NEW EDITION! CHARLIE'S MEXICO Major revision in 2009
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• Over 90 pages updated or added including: • The simplest way to obtain a Temporary Import Permit • Glossary of over 200 mechanical terms in Spanish • Expanded coverage of La Paz marinas and services • Location and contact information for dry storage yards • Annexo 1, a form to avoid duties on replacement parts
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Page 68 •
• August, 2009
• Index of all marinas and boatyards
⇑⇓OUR BOATS HAVE HAD AN "ARK-LIKE ESSENCE" SINCE Latitude asked about readers' experiences with the Quake of '89. I was an incorrigible workaholic in the tech industry at the time, and my rigid 'work hard, play hard' mentality translated into 60+ hours Monday through Friday, and — thank God — a little sailing on Saturday and Sundays. On October 17, I attended an all day offsite department meeting in Los Gatos. It ended much earlier than scheduled, at around 2 p.m. Nine hundred and ninety nine times out of 1,000, I would have beelined it back to the office. For some reason — perhaps it was the nice weather, perhaps it was the fact that there were a number of sailors in the department — I decided to head up to the City for an afternoon sail with a couple friends. We kept our boat at South Beach Marina 'Kiapa', Pete and Susan's latest ark, as seen at the time, and afat San Simeon anchorage. ter a quick stop for some ice, beer and snacks, we were all ready to go at around 4 p.m. After untying the dock lines, we sailed north under the Bay Bridge toward the center of the Bay. Two things happened simultaneously at 5:04 p.m., when we were 200 yards from the Ferry Building heading northwest. One, thousands upon thousands of birds, all around the horizon, took flight for no apparent reason. It was like something out of a creepy Alfred Hitchcock movie. Two, we felt a light jarring — sort of as though we'd run aground on a flat, sandy bottom. At first, we didn't know what to make of it. But things slowly came into focus. I think the first thing we noticed was that the clock tower on the Ferry Building had been damaged. Soon, we saw smoke from fires burning along the Embarcadero, then fires on the Oakland side of the Bay, then finally big plumes of smoke coming over the hills to the west from the fires in the Marina District. We carried a boombox with a radio for tunes. I jumped belowdecks to grab it, but in my haste managed to drop it. The batteries fell out and rolled to all corners of the boat. Rather than put it back together, I grabbed our little batterypowered portable TV instead and turned it on. All we got were 'test patterns' on all the channels. For a second, we thought it was the end of the world. The last thing we noticed was what was happening on the Bay Bridge. The traffic hadn't been moving for a few minutes, and then finally we saw a huge mass of people running westbound across the bridge toward the City. That image was just like the panic scene from a Godzilla movie. After some time, the television came back on, and we were riveted by the news. My wife had gone to a training session in Oakland, so having heard about the collapse of parts of the upper deck of the Nimitz freeway, I had all kinds of worst case scenarios running through my mind. Our kids were in the South Bay at soccer practice, unsupervised. The initial news reports were, thankfully, much worse than the ultimate reality. We heard that all freeways were closed and that nobody could leave the City. We returned to South Beach Harbor to wait for news and
The August 2009 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.