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A Publication For Where Land Ends www.mariner Issue #87 April 2010

The Rules
And How They Apply to the Local Area
Abby Sunderland Rounds Cape Horn Marina del Rey to Guadalupe Island Interview with Author Brian Fagan More...

A Magazine For The Marina del Rey Boating Community

The Mariner is
Editor/Publisher/Writer Pat Reynolds Photographs Pat Reynolds Columnist Mookie Contributors Dave Kirby Richard Schaefer Copy Editing Assistance Lisa Asahara For advertising rates and Information contact 310-397-1887 - phone email Mailing address P.O. Box 9403 Marina del Rey, CA 90295 The Mariner appears on the 3rd Friday of every month. This issue - April 16 - May 21

I know littering is bad. I know, because I’m from the generation that used to see a commercial of a sweet aging American Indian looking at a bunch of garbage, crying crocodile tears on my TV. I would look at him staring at the dirtiness, then he would look into my eyes through the circa 1972 color set and I’m not ashamed to say, I would well up a little myself... I was thinking the other day that all this garbage is going to be trouble. Everyone is ripping packaging open all the time and constantly using stuff up to get new stuff. Kind of a bummer… but then I thought, “wait a second, why am I being so negative?” Maybe I’m looking at this garbage problem from the wrong side. Sure, maybe little pieces of plastic are being ingested by


an beat up piece of sizable tin and quickly train two spider monkeys to pull me around the island. I use six-pack plastics tied together as a whip. I pay the monkeys in bottle caps that I found – telling them that these “coins” are worth more than they can imagine. They seem grateful to have work. I tour the island in my buggy from coast to coast picking up items that improve my life. I found hundreds of cigarette butts and more bottle caps. I plan to get the monkey community hooked on tobacco and then have them pay me all the caps for the butts. Soon I will be rich! All because of garbage. Not so bad huh? Thanks for picking it up!

microorganisms in the ocean and possibly contaminating the entire food chain. Okay, that’s one angle, but what if I get stranded on an uninhabited island? Then I’m going to be loving all this cool garbage that’s floating around. I can see it now. I’m sailing the South Pacific and something goes drastically wrong. I end up with very little in the way of resources - beached on an island. I’m sad and afraid, as I have no matches for fire…that is until I spot an old bic lighter lying on the shoreline. I try it and it works. A few more steps and I see a plastic container. What the? It’s a damn Cuban cigar! Next thing you know I’m a fat cat with his own island! A short walk yields a few wheels from what looks like an old baby carriage. I attach them to

Important Numbers
at a glance: Marina del Rey Sheriff: 310-482-6000 Los Angeles County Lifeguard: 310-577-5700 Vessel Assist: 800-399-1921 Sea Tow 866-473-5400 Marine Life Rescue 800-39WHALE
Cover: Chris Slagerman (helm) and Dave Sheesley sailing an Inter 20. Photo Pat Reynolds

Coming Events Off the Wire Them’s The Rules Analysis of Boating Rules by Charles Ecker Around the Horn Abby Sunderland Update Cruising So Cal Interview with Author Brian Fagan Catalina Currents Cruising Tips by Richard Schaefer Powertails Changes in Fuel Racing Guadalupe Island Race by Eric & Robin Lambert Cruising The Final Voyage of Captain Jack by Jefferson Sa Ask the Expert - Charles Ecker Ask Mookie Classifieds The Mariner - Issue 87 4 6 10 12 14 19 22 24

26 27 28 29





65 McKinna 2002 4 cabins dual helms, fully 52 Californian cockpit motoryacht 1988 equipt, clean $1,099,000 Caterpillar diesels,two staterooms, loaded $199,000

47 Spindrift Ranger convertible sedan Cat diesels, two staterooms $999,000

43 Bayliner 1990 motoryachtyacht three staterooms, diesels $125,000

43 California cockpit motoryacht1988 300 HP Cat diesels, loaded $139,000

42 Chris Craft motoryacht 1987 over $22000 spent in ‘09 upgrades $79,000

42 Uniflite motoryacht 1978 Cummins 270 HP diesels queen master $59,000

42 Californian Trawler dual helms, 450 original hours on Perkins diesels, $79,000

41 Silverton convertible sedan 1995, two cabin spaceous $115,000

39 Bayliner convertible sedan two staterooms two helms Cummins 330 HP diesels $149,000

39 Sea Ranger trawler motor yacht 2 staterooms, 2 hwlms, very clean, 120 HP diesels $79,000

38 Bayliner have three; 1987 -1991all diesels with 2 staterooms, dual helms, from $79,000 to $98,500

38 Dolphin trawler aft cabin 1986 dual helms, full walk around decks, side door entry very clean $99,000

35 Bayliner aft cabin 1996 three staterooms, diesels, lo hours, loaded $114,000

33 Sea Ray sundancer 1994 low engin hours , 32 Lurhrs Flybridge Sedan 1975 all new air cond, generator, new eletronics $43,500. exterior finish and interior upholstery $29,000

45 Morgan/ Catalina built centercockpit bluewater cruiser, loaded clean $149,000

41 Hunter aft cockpit with aft aft cabin; have 41 Islander Freeport 1978 center cockpit 2 -2000 an 2002, from $129,000 ketch bluewater cruiser $59,000

38 Morgan Catalina built center cockpit 1994 loaded and clean $119,000

37 Irwin center cockpit sloop 1975, very clean and fully equipt $39,000

37 Fisher Pilothouse bluewater ketch 1975 36 Magellean ketch 1999978 bluewater upgraded 1991 new engine and more $89,000 cruiser, full keel, Bristol condition $44,500

30 Catalina 1975 1991 three cyl Universal diesel, boat needs several repairs $7,900

Donate to Boy Scouts of America - La Area Council - Contact Gerry for Info

The Mariner - Issue 87


(310-823-4567). Open to all who enjoy yachting and adventure, as a public service of California Yacht Club 4469 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey ~ 310-823-4567 ~ www.CalYachtClub. com Dockwalker Training The California Department of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission’s Boating Clean & Green Program in partnership with the Keep the Delta Clean Program, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, the US Power Squadrons and many more organizations conduct more Dockwalker trainings this year. From 10:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium - 3720 Stephen M. White Drive. San Pedro, CA 90731 training will commence. Partners: The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, City of Los Angeles. Please feel free to contact Vivian (415) 904-6905 or if you have any questions or to register. CPR/AED and First Aid Training Learn how to respond to sudden illness, injury and breathing/cardiac emergencies in Adults and Children. This is an American Red Cross class offering certification (1-year Adult CPR/AED and 3-year First Aid). The cost is $55 for Coast Guard Auxiliary members / $65 for general public; class meets from 10am-5pm at Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club. To register or obtain more information please go to www. or contact Linda via phone (818 793 7923) or email Linda@PlatinumCPR. com. Oceanography For Boaters – Waves and Beaches These series of talks are for anyone who wants to learn more about the ocean they play in. Practical applications through knowledge of oceanography will enable the boater to understand the conditions around them and aid them in predicting what lies ahead of their bow wave. Taught by Michael Leneman – an Oceanography Professor, owner of Multi Marine and one of the top multihull racing skippers in California, Mike’s lecture style will enlighten and entertain. A series of 7 Lectures Tuesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Space is limited – reservations are recommended. Call Mike Leneman at Multi Marine, (310) 8216762. Oceanography For Boaters – Tides See above listing for details.

May 1

Smwyc Crab Feast SMWYC is having an ‘all you can eat’ Crab Feast for a donation of $55. At the dinner, we will be conducting both a Silent Auction and a Live Auction to benefit the City of Hope Cancer Foundation. For details on the auction go to For details on the Crab Feast/Auction go to or call 310-827-SMYC White Seabass & Halibut Tournament Time to get out the Rod & Reel and join us for the White Seabass & Halibut Championship Series. This is event is sponsored by Western Outdoor News, United Anglers, and many more. Go to for more info. California Yacht Club Yachting Luncheon and Forum: “Latin American Adventures”. Crossing the “Andes” by boat, Rounding “Cape Horn” and other unique experiences. Presented by California Yacht Club Past Commodore Martin McCarthy. You’ll experience the foreboding landscape of Chile’s “Tierra del Fuego” while cruising through the “Straits of Magellan” and climbing ashore at fabled “Cape Horn.” Then visit colonial Santiago in preparation for crossing the Andes mountains by boat through the active volcano-encircled lake district; the voyage is rewarded by dramatic scenery and final destination San Carlos del Bariloche – Argentina’s “little Switzerland” and chocolate aficionados wonderland. Happy Half Hour – Noon. Bountiful Buffet Luncheon – 12:20 p.m. Presentation – 12:40 p.m. $15.15 includes Luncheon, tax, service and parking. Reservations appreciated. Open to all who enjoy yachting and adventure, as a public service of California Yacht Club. 4469 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey ~ 310-823-4567 ~ www.

