"I raced against your mother." That’s what Dorian McKelvy told Gordie Nash at Golden Gate Yacht Club during the Seaweed Soup Regatta in San Francisco this winter. Currently the skipper of the J/111 MadMen, McKelvy used to sail the Hawkfarm Spitfire on San Francisco Bay back in the 1980s and raced against Jocelyn Nash, who owned El Gavilan. Latitude 38 published one of McKelvy’s most memorable moments in the October 1984 issue.
Read about the GGYC Seaweed Soup Regatta and Dorian’s adventures with the J/111 in the April issue of Latitude 38, making the rounds today.
Spring is here and the April issue is out just in time for Easter sailing or a boat project weekend. When you stop by your harbormaster’s office, chandler or other waterfront establishment to pick up your April issue, you’ll actually get two magazines in one. After the Jim DeWitt original painting on the cover, you’ll find a full complement of Latitude 38 tales and adventures, plus the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show guide, which gives you a preview of what’s in store for the April 19-22 extravaganza. If you’re planning to attend, use the special discount code for Latitude 38 readers — LATITUPBS18 — when you purchase tickets online, here.
Is your copy of the March issue getting a bit ‘dog-eared?’ Are you wondering what happened in part 2 of ‘Shipwrecked in Africa?’ Starting today, you can read about the trials of Nick and Bonnie Nicolle after they were shipwrecked on the coast of Mozambique and had to navigate their way out of the country. We also have stories about the GGYC’s Seaweed Soup Regatta, sailing in San Rafael and tips for selling your boat.
In Sightings, we feature stories about Cinde Lou Delmas’ first boat (an El Toro), the loss of local legend and Pursuit caretaker Ron MacAnnan, and an upcoming event with solo sailor, surfer (and now author) Liz Clark. And we ask the question: Can you sail with weed (the answer to which is: not legally, no). In Letters we have a response to our March editorial from the BCDC, as well as your letters on that annoying boat in Aquatic Park.
There’s more, but rather than read this off your computer screen, we recommend picking up an always-free, hot-off-the-presses Latitude and enjoying it during the predicted ‘mostly sunny’ Easter sailing weekend.
On Monday, we posted Jeff Berman’s photo of this tall ship and asked readers to guess her name, homeport and mission.
Lou Freeman of the s/v Seabird from San Diego (now in Ventura) guessed: "Tall ship Californian, homeport San Diego (Maritime Museum). Educational visit."
Closer geographically was Alan Wulzen of Bend, OR (formerly of San Anselmo): "Matthew Turner, Sausalito. Call of the Sea flagship for youth sailing experiences." Max from the Channel Islands asked, "Is that by chance the schooner Matthew Turner? Home ported at the Bay Model Visitors Center Pier in Sausalito? With the mission of connecting people of all ages to the sea through sailing?"
Getting warmer was Bill Grummel of the Pearson 26 Midnattsolen out of Antioch: "Lady Washington, Aberdeen, WA. I volunteer on her." Fellow Pearson sailor Dick Robinson of San Francisco agreed: "Lady Washington. (Hailing port was hidden by inflatable dinghy hanging on davits.) Saw her in the middle of the Bay as I was crossing this morning."
Very, very close to accurate was Jim Boyd of Concord. Jim used to sail the brigantine Rendezvous, 1965-1973. "I believe it’s the Hawaiian Chieftain hailing out of Grays Harbor in Oregon here in the Bay Area to promote and preserve our maritime history."
Richard Pearsall of Ventura had the first correct response: "Hawaiian Chieftain out of Grays Harbor, Washington. Travels with the Lady Washington. They are with the Grays Harbor Historical Society. They travel down the coast for the winter season. Their mission is education for school kids about the sea and its creatures."
"She is the tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain out of Gray’s Harbor, Washington," agreed Steve Costanzo of Dunedin, FL. "She is in Oakland at Jack London Square along with tall ship Lady Washington for festivities there." Mark Blum of Sacramento added that her "mission is to introduce people to adventure sailing as it was done during the age of sail."
Andrew of San Jose, a volunteer last year aboard Lady Washington, confirms: "It’s the Hawaiian Chieftain. Hails from Aberdeen (Grays Harbor), Washington, and the mission of the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is to provide educational, vocational, recreational and ambassadorial activities and experiences that promote and preserve the maritime history of Grays Harbor, the Pacific Northwest and our nation while serving the needs of the community." Grays Harbor, by the way, is on the Pacific Coast west of Olympia.
The tall ships have moved on from Oakland and can now be found in Antioch, their last Bay Area port of call before heading back up the coast. See www.historicalseaport.org to learn more.
