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Who Says You Can't Cruise the Bay?

November 14, 2012 – San Francisco Bay & The Estuary


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Posting photos like this with the caption "I'm saaaaaiiiiiling!" on your Facebook page will garner you lots of 'likes'. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Who says you have to go somewhere tropical to cruise? Or that you have to sell everything off and leave for years at a time? An impromptu weekend cruise in your own backyard, while shorter in duration, can not only be just as satisfying (well, almost) but also allow you to meet new friends.

When this writer's husband suggested a spur-of-the-moment overnighter to Sausalito on Friday followed by a daysail on Saturday, it was a no-brainer. We didn't have any pressing plans that couldn't be postponed, the weather was beautiful and we needed to sail the scum off the bottom of the boat. While I was finishing up my work day, Rob sailed — slowly — our Wauquiez Centurion 47 Gazelle to Schoonmaker Point Marina to pick me up. We both hoped the next day's breeze would freshen for our daysail.


We spotted the crew of Muktuk out on Saturday. Read more about them in the December issue's Passing Thru article. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Of course, this being November, we weren't so lucky. Leaving Richardson Bay, we unfurled the jib and hoisted the main but the meager breeze we'd had in the morning petered out to nothing, leaving our sails to flog as we rolled around in the good-sized slop coming in off the ocean. As we watched $100 bills fly off our sails with each flog, we decided to douse everything and fire up the engine. Sadly, the wind never picked up again.


Grant Hayes and crew on his Hobie 33 Vitesse Too stuck out the flagging breeze much longer than we did. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The original plan had been to go for a daysail that would take us back to Loch Lomond in the afternoon, just after high tide, allowing us plenty of depth to get up the San Rafael Channel. But when a family member called to let us know they'd be in Oakland that afternoon, we switched gears. 


Captain Richard Gillette's Spirit of the Sea (ex-Ocean Watch) greets visitors to Oakland with her colorful paint job. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We immediately called the friendly folks at Almar's Oakland Marinas to see if they had room for us. Harbormaster Chris McKay arranged a side-tie for the night and we pulled into Jack London Square about 30 minutes before our family arrived.


Ron Chapel and Vanessa Kelly (with kitty Sam mooning the camera) shared a delicious zin with us. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

During those 30 minutes, we got to chatting with some dock neighbors. Ron Chapel and Vanessa Kelly have lived aboard their Morgan 462 Two Shadows for 14 years, and they're planning to join next year's Baja Ha-Ha. Ron, a professional sculptor, and Vanessa, a psychiatry professor at UCSF School of Medicine, shared a lovely bottle of wine while proudly showing off their gorgeous boat. We have no doubt they'll have a terrific time on their cruise south, but we're looking forward to getting to know them better in the meantime.


Gazelle enjoyed stretching her long legs on our spontaneous mini-cruise. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you've noticed a scummy film on your boat's bottom — or it's been so long since you've been to the boat that you don't even know if there's scum on it — make time for a short Bay cruise for you and yours. And be sure to take your iToy along to upload snaps to your Facebook page — your landbound friends will love it!

- latitude / ladonna

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Photo Quiz Answer

November 14, 2012 – San Francisco Bay

In Monday's 'Lectronic Latitude, we asked readers to identify what diver Tim Sell photographed on a client's boat. We thought our little diversionary tactic of talking about 'Bob Jobs' might lead folks to guess wrong, but nearly every person who sent in an answer guessed correctly.


Everyone who guessed either got it right or got very close, but only Todd Huss was right on all three counts. © 2017 Tim Sell / www.sausalitodiving.com

"The photo looks like an overzealously painted thru-hull intake strainer that prevents larger items, like plastic bags, from getting sucked into the engine," wrote Todd Huss of the Hans Christian 38 Sugata. "That one looks like it wouldn't allow much water in though."

Huss is exactly right on both counts. As Sell noted in his original email, "I've dived on many boats with intakes fully blocked by paint. On this one, the new owners were coming back from the boatyard after a bottom job when the engine overheated and froze solid."

Sell suggests that every boat owner double check their engine intake strainer before launching. "It's a good idea to look at it straight on, as the bottom paint takes a curve, making it difficult to tell if it's blocked when you look at it from the side."