May 15 & 16

To publish a community event email:

May 27

Oceanography For Boaters Wind Waves Deep water waves and their origin and life cycle, taught be Oceanography Professor, Mike Leneman. Lectures Tuesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Space is limited – reservations are recommended. Call Mike Leneman at Multi Marine (310) 821-6762. California Yacht Club Open House Event The California Yacht Club, one of the top ten private Yacht clubs in the United States, will make it facilities and grounds available for public viewing at 10 a.m. -3 p.m.. The Club, winner of multiple Fleet Service Awards was established in Los Angeles in 1922 and has been in its present location at 4469 Admiralty Way in Marina del Rey since 1963. Visitors to this once a year event will be guided through the Club grounds, viewing the Clubhouse pool, Paddle Tennis courts, world class dining room, bar, snack bar and catering facilities. Complementary refreshments will be served and parking is free. California Yacht Club Yachting Dinner: Singapore to Sydney: Over the Waves to Exotic Ports of Call! Presented by Steve Frankel and Jill Grossbard Veteran adventurers Steve Frakel and Jill Grossbard speak of The Yachting Dinner will be held at California Yacht Club beginning at 6:15 p.m. The couple discusses their “half circumnavigation” from Perth to Sydney and a round-trip from Sydney through the Great Barrier Reefs to New Guinea aboard many cruise lines. No-Host Cocktails 6:15 p.m. • Bountiful Buffet Dinner 7:00 p.m. Followed by Presentation $19.50 includes Dinner, tax, service and parking. Reservations required 4

April 20

May 1

April 25

May 4

April 29

Live Music at the Waterfront Unkle Monkey (Guitar, Ukulele & Steel Drum ) performs every Monday Night 7-10pm at The Waterfront Restaurant 4211 Admiralty Way Enjoy the intoxicating sounds of the islands from Hawaii to the Caribbean....and plenty of Jimmy Buffett songs ! Marina Venice Yacht Club Social Sundays Join Marina Venice Yacht Club weekly for our Social-Sunday Open House from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Food items are provided and there is no charge. MVYC is located in the Marina City Club - West Tower - at 4333 Admiralty Way. Whether you own a boat, are looking to buy 2010

May 11

May 15 The Mariner - Issue 87

one, or just want to be around other water loving people MVYC welcomes all who share in the Corinthian Spirit. Security will tell you where to park. Follow the signs up the stairs or elevator to the Club House on G2. For more information contact, call (818) 4226368, or visit our Facebook Group page. Sailing Singles of Southern California Sailing Singles of Southern California is a Sailing Club centered in Marina del Rey but open to all sailing enthusiasts from the LA area. We meet twice monthly, at 7 p.m. at the Marina Venice Yacht Club, 4333 Admiralty Way located at the Marina City Club West Tower in Marina del Rey. There is a $10 Meeting donation per person that includes a light Dinner. Drinks are available at a full bar at reasonable prices. Club members will meet and socialize with sailboat owners and can arrange for sails in Santa Monica Bay. After sailing, club members can enjoy wine and cheese parties or full dinners on member’s Boats. Catalina Island trips and special events are also planned. (310) 822-0893 or email: www. Marina Sunday Sailing Club Since 1981 MSSC has brought together skippers and crew in a friendly social environment for daysails in Santa Monica Bay and cruises to Catalina and other destinations. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month on the patio at Burton Chace Park under the Club banner. Meetings start at 10:00 a.m. with a free Continental breakfast and socializing. We hold a brief business meeting and then head out for an afternoon of sailing on the Bay after which we gather at a member’s dock for wine, snacks and more socializing. Visitors are welcome and may attend two meetings free. No prior sailing experience is necessary. Married people welcome! For more info call (310) 226-8000 or visit Single Mariners Meeting Social meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at Pacific Mariners Yacht Club on 13915 Panay Way in Marina del Rey. Meeting donation is $7.00, which includes a light buffet dinner. At these meetings, skippers and crew sign up for day sails. On sailing days the Single Mariners meet at 9:30 a.m. for breakfast at the Marina del Rey Hotel on 13534 Bali Way, spend the afternoon sailing and then return to the docks for a wine and cheese social. Novices are welcome and encouraged. For more info call (310) 289-3338. Women’s Sailing Association of Santa Monica Bay Meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 2010

the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club, 13589 Mindanao Way, in Marina del Rey. The meeting, held at 7:30, is preceded by a social hour, and a light dinner is served. Each meeting features a guest speaker discussing their adventures and achievements. WSA invites boaters of all skill levels to join. Its programs, include day sails, seminars, parties, and cruises including destinations such as King Harbor, Catalina and the northern Channel Islands, For membership information contact Sandy Penrod. at or on the web at Catalinas of Santa Monica Bay, Owners of Catalina Yachts Join us for our monthly meetings at the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. We would like to welcome Catalina owners to join our club. We have speakers, cruises to Catalina, races and other events throughout the year. Our doors open at 6:00 for happy hour and then dinner around 7 to 7:30 and our main event after that. Join the fun and meet other owners of Catalinas. For more info email


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The Mariner - Issue 87




Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club Stages Regatta to Raise Money for City of Hope Cancer Foundation
In Norm Perron’s third year organizing the City of Hope Charity Regatta for Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club to benefit the City of Hope Cancer Research Hospital he is looking to raise more money than all previous attempts. “Last year the regatta earned $9,600, and our goal this year is to substantially beat that figure,” Perron said. Perron is calling upon all sailors to get a crew together and have a leisurely light-hearted race on May 16 for a good cause. As an owner of a Catalina 42 he has been successful in getting out many of the 42s in the marina and expects a solid turnout from that class again this year. For a minimum $25 donation, you can get a crew position on a Catalina 42 with no racing experience required, only the desire to be part of a winning team. Participants will enjoy a beautiful day on the water, the excitement of sailboat racing, and the satisfaction of helping save lives. For a minimum $30 donation, donors can secure a seat on the Race Committee boat. Enjoy being right at the start of the race aboard the Odyssey a comfortable 58’ Hatteras tri-deck motor yacht. Munchies and refreshments will be served on board. In addition to the one-design Catalina 42 class, they will also conduct two other classes of races: the PHRF and Cruiser class. For those interested, a crew and a tactician can be provided on your boat. $25 minimum donation per person on all of these boats. Corporate and individual sponsors are also invited to participate. For $500 donation, a sponsor would receive: a banner with their name and/or logo displayed both at the crab feast being held May 15 at SMWYC and on one of the race boats during the regatta. They also are eligible for a crew position on a race boat or a spot on the Committee boat. Sponsors will also have their name printed on the t-shirts for the local MdR chapter of the CoH cancer walk. To sign up or have further questions contact Norm Perron at 424-222-9206 or email

10th Annual City of Hope & Crab Feast Auction! Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club
Saturday, May 15th (Crab Feast/auction) & Sunday, May 16th (Regatta)

The Mariner
Pick it Up! 310-397-1887
Catalina 42 owners who helped raise $9,600 last year. Photo courtesy of Bill Berry

This will be our 10th year raising funds for the City of Hope Cancer Research Hospital. For details on the regatta see the article on page 6 in this issue. For details on the Crab Feast/Auction go to

Yacht Club of the Year 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007! For information: 310-827-SMYC or 13589 Mindanao Way Marina del Rey CA 90292
The Mariner - Issue 87



WI R E Big Sleds Enter The Border Run

In only their second year, the Border Run International Sailing Event appears to be the talk of the Southern California racing scene with the recent announcement of eight maxi-sleds entering the contest. These boats, considered the “rock stars” of the So Cal scene, will be competing in a course that begins in Newport, rounds the Coronado del Norte Island and finishes in San Diego. Grand Illusion, Holua, OEX, Condor, Cheetah, Alchemy, Medicine Man and the scratch boat Akela, skippered by So Cal racing legend Doug Baker are all slated for the April 24 start in Newport. At the same time, two trifoilers, once considered the fastest design on the planet, will be competing in the developmental class that the Border Run has created. In addition, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has come aboard as the official charity of the Border Run. “Who says a lot can’t happen in two weeks?” Border Run Co-founder Randy Reynolds said of this influx of good news. “It’s been really fun seeing it all develop. Once we decided that we wanted to create an event where everyone would be welcome, things just started to come together.” Reynolds, founder of Reynolds Design, is especially proud that both the developmental class and Maxi class have come to the table. After spending a lifetime creating and sailing boats that go fast, he is happy to see both established designs and more unconventional boats taking part in the event.

