April 7, 2017

It’s a Perfect Morning in St. Barth

This island is the place, and next week is the time.

latitude/Richard
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It’s already 80°, the water is bluer than blue and 81°, and there are turtles all around. The sky is Caribbean blue with white tradewind puffskis, and the wind is blowing about 13 knots.

The Wanderer put on his favorite morning soundtrack: Mozart’s Horn Concerto #4, Van Morrison and Them’s Gloria, Laura Branigan’s Gloria, and wrapping up with van Morrison’s Baby Please Don’t Go. Yep, there was a morning dance party on the back porch of ‘ti Profligate.

Life aboard ‘ti Profligate on the hook this morning has been perfect.

latitude/Richard
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

I’ve sorta become the crew boss for Steve Schmidt’s Santa Cruz 70 Hotel California, Too for next week’s Voiles de St. Barth, so I’m trying to firm up the crew. The boat’s goal is to win the regatta’s smiles contest, as we’ll be sailing with white sails only. That said, Hotel hit 22 knots under white sails the last time she did the Voiles.

It doesn’t take a spinnaker to get Hotel flying, just a good breeze.

latitude/Richard
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

But maybe we have the crew of the canting-keel 88-ft Rambler quaking in their sea boots, because we’ve got Annie Gardner of the Catana 47 El Gato and Point Loma coming along. Annie might well be the only person in the regatta who has been the navigator on the winning boat in an America’s Cup. We’ve also got her husband Eric Witt, who did a lot of work on the Hobie 33 and other Hobie boats.

Bill Lilly of the Newport Beach-based Lagoon 47 Moontide in St. Martin is thinking about showing up with a couple of gals, one of whom works the pit on a Santa Cruz 52. That could work.

But if you’ve got some sailing skills and are looking to have a good time, there’s a good chance you can get on Hotel California. Men, women, black, white — who cares? You just have to love sailing and smiling. Just contact me, then get your butt to St. Barth for next Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday’s racing. And don’t forget the epic crew parties at Nikki Beach and Shell Beach. Sorry, but I don’t know where you can stay. And even though she’s a Hotel, you can’t stay on Steve’s boat.

The 70-boat fleet for the regatta is going to be tremendous, with everything from Melges 24s to the Farr 115 Sojana, with lots of Volvo boats and other hot 70-footers. Perhaps of more interest to you single women, there will also be about 800 healthy, testosterone-infused male sailors and not very many women. The odds are greatly in your favor if you’re looking for a little attention.

You can find me at Bar de L’Oubli between 2 and 3 p.m., and at Le Select between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. I’m the tall guy in the long-sleeved coral shirt banging on the keyboard. Or you can email me

Attention Delta Cruisers

Do you know the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta like the back of your hand? Do you have the perfect slough where you love to drop anchor and watch the cows graze? Do you know the right tides to motor on, where those pesky navigation hazards are, when the bridges do and don’t operate, and who has the best happy hour?

It’s California’s version of European canal cruising, complete with power lines, windmills, cows and bridges. 

latitude/ Chris
©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We would like to showcase your local knowledge in a Delta preview for our May issue, and we’d like every bit of information you think is important for the uninitiated sailor. We’ve found that most first-time Delta cruisers struggle with simple logistics, like how long it takes to get to the Delta from the Central Bay, and how long a stay is needed to properly recreate.

One of the pleasures of the Delta is finding a quiet anchorage somewhere in the reeds. 

latitude/ Chris
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

So if you have some local knowledge of Northern California’s best-kept not-so-secret secret, we’d love to hear from you

The Bay from Another Point of View

On Tuesday, April 11, at 7 p.m., Richmond Yacht Club will host a YRA Sailors’ Social featuring guest speakers from the US Coast Guard, Vessel Traffic Services, and SF Bar Pilots talking about the busy waters of San Francisco Bay.

A great big ship makes these 30-something-ft sailboats look tiny. In this picture from the SSS Three Bridge Fiasco on January 28, the sailors are hugging Red Rock to leave Jericho Beach the shipping channel. Coincidentally, the pilot of said ship competes in Singlehanded Sailing Society events himself.

latitude/Chris
©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Although YRA stands for ‘Yacht Racing Association’, all sailors on the Bay intersect with the above-mentioned agencies and can benefit from getting to know the fine folks who work for them. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Space is limited and advance registration is required; sign up online for $10.

Today is set-up day for the Latitude 38 crew who, along with hundreds of other exhibitors, are getting our booth, #C1, ready to welcome you to the Pacific Sail and Power Boat Show at the Craneway Pavilion and Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond this Thursday through Sunday.