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July 19, 2023

Australian Sailor Rescued After Being Spotted Adrift in the Pacific

An Australian sailor and his dog were rescued by a Mexican fishing boat after having spent almost three months in the Pacific Ocean. Timothy Shaddock, 54, originally from Sydney, Australia, had left La Paz in May headed for French Polynesia, aboard his Wharram catamaran Aloha Toa. Weeks into the voyage the boat was crippled in a storm, Australia’s Nine News reported. Around two months later, Shaddock’s drifting boat was spotted by a Mexican tuna trawler’s helicopter, approximately 1200 miles from land.

The helicopter was searching for tuna when the pilot spotted “something bobbing,” the New York Times reports. The pilot dropped down a water bottle before heading back to the fishing boat. Soon after, a small boat arrived to take Shaddock and his dog Bella back to the main ship. After staying aboard the trawler Maria Delia while they completed their voyage, Shaddock set foot on land in Manzanillo, Mexico, on Tuesday, where he was greeted by a contingent of well-wishers and reporters.

Australian sailor after being rescued
Shaddock and Bella soon after being taken aboard the Maria Delia.
© 2023 Grupomar/Facebook

“I’m just so grateful,” Shaddock said of Maria Delia’s captain and crew, and Grupomar, the company that owns the trawler. “I’m alive, and I really didn’t think I’d make it.” And while he appeared a little overwhelmed at his reception, Shaddock did his best to answer the reporters’ questions.

The helicopter that spotted Shaddock was the first “human vehicle” he had seen in months. His last sight of land had been from the Sea of Cortez, under the May full moon. He and Bella survived by drinking rainwater and supplementing their provisions with fresh-caught fish, which they ate raw as, along with all the electronics, Aloha Toa‘s cooking facilities were disabled in the storm. He told reporters that his health had deteriorated while adrift — “I was pretty hungry” — but after being rescued and spending time aboard the Maria Delia and eating their food, “I feel really good.”

“I want to thank Antonio Suárez [Gutierrez] and his company for saving and for looking after me. I’m very, very grateful. Thank you,” he said looking at the man next to him.

Shaddock was, at times, philosophical about his ordeal. “There were many bad days. And many good days,” Shaddock said. “The fatigue is the hardest part,” he told reporters. “You’re always fixing something. And for me, I would try and find happiness inside myself. And I found that a lot, alone at sea. I would go in the water, too, and just enjoy being in the water.” During an interview, he told a Nine News reporter in an interview that he had been in communication with his family throughout his time at sea, via his Garmin inReach.

You can watch the interview here.
© 2023 Screenshot/

Aloha Toa, which Shaddock describes as “a French Polynesian, traditional boat,” that is made for ocean sailing, is still adrift in the Pacific. While the rescued sailor has no immediate plans to go to sea, he still says he loves the ocean. “I very much enjoy sailing, and I love the people of the sea.” At this point he is looking forward to going home to Australia and spending time with his family.

Good Jibes #99: ‘Westerly’ Crew on Winning the 2023 Transpac

This week’s hosts, John Arndt and Nicki Bennett, are joined by the Westerly crew, from Hawaii, right after winning the 2023 Transpacific Yacht Race! Hear Santa Cruz 52 owner Dave Moore, watch captain Andy Schwenk, and mid-bow Alec Offenberger reveal how Westerly won the overall race and their division.

Good Jibes 'Westerly' crew aboard Transpac
What was the top speed Westerly reached during the Transpac?
© 2023 Westerly

Hear about the preparation that went into the race, how the crew stayed calm, why the boat performed so well, the most satisfying moments from the race, and how they’re celebrating their victory.

This episode covers everything from the keys to victory to the rum squall. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • How did the race preparation go?
  • What are the secrets to Westerly’s success?
  • How many years in the making was this victory?
  • Did the crew see anything mysterious in the ocean?
  • What was the most satisfying moment?
  • How many miles did the crew sail?
  • What is the awards ceremony like?
  • How do you participate in a Transpac?

Watch all the Transpac livestreams at

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots — follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

New India Basin Park Reclaims a Slice of San Francisco’s Industrial Shoreline

We don’t get to share good news about waterfront development in the Bay Area very often, but a new open space in southeast San Francisco is being called “one of the most significant park developments in [city] history.”