“In the 70’s you used to have regattas like the ‘Yachting One of a Kind Regatta’ pitting one designs and one-off boats together, but today there is no venue for designers to come out and compete in developmental boats with The Border Run, now there is.” Aside from the racing aspects, the Border Run organizers are also pleased that the event has recently formed an association with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In participating in the race, each sailor has the opportunity to raise money for the charity and, in turn, be eligible to earn their entry and win prizes, such as a chance to sail with world-renowned sailor, ESPN commentator and National Regatta chairman Gary Jobson in December. The Border Run Sailing Event is presented by XS Racing with South Shore Yacht Club of Newport Beach, Ca. beginning on Saturday, April 24, 2010, the Border Run will start sailors from Newport Beach, to the Coronado Islands and finish in San Diego to party at the beautiful Kona Kai resort set on San Diego Bay. For first timers and smaller boats a 69mile short course option allows a more direct route to San Diego. For more information on the race and how to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society go to and click on the Border Run or call 800-366-8584 or email


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The Mariner

- Issue 87




WI R E RBOC Addresses Proposed Permit That Would Regulate Boaters and Marina Operators
Important issues with wide-ranging impact were being discussed at a recent luncheon at the California Yacht Club where an official from the Water Resources Control Board [Water Board] was on hand to address and discuss a proposed marina permit that, as drafted, would hold boaters and marina operators feet to the fire when it comes to pollution. In a letter to Charles M. Hoppin, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, Recreational Boaters of California President Anne Sacks who hosted the event said: reduce the amount of copper in the water.” Sacks asked that the board, “work with the boating community to pursue a fact and science based approach that first identifies and then addresses pollution that is determined to be attributable to recreational vessels and marina operations.” But Darrin Polhemus, Deputy Director for the California State Water Resources Control Board, assured that this permit that RBOC and the boating community are reacting to was simply an “exercise” that the Board goes through to better understand a given group of issues.

Fastest Around the World

The Jules Verne Trophy now belongs to ten men who have sailed around the globe at an average of 18.76-knots along the optimum course, beating the reference time set by Orange 2 in 2005 by 2 days 08 hours 35 minutes. Franck Cammas and his men crossed the finish line off the Créac’h lighthouse at Ushant (Finistère) at 21h40’45” UTC Saturday 20 March. They are due to make the Port du Château in Brest at around 0900 UTC tomorrow. The skipper Franck Cammas, navigator Stan Honey, watch leaders Fred Le Peutrec and Steve Ravussin, helmsmen/trimmers Loïc Le Mignon, Thomas Coville and Lionel Lemonchois, and the three bowmen Bruno Jeanjean, Ronan Le Goff and Jacques Caraës, supported on shore by router Sylvain Mondon, have pulled it off: they have beaten the round the world record under sail via the three capes.

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“As drafted, it would force these marinas Darrin Polhemus, Deputy Director for the “A permit activity contains to spend hundreds of California State Water Resources Control all the things I need to Board, addresses a full house at the Calithousands of dollars fonia Yacht Club regarding a proposed know,” said Polhemus, “so it’s kind of a nice structured each year to conduct Marina permit. approach [to understanding]. expensive water quality Does it mean that I’m ever testing and monitoring going to issue the permit? and to report that Not necessarily. And at this point I don’t intend information to the State. on issuing a Marina permit.” “The proposed permit would also provide the Water Board the authority to mandate RBOC will no doubt keep a watch on this ‘management practices’ on each marina. Such “permit in a drawer” as Polhemus described it. mandates could include testing the bottom To learn more about this issue go to www.rboc. paint of the boats to see if they contain copper org. and even a mandate that slips be eliminated to

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- Issue 87




WI R E Donate Used Sails for Haiti Relief

A 53’ container loaded with used sails gathered in Maine arrived in Miami during the last week of March. The 14,000 pounds of used sails can provide shelter to a small city once the sails reach Haiti. The first shipment of used sails from the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area landed in Haiti on the Sea Flower in the middle of February, and sails have continued to flow into Shake a Leg Miami. Sometimes the used sails are tired jibs and main sails that were taking up room in trailer boxes or got blown out during racing on Biscayne Bay. Other times they are from sail makers whose customers never picked them up. The largest used sail that has been sent to Haiti was from Doyle’s Fort Lauderdale loft. It was a main sail from a 150-foot boat. It was so heavy (750 lbs.) that the orphanage that it was destined for in Carrefour, Haiti had a difficult time finding a truck to transport it to it. Over three months have elapsed since the January 12 earthquake. There are fewer privately sponsored cargo vessels heading to Haiti and many of the shipping companies who were providing free, or discounted rates for relief supplies have returned to charging customary rates. Others are making available surplus cargo space for relief supplies, on a case-by-case basis. The need for shelter in Haiti will continue indefinitely. Keep the sails coming. If you are considering collecting sails for Haiti, try to work with sail lofts, regatta organizers and boat shows as collection points. Old line, rope and cord are also in high demand in Haiti. You can help fund the shipment of used sails from collection points throughout the US to Miami and then from Miami to Haiti, by clicking on the button at the bottom of Shake a Leg Miami’s homepage.

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The Mariner

- Issue 87


Them’s the Rules!

Safely (and legally) Navigating Marina del Rey Harbor & Channel

by Charles Ecker

ith boating season upon us, now is an ideal time to clear up some confusion concerning what are navigation rules, compared to guidelines, in the Marina del Rey channel and harbor. First off, we asked Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Frank Ruiz, a member of the Marina del Rey station Marine Enforcement Unit, to spell out what laws precisely affect navigating waters inside the breakwater, and one off-shore rule. “It should be understood by all boaters that while inside the harbor (which is considered an inland waterway) all of the laws set forth by the United States Federal Code of regulations, Title 14, apply. Title 14 is enforceable by California peace officers as it is incorporated into the California Harbors and Navigation Code by section 6600.1. That being said, Marina del Rey and Los Angeles County waters are also governed by the Los Angeles County Code which is mainly what is enforced here.” 10


Let’s stick to some of the more common marine violations enforced in Marina del Rey harbor for better boating locally and leave the broader offshore sailing and power boating skills to those trained volunteers who teach our Coast Guard Auxiliary classes throughout the year. As we go through the rules, we will note in parentheses the key law enforcement codes. If you violate them, you are sure to get a visit to your boat by watchful law enforcement officials.

engines in neutral. This can’t be done, legally. “There is a very important rule that covers the white and orange buoys in the main channel which designate the outbound power lane on the north side of the channel, the mid-channel sailing lane, and the inbound power lane on the south side of the channel, seven days a week,” notes Deputy Ruiz. “We will frequently observe power vessels disregarding the markers denoting the sail area and powering up and down the middle of the channel. Oftentimes, sailboat operators under power mistakenly believe they can sail in the sail lane but they are considered power boats whether or not their sails are hoisted. Violation of this section is an infraction with fines that increase with each violation within a year.” (19.12.610 LACC Compliance with markers and signals.) The only exception, according to the Sheriff’s Department, is allowing skulls to navigate in the mid-channel during the week for crew practice and commercial party boats near the breakwater. 2010

Buoy Obedience
The Marina del Rey channel has three lanes, demarcated by white buoys with orange strips. These are called Private Aids to Navigation PATONs). The outside lanes are for power boats and the center lane is for boats under sail. Many boaters in the channel erroneously think they can use their engines (whether on power or sailboats) in the middle sailing lane at least when there is no traffic, like mid-week, without risk of violating any laws. This includes sailors who are under sail in the mid-channel with their

The Mariner - Issue 87

Guidelines by the Breakwater
The Sheriff’s Department adds that entering and exiting the harbor via either the north or south passageways is permitted. When I moved here 26 years ago, there were metal placards posted in several places around the marina which stated that boaters should exit the Marina to the north, enter from the south. (I’ve found one that is still up, just in front of the Ship’s Store in D Basin.)

(19.12.620(a) and 19.12.1250(b).)

lifeguards to cite people for a violation of this section.” (17.12.470)

If You Make a Wake – It’s Got Your Name On It
This rule involves very careful awareness by the boat owner about what damage he or she can cause going too fast. The Sheriff’s Department

Stow--Don’t Dump or Throw
Acts of pollution under the scrutiny of law enforcement include discharging heads, dumping oil/chemicals and littering when in the harbor and channel. There are heavy fines involved by violating these restrictions not only in the marina waters, but also out at sea.

