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California Condor Spotted in Tiburon

The boat, not the bird.

Mikey Radziejowski goes out on a limb — er, boom — trying to heel California Condor off the mud.

© 2018 Erik Simonson

Buzz Blackett and Mikey Radziejowski were sailing Buzz’s Antrim Class 40 California Condor in the Round the Rocks Race on Saturday when their 10-ft keel found — not rocks, fortunately — but mud. "California Condor went on the mud 100 feet west southwest of Bluff Point (the northeast end of Raccoon Strait)," explains Buzz. "As Bay charts indicate, there is a very steep gradient from the deep water in the Strait to the shelf that runs between Bluff Point and the next point west. We had jibed toward the shore to get out of the ebb. We started our jibe back onto starboard in 25 feet of water and a few seconds later stopped abruptly in 8 feet. With the help of Erik Simonson and his photo boat, we were able to kedge out of the mud before the tide dropped much more."

California Condor was lookin’ good, approaching Raccoon Strait in a snappy manner before the unfortunate grounding.

© Erik Simonson

"I tried pulling them off, but my RIB lacks horsepower and a Barney post," reports photographer Erik Simonson. "I had Mikey climb aboard with the anchor and ground tackle. We got it to set on second go-round. It took a while for tension to ease her off."

In this photo, Condor’s keel is free but her anchor is stuck. The skipper of the fishing boat stopped to help.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"Our anchor set so hard into the muddy rising slope that it later took a windlass on a powerboat to retrieve it," added Buzz. This was not Condor’s first grounding; last year she dragged and stuck on the sandy bottom of Drake’s Bay.

Round the Rocks is put on by the Singlehanded Sailing Society for singlehanded and doublehanded monohulls and multihulls. The 19-mile race attracted an even 100 entries this year. We’ll have a race report in the May issue of Latitude 38.

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