LETTERS Frenchman Charlie Girad placed a sat phone call to the Coast Guard in Boston to report that he was "cold and didn't know what to do." So just 10 days into his voyage, he was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. It reportedly cost us taxpayers $80,000 to dispatch the Coast Guard jet and helicopter to retrieve Girard from his 21-ft custom rowboat. Colin Dewey Turning Point, Ericson 29 Encinal YC
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Colin — It would be interesting to know how much of the $80,000 were 'hard costs' already built into the Coast Guard's budget, and how much extra this rescue might have cost. On the one hand, we think the U.S. and other countries need to provide rescue services around the world, but perhaps those who have to be rescued from extreme adventures should either have to post a bond or be presented with at least a part of the bill for their rescue. This would include entries in extreme events such as the Vendée Globe, when the margins of error for safety are so slim that in the last running only 11 of the 30 racers finished. After all, if one of these sailors needs to be rescued from the deep Southern Ocean, why should Aussie or Kiwi taxpayers have to take a big financial hit? If somebody wants to do extreme — especially if its already been done a number of times before — shouldn't he do it on his own nickel? ⇑⇓PLEASE, SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER? I have an unusual request for my Nathan. After wearing his yellow Baja Ha-Ha hat non-stop for the last seven months and 7,000 nautical miles down the coast of Mexico and across the Pacific, it blew off and sank recently during a daysail on San Francisco Bay. He is more depressed about it than is normal for losing a hat. It's as though it was his badge of achievement or something. So I'm wondering, is there any chance you might have another yellow Ha-Ha hat hidden in the attic or stuck down behind a couch that we can buy? Naomi Zell Hurulu, Islander 36 Sausalito Naomi — Unfortunately, the yellow Ha-Ha hats — new last year — went Bill Vaccaro models the like hotcakes. The good news is that yellow Ha-Ha hat. we'll have more of them by October 1, at which time you can buy another for your husband.
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• August, 2009
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⇑⇓WE'VE HAD TWO RIPPED OFF We've had two inflatables stolen from our private slip at Alamitos Bay, which is a very upscale part of Long Beach. I suspect it was the work of local kids from affluent families who wanted to go joyriding. Marty Goldsmith Sweet Bones, Eastbay 38 Alamitos Bay ⇑⇓MY DINGHY WAS STOLEN FROM AVALON You asked about sailors who have gotten ripped off in California. A few years ago we had our dinghy stolen from Avalon Harbor while we were ashore. The thief took the dinghy somewhere offshore, removed the Mercury outboard, then set the dinghy adrift. It later turned up a few coves north of Avalon. I actually got more for the engine in the insurance
The August 2009 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.