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SIGHTINGS run for the border — continued

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dent of the Mexican Marina Owners Association, was alerted to Hards' plight, she asked the association's lawyer to investigate. A trip to the tax bureau's office revealed that after all the fear, worry and drama, "their records show that Pelican's TIP is good until 2019, so his boat should have been released without a fine... As Pelican did have a valid permit all along, they probably will close the file. But what a mess!" Indeed, and the worst problem may be that the whole impoundment fiasco has caused incalculable damage to Mexico's image as a welcoming destination for mariners. That's a shame, because we still think Mexico is one of the world's most wonderful cruising grounds. — andy

While perusing the British Guardian last month we came across a fascinating item about a German fisherman who pulled a brown beer bottle out of the Baltic Sea near Kiel, only to discover that it had a message in it scrawled on a very old post card. It was not a call for help, as is often depicted in movieshe note simply requested the finder return it to the writer's home address in Berlin. Once in the hands of researchers at Hamburg's International Maritime Museum, the bottle's origin was eventually traced. Turns out it was chucked into the Baltic 101 years ago — apparently a record, for those who keep track of such things, especially since the bottle was completely intact. Through handwriting analysis, ac-

san francisco pit stop

ABNER KINGMAN

Clipper Race Round the World sailors recently descended upon South Beach YC as they finished Race 10 from Qingdao, China. It was exciting to finally meet some of the crewmembers we've interviewed in months past and to hear anecdotally from others what they had to say about their recent crossing. Derry~Londonderry~Doire's arrival was arguably the most dramatic. Press, supporters and local medical emergency personnel crammed the docks to catch a glimpse of Andrew Taylor. You may recall he was washed overboard in the North Pacific on March 31 and spent a harrowing 90 minutes adrift in the tumultuous sea while his crewmates searched frantically for him. He escaped from the North Pacific's grasp a lot closer to death than we were initially told. What was truly frightening was that after

Andrew fell into the ocean, his life vest failed to deploy. It was a full ten minutes before he was able to manually fill it with air. What's more, when he was pulled from the ocean, his hypothermic condition reportedly had him literally minutes away from death. Another example of how challenging life can be aboard these boats is when a sail is damaged it must be repaired on site — there are no extras. The white sails are so thick you literally need a drill to penetrate them rather than a sewing machine. In some cases when spinnakers were blown up in a race, it took up to two weeks to repair them, with one person sewing them per shift. If the twelve crews can avoid these and other potential pitfalls, their greatest fears during the current leg to Panama may be body odor and their limited menu choices. — ross Page 76 •

Latitude 38

• May, 2014

ABNER KINGMAN

Above and right: When it came time for the Clipper fleet to begin their race to Panama late last month, San Francisco Bay offered up the sort of rowdy conditions that it's known for worldwide.

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Latitude 38 May 2014  

The May 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 May 2014  

The May 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.