July 31, 2019

August Issue Out Tomorrow

Here are a few morsels from the soon-to-hit-a-newsstand-or-digital-device-near-you August issue of Latitude 38:

The 50th Transpac Race Report

“We worried that we were going to go into a crash jibe, and we were preparing for that. But we realized quickly that: a) we had no steering whatsoever, and b) we were taking on water pretty quickly,” said OEX owner John Sangmeister in a video shot at night on the dock in Marina del Rey. Roy P. Disney was also interviewed in the video. Sangmeister matter of factly described the loss of his famed Santa Cruz 70 Orient Express, which shockingly became the first yacht to ever be lost at sea in the history of the Transpac race.

In the August issue of Latitude 38, we’ll bring you the full story of Disaster and Deliverance from the 50th Transpac. While numerous boats suffered rudder damage on the hard reaching section that makes up the transition between the coastal west-to-northwesterly headwinds and the trade winds, there was also all the downwind, spinnaker flying, wave surfing glory we’ve come to expect from the Transpac once the fleet muscled into the revered east-to-northeast trades. Ronnie Simpson, our reporter on the ground, brings you the full story.

Winning Division 2, Jim Yabsley and Mary Compton’s Santa Barbara-based R/P 70 Taxi Dancer drives past the Diamond Head finish line of the 50th Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
© 2019 Ronnie Simpson

The Gidleys of Sausalito, Part 3

“In 1973, when Mary Gidley returned from the transatlantic crossing chronicled in the documentary The Raft, the family moved to a rented apartment in San Rafael. ‘Then Cass moved out,’ said Mary. ‘He still had the Yo Ho Ho.'”  In this month’s Sightings, we bring you the third and final installment of The Gidleys of Sausalito.

Although some wooden boats already live there, the Cass Gidley Marina docks, at the foot of Napa Street in Sausalito, are not presently connected to anything.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

“‘Luckily, in 2010 I got the call to attend a meeting about reinventing Cass’ Marina as a wooden boating center. Memo got me to go to the first meeting. I like the idea of wooden boats; I like the idea of having kids of all ages able to get out and learn about the Bay and the history of those boats and to work on the boats. If they don’t work on them, they don’t appreciate them or really care for them, just like having a pet. In 2014, we got the lease from the city of Sausalito. We have to wait until Dunphy Park looks a little bit better. It’s kind of dug up and access is limited.” Sausalito’s Dunphy Park, in front of Cass’ Marina, was completely torn out and is being rebuilt with a new layout.”

Finding Something Unexpected on the Other Side of the World

“Why would anyone want to cruise the doldrums? The Intertropical Convergence Zone that hovers near the equator is the opposite of classic trade-wind sailing, and, instead, is famous for being hot and windless with bouts of rainy squalls. However, generalizations and stereotypes are often misleading, causing many of us to miss the beauty and opportunity available once you get past your prejudices. By avoiding cruising near the equator, one of the places you might miss is the crowded, smoggy, hectic and sweltering    . . . but undeniably beautiful Republic of Indonesia, which sits more or less right on the equator.”

The unique and exceptional beauty of Indonesia’s Raja Ampat.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

This is a dispatch from Latitude’s publisher, who took a dive trip last March to Raja Ampat, a pristine and secluded gem tucked away in the eastern corner of the Indonesian archipelago. While this wasn’t a sailing trip, our publisher could not help but “mind cruise” or imagine sailing Indonesia’s endless nooks and crannies.

Logan’s Changes 

“My name is Logan Bugenig and I have lived aboard Caramba nearly half of my 14 years. The last five years, my family and I have cruised down the North American coast from Washington state to Mexico, and then to where we currently are in French Polynesia,” wrote Logan in this month’s Changes in Latitudes.

Not a bad way to grow up . . .
© 2019 Caramba

“Sailing in general gets you really close to your family, literally and metaphorically. My parents, Heather and Louie, and my 12-year-old brother, Hunter, understand each other a lot more than if we lived in a house. Of course there are conflicts from time to time, but we’ve also learned better how to work them out.”

