An Unconventional Lifesaving Measure
A few weeks ago, we received a letter from a reader in San Diego about an auxiliary type of personal flotation device.
“I have a very simple safety hint that I’ve kept to myself because it’s so simple it almost seems absurd. I’ve never heard it from anyone else before so I thought I’d air it to you and see if it has come up before: When I go sailing and swimming, I almost always carry a heavy duty party balloon in my pocket. If one goes overboard without a life jacket, or even swimming when caught in a rip, all one has to do is blow up the balloon to about the size of a grapefruit and hold on. No fuss, no muss, quiet, no energy waste, buoyant until you reach safety or safety reaches you. Could be life-saving.”
Thoughts? Please comment below, or write us here, and please be sure to include your Boat Name, Make and Port of Call.
The Golden Rule’s Private Transpac
While the mass and speedy migration of boats going from California to Hawaii has been dominating the headlines, we don’t want to forget about one vessel sailing west for far different reasons.
The Golden Rule, a 39-ft Angelman-Davies gaff-rigged ketch and little sister to the Sea Witch design, departed San Diego a few weeks ago, and is a little more than halfway to Hilo, Hawaii, on the first leg of her “retro voyage” across the Pacific. Golden Rule’s goal is to arrive in Japan in August 2020 for the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, and hopes to return to California in fall 2021 after following the Aleutian Islands around to the West Coast of North America.
“They’ve seen Transpac boats at least twice now,” wrote Helen Jaccard, the Golden Rule project manager.
Maserati’s Malicious Magnetism for Floating Flotsam Continues
There are unlucky streaks in sailing, and then there’s Maserati. In the 2017 Transpac, the Multi70 hit an Unidentified Floating Object, or UFO, damaging one of her rudders and knocking her back in the multihull fleet. On her record Tea Route run in 2018, Maserati struck another UFO and had to stop briefly for repairs. And, oh yeah, in the recent CA 500, Maserati took damage to her rudder again.
So how many times can lightning possibly strike? Well, how high can you count?
“On July 15th, while sailing at 23-24 knots, [Maserati] collided with a big floating object that damaged the left side hull’s bow and the rudder’s wing,” a press release read. “It was very big,” Maserati skipper Giovanni Soldini said of the UFO. “At least one meter high out of the water. It hit the left side hull with great force, severely damaging it, then it glided along the hull and hit the rudder. The object was so big that we lost the outer half of the wing. We had to stop for one hour.”
We wish Maserati better luck in future races.
A Sneak Peak at the August Issue
In just over a week, the August issue of Latitude will grace a newsstand or digital device near you. Here’s one of our favorite pictures from the forthcoming pages.
Some wonderful photos, taken by Junichi Hirai, have been piling up in our inbox from the Laser Radial Worlds in Miho Bay, Japan. They are too good not to share with our readers. Racing began on Friday, July 19, and concluded yesterday.
Anne-Marie Rindom from Denmark won the 111-boat women’s division; Simon de Gendt from Belgium won the 32-boat men’s division.
The press release described conditions on July 23 as “clear skies and a mostly steady 18-20 knot westerly. They call this the Kamikaze Wind.The velocity varied a bit, with gusts in the low 20s. It was a day to stay in phase and stay in the pressure.”
Meet Joelle M.L.A. Aoki, the friendly new harbormaster at the Manele Small Boat Harbor on Lanai, Hawaii. We went to investigate what changes Larry Ellison has made to the island since he purchased a 97% stake of it in 2012. On the waterfront we met Joelle, who was hard at work cleaning up the neglect and transforming the slice of paradise into a functioning and well-managed marina.
The 24-slip harbor has gone unmanaged for four years. Its future was in question until July 7, when Hawaii House Bill 1032 was vetoed by Governor Ige, putting a stay on privatizing the harbor. That could have put the marina management into the hands of Larry Ellison through the Pulama Lanai company. So it remains a state facility and Joelle is keeping a great sense of humor as she serves eviction notices to the rodents, wasps and lizards that had taken over her office.
The docks and facilities are adjacent to the Maui ferry terminal and are in great condition. The tour boats that serve the Four Seasons resort also dock here. They stay busy wowing visitors with trips to Puu Pehe/Sweetheart Rock and the leeward Lanai shore. It’s a beautiful harbor with a fascinating history. If you’re planning a visit to Lanai by boat please check with Joelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.