Wedged into San Francisco’s postindustrial south shore, India Basin Waterfront Park, in the Bayview/Hunter’s Point neighborhoods, sits north of Candlestick Point and south of the rapidly developing Mission Bay neighborhood — home to Chase Center, the Golden State Warriors’ new arena. The new park will be up to 22 acres and include a new boathouse, a recreational dock for fishing and kayaking, a bikeway and two public piers — amenities that will open next year, according to the The Standard; the rest of the park will be finished in 2026.

The project, which has included a decades-long cleanup from heavy industrial use, pollution and neglect, will “open up 1.7 miles of continuous open space — the last bit of undeveloped waterfront in San Francisco,” The Standard said.

Artist’s renderings of the new India Basin Waterfront Park.
© 2023 San Francisco Recreation & Parks

It’s not clear if India Basin will be a potential destination for day cruisers on the leeward side of San Francisco. Given the Bay’s propensity for silting along the shoreline, and the Herculean efforts required to dredge, it’s unlikely that the basin will be able to accommodate sailboats with significant drafts. There is currently a small motorboat docked at a small pier at India Basin, but it’s not yet clear what new docks and piers will look like. Kayaks and paddleboards will surely be featured in the calm waters of the basin.

There are already plans to provide swimming lessons for the community. Will one of the Bay Area’s exceptional sailing nonprofits provide a few dinghies and lessons for local kids?

Non-boating amenities, which were crafted with feedback from local residents, “include oversized porch swings to look out on the water, a food pavilion with rotating aspirational restaurateurs, basketball courts, trails and restrooms.” India Basin will also close a gap in the 350-mile loop that makes up the San Francisco Bay Trail, linking the S.F. Embarcadero to Candlestick Point.

India Basin Park, as seen on July 5.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim Henry

We made a quick stop at India Basin in early July. Tucked away from the freeway and set against the industrial backdrop of southeast San Francisco, the basin is presently just a small outcropping of dried grass, sparse trees, and a few scattered playground structures. Still, it was encouraging to see a slice of open space carved out into the Bay Area waterfront.

Historically, residents of Bayview have not been able to access the shoreline at all, as India Basin was gated off, polluted and reserved for industrial use. Kudos to the City of San Francisco for reclaiming part of the shore for hyper-local use.

The Story Behind This Month’s Caption Contest(!)

This month in Caption Contest(!) we shared a photo that was taken on the Chesapeake, near Annapolis, Maryland, in August 2018. You may recall having seen it before, as back then it was “doing the rounds” of news and social media sites. While the photo looks disastrous, the reports were that no one was hurt. Once that fact was established, the speculations on how the accident happened were rife.

Caption Contest July 2023
The photo under discussion.
© 2023 Maryland Natural Resources Police

The photo was taken by a firefighter aboard the Ann Arundel County fireboat — the 34-ft deadrise boat, Hunter, teetering on top of Levitation, a 35-ft J/105 sailboat, “as if placed there by a giant toddler,” the Bay Bulletin reported in a Chesapeake Bay Magazine (CBM) story published in 2020. CBM reported that John Martino, founder of the Annapolis School of Seamanship, was teaching a course on the Rules of the Road when the accident happened, and that before the class was over he’d received several texts with the image.

“When I first saw that picture, my first thought [was] that neither captain saw the other boat,” Martino is reported as saying. The following discussions left everyone none the wiser. Hunter was on a charter with seven people aboard; it was the “brand-new” boat’s first day out. How did no one see the 35-ft Levitation? And did Levitation not see the powerboat? If it had, why did it not take evasive action?

In an attempt to solve the puzzle, Martino set about recreating the moments before the collision, using the sightlines from both boats. According to CBM, he was able to obtain the Coast Guard’s accident report, “which included the GPS tracks from both vessels.” Then, with a “dream team of experienced captains,” he reenacted the moments prior to the collision with a similar powerboat and an identical J/105 sailboat.

While moving through the reenactment, it became apparent to Martino and his team that neither boat’s vision would have been restricted. “Stefancik could easily see around the J/105’s sails, and Benhoff’s view of the sailboat was unnervingly clear.” According to the report, both captains tested clear of drugs and alcohol. Scrolling quickly to the bottom of the page: the team came up with a simple conclusion. “The charter captain simply didn’t notice the sailboat in front of him. ‘It just screams Rule Five, which is lookout,’ Martino says.”

It seems we always come back to one of the most critical, yet most basic, rules of the road — be aware and keep a good lookout.

If you haven’t yet added your comment to this month’s Caption Contest(!), we’ll give you one more day. Maybe …