October 12, 2018

The Leukemia Cup

Sailors, don’t forget that on Sunday, October 21, the Corinthian Yacht Club will be hosting the 13th Annual Leukemia Cup Regatta. Boats, crew, and charitable donations are all welcome!

The Leukemia Cup has become a time-honored tradition among competitive and civic-minded sailors.

© leukemiacup.org

The Leukemia Cup is just one in a series of events raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This Sunday, Corinthian, Golden Gate, St. Francis, Sausalito and San Francisco Yacht Clubs will all co-host the Poker Run. And on Saturday, October 20, St. Francis will host the Perkins Cup the day before the ‘main event’ Leukemia Cup.

Latitude will be on the starting line on October 21 in our new ‘mother ship’, Summer Sailstice. We hope to see you on the water and helping to raise money for a good cause.

Kiter a World Sailor Nominee

A 17-year-old girl kiteboarder from the Bay Area is up against an international field that includes winners of around-the-world races. They are all among the female nominees for Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

Daniela Moroz is the leading competitor in women’s foiling kiteboarding. She became a first-time world champion in 2016 in the IKA Foiling Formula Kite and successfully defended her title a year later. At this year’s Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, she scored a third successive win. Her dominance at Aarhus was astonishing. Out of 15 races sailed, Moroz won 14, blowing past her rivals with ease to take a convincing gold. At the 2018 European Championships she was just as commanding, winning 13 of 14 races.

Daniela Moroz foiling on her home waters. She kites off Crissy Field in San Francisco. This photo was taken in mid-September.

© 2018 Daniel Forster / Rolex

For the World Sailor award, Daniela has tough competition, particularly from Australian Wendy Tuck, the first woman skipper to win the Clipper Round the World Race on Sanya Serenity Coast, and Carolijn Brouwer (NED) and Marie Riou (FRA), the first women to win the Volvo Ocean Race as crew for Dongfeng Race Team.

The public will have the opportunity to vote online Monday, October 15, until Monday, October 29. The popular vote will contribute 30% of the overall vote, with World Sailing’s Member National Authorities making up the other 70%. Winners will be announced on October 30 at the World Sailing Awards Ceremony in Sarasota, Florida.

What Are Your Favorite Sailing Apps?

These days online app stores seem to be overflowing with games that encourage players to while away endless hours chasing bad guys and acquiring digital treasure. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll also find a wealth of extremely useful apps designed for mariners. Most are usable on laptops, tablets or smartphones, and they address everything from anchor dragging to celestial navigation.

Whether you use it on your smartphone, your tablet or your laptop, the Marine Traffic app will give you crucial info about nearby traffic — especially when it’s foggy!

© 2018 Marine Traffic

We’re putting together a list of our own favorites for an article in next month’s Latitude 38, and we’d love to have your input, too. So please tell us:

  • What are your favorite apps used while sailing (either inshore or offshore)?
  • And briefly, how do they work?
  • Also, has there ever been a time when having a particular app saved you from getting into serious trouble while sailing?

Email us here, and if possible include a screen shot of the app in use. Thanks!

Salvage, Part 1

The following is Part 1 of a real-life story submitted by longtime reader Charles Thrasher.

"We’re missing a boat."

"What do you mean, missing?" Marilyn Adams, who managed Club Nautique, got up from her desk and looked through the windows overlooking the docks. "Which one?"

"A Pearson 26. The one checked out yesterday after hours."

From the second-story windows she could see all of Club Nautique’s charter fleet of over 40 boats. Marilyn managed the office; I managed the docks.

NorCal Yachts, Club Nautique’s parent company, had sold four of the 26-ft Pearsons into the fleet. They were rumored to be bulletproof boats; no one had tested the claim. We allowed club members to sail them without a charter fee, even after business hours. The rules were the boat couldn’t be sailed singlehanded, and it had to be in its slip by start of the next business day.

"Where is it?" she asked.

"If I knew that, it would be misplaced, not missing. Do you have the paperwork?"