Shoaling can affect the amount of “safe space” you have for navigation at the jetty passageways. Local mariners know that shoaling off Ballona Creek affecting the South Jetty passageway happens naturally every few years and even the North Jetty area was victim to significant shoaling during a particularly heavy rainstorm this year. Closely observe the red and green navigation aids at the jetty tips and breakwater and make sure you are between them to protect from a possible grounding. Remember the ‘red-right-returning’ principle of safe navigation.

Life Jacket Wear
California law requires children under the age of 12 to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while underway (unless the child is tethered or in an enclosed cabin) in a Photo Linda Ecker vessel 26 feet long or less. The Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary always encourage boaters of all ages to wear life jackets or at least have them nearby while underway. I learned during CGAUX crew training that it was extremely difficult to put on a life jacket (four tries in eight minutes) when it was floating next to me, and that was in a swimming pool. I was exhausted when the exercise ended!

representative goes on to say: “Boat operators must realize that even if traveling the speed limit, if their vessel is causing an excessive wake, they can still be cited for this rule. We issue more citations for this section than the others regarding speed. Boaters are liable for damage caused by their wake.” (19.12.620 (c) Excessive Wake) Another aspect of this rule is that if you cause damage from your wake anywhere in the marina waters, your insurance premiums could go up if eyewitnesses attest to damage and those affected by it seek redress!

Cheating the Line
Sailboats sailing in the center of the channel, especially during times of dense traffic, should be careful not to drift into the lane designated for powerboats. Not only is that illegal, but it is nerve racking for those lawfully in the power lanes. There have been times when collisions have occurred. Same goes for power boats that stray into the sail area. Stick to your assigned lanes. However, if you are avoiding a collision to take evasive action, make a safe move so that no one is endangered on both sides of the “line,” that imaginary demarcation line linking the orange and white navigation buoys running parallel along the jetties.

Special Inbound/ Outbound Harbor Right of Way Considerations
When you pass from the “elbow” by the UCLA sail dock, it is customary to operate boats safely with boats coming north trying to stay on the eastern side of the harbor and boats going south sticking to the western side. Rules of the road apply (power gives way to sail) with a couple of exceptions. Law enforcement vessels such as the Coast Guard, Sheriff’s Department and Baywatch have the right of way when engaged in their law enforcement and search and rescue operations. When doing so, they will be displaying a blue flashing light or turning on a siren. If you see boats clearly marked as Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels, the crews on board their vessels have the right of way too, even if they are engaged in training exercises. If Sea Tow or Vessel Assist boats are obviously underway to aid boats in need of a tow, be courteous and give way to them. Clear the way for party boats and commercial fishing boats because they are in commercial operation. If commercial boats are backing out of their slips, you will clearly hear a sound signal (three short horn blasts) when they are backing up. Stay clear. 11

Bow Riding Is Unsafe and Against the Law
Deputy Ruiz cites another law that prohibits ‘Bow Riding’. Enforcing this law (19.12.620(d) keeps the Sheriff’s Department particularly busy in the summer. Bow riders, often times children, dangerously dangle over the bow of powerboats and even sailboats that are underway. Now you should not confuse this with sitting in a recessed power boat passenger area constructed in front of the steering station. Not so safe or comfortable in high winds and chop, but legal.

Observing Speed Limits
Basic speed laws are enforceable in Marina del Rey channel and harbor. “The speed limit once inside the entrance channel of the harbor is 8-knots. Once the main channel turns due north at what is basically the UCLA rowing dock, the speed limit changes to 5-knots (or no wake) for the rest of the harbor,” states Deputy Ruiz. “Violation of the basic speed law is almost always filed as a misdemeanor offense (subject to arrest) and will certainly be written up as a misdemeanor if traveling over 15-knots” 2010

Boating Near the Shoreline
Let’s go past the breakwater for a minute. Boating too close to shore is inherently unsafe and can subject an owner/operator to a fine, too. Deputy Ruiz cautions that “once off shore, boaters should be aware that in order to maintain a safe environment for boaters and swimmers, a distance of 300 yards from shore must be maintained. We are frequently called to assist

The Mariner - Issue 87

Around the Horn
Marina del Rey sailor Abby Sunderland becomes the youngest person to sail solo around cape Horn

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The Mariner - Issue 87


On January 23 a young girl, just turned 16, sailed her Open-40 racer - designed specially for solo sailing - past the breakwall of Marina del Rey. Abby Sunderland was serious, if not defensive in her pre-departure press conference after facing some skepticism about her pending journey. Compared to her own brother Zac who sailed off to set a similar record and British teenager Mike Perham who chased the same record, Abby’s fanfare was clearly tempered. Sunderland left in a calm wind and a dubious atmosphere in an attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world. There was talk of protests at her departure and the press was told that questions about the controversial aspects of the trip would not be entertained. The family looked almost uneasy as they gathered before the television cameras – the same cameras that they smiled and interviewed in front of while celebrating their son Zac’s record setting circumnavigation. In many yacht club conversations and internet forum threads, people questioned the voyage, Abby’s preparedness, and the family’s motivations. But on March 31 the teenaged sailor became the youngest person ever to sail solo around Cape Horn, one of the most feared and notorious areas on the planet. “I didn’t get to see it as I was around 50-60 miles offshore when I went around,” Abby wrote in her blog. “Even though I didn’t get to see it, it’s very exciting to finally be here. I’ve covered a lot of miles and have been through a lot, so finally getting here to Cape Horn is very exciting!” Sunderland is down to one autopilot since her first one broke and this is a concern because the boat has no self-steering mechanism besides what is currently in operation and solo sailing without autopilot is “game over”. Abby seems optimistic about the situation. “My second autopilot is working very well. It is exactly the same as my other autopilot. If something does go wrong with it I have enough spares between the two that I should be able to fix it out here. With all of the troubleshooting I have done, I know these things inside and out so at least I have that experience.” Other than this lingering anxiety, the young sailor is handling the laborious and sometimes punishing journey with a patient and staunch attitude. She has mentioned 20-foot seas and 40-knot winds in passing and is still updating her blog with a lighthearted upbeat tone. With the rounding of Cape Horn in the books Sunderland has taken her first step toward silencing her critics, but more relevant, she is now part the very elite company of sailors who have sailed this passage. There is perhaps no greater achievement for a sailor than having successfully rounded Cape Horn, let alone alone at 16. To follow Sunderland’s voyage go to

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The Mariner - Issue 87


Cruising So Cal
An Interview With Brian Fagan, author of The Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California.
Not only have you extensively cruised the Southern California, Northern Mexican waters extensively, you’ve penned a book about it that still remains one of the most well-regarded books on the subject. That said, what spots, of the ones you’ve covered in The Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California, are your personal favorites? Without question, my two favorites are the north coast of Santa Cruz Island with its many nice anchorages and the San Francisco Bay area, where the quality of sailing is unrivaled. At Santa Cruz, you have to anchor and it’s like a 19th-century world. No buoys to secure to and you are on your own and have to make judgments about where to anchor. Sailing through the Golden Gate and under the Bridge is one of the great cruising experiences. And the summer sailing there is boisterous and wonderful. Where are some cruising spots in Southern California that you consider “well kept secrets”? There are few well kept secrets left in Central and Southern California waters, especially south of Point Mugu, where the marine environment is largely artificial these days. I can find you a nice anchorage at the Channel Islands with no one in it over any summer long weekend--but I’m keeping my mouth shut! My advice: take advantage of the fact that most people go to the same old places--a mistake! In your experience, is Point Conception, the Cape Horn of the West Coast as some have suggested? Point Conception has been the subject of almost more bar talk than any other headland in the United States. Yes, the winds can blow strongly there and it can be a nasty place, but, if you time your passage north and south and travel north at night, you should have no trouble. Like so much else, it’s a matter of common sense, careful timing, and judgment when on passage. And please...ignore the bar talk! You’ll probably find that most of those holding forth have never been there! Do you think technology has made cruising generally safer? Yes, technology has made sailing safer in the sense that you can push a button and find out where you are. But I worry about a whole generation of people at sea, who have never used a Dead Reckoning or even taken a bearing. What happens if your batteries die or your electronics take a day off? Frankly, and I am conservative here and West Marine may hate me for it, but I thank a lot of the electronic goodies we now consider “essential” are unnecessary. What’s wrong with a chart, a compass, a bearing compass and a pencil and parallel rulers? They make for far more entertaining and challenging passage making--but you have to realize that I am old fashioned! 14 Do you think most Southern California boaters know enough about how to properly anchor their boat? Anchoring is an art, not a matter of technology alone, much as the technology-obsessed among us would like you to believe. Many Southern California sailors have never anchored, or rarely done so, living as they do in a marina environment, or with moorings at Catalina. Anchoring is a matter of experience and practice, of digging your anchor in securely and laying out plenty of scope, as well as choosing the right place. If you’re doubtful about your anchoring skills, recruit a crew and spend several weekends practicing again and again. Then go to the Cannel Islands, and I guarantee that you’ll be fine. Have you cruised near San Nicolas and/or San Clemente Islands? If so, is it an interesting place to visit even though you can’t land? For most people, I don’t think that San Nicolas and San Clemente are worth the long passages to and from the mainland. The fun of the Channel Islands is exploration both at sea and on land--and you can do that at other islands. Having said this, they are certainly worth seeing. What have you found most gratifying about cruising these waters? The predictable summer weather and the afternoon trades. I’ve had more perfect sailing days and wonderful passages here than anywhere else in the world. We are lucky to have such a perfect cruising ground so close. What boating highlight will stay with you forever? Making landfall on the British Virgin Islands from Europe within a 1/4 mile of our destination--a rock 38 feet high with a light, WITHOUT using GPS--sextant only. That and sailing from England to Finland and back, again without electronics. What skill or piece of knowledge do you wish you learned far earlier than you did? Patience--patience to go with the flow and to accept that good seamanship means waiting for the right conditions. To my mind, it is not fund to pound your way to windward when you can avoid it. I think such patience comes with age and experience. What do you plan on discussing in your upcoming lecture at Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club on May 12th? I’m going to talk about cruising in California, some of the strategies of passage making and some of the fine places you can visit. This will be very much aimed at people who are planning their first trips to the Channel Islands. The experts certainly know more than I do! Coverage: nothing north of Point Conception--just home waters, which I know best. 2010

