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ON THE WATER: Messages In A Bottle Bring Gifts, Love - Gazette Newspapers

There is something incredibly romantic about finding a message in a bottle.

Equally stimulating is the excitement of putting the note in the bottle with the dreams and hopes of who might find it or where the bottle might travel.

Long Beach Wilson class of 1977 grad Bruce Balan has cast into the sea almost 30 note-filled bottles with anticipation of others finding them. Inside he includes the latitude and longitude where he dropped the bottle, his email address and the promise of a gift to bottle-finders.

Balan sends an autographed copy of one of the many books he has authored as the reward. So far several bottle finders have cashed in on his offer, with many of the bottles traveling thousands of miles.

He has just completed a 13-year, 60,000-mile sailing circuit of the Pacific via New Zealand, Thailand, Japan and the Aleutians. This past week he has been moored in Alamitos Bay Marina visiting Long Beach friends. Fellow class of 1976 alum Tina Byers Pirazzi alerted me to his visit.

Balan grew up sailing his Sabot out of Leeway, and recalls the days when sailing to Seaport Village’s Jolly Roger for lunch was a major trek.

He raced with Long Beach friend Steve Jensen on his Cal 25, and sailed Kites, Hobie 14s, Catalina 27s, C&C 30s and others, with each boat bringing him closer to his dream to sail around the world.

Initially, he single-handed his custom 46-foot trimaran aptly named Migration. Hours at sea can be lonely and difficult, so Balan posted on the website 7knots.com looking for a sailing companion. Alene Rice responded. The first line of her note was, “It is a fascinating boat.” Soon after the on-line meeting she bravely bought a one way ticket to join Balan in Mexico.

Her only question before leaving was, “Do you need anything from West Marine?”

Four years later, they were still sailing the world together on the 1969 Japanese built fiberglass over plywood vessel and had dropped 9 message bottles in the water together. The magic of their shared affection of the sea grew into a love for one another.

So Balan decided to make bottle number 10 something special. While Rice was asleep off-watch at Minerva Reef, Balan secretly created a bottled message like no other. He charred the edges of fancy paper and used sparkle pens to ink a message.

He silently tossed it into the water in front of their red three-hulled boat, then called Rice on deck under the pretense of needing help stowing fenders. It didn't work out quite as simply as he had hoped, but eventually she did see the bottle and, after retrieving it in the dinghy, opened it to find a marriage proposal.

She said yes — and the two have happily continued to cruise the world together.

For love birds locally, Gondola Getaway regularly takes customer supplied messages, prints them on rolled up parchment and slides them in a bottle. During the gondola ride, the gondolier discretely plants the custom-corked bottle where the unsuspecting bride-to-be spots it.

Gondoliers joyfully serve as go-to wingmen for countless souls too shy to pop the question.

Charity Regatta

63 boats in 11 fleets raced in the 32nd annual regatta benefitting The Children’s Clinic and hosted by The Yacht Clubs of Long Beach, an inter-club committee of volunteers who plan and promote events to raise money for TCC. TCC benefits our Long Beach community by promoting health of kids and regular school attendance.

Sophia Corzine, a fifth grader at Naples Bayside Academy took first in Junior Sabot Fleet in the Halloween Charity Regatta. Earlier this month, Corzine served as crew during the Linda Elias Women’s One Design regatta, and her teammates agreed she was an asset to have on board.

Corzine said, “I asked my dad about the weather report and learned it would be a foggy day with light winds that would build. So I planned for heavy winds and I think that might have given me...

Source: www.gazettes.com

ON THE WATER: 'Tis The Season For Pumpkin Spice - Gazette Newspapers

October is “have it all month” — it is the unofficial start of pumpkin-flavored everything — yet the weather is just warm enough that summer’s coconut flavors are still on the menu. Early fall is great because the kids are back in school, a mere sweater keeps the chill away and we don’t need to start Christmas shopping — yet.

Unlike our East Coast friends who winterize their boats this month, West Coast boating is year round. Even Oregonians hold their West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta where paddlers sitting in giant pumpkins race across a lake dressed as a superhero or the tooth fairy.

To kick off the month, I visited some Sacramento Delta boaters including St Francis YC’s Tinsley Island outstation. Our San Francisco counterparts make the 60-mile trek to the Delta for a fall weekend destination — yet they celebrate Halloween in July when there are more boats on Tinsley Island to trick and treat to.

In Southern California, we are fortunate enough to have Catalina a nearby destination, with many area yacht clubs holding long-term leases to various outstations on the island. Newport Harbor YC has Moonstone just beyond the southern point of White’s Cove, Del Rey YC has a Cat Harbor facility, and Long Beach YC held the lease to 4th of July Cove back in my childhood days.

In Long Beach, pumpkin with a dash of coconut month means brisk sailing and lots of it.

• Last weekend’s Catalina Island race saw 22 boats compete in the final race of the season. Organizers are considering dropping the June and October races in 2019 — with the hopes of increasing participation in the other months.

• Shoreline Yacht Club hosts its Carl Anderson Memorial Fall Racing series all month, top women sailors compete in the Linda Elias Woman’s One Design this weekend, Oct. 13-14, and the Ladies and Gents Sabot Regatta is hosted by Alamitos Bay YC on Oct. 13.

• Farr 40s and TP-52s will be racing in the Campbell Cup on Oct. 20-21. It has been 10 years since Mike Campbell died in October 2008 of carcinoid syndrome. The Campbell Cup, renamed in his honor in 2009, was organized by Campbell in 2006 as the 70s Invitational to bring big boats together in Southern California.

• 32nd annual Charity regatta benefitting The Children’s Clinic (TCC) is planned at the end of the month on Oct. 27. All the money raised goes to TCC for the six non-profit, licensed community health clinics serving-low income, uninsured and underinsured children and their families in the greater Long Beach area. TCC was organized in 1939 and is focused on serving children and their families.

And we have a couple of off the water charity events this month too.

Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) is hosting a fundraiser to benefit Recreational Boaters of California and Southern California Yachting Association from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Long Beach YC. A donation of $65 includes dinner, live music, silent and live auction. The SCYA is a regional recreational yachting and boating organization that services amateur yacht clubs, sailing clubs and power boat groups. As a nonprofit California corporation supporting boating groups and clubs from Santa Barbara to San Diego, its focus is on communication and coordination of activities in one forum.

On Saturday night Sip & Swirl, a wine tasting and live auction benefiting Alamitos Bay Sailing Foundation (ABSF) will be in the Alamitos Bay YC patio from 3 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 13. Tickets are $30 per person. ABSF was created to encourage, promote and enhance the sport of sailing by providing support for the entire continuum of learning to sail through amateur competition.

Throw in some Octoberfest Oom-pah tuba sounds, a wild costume contest and no wonder we can “have all that and a bag of pumpkin chips” in Southern California.

Source: www.gazettes.com

Winning day for Tasmanian SB20 sailor Andrew Smith - My Sailing

Another Sandy Bay Sailing Club crew, Archer Ibbott and Sammy Hooper, sailing Little Devil, scored five wins and a second in the Cadets. Ibbott, who was a member of the Australian team at the Cadet Worlds earlier this year, finished nine points clear of Godscend (William Zeeman and Abi Wilcox) with Meltimi (Lawrence Jeffs and Harry Gregory) a close third. Source: www.mysailing.com.au









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