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LETTERS

LATITUDE / RICHARD

PEACEFUL, PROTECTED FIRST CLASS YACHT HARBOR • Sheltered Alameda Location • Competitive Rates • Home of the Alameda Yacht Club

COVERED

BERTHS Cool Protection for Classics 42-ft berths available

1535 Buena Vista Ave., Alameda, California

(510) 522-9080 For directions and rates go to:

www.fortman.com Page 84 •

Latitude 38

• August, 2006

have been drinking. "It is true," the officer told us. "And after breakfast it's about 9 out of 10." Seeking a more pleasant subject, let's talk about Flor, who has been as sweet as she's been a flirt for the many years we've known her. We first bumped into her in the early '90s at the fuel dock at Puerto Vallarta. It was early in the morning, and she was pumping diesel into Big O while still wearing her disco outWhat a sweetheart! Flor's dazzling smile and effervesfit from the cent personality made her a favorite with cruisers. night before. She might have even been wearing high heels. Each time we returned to the fuel dock and Desperado Marine over the years, it was always fun to see what phase of life and clothes Flor was going through. We'll miss Desperado Marine, but not as much as we'll miss Flor's big smile. ⇑⇓HE GOT PISSED AT ME, SAYING HE'D HAD ENOUGH OF MY SUGGESTIONS What do you think when a landlubber buys a 36-ft sloop, having never sailed more than a day on the Bay, having never set or reefed sails, having no navigation skills, and zero, zip, nada seamanship skills? I asked the fellow — a friend — if he knew about time, speed, and distance. He told me that his wife was going to do the navigating. So I asked her if she knew the difference between true and magnetic headings? She thought that I was joking, and looked to her husband for reassurance. He said there was indeed a difference. Then I asked her if she knew about local variations? Same look! As you might imagine, I was a little concerned, but I didn't want to discourage him. Anyway, the guy's new-to-him boat is a beautiful steel boat that has sailed two oceans, and is equipped with an SSB, Monitor vane, watermaker, good sails, and other good stuff. Standing in the cockpit of the boat, I looked around for a compass, and didn't see one. The owner told me he didn't need one. Well, this was getting better every day! In fact, he went on about how the boat had come with a big, ugly compass with two balls — and he'd thrown it out! "Didn't need it," he said, "I have a readout from the autopilot." I sent him an email about the smallest steel boat binnacle that I could find on the net. When I talked to him a couple of weeks later, he said there was no place to mount it, as he had a tiller boat. When I stopped by a few more weeks later, he showed me a compass with a 3-inch card he'd bought and mounted on the hard dodger. It was a compass for a nonferrous hull. When I mentioned that he should have it adjusted and a deviation card made, he got pissed at me, saying that he'd had it with all my suggestions. I know that I'm no Bruce Schwab, but I have 40 years and 25,000 miles of offshore experience, one singlehanded trip from Cabo to Hawaii and back, and two other San Francisco to Hawaii deliveries. Anyway, the reason I'm telling you this little story is I'd

Profile for Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Latitude 38 August 2006  

The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 August 2006  

The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.