The Mariner - Issue 87

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The Mariner - Issue 87


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The Mariner - Issue 87


By Captain Richard Schaefer

What To Do Right When Things Go Wrong Part 2
themselves. I hope you guys wake up and voluntarily keep your take down. The alternative is more government regulations and closures. Okay, enough of the “J.F.K.” and , “Conspiracy Theory” angle. Last month I wrote about maintenance and prevention as a first line of defense in averting a crisis at sea. Now we’ll talk about handling the situation when, in spite of your best efforts to prevent it, you find yourself knee deep in tribulation. off, most boats will tend themselves from here. 8. In most cases the MOB will be close enough to grab a thrown line. With practice a person can consistently steer the boat within arms reach. 9. Get your ladder or stern boarding gate down. Help the MOB aboard. All the while - the boat is hove to and stable - take as long as you need, assuming you have sea room. This method works well on any point of sail except a run or a deep broad reach. On these points of sail or when the MOB is unconscious (very rare), it’s probably best to turn the engine on. If you don’t have an engine you will need to tack back upwind to the MOB. If you do use the engine be sure to put it in neutral as you come along side the MOB “Stumpy” is a salty nickname - but one that not everyone would appreciate.

efore I dive into, “How to Survive Your Boating Experience - The Key to a Successful Day On the Water”, I need to touch on a couple of unrelated, environmental topics. I know I’ve been promising for months to get into the State Water Resources Board proposed marina regulatory plan. However, it seems now that they have backed away from the “hard green” approach and are considering other alternatives. I prefer to think of them as regrouping and planning for a new attack on boating and recreational freedom. But hey, that’s just me - we’ll have to wait and see. Also, I want to comment on the cancellation of the, “Halibut Derby”. I have warned sport fishermen and the operators of commercial sportfishing boats, privately, and in print, that the increased bag limits on certain species in recent years may be part of a plan by The Department of Fish and Game, and their environmentalist counterparts in government, to reduce fish populations and use these reduced populations as justification to increase the size and number of MLPA closures. The increase in the halibut limit from two to five fish was obviously not in the best interest of the fishery. I note that last year was the worst year I have seen for halibut here, and at the island, in more than a decade. I fear that environmental groups, and Fish and Game, will use reduced fish populations as a reason to close off more areas of our coastal waters to recreational fishing and diving. Which, of course, will lead to lower fish stocks in the areas remaining open - thereby fueling environmentalist demands for even more closures. Further, I suspect that those published pictures of sportfishing boats, with decks awash in fish, will be used against sportfishermen at future hearings. I think Fish and Game is just giving sport fishermen enough fishing line to hang 2010


Man Overboard!
When a crew member falls over the side, speed in retrieval is critical. The fastest, and safest way I know of to rescue someone in the water is a “Heave To Pick Up”. I know, I know...everybody learned the Figure 8 - me too, in 1979. But, I figured out pretty fast that it sucks, for a lot of reasons; slow, complex and requires the boat to hold its bow into the wind (impossible) - eventually ending up beam on to the seas and exposing the boat to a broach in rough conditions (often the case in a MOB situation). I don’t think I could come up with a more hazardous method of rescue. Now, let’s do the MOB drill, step by step. 1. Call out, “Man Overboard!”. 2. Throw a PFD - if you miss - throw another. 3. Have the entire crew watch the person in the water and point. Have them stay calm and still - they needn’t do anything else. 4. Get the most experienced crew member on the helm - hopefully that’s the skipper. 5. Sail off a couple of boat lengths and come about. But don’t touch any sheets. Stop your turn as your bow points to the crew member in the water. 6. Grab a cleated off line - sheet, halyard, dockline, any line 15-feet long, will do. 7. When the MOB is 10 or 15-feet off the bow turn your wheel hard to weather. The boat will slow and the leeward, quarter will slide toward the MOB. Lock your wheel or tiller

Heavy Weather Sailing
Entire books have been written on this subject. I’m going to cover the basics for our local conditions. If you plan to venture far off shore do your home work like your life depends on it . Let’s say you’re out for the day and the wind increases and sea conditions get a little rough. If you’re only a mile or two from port you might want to consider a “fisherman’s reef”. It’s easy and usually effective enough to get you safety back to port. It works well on points of sail above a broad reach. 1. Ease off the main sheet. 2. Bring the traveler to weather as far as you can. 3. Trim the flogging main in until only the bottom portion of the sail is full. The top half of the sail has “twisted off” and is spilling the wind. This is the one time you want to have “twist” in the mainsail. 19

The Mariner - Issue 87


Get your crew into life jackets and have them prepare the “ditch bag” and dinghy or life raft. If you have sufficient crew, have the strongest begin bailing with buckets. Two stout men can move about 40 gallons per minute in “panic mode” - around 30 gallons in “stoic mode”. That amount, coupled with bilge pumps, is pretty substantial. In most cases it’s enough to at least get ahead of the flooding to enable you to find and possibly slow or stop the source. If you don’t have damage control plugs a rag pounded in the hole or breech will slow it down considerably. If the boat is still able to make-way, plot a course for land. Keep the Coast Guard informed of your position and situation. If the situation deteriorates to the point where you feel you must abandon the vessel - DON’T. Stay with the boat. Old sailors say, “Never step into a life raft until it’s a step uphill.” Those shipwreck movies and stories about the “suction” of the sinking ship pulling you under in a “swirling vortex of death” aren’t true for pleasure craft. On a rapidly sinking battleship or super tanker it’s an issue - not a problem on the average pleasure boat. If you’ve got a mega yacht then get in the helicopter. Don’t forget to wave good bye to the crew as you lift off. Remember, even a boat nearly awash will be easier to see by rescuers than a life raft, or worse yet, a bobbing head. Also, it’s good to keep in mind that the minute you are in the water the “hypothermia clock” starts ticking - and it’s counting the time remaining in your life. Even in Southern California the cold will eventually drain the life from you - it’s just a matter of time. If ultimately you are forced into the dinghy, or into the sea, be sure to make every attempt to bring as many signaling/ communications devices as you can - keep them as dry as possible. If you and your crew are forced into the sea - stay together by holding hands or using a line. Keep calm. If you have made contact with emergency personnel your chances of being rescued quickly, in our local waters, are beyond excellent. then a bump. You’re out of the bunk like a shot and on deck. No other boats nearby, but your stern is a lot closer to the shore than it should be - and the tide is low. This sort of anchor dragging is common. Keep calm and shine your flashlight over the transom. Chances are you’re not going to like what you see - probably rocks and kelp - if you’re lucky, sand. Check the depth sounder and make a note of the depth. Don’t start your engine. Instead, go forward and pull in the anchor rode by hand (on a larger boat you’ll need to use the windless). You probably aren’t hard aground. Bring in 5 or 10-feet of rode. Go back and check the fatho and have a look over the stern. If you’ve got deep, clear water over the stern you may elect to either sit in the cockpit awhile a wait to see how the boat lies too the anchor or start the engine and idle in reverse for a moment (it helps to have a crew member watch the rode go taught from the forelock). Chances are you won’t have to reanchor. If you’ve bumped into another boat then the situation can often be solved by each boat pulling in a few feet of rode - followed by a few minutes of watchful waiting. It’s best not to get territorial and starting acting like a sea lawyer regarding who was there first - just cooperate and handle the situation. If it turns out that a boat must re-anchor then the last guy down gets the honor. The situations above represent about 90% of anchor dragging problems. If things are rough and wild it becomes more interesting. A good skipper always has an eye to the weather and an ear toward the VHF, Marine Weather Station. If the forecast looks dodgy, decide whether to remain in the current anchorage or, if possible, move to a more protected one. Local knowledge and experience should be your guide. If you’re short of one or both, ask someone. If you’re at Catalina, the Island Company Harbor Patrol or Avalon Harbor Patrol are great resources - use them. If you’re at one of the Channel Islands ask a knowledgeable neighbor or a consult a crusting guide. Whether you move to another anchorage or stay you might want to consider deploying a second anchor at 45 degrees off the bow - and as much rode out as possible. Use the dinghy to set the second hook. 2010

