May 4, 2020

Coast Guard Rescues Two from Yacht Before it Sinks

On Thursday, the Coast Guard rescued two people from a 92-ft motoryacht before it sank off the coast of Monterey.

Going Coastal sank approximately nine miles off Monterey Bay.
© 2020 US Coast Guard/Seaman Ryan Estrada

The crew of Going Coastal radioed the Coast Guard shortly before noon on Thursday; they were 35 miles off the coast of Monterey, according to a CG press release. Arriving on scene, the Coast Guard delivered a dewatering pump to the stricken motoryacht as it made its way toward Monterey Bay.

The Coast Guard sent a 45-foot Response Boat to aid the 92-ft Going Coastal. The motoryacht managed to steam some 25 miles before sinking.
© 2020 US Coast Guard/Seaman Ryan Estrada

“Around 3:45 p.m., the crew noticed the rate of flooding had increased and the Coast Guard dispatched a Dolphin [helicopter] crew to assist,” the press release said. The CG ultimately delivered a rescue swimmer and a second pump. “At approximately 5:20 p.m., the ship had reportedly lost electrical and engine power and the flooding rate continued to increase. The Coast Guard RB-M crew rescued the Going Coastal crewmembers before the yacht sank approximately nine miles south of Monterey Bay.”

The Coast Guard said that there were some 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel aboard Going Coastal, and that the yacht’s owner is working with his insurance company to salvage the vessel.

Thieves Nab Equipment Trailer

“I regret to report that early [Friday] morning a thief drove into the Richmond Yacht Club storage yard and stole the equipment trailer for our J/125 Velvet Hammer,” reports Will Paxton. “This is likely the same person who stole one of our chase boats a few weeks ago. There is an infuriating 15-minute video of them trying to get into the small-boat yard.” RYC’s small-boat yard lies behind a locked gate. During the shelter-in-place order, even renters with key fobs can’t unlock that gate after 5 p.m. The time on the video is 2 a.m.

FJ Cruiser with trailers
The FJ Cruiser pulls up to Velvet Hammer’s equipment trailer.
© 2020 Richmond Yacht Club

However, there are trailers parked inside RYC’s locked main gate but outside the gate to the small-boat dry storage yard.

The thieves “unhurriedly” checked out all the trailers before cutting the locks off Velvet Hammer’s and driving off. Unfortunately, the camera didn’t catch the thieves’ license plates. The video shows a silver Toyota FJ Cruiser (a compact SUV) towing the white 18-ft twin-axle trailer.

FJ Cruiser exiting with trailer
The thieves make their getaway. At night, you even need a fob key to open the gate to the street when exiting.
© 2020 Richmond Yacht Club

“I think that based on their casual appearance and ease of movement, this person is familiar with our club and has likely been there before,” commented Paxton. “Does anyone recognize that car?

“As the boat is undergoing a refit, the trailer was loaded with many sails, our standing rigging, emergency equipment, tools, lines, and so much more. We are gutted. Much of this custom gear is likely to be dumped in a ditch or on the side of the road somewhere. Please keep your eyes peeled, as we desperately hope that we can recover some of it! The trailer plate number is 4GV4322, for what it’s worth.”

Interior of trailer
Here’s what the interior of the trailer looks like. 
© 2020 Will Paxton

Besides the FJ Cruiser and the trailer, be on the lookout for large gray and blue bags containing sails, coils of rope with metal shackles and a large coil of stainless steel rod rigging.

Paxton has posted a $1,000 reward. Text him at (510) 680-3281 if you have any information.

Dropping It into the Drink

We recently told you about New Zealand’s friendly divers who pop up from time to time to check on the status of your boat’s bottom. (That is not a metaphor or innuendo, by the way.)

G’Day. Did you lose your bloody keys?
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

In the spirit of being kind Kiwis, those divers occasionally retrieve items from the drink. Case in point:

Screwdriver and coffee mug
While visiting with some friends, we saw a recently-retrieved and old — or well-weathered — coffee cup and screwdriver.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim
Inside of coffee mug
The cup had some visible underwater miles on it. Not pictured is the fish that had reportedly made this cup its home.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

It is admittedly a bit strange when your belongings find their way back to the surface. After that fateful splash and a difficult conversation with your partner, you might have journeyed through the five stages of grief, accepted the loss of the item in question, and moved on with your life. Having something suddenly appear on deck again can be a bit jarring, and an item’s reentry into life might take some time. There’s a part of you that may even lament the loss of what became an artificial reef and home to sea life.

Not all items are able to reenter society, though. Case in point:

Dell laptop
This laptop was found next to the trash bins at a New Zealand marina. We are no programming or computer experts, but something tells us that this particular machine is beyond salvation.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

Note nature’s aquatic tendrils inside the screen of this laptop computer. Is this emblematic of the entire planet in the time of a pandemic?
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

All of this got us thinking: What have you dropped into the drink over the years? What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve sacrificed to Neptune? By weird, we mean everything from most expensive to most irreplaceable. And in the spirit of this post, what have you lost that was ultimately found again?

Please comment below, or write us here.

SailGP Canceled for 2020

SailGP has suspended racing for the remainder of 2020. The league will reschedule Season 2 events for 2021.

Two of the four impacted events already have new dates for 2021: San Francisco on April 17-18 and New York on June 4-5. SailGP also intends to return to the UK and Denmark during the rescheduled Season 2, replacing racing previously planned for August 14-15 and September 11-12 of this year.

Aussie F50 on the verge of a capsize.
Having narrowly avoided a capsize on San Francisco Bay in 2019, Australia’s skipper, Tom Slingsby, said: “Foiling cats are very dangerous.” This year, the danger comes not from speed on the water but from a virus among us.

They plan to expand Season 2’s five events to a minimum of seven during a yearlong period beginning in April 2021, spanning into the early months of 2022.

“The global nature of our league is one of our strongest characteristics,” commented SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. “We bring together top talent from all over the world to organize and compete in a new form of professional racing. As we face this health emergency, our geographic diversity unfortunately becomes a potential liability to ourselves and those around us.

“We’ll use the coming months to focus on important initiatives to make both our racing and broadcast even more attractive — including through further development of our F50 catamarans, simulator and gaming platform, as well as enhanced data integration via artificial intelligence — while continuing to work toward our ambitious target of carbon neutrality by 2025.”

 Results from 2020 Sydney SailGP — the first and only completed event of the year — will be null and void. Sir Ben Ainslie must be particularly disappointed. The league got in the one event before the WHO declared a pandemic. The four-time Olympic gold medalist Ainslie led the British entry to victory in his SailGP debut. They beat out the local favorite and defending season champion Tom Slingsby and his Aussie crew.

May Issue Hits the Docks
Since sometime way back in 1977, Latitude 38 has never missed publishing a monthly issue. We might be living in strange times, but the times are not strange enough to make us miss an issue now!
Free Range Sailing
Despite the uncertainty about the near future, registration for the 12th annual Delta Doo Dah cruising rally has been robust.
Get the Magazine at Home
Our Shelter-in-Place (*SIP) Special was a great success. Even though that offer has expired, you can still get Latitude 38 mailed to your home.