Rendez-vousing in Polynesia

“When a fleet of ordinary sailors completes a goal as ambitious as crossing three or four thousand miles of open ocean nonstop, it’s only natural that they’d want to do a bit of celebrating, right?” So goes the story — brought to you, as always, by Latitude’s editor-at- large Andy Turpin — of the annual Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendez-vous that went down this past June.

There is simply nothing like Polynesian culture right in front of you — and surrounded by Polynesia!
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Andy & Julie

“Entering the roughly sculpted cradle of Cook’s Bay is always a stunning experience,” Andy wrote. “Jagged, tooth-like peaks jut up from the sea floor, sheltering the lagoon below.”

And there is certainly nothing like arriving in Polynesia by boat.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Andy & Julie

So there’s an hors d’oeuvre tray of the forthcoming August issue to whet your palate. We hope that you find one of our many distributors, pick up an issue, and dig into the main course tomorrow.

Jeanne Socrates Dodging Two Hurricanes

Late Monday, we got an email from Jeanne Socrates, who’s been aboard her Najad 380 Nereida for over nine months in an attempt to become the oldest person to sail alone, nonstop and unassisted, around the world. The letter was written in the third person.

“When she expected to be well on her way to passing through the Hawaiian Island chain and finally on her last leg back to her finish in Victoria, B.C., she’s finding not just one, but two hurricanes expected to cross close to her path in the next few days. Erick and Flossie are now on their way towards Hawaii, and Nereida.”

Following our recent update when Socrates was near Tahiti and Moorea, the soon-to-be-77-year-old singlehander finally crossed the equator last week, but unexpectedly came into the path of the hurricanes. “With no option but to heave to and keep out of their way, if she can, she’s finding it difficult to come to terms with the situation,” read the third-person letter. “She already had one cyclone delay her by a week while crossing south of the Indian Ocean in March/April and was hoping not to meet up with any more — but fate has intervened.”

On her blog this morning, Socrates talked about the current conditions. “Rolling around a lot, every so often from side to side. Not much wind, maybe eight knots from the northeast, but quite a big swell, which really heels us over. Overcast sky and grey clouds with frequent but light showers. Very quiet with so little wind. Trying to download latest weather to see which way Erick is heading — due west or slightly more west northwest as it heads this way. A big difference from my point of view!”

Above: Jeanne Socrates and Nereida’s tracker. Below, Hurricane Erick, left, is being followed by the less mature Flossie.
© 2019 Jeanne Socrates/windy.com

“I’m about to go up on deck to reef down — there would be less time spent hove-to if we can slow down more. There’s likely to be extremely light wind to the south of both systems, so we could well end up becalmed if it isn’t possible to get underway as soon as Erick passes to north of us.”

Socrates was hoping to finish her record run before the end of August, which was over two months longer than she expected. It’s not clear what kind of delay the two Pacific hurricanes will cause. “As it is,” the third-person letter read, “she’ll still be at sea on her birthday, coming up on August 17, when she’ll be 77 years old. She sincerely hopes still to get back to complete her record-setting nonstop unassisted sail around the globe before September.”

Are You Headed to the Pacific Garbage Patch?

Alex Bellini, a self-described adventurer, speaker and mental coach, is looking for a ride to the Pacific gyre, and he’s willing to pay his way.

Bellini’s ultimate goal is to “travel to the world’s 10 most plastic polluted rivers on a hand-made, floating vessel made out of local recycled materials,” and to “row solo across the Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation of plastic in the world.” He hopes to get into the Pacific as soon as possible to stay ahead of the weather.

If you’re interested in giving Bellini a ride, please contact him here.

Accident on the Bay
On Saturday, the Coast Guard rescued three people near the Carquinez Bridge in Vallejo after their 36-foot motorboat collided with the eastern jetty near the entrance of the Napa River.
Anniversary Celebration
Huge savings are just around the corner. August 2-4, 10% off your regular price, anything in the store (restrictions apply).
So many races…
This month, a fleet of California El Toros sailed across the Pacific (aboard a container ship), headed for Kaneohe, on the east coast of Oahu, for their Nationals on August 1-4.