Today we bring you part 2 of the tale of Snickers, “The world’s most famous cocker spaniel.” After Snickers and Gulliver, a parrot, were abandoned by their owners — who had shipwrecked on Fanning Island, Kiribati, in December 2008 — cruisers Robby and Lorraine Coleman contacted Latitude to see if anyone could help. Jack Joslin, a resident of Las Vegas, answered the call through a ‘Lectronic Latitude. He wrote the following in the voice of Snickers:
The man in Las Vegas was able to use the Internet to try and organize a rescue. He thought it would be easier to save Gulliver since he was born in the US and would have a leg band that proved it. The man was so wrong! Gulliver didn’t have a leg band at all, and what’s more, blue-and-gold macaws are listed with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). Yeah, I know that’s a lot of big words, but it meant only an authorized sanctuary or zoo could rescue Gulliver.
But the port veterinarian in Honolulu told the man in Las Vegas that it would be easy to save the dog (me). Easy turned out to be, well, not so easy after all. He told the man in Las Vegas that he should contact the director of the Hawaiian Humane Society, Rigo Neira, and ask for their help. The man in Las Vegas explained that he’d been told by the port vet that I would have to be caught, bathed, and treated for fleas before I could enter Hawaii. Luckily, I didn’t know any of this at the time! I still growl every time I hear the word bath!
The problem was that the only way I could get from Tabuaeran [or Fanning Island] to Hawaii was aboard a boat, and there weren’t any. Well, there was one possibility the man in Las Vegas found out about. Because there was something called The Jones Act, which says that any foreign cruise operator wanting to offer cruises in US waters must make a foreign port call during a cruise to satisfy the Act’s provisions. Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) wished to cruise Hawaii, and since Tabuaeran was the nearest foreign port outside Hawaiian/US waters, they would steam the 1200 miles to Fanning Island, let the cruise passengers go ashore for four hours, then return to Hawaii. There was just one problem: NCL had no desire to get involved in the rescue of a dog from Tabuaeran.
The man in Las Vegas called everyone with NCL who would talk to him and tried to explain the seriousness of the situation, but was getting nowhere. When he explained this to Rigo, he laughed and said not to worry. He was certain that NCL would cooperate. What Rigo knew was that a few years earlier, an NCL cruise ship had been the nearest vessel available to render aid to a stricken cargo vessel that was floating upside down in the Pacific with the entire crew and the ship’s dog atop the overturned hull. The NCL vessel rescued the crew, but left the dog running back and forth on the hull as they steamed away. Unfortunately, many passengers aboard the cruise ship captured that sight with their camcorders, and when the NCL vessel docked in Honolulu it wasn’t the good deed of saving the crew that made the news so much as the outrage over the poor dog’s being left behind and with lots of heartbreaking video to prove it! Rigo simply reminded NCL of the horrible PR that episode had earned them, and explained that saving this other dog (me) would go a long way toward repairing that damage.
The Pride of Aloha dropped anchor off Tabuaeran and the passengers and several crew came ashore. Among them was the ship’s doctor, whom Captain Hoyt had instructed to assess my state of health. She gave me a cheeseburger to get on my good side, then gave me the once-over. When she declared that I was in good health (if a bit skinny), another crew member who had been tasked with cleaning me up took over. His name was Mark. Maybe it wasn’t the most stylish grooming job ever done on a cocker spaniel, but it was good enough, I guess. Mark dusted some flea powder on me at the end, then it was aboard the tender for the ride to the ship.
When we docked in Honolulu at the end of the cruise we were met by a whole bunch of reporters from all kinds of media. Then I zipped through customs, my plastic kennel was put in the back of a van and I was taken to the Hawaii State Veterinarian’s office. It might have been a lonely time caged up there in the quarantine facility except for one thing. Remember, there were a lot of people who were desperately trying to rescue me from Tabuaeran, and one of them was a beautiful woman who lived on Oahu. Her name was Laureli. Before I left Honolulu, Laureli wrote on my plastic kennel, “Our little Hero.” It seems to me that she and lots of other kind humans were the real heroes! So the next day Laureli’s sister put me in her convertible and off we went to Las Vegas. Late in the afternoon on Sunday, April 20, 2008, I arrived at the Summerlin home of the man from Las Vegas. I was finally home.
[The people at Latitude wrote all about me, and Gulliver too! After things didn’t look good for Gulliver, he was finally rescued from Fanning and brought to Arizona.]
Snickers (also known as Dr. Curly Bobby Roberts, or Bud Bundy, or just Bud) passed away on March 5. We’ve asked this question before, but thought it fitting to pose again: If you know of any remarkable sailing pets that have survived the highs and lows of the sea — or if you know of any noteworthy people or organizations that have taken up the cause of sailing animals in peril — please let us know.