You will find that the boat has less weather helm and is sailing flatter on her bottom - much more comfortable, dryer and easier to control. If you are farther offshore you will either need to change your headsail or partially furl it if possible. If the boat is still over powered and difficult to control you will need to reef the mainsail. 1. If possible, put the boat on a starboard tack on a low close or beam reach. If your boat is rigged properly the reefing lines should be on the starboard side of the mast and boom. On most newer boats all lines are led aft and reefing can often be accomplished without leaving the cockpit. 2. Ease off the mainsail. If you must go forward to reef then put on a life jacket and, if possible, sit at the base of the mast. Ease the halyard and lower the mainsail until you come to the reefing point (if you need a deeper reef, then lower the sail to the second reef point, or even the third - if you have second and third reef points). 3. Secure the new tack. Then pull in the reefing clew line and get it as close to the boom as you can. Make up your lines and return to the cockpit. 4. Trim your sails and continue your course. NOTE: Reefing systems vary from boat to boat. Know how to use yours. If it is cumbersome you may wish to consult with a rigger or sailing instructor for advice and improvements. In rough sea conditions (rarely in SOCAL) you may have to either “quarter off” (keep the seas/waves on the boat’s quarter. Or, if going to weather, decrease the angle of the bow to the waves. Try to avoid a “beam sea” - there’s a risk of broaching if the waves are steep and high enough. Always be sure to have your crew in lifejackets in rough conditions, and put on foul weather gear. Cold increases the anxiety level and clouds the mind - stay warm and calm.

Flood Control and Foundering
If you begin to take on water be sure your pumps are on and begin to look for the leak. If the flooding is serious contact the Coast Guard and inform them of your situation and position. Assign a crew member to look for the leak under your direction while you are on the radio. 20

Dragging Anchor
It’s 0300 on a calm night and you hear scraping

The Mariner - Issue 87



If it really starts to howl, and you begin to drag, start the engine (if you have a stern anchor out consider the rode and prop problem) and idle in forward when the gusts hit, and back to neutral in the lulls. This is a little tricky, but you’ll soon get the feel for it. I’ve seen boats play this game all night, and I once kept a big ketch off the rocks with this tactic. If you’ve got uglies (rocks, kelp, shear wall, another boat) behind you make sure everyone has a PFD handy. If serious waves start coming into the anchorage - GET OUT! If you must, buoy and slip your cable, and head out to open water, or if possible, a more protected anchorage. If you drag into another boat or a rock face you might be able to use your dinghy as a fender. If your boat goes hard aground, and is holed, it’s probably better to get your crew off and leave it where it is. Generally, it’s easier to salvage a boat in 3-feet of water than it is in 30. If this happens there is usually little you can do until the blow subsides and help arrives. Standby and be prepared to abandon the boat if absolutely necessary. Contacting the Coast Guard does little good in these situations. Unless a life is in immediate danger they usually don’t intercede, and seldom attempt to save the vessel in a “near shore” situation. Vessel Assist would probably be more helpful if weather permitted, and they could get to your vessel in time. Keep in mind that hard groundings are usually considered salvage operations by towing companies and the Coast Guard. That said, if your are skillful, and there is no hull damage involved, you can try rowing out a kedging anchor, heeling the boat using the mast etc... However, there are many variables pertaining to properly and effectively “kedging off” - entire chapters have been devoted to it in books on seamanship. Furthermore, I am certainly no expert in the matter, and hope I never am. Well, on that cheery note...until next month, Happy Boating! Captain Richard Schaefer is a U.S.C.G. Licensed Sailing Master and has instructed in sailing and seamanship, skippered charters, managed yachts and performed deliveries for more than 25 years. He can be reached for questions, comments or consultation at 310-460-8946, or at 2010

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The Mariner - Issue 87


Changes in Fuel
The Ethanol debate continues while boaters wonder how they will be affected

Story courtesy of BoatU.S.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.), the nation’s largest boat owners group, is concerned. “Some of our members have advised us of performance, compatibility and possible safety issues with the current E10 blend,” said BoatU.S. Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich. “To add 50% more ethanol to every gallon of gas without first knowing what it will do to the older vehicles and other gasoline engines we currently own, is simply irresponsible,” she added. The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety has also raised concerns about higher levels of ethanol and the lack of independent testing. Ethanol, a strong solvent, can accelerate the deterioration of fuel system components such as fuel lines, causing them to fail and increasing the level of risk for fire or explosions. Last year Growth Energy, the lobbying group for the ethanol industry, petitioned the EPA to allow the sale of “mid-level” ethanol blends beyond the current 10% (E10) up to the 15% level (E15). In a November 30, 2009 response , the EPA advised Growth Energy that, “Although all of the studies have not been completed, our engineering assessment to date indicates that the robust fuel, engine, and emissions control systems on newer vehicles (probably 2001 and newer model years) will likely be able to accommodate higher ethanol blends, such as E15.” However, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), whose mission is to support an “informed national legislature,” reports in a January 28, 2010 Report for Congress that the EPA’s November response letter “Made no comment on the status of testing for older vehicles or for non-road engines”. The CRS report also says, “Currently, no automaker warranties its vehicles to use gasoline higher than 10% ethanol,” and “small engine manufacturers similarly limit the allowable level of ethanol.” The CRS report also says it’s unclear if the current fuel distribution systems -- the pumps, tanks, delivery vehicles and underground gas lines -- can tolerate blends higher than E10. “Even if the fuel is approved by EPA for use in motor vehicles, presumably fuel suppliers could be unwilling to sell the fuel unless they are confident that it will not damage their existing systems or lead to liability issues in the future,” the CRS reports. The report adds a comment by the independent certification and testing company Underwriters Laboratories saying, “Under normal business conditions E10 at the dispenser (fuel pump) can vary from about seven to 13 percent ethanol. Assuming a similar variance would exist for E15, it likely under normal conditions ethanol concentrations would exceed the 15% limit.” “We recognize that alternative fuels must be brought to market in the U.S.,” said Podlich. “However, there is also a growing awareness among consumers that corn-based ethanol is not the environmental panacea it was thought to be several years ago. Increased food costs, changes in land use, and the energy required to produce ethanol are now giving many Americans second thoughts.”


his summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will decide on whether to allow a 50% increase in the amount of ethanol in the nation’s gasoline supply, from the current E10 (or containing 10% ethanol) up to E15 (containing 15% ethanol). However, with testing data on the new “mid-level” ethanol formulation to be completed on only a small group of 2001 and newer model vehicles by this time frame, consumers with older cars, boats, non-road vehicles or gas-engine powered equipment may find that the fuel is not compatible or safe for use.


The Mariner - Issue 87


According to Dave
Fishing Update by Master Marina del Rey Fisherman Captain Dave Kirby
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With El Neno still dishing out a mixture of good and bad weather, I think we’re all looking forward to seeing the string and summer come back. Although it’s been cold and green around the Santa Monica Bay the sandbass bite has remained. If you’re out for ling cod, I’m hearing a lot of guys talking about fishing deep structure for them and if Larry and Mike at Inseine Baits have cured sardines, the lings love it. The half day/three-quarter day boats have been pulling in lots of sculpin and rockfish. During a recent weekend they reported over 400 rockfish caught in the Bay. Now the weather is beginning to turn we expect to see the white seabass bite around Catalina rebound from what we’ve been seeing – the lack of squid hasn’t helped anything there. If not enough’s happening around these parts for you and you have some time, it’s always cool to head down to San Diego that gets the warmer waters coming from Mexico. The yellowtail bite has been on.

