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One Bad Apple

In the October issue of Latitude 38 you’ll find profiles on the crew of seven cruising boats that passed through the Bay this month on their way south. All were thoroughly impressed by the wonderful people they’d met in the Bay Area, and the general welcoming spirit they’d found.

But one bad apple can really spoil the whole barrel.

Our hearts sank when we saw this Craigslist ad posted on Monday. What a welcome to the Bay!

© 2010 Craigslist

"I’d let my guard down," explained Lauren Buchholz of the Seattle-based Wauquiez 35 Piko, who are not featured in the article. "I tied up our dinghy Sunday night with a proper cleat hitch, and the next morning, it was gone." Lauren and his girlfriend Lauren Smith had arrived on the Bay September 13, and spent a week in Alameda’s Marina Village before heading over to Richardson Bay, where they anchored off Paradise Bay Restaurant.

When they realized their dinghy was AWOL, they upped anchor and did a circuit around the area but saw no sign of it. They filled out a police report — "They told us not to expect to see it again," said Lauren B. — and hot-footed it over to Sal’s Inflatables in Alameda for a replacement.

The Laurens — Lauren Smith and Lauren Buchholz — say the theft of their dinghy and motor (which can be seen to the left of Lauren S.) hasn’t tarnished their view of Bay Area sailors.

© The Laurens

The Laurens had been planning to leave yesterday morning, but that was pushed back a couple days. "I just need to get to to Santa Cruz by this weekend so I can sail in the Moore 24 Nationals," Lauren B. noted. Otherwise, the couple plans a slow hop down to San Diego where they’ll await the start of the Baja Ha-Ha. "We’re Entry #2!"

Lauren B. says that the experience has left a permanent mark on their perception of the Bay Area — a good one. "With the exception of the guy who stole our dinghy, everyone here has been so friendly and supportive. It’s been amazing." Ah, the barrel didn’t spoil after all!

“Psst, buddy, wanna good deal?”

© 2010 Achilles/Mercury

So if you’re offered a screaming deal on a grey, 8′ 8"-long 2007 Achilles LSI-88 in new condition with a ’99 Mercury four-hp, two-stroke outboard in near-new condition — neither with any identfying marks, unfortunately — do a good deed and contact the Sausalito Police Department at (415) 289-4170.

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