinal Yacht Club race Saturday evening. We circled it while calling the Coast Guard — they sent a boat out to mark it with a light. We might have hit it if it was not still light out."

And Colin Stewart took a video on the water, which was broadcast on KRON 4:

If anyone has any more information about this incident, please let us know.

The 2nd Half Opener saw a dramatic photo finish on Saturday, as two Express 37s were neck and neck on the Oakland Estuary in the final stretch to the finish line in front of Encinal Yacht Club.
Among the exciting regattas coming up in the month August, we’re particularly paying attention to the following.