And he’s off . . . again. Yesterday, Randall Reeves set sail (or motor) on his 41-ft aluminum sloop Moli for his second attempt at the Figure 8 Voyage.
It was a beautiful but utterly windless morning, with calm conditions outside the Golden Gate — only a close-period ground swell ruffled the otherwise placid waters of the Bay. After returning to the Bay Area in July, Reeves has been hard at work preparing for another grueling record attempt at his double circumnavigation. His Facebook page has shown a flurry of activity, from scraping, sanding and painting the bottom, to complex electronics work, to endless provisioning.
"I still struggle with a clear and compelling answer as to why I want to do it," Randall told us last year, before he embarked on the Figure 8 Voyage 1.0. "It has a lot to do with wanting that kind of challenge and the privilege of seeing the ocean on its own terms, of being able to witness the wilder parts of the world."
In this month’s issue of Latitude 38, we sit down with Reeves to talk about the why of it, but also the more relevant question: Why not?
Be sure to check out the new issue of Latitude, and don’t forget to check in with Randall Reeves’ blog updates at the figure8voyage.com.
The frost may not be on the pumpkin here in the Bay Area, but the October Latitudes are.
If you go to either Whole Foods store in Mill Valley to pick up a pumpkin, you’ll also be able to pick up the October issue of Latitude 38. (They won’t literally be on the pumpkins; check the rack where the free publications are kept.) To find a distributor near you, browse our online list. (As you’ll see when you click on this link, we are currently searching for an East Bay delivery route driver.) You can also read the magazine online.
The innards (of the magazine, not the pumpkins) include features on Rolex Big Boat Series; Delta Doo Dah X; offshore communications (with tips from Stan Honey); Olympic hopeful Helena Scutt; cruisers passing through the Bay Area on their way south; and a profile of Randall Reeves, the adventurous solo circumnavigator who just yesterday departed on his second Figure 8 Voyage attempt.
Loose Lips brings us caption contest responses and the elusive green flash. Sightings includes another solo adventurer, Lia Ditton, in a harrowing row down the coast to Santa Barbara; wildlife in the Baja Ha-Ha; US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program in San Francisco and Kimball Livingston’s interview with chief of Olympic sailing Malcolm Page; tales of Transbac deliveries; a life-or-death rescue in the Golden Globe Race; the restoration of a Cal 40 for the 50th Transpac; a local view on the settlement in a lawsuit stemming from a deadly storm in Mobile Bay, Alabama; and Short Sightings.
Max Ebb checks out a mash-up bicycle/windsurfer. Racing Sheet includes reports on the Jazz Cup, SSS Half Moon Bay Race, Laser Championships in Tahoe and Santa Cruz, and the ASMBYC Champion of Champions; snapshots of the Melges 24 Nationals, Windjammers Race and Resolute Cup; plus Race Notes and Beer Can Box Scores.
World of Chartering explores the San Juan Islands with a group of women from Half Moon Bay Yacht Club, takes on the multihull vs. monohull debate, and ends with Charter Notes. Changes in Latitudes features reports from Epifania on engine trouble, Avatar in the South Seas and Harlequin in the Pacific Puddle Jump, plus lots of Cruise Notes. All this in addition to Calendar, Letters, Classy Classifieds and useful display advertising.
San Francisco Fleet Week officially begins today, and the Coast Guard has been tasked with keeping everyone safe.
Ship tours and displays from multiple branches of the armed services are scheduled, as well as that of "our Canadian partners." (Apparently we’re still allies with our neighbors to the north, now that a trade war with them has been averted.) The Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, the California Air National Guard’s 129th Air Rescue Wing and the Royal Canadian Navy are scheduled to participate in Fleet Week events along the San Francisco waterfront.
"The public can expect an increased presence of Coast Guard vessels in the San Francisco Bay to ensure safety and security for mariners and participants," states a USCG press release.
During on-the-water Fleet Week activities October 4-9, traffic will be restricted throughout most of the Central Bay from the Golden Gate Bridge to south of Alcatraz, to just south of the Bay Bridge. The Parade of Ships will pass under the Golden Gate Bridge, and vessels will proceed to their assigned piers. A 500-yard protective zone will also be enforced around each military vessel the entire time they are in port.
From Friday to Sunday, the Navy’s Blue Angels are scheduled to fly in the air show from noon to 4 p.m. The regulated area for safety will also be in effect during air show practice on Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Other performers in the air show will include Navy Leap Frogs, stunt biplanes, a USCG rescue helicopter, and more jets.
"Mariners should monitor VHF-FM channel 16 for up-to-date information regarding these regulated areas for safety and security," says the USCG.
Along San Francisco’s piers, ship tours will be free and various ships will be open from Wednesday, October 3, through Monday the 8th. A Humanitarian Assistance Village and STEM Education Center will be set up along the Marina Green on Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Additional on-land activities include a veterans’ art exhibit and resource fair, a K-9 heroes ‘Bark at the Park’, and free concerts. Learn more at fleetweeksf.org.
A second press release from the Coasties was waiting in our inbox when we logged in this morning, this one an alert for mariners in Southern California.
“As we begin Fleet Week in San Francisco, Coast Guard crews and other first responders in Southern California are working together to minimize the impacts of Tropical Storm Rosa," said Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, the 11th Coast Guard District commander. "This storm is forecasted to bring heavy rains and surf to California this week, so it’s important that we all take appropriate actions to prepare and stay safe.”
Tropical Storm Rosa is expected to cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions through Tuesday. Waves of 6 to 10 feet are possible on Los Angeles and Ventura County beaches today. Orange County may experience seas up to 8 feet, while surf could reach 6-8 feet near San Diego, causing the Oceanside Harbor entrance to be especially dangerous.
Mariners and beachgoers are encouraged to take the following precautions to protect their vessels and themselves:
- Monitor the weather and heed all marine warnings.
- Double-check mooring lines when securing boats and take precautions for items stored loosely aboard.
- Secure all paddle craft so they do not end up in the water and cause a false distress.
- Recreational boaters, personal watercraft and paddle-craft users are advised to stay off the water due to extremely hazardous sea conditions.
- Swimmers, surfers and windsurfers are strongly urged to stay out of the water during this period of heavy weather due to increased rip currents and sneaker waves.
- If mariners must get underway, they should create a float plan and send it to friends and families before getting underway. A float plan consists of a description of the vessel, the number of people aboard, the destination and the expected return time.
- Always wear a proper life jacket when on the water and use VHF-FM channel 16 to notify rescuers in the event of an emergency.
As was noted in Friday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, the Grand Poobah of the Baja Ha-Ha strongly urged people not to buy boats that have current Temporary Import Permits (TIPs) for Mexico, and/or didn’t properly clear out of Mexico. "If you have bought such a boat, as at least five people who have entered the Ha-Ha have done, you’ve saddled yourself with a potentially big and expensive problem," the Poobah said.
A recent press release from the Association of Mexico Marinas said that, "In an effort to help boat owners who wish to cancel a TIP due to change of ownership, permit expiration, or any other reason, (for vessels outside of Mexico), Customs authorities will be on hand to cancel Import Permits at several consulates."
There will be a "cancellation session" at the Sacramento Consulate General of Mexico on Thursday, October 18, and Friday the 19th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be cancellation sessions at consulates in Houston and Dallas, Texas, and Chicago, Illinois. If you’re interested in going to these non-California locations, please check with the specific consulates for dates and times.