February 16, 2015

Sign Up for the Delta Doo Dah

Sailing past Crockett on Carquinez Strait in the 2012 Delta Doo Dah.

latitude/LaDonna
©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Delta Doo Dah 7 had a ‘soft opening’ on Friday. This year’s rally will continue to welcome do-it-yourselfers, so that you can explore the Delta on your own any time between May 16 and Labor Day, but we’ll also include some organized activities during the season to give our fleet opportunities to meet each other, socialize, and cruise in company.

For starters, on Saturday, May 16, we’ll combine our Kickoff Party with Richmond Yacht Club’s Delta Cruising Seminar, which is led each year by Delta vet Craig Perez, who happens to be RYC’s commodore this year. First-timers are especially encouraged to attend, but we’d like longtime Delta cruisers to come and share their experiences too.

RYC and Stockton Sailing Club invite Delta Doo Dah sailors to enter the Delta Ditch Run, Saturday, June 6. Each ‘Doo Dah Ditch Run’ entry will receive one free, special T-shirt, and each sailor will receive a special 25th anniversary medallion (while supplies last). The Ditch Run — 67 miles from Richmond to Stockton — is beloved by racers, but the event also includes a cruising class with a generous motoring allowance. Sunday activities are in the works for cruisers who stick around at SSC. Enter the Delta Ditch Run here.

Passing the Carquinez Bridge in the 2013 Delta Ditch Run.

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The weekend of July 18-19 will be a special one for the  Delta Doo Dah. Start from where you are and sail to Owl Harbor on Saturday. Our good friends at Owl will host us for a potluck and an outdoor movie that evening, and breakfast on Sunday morning. After breakfast, sail the 15 miles or so (usually downwind and delightful) to Stockton Sailing Club, where a BBQ and jam session are in the planning stages.

Can’t cut loose for a cruise until August? Then be sure to make it to SSC for their Hot August Nights Classic Car Show and BBQ on August 15. "Stockton is a great place to start your DDD adventure," writes SSC’s Tom Lueck. "After arriving, you can pick up some local knowledge of places to go. It makes sense to start here and work your way back toward the Bay so that your DDD vacation comes to an end only hours away from your home port." SSC offers official Delta Doo Dah entries three free nights in their harbor. The club can also arrange for rides to West Marine and grocery stores.

Reserve your space at SSC by calling (209) 951-5600 and at Owl Harbor by calling (916) 777-6055. But be sure to enter the Delta Doo Dah first at www.deltadoodah.com. We’ll post the growing fleet list later today.

Birds love the Delta too.

latitude/Chris
©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Three Generations of Tusitala Sailors

Before Briana’s grandpa built Tusitala, he and other family members sailed to French Polynesia. Seen here is their boat, Mariachi, in 1950, anchored stern-to in Moorea’s majestic Opunohu Bay. That’s Briana’s Uncle Roger paddling canoe in foreground.

Mariachi
©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

When 33-year-old Briana Moseley says she has sailing in her blood, she’s not exaggerating. Having crossed the Pacific to New Zealand last season, she represents the third generation of Moseleys to cruise aboard the 47-ft Tusitala, which was built by her grandfather, John Townsend.

A UC Santa Cruz biology grad, Briana is putting her education to great use during her travels aboard Tusitala.

Tusitala
©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After she inherited the boat several years ago following her father’s death, Briana and a former boyfriend cruised the vintage sloop south from California in 2012, then on to the Galapagos in early 2014. After two months there, they set sail for the 3,000-mile crossing to the Marquesas. "We left in early April and had reinforced trades the entire way and made it in just 18 days!" relates Moseley. "One of the most incredible aspects of the entire trip was the wildlife, which Tusitala saw up close and personal all through the South Pacific. We hove-to for a night before entering the Tuamotus and were surrounded by a pod of sperm whales. We then had amazing diving in the reef pass in the Tuamotus and could see hundreds of reef sharks," says the former San Diego Zoo researcher. 

Read more about Briana’s travels and the remarkable history of her boat in the March issue of Latitude 38.

Food, Booze, Sails & Safety Gear Aren’t Enough

You need some common sense, too.

“We’ve got plenty of food, plenty of booze, good sails and all the safety gear you could ever need, so we’re going to be OK,” Jason McGlashan told the Newport (Rhode Island) Daily News before he and his dad Reg took off from Conanicut Marina in Jamestown, Rhode Island last Friday on what they expected to be a six-to-eight-week passage to 8,600-mile-distant Port Macquarie, Australia. They would be sailing aboard Jason’s 43-ft Sedona, which he had recently purchased on eBay for just $10,000.

What possibly could go wrong?

Although Sedona did not lose her rig, extreme conditions offshore led the father and son crew to call for rescue.  

US Coast Guard
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If old man McGlashan is as quick a study as his son claims, he now knows that setting sail into a snowstorm isn’t such a good idea, what with having to be rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter team on Sunday after abandoning his son’s boat. Having to swim for one’s life in 43° ocean water tends to sharpen a person’s thinking.

Father and son had made it 150 miles from Nantucket — about 1/57th of their proposed trip — when they called the Coast Guard for help, as strong winds and big seas in the height of a snowstorm had combined to disable their engine and shred their sails.

Ignoring 55-knot winds, huge seas and lightning, a Coast Guard helicopter crew dutifully flew out to the Sedona, where a Coast Guard rescue swimmer jumped into the water to help the hapless McGlashans to the helicopter and safety.

Reg McGlashan is pulled aboard a Coast Guard helicopter after being helped by a gallant rescue swimmer. 

US Coast Guard
©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We’re struggling to decide which is more unbelievable, the McGlashans’ proposed voyage or the balls of the Coast Guard rescue swimmer who jumped into the ocean in such inhospitable conditions.

For days after the massive cruise ship grounded on the Giglio shoreline, divers and other rescue personnel worked exhaustively to find survivors and retrieve bodies from the Costa Concordia.
Elizabeth Ostrander. Not only does she have two long doublehanded ocean passages to her credit, we think she’s a very attractive woman.