Marilyn retrieved the charter agreement from the lockbox outside the office door. "Such a nice man," she said of the charterer. "Always so polite. A Mormon, I think." Marilyn tended to bucket people as nice or nasty. She called the number listed on the paperwork and put the phone on speaker. The charterer’s wife answered. No, her husband wasn’t home. He should have been working the night shift, she said, but his supervisor hadn’t seen him. He’d been gone all night.

She seemed remarkably cool for the wife of a man missing with our boat. We reported the boat to Coast Guard Group San Francisco and the Alameda Police Department. Late that morning the Coast Guard called. A park ranger at the Presidio had reported a vessel aground on Baker Beach, on the south shore of the Golden Gate seaward of the bridge. The boat’s registration numbers matched our missing Pearson. There was no one onboard.

Just west of the Golden Gate, Baker Beach is littered with boulders. Not the ideal place to run aground, or attempt a salvage.

© Wikipedia

Our marine insurance company strongly suggested we attempt salvage, something to do with admiralty law and salvage liens. They obviously didn’t realize our attempt would compound their risk and exposure.

Fred Sohegian — the owner of NorCal Yachts and a principal of Club Nautique — appointed himself expedition leader. Before becoming a yacht broker, Fred had been a perfume salesman, and probably an unlikely perfume salesman at that. He had the strength and temperament of a Cape buffalo; not someone you’d want to surprise in the tall grass. Fred enlisted the boatyard manager, a few yard workers, myself, and a boat named Squirrelly, which was an underpowered 42-ft Albin trawler and part of the charter fleet. We had the presence of mind to scavenge from nearby charter boats several anchors with their half-inch nylon rodes, then steamed out the Alameda Estuary for the Golden Gate with nothing more than a shovel for salvage gear.

The Golden Gate isn’t a safe place for amateur salvors. The wind, constricted between Point Bonita and Lands End, squeezes through the narrow passage of the Gate like toothpaste from a tube. Deep-sea waves with the full fetch of the Pacific Ocean begin to feel the bottom beneath them, growing steeper and stacking closer together. And the current spews through the narrow passage with the force of a fire hose, often creating standing waves beneath the bridge near Fort Point.

We arrived on scene before the inevitable afternoon westerly wind began to build. Slack water was already turning to flood. Baker is the first beach beyond the bridge. and our Pearson was in the surf zone, lying on her starboard beam in a narrow bed of sand between basalt boulders. It was fortunate she had gone aground exactly there. A few hundred yards east or west and the wave action would have ground her into beach litter.

The boatyard manager was elected to survey the wreck. We sent him ashore in a cheap inflatable dinghy — the kind of water toy you buy for your kids at Walmart — with the shovel and a dozen fathoms of half-inch rode that would serve as towing hawser. The dinghy promptly capsized in the surf, pitching the yard boss ass over tea kettle and sending the shovel to the bottom. He rose to the surface spitting curses and saltwater, but still holding the hawser’s bitter end.

As far as he could tell, the boat’s hull was intact. He rigged a towing bridle around the mast. The mast, stepped on deck, was still the strongest point of attachment onboard. The load we were about to place on the hawser would likely rip any cleats out of the deck. We hoped it wouldn’t do the same to the mast.

This was already turning out to be one crazy salvage.

Tune in on Monday for Part 2 of "Salvage."

Hurricane Michael has gradually ramped up in strength to a Category 4 storm over the last few days, as it ascended the Gulf of Mexico and veered toward Florida’s Panhandle.
On July 10, Morning Star prepares to anchor in Hanalei Bay.  latitude/Chris
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race rookie Lee Johnson sailed a Valiant 32, Morning Star, in the race from Tiburon to Hanalei, Kauai, in July, and he departed from Nawiliwili Harbor, bound for San Francisco, on July 20, rather later than his fellow Transbackers.
These days, everything seems to be droning on. What with your self-driving cars, boats, and not far on the horizon .
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 In the early morning light, Sue Weaver picks up magazines to deliver. latitude/John
©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC The perfect sailor’s job: 29 days off every month!