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News Just In: ‘Boat Bum Gal’ Sinks Entering Turtle Bay on Baja Ha-Ha

Shortly after posting today’s ‘Lectronic Latitude we discovered the news that Sandra Barnes’ Nicholson 38 Boat Bum Gal from Long Beach had sunk on the Baja Ha-Ha. Her track and final resting place entering Turtle Bay are shown below.

According to the Grand Poobah, they hit a rock last night and sank at the entrance to Turtle Bay. He reports that everyone on the crew is safe and found accommodations in a local hotel. He continued, “All that can be seen of the boat is the top few feet of the mast. The Poobah is short on details, but the vessel’s track shows an inexplicably dangerous path toward the safe harbor. The correct way to enter Turtle Bay is to stay well offshore until way past the point, then head northeast into the harbor. Day and night, over 3,000 boats have done it in the history of the Ha-Ha without a problem. Why Boat Bum Gal hugged the coast the last few miles, almost in the surf, is unknown at this time. We’ll have more details as they become available.”


According to Jerry Matzdorf* it happened around 2 a.m. while they were doing over six knots when they hit the rock. The crew was able to get into the dinghy and make it to shore.

*Update: Per Nilkolay’s comment below, this could have been explained better. Jerry was not aboard Boat Bum Gal but was observing her track on the tracker as the event unfolded. 


  1. Darroch Cahen 6 months ago

    Glad that everyone is safe. As a professional (200 Oceans Mate) Mariner and occasional delivery (100 NC Master) I’d like to read whatever After Incident Report might come of this. I’m sure that there is something that we, amateur & professional, can learn from this accident.

    • Brian 3 months ago

      Clearly the vessels draft exceeded the available water depth. Not much else to know. 😉

  2. Thomas Barnes 6 months ago

    RIP Muriel . I spent 5 years building her , damn shame .

  3. Steve 6 months ago

    Sandra was relieved at the helm and catching some sleep while another member of the team strayed from her plotted course.

  4. Capt Jim 6 months ago

    the track pretty much covers it… entire approach was waaayyyy too close. I don’t know but first guess, all of the nav-elec is down below at the nav station.

  5. nikolay alexandrov 6 months ago

    The way this is written it is misleading.
    “ According to Jerry Matzdorf it happened around 2 a.m. while they were doing over six knots when they hit the rock.”
    Captain Matzdorf had nothing to do with the boat sinking, he was on another boat and responded to the Mayday call from the sinking boat for assistance.

    More info available on Facebook

    • Jeffry Matzdorff 5 months ago

      Thank you very much. I have since this posting, I have added additional information in comments..
      I appreciate the clarity!

    • John Arndt 5 months ago

      Thanks for the comments. You can see a more thorough story in our current issue:

  6. Mitch 5 months ago

    How about raising the boat with flotation devices installed inside the cabin. Get it off the bottom tow it to shore at high tide. Do quick fix at low tide and tow to dry dock. Come on people it’s possible. Just do it.

  7. Jeffry Matzdorff 5 months ago

    I, Jeffry Matzdorff, was home in Marina Del Rey and I was watching the AIS track of Boat Bum Gall not understanding what they were trying to do, staying so dangerously so close to shore and cutting the points of land even closer! The grounding happened at approximately 0106 hrs. Mustad Marine who was already anchored up in Turtle Bay, responded to the Mayday on VHF from the boat.

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