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The Mariner - Issue 87




S h o r t H an ded R a ce to G u a d alu p e I sla n d
By Eric and Robin Lambert
he Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Association (PSSA) Guadalupe Island Race for single and double handers is deceptively simple: start at Marina del Rey, round Guadalupe Island to port, finish at Cat Harbor, Catalina, for a total course length of 588-miles. But there can be a whole world of drama in those miles, with a great range of sailing conditions and a course long enough that pacing and sleep management skills become significant. The race is held every second year during the March full moon. Runaway had won the 2008 race by dint of being the only finisher, but we did set a corrected time course record so we were not just doing it as a cruise. Runaway is a 36 foot sloop, impeccably built of cold molded plywood and epoxy by Gary Titchenal. Like Ragtime, she’s a John Spencer design, albeit with some astute modifications by the builder. Gary built her for himself, and cruised her some 35,000 miles over nearly 20 years before selling her to us. We are Eric and Robin Lambert, long


time cruisers who sailed our previous boat most of the way around the world. Financial reversals have put similar cruising plans for Runaway on hold, but as long as we are stuck here working, we may as well have fun. And fun we are having since discovering the wonderful world of racing and the friendly, supportive folks who are the PSSA. Friday, March 26, 3 p.m., and we are off. Ragtime sliced by, leapt over the horizon and was gone, never to be seen again. The rest of us, mostly in 4KSB’s, plod away. There’s a good sailing breeze out of the SW and the fleet can fetch the west end of Catalina, but I’d noted the hint of a Catalina eddy, and feared that a windhole might form at the island. Accordingly, directly after the start, we tacked and put in a mile to the west, a move so ostensibly stupid, only an idiot would follow us. Damn, Whitall Stokes on Slacker followed us! I wanted to clear the west end by at least five miles, so sailed slower and higher with Slacker doggedly following while the rest of the fleet footed off, intending to cut the point more

closely. Darkness fell with us clearly behind, but we stuck to our plan, and sailed through the night with good breeze all the way. By 6 a.m. roll call, Runaway and Slacker were 30-miles ahead of our main competition. Hah! It worked! The fleet had fallen into the hole, and while the big boats Ragtime and Tenacity managed to extricate themselves fairly adroitly, the smaller boats had a much tougher time. But no lead is big enough to give safety in this race. Rod Percival on Rubicon III is notorious for overcoming huge deficits to snatch victory, and I knew he’d be gunning for us. As it happened, that Saturday and Sunday of the race offered the kind of sailing that makes every expense, every hassle, of boat ownership worthwhile. Halcyon days, no-place-in-the-world-I’d-rather-be days, gliding on smooth seas under blue skies by day and spectacular canopies of stars by night, somewhat washed out by the big fat friendly moon. But our breeze was dying, and a fresh, stronger breeze was filling in from the north, bringing Rubicon III and Thriller with it.

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The Mariner - Issue 87


Guadalupe Island. Photo by Eric Lambert

Guadalupe Island is about the size of Catalina, but at 4000-feet high, it is twice as tall. Rounding the island makes for a difficult battle with the windshadow, and while Runaway and Slacker were parked in the dead zone, Rubicon III and Thriller swept around on the breeze and joined us. After 300-miles of racing, we four were looking at a virtual restart, with all four boats in a line. Since all four boats have the same or similar PHRF ratings, you do have to give some credit to the rating board no matter how popular it is to malign them. The Mexican Navy maintains a base on the island, and a naval ship approached from the mainland. The ship was curious about this invasion of foreign vessels, and interviewed Rubicon III and Thriller on the VHF. The naval officer spoke perfect English and was crisp and professional, and I guess having determined that we were harmless but probably insane, wished us a good voyage and offered the services of the Mexican Navy if we required them. All in all, it was the sort of encounter that leaves one with warm, positive feelings toward a country. Back to battling the dead zone, which was dead only with respect to wind. The sea was littered with whitecaps from steep, nasty little twofoot breakers, and the boats were bucking and kicking, making it difficult to nurse progress from the occasional zephyr. Finally, we broke free into a sustained NW wind of some 20-knots. Through the day and into the night, the wind steadily built. Runaway does not have wind instruments, but when she is heeling over 40 degrees with just a #4 jib up, you can figure that there is rather more wind than we really need. Once the wind dropped to the low 30’s, we hoisted the triple-reefed main, and started 2010

our beat to weather, 280 miles to go. The seas were steep and blocky; Runaway would fire off a wave and smash down, hitting the water with a tremendous crash. I don’t know how mere fiberglass boats could take it, but Runaway is insanely strong, and offered no complaints. Our bearing to the finish was pretty much north, and the wind was pretty much NW, so we could almost fetch it on port tack. But the winds become more westerly near the finish, so it often pays to get some westing in as soon as possible. Indeed, the words of Frank Ross on Prankster rang in my ears. He, a veteran of many Guadalupe Island races, had said, “The hardest thing you’ll ever do is to tack west after rounding the island.” Our routing on Expedition concurred, so we tacked off to the west, picked what turned out to be a perfect layline call, and raced for the finish, changing between the #4 and the #3 jibs and the second and third reefs every few hours as the wind varied. On Wednesday, we’d rounded the east end of San Clemente Island when the 6PM roll call positions came in: that fiendish Rod Percival, whom we thought we’d put safely behind us, had made a huge gain and was set to pass the west end of the island. He was just 12 miles further from the finish than we were, and we owed him two hours. With the #3 jib and the second reef, Runaway was overpowered, but we couldn’t ease up now. We hammered through the night in a mad dash to the finish, boat heeled over 30 degrees and spray everywhere. There was huge shipping activity, lights galore, mostly off to port as we proceeded across the channel between San Clemente and Catalina. But one set of lights had turned and was bearing

down on us, on a collision course. With the thought of Rubicon III breathing down my neck, I did not want to tack away, so I hailed the vessel on the VHF and shined a high-brightness flashlight at them. The ship slowed and we barely crossed their bow. They came up on the VHF, identifying themselves as a warship, part of the battle group to port. Even though they were part of the protective escort for a carrier, they had not seen us on their radar. We have a big aluminum mast, and had a carbon sail up, but at our angle of heel they gave no return at all. Our radar reflector is a good sized octahedral, and it gave no return either. I know we have shown up on radar very well on other occasions, but perhaps we were more upright then. It is worth noting that we run a 25-watt bulb in our tricolor, and show up better than other boats in our fleet, and that the warship did not see the tricolor either. It was the VHF hail and the flashing of our flashlight that finally caught their attention and identified our position. We swept across the finish line at 10:44 p.m., dropped the sails, grabbed a mooring and a bite to eat and crashed into bed, too tired to stay up for Rubicon III’s imminent arrival. The next morning at daybreak we were underway for Marina del Rey when the 6AM roll call positions came in: Rubicon III was still at sea! It turned out that his position report of the night before was in error a whole degree of longitude, and he’d never threatened our second place finish. So there it is: John Spencer designs take first and second in the Guadalupe Island Race doublehanded division. Old wooden boats rule!

