We’ve always wondered why something as relaxing as the holidays should be become such a royal charlie-foxtrot. There’s extra traffic and long lines at airports. Then there’s having to throw-down in the store aisles to get whatever happens to be the gotta-have-it item this year. There’s the ever-present reminder that "thieves Christmas shop too." There are parties to pull off, extra grocery shopping to do, cards to write and send, decorations to put up, and strings of christmas tree lights to troubleshoot. And then there’s the realization that, for a lot of people, the holidays don’t entail any of these things.
So what do you do when it all becomes too much? Go sailing! Clear your head by heading out on the Bay or wherever your home waters are. Instead of tearing out your hair, tear out of the slip. Instead of running around in the holiday morass, let the breeze cool the fever pitch and the boat float your mindset.
Are you lucky enough to have a lot of family and friends around? Maybe non-sailors? Then do them a favor and take ’em out, too — let them burn some holiday calories sweating a halyard.
It doesn’t matter if your boat is fast or slow, new or old. If you’ve got a bit of a break from work or school, spend it on the water. Feel like lounging around? Trade the couch for the settee and the crystal champagne flutes for non-breakable stemware.
If the holiday season is grinding on you, give it a rest. A few hours aboard is all you need to reconnect with the joy.
It sounds like the start of a bad joke: How many bureaucrats does it take to buy an island? But the punchline was delivered yesterday when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that the City had finally struck a deal to purchase Treasure Island from the Navy for $55 million. An additional $50 million "interim payment" will be handed over at some point, though the details of that payment are vague, and the Navy will get a cut of the profits if the development performs above expectations.
Bay Area sailors will recall that the Navy pulled out of T.I. 12 years ago, leaving the island — and Clipper Cove — in a state of limbo. Since the closure of the base in ’97, a deal between the Navy and the City was always said to be "imminent," but never seemed to come to fruition.
Over the last few years, though, the transition seemed to be picking up steam. The City’s Treasure Island Development Authority began, well, developing. Director of Island Operations Mirian Saez helped the Treasure Island Bar & Grill get up and running this summer, and developed a free anchoring permit system to clean up the derelicts that littered Clipper Cove.
That system allows boats to anchor without a permit for 24 hours. If you’re planning to stay less than 96 hours, you simply have to email or call in your boat’s information and expected length of stay. (For what it’s worth, the language of the City ordinance requiring a permit calls for the 24 hour limit — a number TIDA hopes will be changed to 96.) If you need to stay longer, you will have to submit an application for the free permit, which should be available online when the regulations go into effect. (At posting time, we had yet to get confirmation on exactly when this will be — stay tuned to ‘Lectronic for the details.)
For now, the City’s purchase will likely have little effect on Clipper Cove. But once the island begins to seriously develop, a new, bigger marina is on the drawing board. Of course, before more boats can move in, the City will first have to address the issue of the nearly silted-in entrance into the Cove. And that’s no joke.
If you’re planning a trip to visit cruising or chartering friends in far-flung places over the holidays or New Year, we know how you can earn their undying admiration (at least until you break the head): Take down a bundle or two of the most recent Latitude 38s! Just drop by our World Headquarters in Mill Valley to pick them up or shoot us an email — we’ll be happy to UPS some to you.
Producers of Strictly Sail Pacific have announced that the show must go on — April 15-18 at Jack London Square in Oakland, to be precise. After a last-minute — and more than a little incongruous — name change last year to Strictly Sail Pacific & Power Boat Expo, show producers have revamped the popular West Coast event, returning to its ‘all-sail’ roots.
While Pacific Power Boat Expo will be running simultaneously with Strictly Sail, producers emphasize that they will be stand-alone shows. That’s really just semantics, though, as they will have common tickets, allowing attendees of each show to check out the other.
One big change will be the addition of quality used boats and the expansion of the small boat section. While new boat dealers may not be thrilled with this development, it makes a lot of sense to offer lower cost options to strapped sailors. Additionally, a new on-site lot will not only make parking easier for attendees, but will also funnel them directly into the main exhibitor tent — a lot of folks were confused by last year’s layout and never made it to, for example, the Latitude booth!
There are more changes and special features planned for next year’s show so keep an eye out at www.strictlysailpacific.com for all latest.
There were undoubtedly many different motivations that led to this year’s San Diego-to-Mexico rally being the biggest ever. But we’d bet many sailors simply wanted to get out from under the cloud of negativity that has been dominating the news, as well as casual conversations lately.
Being constantly assaulted by dire economic realities, bitterly partisan politics and frustratingly slow progress in two foreign wars is enough to make anyone run off to sea in search of a sunnier perspective. Four-time Baja Ha-Ha veterans Myron and Marina Eisenzimmer of the S.F. Bay-based Swan 44 Mykonos summed up that sentiment in a note this morning:
"People say times are changing. Well, we did our first Baja Ha-Ha in 2000 and our latest was this year’s. What is not changing are the great people that we met on the Ha-Ha and on the mainland after the Baja.
"We are now in Barra de Navidad, and it’s truly amazing year after year that the cruising crowds are the friendliest people, without regard to political world problems. They set an example of what the world could be like if everyone was a cruiser!"
Of course, if everyone went cruising, the waterways of the world would get a bit crowded, but the point is well taken nevertheless: Get people out of their normal, workaday world — and away from prime-time pundits with divisive attitudes — and into an active, outdoor lifestyle, then watch them blossom. If you are lucky enough to have lived the cruising life, you know what we mean. And if you haven’t, perhaps it’s time you made plans to do so.