SIGHTINGS to continue selection for Dinius’ trial, maintains that Lynn Thornton’s 2006 death was caused by “drunken sailors.” Dinius happened to be sitting at the tiller of a sailboat drifting along in zephyrs on Clear Lake when it was rammed at an estimated 40-50 mph by a speedboat driven by Russell Perdock, the #2 man at the Sheriff’s Office. For reasons not adequately explained in the letter, Hopkins said he would discontinued in middle column of next sightings page
We were motorsailing our Ventura-based Ocean 49 catamaran ‘Meerkat’ into Banderas Bay when this humpback whale surfaced on our starboard side. My husband Jim had to turn the boat to stay clear of this big boy. We think he may have been trying to keep us away from a couple of mating whales, as he began herding us — we ended turning 180 degrees! He slapped his tail for about 10 minutes while we just floated there, then swam behind us and began breaching. What a show! — heather stapleton donnell
mob — cont’d unable to get back aboard. She was in the water for 11 hours before being spotted by another boat and rescued. She later commented, “I believe I’m the only person to sail to Hawaii underwater.” • In 1993, Bill Forrest was motoring across Bahia Culebra in Costa Rica. The Bay Area sailor was alone aboard his Capo 30 California Girl. It was a hot morning, so he stripped off his shorts and started a bucket shower to cool off. But when he leaned against the lifelines to get a second bucket, the lifeline broke and he went into the water. He could not get ahold of the slippery boat as it went by, but managed to get a hand on a trolling line he’d rigged — only to have it slip through his grasp and have the hook impale his hand. Being towed behind the boat nearly drowned him, but he managed to be the big one that got away, eventually breaking the line. Then, treading water, he watched his boat slowly motor over the horizon and disappear. He was 68 years old, naked, bleeding and 12 miles offshore. Incredibly, Forrest managed to swim to land, coming ashore on a rocky beach in the wee hours of the following morning. It took another week of working his way south along the rugged coast before he was found. • Bonus MOB — In July 1908, in heavy going in the North Atlantic, Seaman James Wilkinson was washed off the deck of the battleship USS Minnesota by a huge wave. A few minutes later, another big wave deposited him — unharmed — on the deck of the USS Vermont. You swimmers out there, please include as many details as you can — year, boat, boatspeed, conditions, etc. We’d also like to know what you were wearing (particularly whether you were wearing a lifejacket or not), what was going through your mind, how long it took to get rescued, and what actions the crew took to make it happen. We’d also like to know if and how the incident might have changed your life, and your sailing attitude or those of your rescuers. Address all incidents to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line ‘MOB’. We’d really like to make this a meaningful exercise, so the more responses the better. If you know someone with a good story who is too shy or computer-challenged to write themselves, either ‘interview’ them and send along their story, or give us their contact information and we’ll call them ourselves. Photos are encouraged. We will send Latitude 38 T-shirts to all respondents whose stories are used in the article. — jr
gore to speak at leukemia cup The San Francisco Leukemia Cup Regatta is just three years old, yet it’s the highest grossing event in a series of 38 Leukemia Cups that run across the country. From its inception, the San Francisco edition, hosted by San Francisco YC, has been recognized as the top earner in this series of fundraisers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with last September’s contributions topping more than $663,000 — $371,000 more than the next highest grossing regatta. Of course, competition shouldn’t be the primary goal when fundraising, but we are talking about racers here — and the end result is more money for a great cause. Belvedere’s Tom Perkins has been a strong supporter of the regatta, and last year brought his magnificent 289-ft Maltese Falcon to the Bay, as well as inviting News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch to be the keynote speaker at Saturday’s sold-out VIP dinner. One might think that would Ex-Veep Al Gore will speak be a hard act to follow, but Perkins has once at the Leukemia Cup. again raised the bar by securing yet another world-class keynote speaker for this year’s event: Former Vice President Al Gore. continued on outside column of next sightings page August, 2009 •
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The August 2009 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.