Huss also got bonus points by guessing the film we quoted in the photo caption. "I believe the quote 'Dear God, what is that thing?!' is from The Princess Bride, when Westley is lying incapacitated on the bed and explaining to Prince Humperdinck why they'll be dueling 'to the pain' instead of 'to the death'. Great movie, one of my all-time favorites!" 

As the only person to not only correctly ID the item and point out what was unusual about it, but to also guess the quote, Todd has earned himself  a Latitude 38 hat. Thanks for playing!

- latitude / ladonna

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Sold My Boat!

November 14, 2012 – Mill Valley

"As a result of my Classy Classified in Latitude 38, our boat sold quickly. Thanks for your help in making the placement of the ad easy, and for your great customer support!"


Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, our print deadline is earlier this month. So, to get your ad into the December issue of Latitude 38, it must be submitted by the Classy deadline — this Sunday, the 18th, at 5 p.m. A 40-word ad is just $40, and best of all, you can do it online!

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Weekend Racing Wrap-Up

November 14, 2012 – San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego & Long Beach

Alchemy and J/105s
In the light air on Saturday, the J/105 Alchemy's main snagged on their backstay. We hate it when that happens. © 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

RegattaPRO's Winter One Design started off in typical midwinter style, with shifting winds on the west side of the Berkeley Circle. The race committee shortened course for the first race, finishing it at the leeward mark. "Five minutes later, the doldrums set in," reports PRO Jeff Zarwell. "For the next hour and a half everyone sat there." A north-northwesterly had been forecast, so when the breeze filled in from the opposite direction, the race committee hesitated to trust it. "It held enough to get the boats started and finish race 2 of the day," said Zarwell, "even though there were major shifts all the way up and down the course." For results, see www.regattapro.com.

Meanwhile, a little over to the east in the center of the Circle, Berkeley YC attempted to start their first midwinter race of the season. They also observed the wind reverse directions. "After only 1 hour and 45 minutes of chasing cat’s paws," wrote Race Chair Bobbi Tosse, "we elected to start the 56 mostly patient yachts on a short four-mile race." At the time of the first starters, the wind appeared to be coming from the east. "As the start sequence for the nine divisions rolled on, the wind direction also rolled on, clocking right as it proceeded." They ended up with a south-southwesterly, and all 56 boats were able to finish.

Ahi hoist the spinnaker
A spinnaker hoist on Andy Newell's Santana 35 Ahi in the Berkeley Midwinters. © 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

"On Sunday, the ripples on the water were from real (but very light) wind," continued Tosse. "The 24 entries enjoyed an on-time start, and an 8-mile course." One of the racers that day told us she even saw white caps. For more on the Berkeley Circle races, see December's Racing Sheet in Latitude 38.

"On November 3 the flags went up, the guns went off and three classes of Vallejo YC racers headed towards their  weather marks," writes Gordon Smith, Fleet Captain for Vallejo YC. "Ah, all was well for the opening race of the 2013 season — except for one small problem: no wind. All three classes were DNF [Did Not Finish]. Our next midwinter will be on December 1."

Twelve teams competed for San Diego YC's Sir Thomas Lipton Cup Friday through Sunday in an 11-race round-robin format. Teams from NYYC and Southern YC (of New Orleans) joined the 10 California teams on J/105s in windy conditions. Victory went to Bob Little of California YC; Chuck Driscoll of SDYC and Scott Harris of Coronado YC followed in second and third respectively. The Northern California teams finished fourth (Russ Silvestri/StFYC) and fifth (Chris Perkins/SFYC). See www.sdyc.org/liptoncup for details.

Lipton Cup
Twelve teams raced J/105s over three days in San Diego for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup. © 2017 Mark Albertazzi

High school sailors Mitchell Kiss of Holland, MI, won the Laser Standard Rig and Malcolm Lamphere of Lake Forest, IL, won the Radial title in the Interscholastic Sailing Association's Singlehanded National Championship for the Cressy Trophy off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier at Long Beach. Eighteen competitors in each class sailed 18 races over the weekend in cool, sunny weather with the most breeze on Saturday. Kiss was last year's Radial champion. See www.hssailing.org.

On the Vendée Globe front, another competitor has collided with a fishing boat off Lisbon, forcing his return to Les Sables d'Olonne. A port shroud of Louis Burton's Bureau Vallée was damaged in the incident which took place early this morning in bad weather. Burton expects the 700-mile trip back to take four days, which may force him to retire as the deadline to start is November 20.

- latitude / chris

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