The Mariner - Issue 87


C rui si ng

By Jefferson Sa

The Final Voyage of Captain Jack
to change the fuel filter every four to five hours, only to be able to power her up to three to four knots maximum speed for the entire duration of the trip. Along the Oregon coast we came across a small harbor with a beautiful quaint town. We anchored Lady M and settled down for some well-deserved food and rest. The next day, as we left the harbor, I heard Captain Jack screaming his lungs out. “I don’t have steering! We’re gonna hit the rocks!” Jim ran to the stern of the boat and I darted up deck with line in hand, toward a woodpile in the middle of the harbor. I tied the line to the woodpile just in time. Lady M swung around and stopped just before hitting the jagged rocks. Captain Jack glanced at me with a big smile. “You did good . . . real good.” Lady M continued to travel the Oregon coast. We entered another foggy port. “Hard to see,” said Captain Jack. “Sure is,” I replied. Jim was on watch and I was trying to plot the navigation course through the harbor. The pilothouse door was open and 12-foot seas washed over the side of the trawler and into the pilot house. As the boat tilted starboard, all hell broke loose. Captain Jack screamed with terror. “There’s six feet of water in here! Do something!” At that moment I was trying to figure out how to navigate the harbor and read depth charts, all while checking other gauges and instruments. Captain Jack continued yelling. “We’re gonna hit the rocks!” and in my mind I thought, “No, not again!” I looked at the chart with my blurry eyes and yelled back, “Starboard 30 degrees!” We waited for the crash against the rocks, but it never came. We missed them by just a few feet. We stopped in many other beautiful ports around the Pacific and met lots of interesting characters and beautiful people. Around Lompoc, a group of whales came to play. They surfaced beside the trawler and swam and jumped nearby for over an hour. It was a beautiful sight with the sun setting in the distance. Captain Jack, Jim, and I were all in deep thought . . . how could there be anything more beautiful? Captain Jack eventually spoke up. “You know, this is my last trip.” I could hear sadness in his voice. Early the next morning as I was piloting Lady M, I saw the entrance to Channel Island Harbor. I immediately called Captain Jack and Jim and they ran to the bridge. As we were about to cross the entrance lights, I stood up from the captain’s chair. “Captain, go ahead and bring her in.” “He said, “go ‘head you do…” I took a step back and said “Sir it is your boat, you bring her in”, Captain Jack took hold of the wheel and guided the vessel into port. “This is Lady M,” spoke Jack through the radio announcing his arrival to the harbor authorities “Prepare to dock.” As Lady M swung her stern toward her slip, friends listening to the radio were already waiting for us with hot coffee and jokes and also some good whisky. After docking, I grabbed my sea bag and I told Captain Jack how proud I was to have sailed with him. The old captain gave me a bear hug. “The pleasure is all mine.” We walked away with pride and memories. Not long afterward, Captain Jack passed way. Lady M was eventually sold. Although a bit sad, I will always have these great memories. 2010


n a cold February morning in 2000, Jack, a longtime boating captain and close friend, asked me if I could help him pilot a trawler from the port of Anacortez in Washington state to Channel Islands in California. Captain Jack said he needed a second licensed captain to assist him because of his deteriorating health condition, he had numerous health issues. Sometimes when taking his medications, he looks like an unlicensed pharmacist. Yet despite his health, Captain Jack was a brave old sea captain with a hearty attitude. He rigorously defended old sailor traditions and loved everything and anything associated with the sea. Within 48 hours, Jack, myself and another sailor, Jim, were on a plane to Anacortez. Work started the moment we dropped our bags on the old trawler deck. Working 14-hours daily, we checked and rechecked everything on Lady M. She had been resting on her slip for several years and had started to rust. We took this opportunity to install a new sophisticated fuel filter and other equipment brought by Jack. Three days later at 1500 local time, Lady M came out of her slip and sailed around the San Juan islands toward the Pacific. The sky was dark with a gray rain hampering visibility. Lady M sailed through the Strait of San Juan, hitting tree logs all along the way. Finally at around 0100 hours, we saw a freighter and asked permission to follow her to shelter us from the tree logs. The officer in charge told us that they would be heading west until early morning and then turning north toward Alaska. Near Port Angels, Lady M started having her first fuel problems—which followed us the entire trip. Although this trip was schedule to last only 7 to 8 days, it ended up taking us 22 days to reach the final destination. We broke down 26 times! We couldn’t even drink our French wine in port because the diesel smell was so unbearably strong. In the end, we had 26

The Mariner - Issue 87

an engine problem such as a fuel leak. These boats are tied to those yellow buoys because they are considered potentially hazardous. While we are at it, don’t tie up to any buoys, anywhere, unless you need to avoid immediate danger. And, it is illegal to anchor in Marina del Rey channel or harbor, except temporarily in an emergency situation. If you are called on these by law enforcement, you better give a good reason why you took these actions.

Charles R. Ecker, a former two-term Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla Commander and three-term Division Public Affairs Officer, is currently internal and external communications staff officer with Flotilla 12-7, the “Marina del Rey Flotilla”. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the civilian support group for the Coast Guard and has no law enforcement powers, but trained crews on its patrol boats have the right to call attention to boaters underway regarding infractions observed on the water. To find out more about the Auxiliary’s Public Education programs and free vessel safety check services go to (continued from page 11) Give way to sailboats engaged in racing in the channel and harbor or out at sea, no matter what tack they are on.

Safe Departing and Arriving Speeds In Slip Areas
The 5-mph speed limit applies to boats cruising within the various basins in Marina del Rey. In basin waters, basic “rules of the road” apply and stick to passing port to port. Way too often, boat operators leaving or entering their slip areas will go too fast, forgetting (or not caring) that wakes can be caused. Also, these boaters may have surprises waiting if an unseen boat is coming at them in the basin channel on a potential 90 degree angle collision course. It is best to reduce speed getting in and out of the slip and dock waters at the slowest operational speed possible, at least when the water is flat and the winds are light. That’s a small price to pay for being safe. If more than one person is on board and the operator cannot do it alone, have the “crew member” act as lookout when getting to the basin channel to make sure no other boats are approaching. Conversely, make sure there are no boats leaving their slips in your dock area when you are coming in! If so, wait until they are completely out into the basin channel until you navigate to your slip. Remember always that the boat operator is responsible for the vessel and its crew. And the owner can be liable for any fines, even if he or she is on vacation half-way around the world. If an infraction occurs while the boat is in use by someone you gave permission to take it out on the water, like family or friends, you may come home to an added expense. A final note: As far as the fines imposed for violations outlined in this article by the Sheriff’s Department, boaters should contact the Santa Monica Court and get the most recent information on the “bail schedules” as they are updated regularly.

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Boats under tow or boats in distress have the right of way because they have no ability to change direction. If you can put out a distress call for those who might be in peril should they not be able and no assistance is readily observed, help them out. Just be advised that if you are going to assist with a temporary tow, do so safely and with caution, and only if the other captain is good with that. You have the new state Good Samaritan law passed last summer on your side, but only if you do not demonstrate “wanton disregard” for safety or “gross negligence” in your attempt to help.

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Stay away from yellow “quarantine” buoys in the channel if you see a vessel tied to them. They are set there only for use by those who need to get their boats away from other boats and docks, usually because these vessels have 2010

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The Mariner - Issue 87

Quality Advice From A Two Year Old Black Lab Puppy
Dear Mookie, I am at real breaking point. My daughter is now 15 and my son is 14 – between my job, the kids and all the stuff I have to keep track of, I truly feel a breakdown coming on. I’ve heard of nervous breakdowns, but never really knew what it meant until now. Please help Mookie.

On the brink in MDR

Dear Brink, If you were ever lucky enough to watch me operate you would see that I walk with confidence – tail up and purposeful. I am…I just am…. Do you know what that means Brink? You need to be “am” too. Sure I don’t have a job or kids or any of the things you talked about, but being “am” is a universal truth that genital licking scavengers like me know better than most.

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The Mariner - Issue 87


“One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s .......”


Beneteau Oceanis 400 -Time Share
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Yamaha 25
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40 Suzuki,EFI, 4stk, long w/ remote & gauges $4000 15 Johnson, 4stk, extra long, high thrust, electric start, sail, $1800.00 15 Suzuki, 4stk, electric start, long $2200 9.9 Honda,4stk, electric start, short $2000 9.9 Mercury 4stk, short $1800 8.0 Mercury 4stk, short $ 1500 8 Honda 4stk, short $1400 8 Yamaha 2stk, short $750 8 Evinrude 2stk, short $600 5 Honda 4stk, short $850 4.0 Mercury 4stk, $900 SS Dinghy cradle $1500

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Canvas Boat Covers and Repairs
New boat covers, canvas repair, restore water repelency to marine canvas. Dan 310-382-6242

1971 Catalina 27’

Yanmar diesel runs good nice condition MDR must sell ASAP - $1500 obo Call Scott 818-470-6609

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Boat Detailing

Profurl 420 furler 2500. Extra extrusion
available. 310-213-6439 cell From Catalina 27’. $600. 310-701-5960

Outstanding service. Interior/exterior, dockside/drydock. Cleaning, polishing, anti foul work. Meticulous, guaranteed. Estimates philip (310) 351 1502.

Columbia 26’ MKII 1971

Newly painted black & red with wood interior. Great condition, great location G2600 off Mindanao. $5,000 jack-310.890.8329

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Guitar/ Ukulele Instruction

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1916 Seabird Yawl 26’
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Complete 12 ft, make offer. 310-213-6439

15” Flat Screen TV

Naxa. Perfect for boat living. Comes with remote and stand. Built in DVD doesn’t work, but has outputs to plug in external. It was bought in January of 09. Got a bigger set, so this one’s out the door. $125.00.310869-8204

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Dance lessons. Great party idea! Pro. instructor Ms. M.C.Callaghan net also available for privates, groups. Info- 818-694-7283 or email mc4dance@sbcglobal.

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The Mariner - Issue 87


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The Mariner - Issue 87


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