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Having stumbled upon a new wreck on the backside of Catalina while hiking with her boyfriend Jeremy, young Rachel Edwards, a vet of five years of cruising the South Pacific, strikes the 'Dancer's Pose' in an ode to lost vessels. Rachel is now back studying Mandarin in Maine.

billionaire owners fly in their entire domestic staff from somewhere else, party for two weeks, then depart, leaving the staff behind to close things up until their next visit. Usually there is a caretaker couple living in their own cabin on the cay, but little work for the locals. The caretakers we met on Little Pipe Cay were Filipinos. The current owner of Over Yonder Cay has erected seven enormous wind turbines with 100-ft blades and about an acre of solar panels. He's also building three large villas in addition to all the support buildings, docks, and so forth. The locals say the buyers of these cays usually lose interest in coming down after five years or so, and sell out within seven years. On our return to the States, we crossed the Gulf Stream from Bimini to Palm Beach starting at 3 a.m. We had fair winds and picked up the Stream

about five miles off Bimini. We averaged 10 knots on the 77-mile crossing. A cold front was forecast to arrive on the Florida coast a couple of hours after we expected to arrive, and in this country that means an unstable air mass behind the front. When we were still 15 miles off the coast, the Coast Guard began broadcasting a marine safety alert. A line of thunderstorms moving southeast across central Florida at 35 knots was producing waterspouts with winds to 50 knots and heavy rain. About five miles off the coast of Florida we were still in brilliant sunshine, but we could see a black roll cloud coming, so we struck the sails. The front hit just as we were approaching the entrance buoy to the Port of Palm Beach. Within minutes, three waterspouts sprang up around us, and we were blinded by blowing

seawater and rain. The wind was howling and there were lightning strikes every few seconds. High-speed sportfishing boats raced for shelter, and we had several close calls with them. We turned our boat to parallel the beach because we didn't want to be blind in the narrow entrance channel. At times we could not see the beach, even though it was less than 100 yards away! Our best references were the depthsounder and the compass. The The roll cloud was Jack and Sherri's GPS was erratic signal to strike sail. because of all the static electricity. We kept our depth at a minimum of 75 feet, and ran the engines at about 1,500 rpm to maintain steerage as we jogged into the wind. Even so, the gusts against the bows would blow our cat off downwind. The waves quickly built to about six feet, even though the wind was coming off the nearby beach. The strongest winds and rain lasted about 20 minutes, then it tapered off to steady wind of 15 knots and light rain. At that point we turned around, entered the channel, and dropped the hook in Lake Worth. The rain had washed all the salt off us and our boat. Taiga is now on the hard 20 miles up the Cooper River from Charleston, South Carolina, resting up for our return. — jack and sherri 9/05/11

Witch of Endor — Vagabond 47 Steve Cherry New Masts For The New Boat (San Diego) Just when Latitude probably thought

Steve, on the right, smiling because he's got new masts. If we're not mistaken, that's 'Viva!' Bob, his cruising sidekick, on the left. COURTESY WITCH OF ENDOR

JEREMEY, RACHEL'S BOYFRIEND

IN LATITUDES

Profile for Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Latitude 38 Oct. 2011  

The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 Oct. 2011  

The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.