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Bikes on Boats

September 5, 2014 – San Diego, CA


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Doña de Mallorca on her Punch Sailor 3 folding bike. What's your ride?

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

You know how happy kids are when they get their first bicycle? Yeah, well we're not sure any kid has been as happy to get a bike as Doña de Mallorca has been to get her first folding bike.

The Wanderer and Doña de Mallorca were in San Diego getting work done on Profligate for the better part of a month, and had a car for only two days. Frankly, we've once again found it's nice not to have a car. Cheaper, too.

You still need to get around, of course, and we've relied on two methods. First, the San Diego public transit systems, which for our purposes haven't been bad at all. The #28 bus runs from Shelter Island about every half hour to the Old Town Transit Center, from which you can catch another bus or trolley to just about everywhere you want to go — including Tijuana. Bus fares are $2.25 for each segment, so it makes a lot of sense to buy a monthly pass. It's only $18 a month for an old fart like the Wanderer, and a little more for younger folks.

(From the Old Town Transit Center, you can also catch the Surfliner train to L.A. and Santa Barbara, which is what the Wanderer does to see his kids. It's a nicer way to get to L.A. than driving on the 405 freeway.)


The Spreckels Organ Pavilion is one of the many great attractions at shockingly clean — to a Golden Gate Park veteran — Balboa Park. It's a 40-minute ride from Profligate's berth at Driscoll Boat Works. We returned in the evening to catch Uncle Bob and the Earthmovers playing Chicago blues for free to a mellow crowd of about 500.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Our second way of getting around has been by bike. The Wanderer uses a full-size modified mountain bike, with a fat-ass seat and ape-hanger handle bars. From Shelter Island, it's a pleasant and easy ride to Downtown and the people-packed Gaslamp District or the 17 museums in beautiful Balboa Park. It's also a great ride north to Pacific Beach and La Jolla. Some of the sweetest riding is around the Mission Bay bike paths.

On occasion we've carried two full-size bikes around on Profligate. It's a little impractical even on the big cat, and much less practical on smaller boats. People do it, but it's not always easy.

In an effort to be more practical, the Wanderer surprised de Mallorca with a Punch Sailor 3 folding bike from West Marine. It cost about $600, which isn't cheap, but it's not only practical, it's a freedom machine. De Mallorca is a Monster of Thrift, so it took us two days to convince her not to return the Punch for the less-expensive model. "Think long term and quality," said the Wanderer.

De Mallora finally accepted it, and reports that she spent three hours yesterday having a great time riding it. "I loooooooove my little Punch," she said.


The Wanderer and de Mallorca's bikes respectively. A full-size bike can be a full-size storage problem on most boats.

Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We'd like to hear your 'bikes on boats' experiences. What kind of bike do you have? Are you happy with it? In addition, if you've taken your bike cruising to foreign countries, tell us how well that has worked out. Remember to include a photo.

- latitude / richard

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Weekend Racing Preview

September 5, 2014 – West and East Coasts

Seaward and Elizabeth Muir

The Marconi-rigged schooners Seaward and Elizabeth Muir will make another appearance at the Great SF Schooner Race.

© 2017 Roxanne Fairbairn / roxshots.smugmug.com

Tomorrow's Great San Francisco Schooner Race will grace the docks of SFYC and provide a spectacle on the waters of San Francisco Bay. Five gaffers and six Marconi-rigged schooners will be racing, including Martha from Port Townsend, making a return appearance in the Bay Area.

Also on Saturday, the YRA will complete their three-part Summer Series, with two races on the South Bay hosted by South Beach YC. Two PHRF divisions plus Express 37, Santana 22 and Cal 20 classes are included.

This weekend's Kip Lar Rieu Laser Fleet Championships will be held at a different venue this year. Instead of Stampede Reservoir north of Truckee, the Lasers will sail on Lake Tahoe, launching at Lake Forest Boat Ramp in Tahoe City. (The water level at the reservoir is too low for boat launching.) See www.tahoeyc.com.

San Francisco, Newport Harbor and Seattle YCs are the West Coast teams that have made it into the Gold Fleet of the NYYC U.S. Qualifying Series, which will wrap up tomorrow in Newport, RI. The top three teams will qualify for the NYYC Invitational Cup, to be held on September 12-19 – next year.

The Viper 640 North Americans are happening this week at Alamitos Bay YC in Long Beach. After seven races, Jeff Grange's Venom from Santa Barbara YC is in the lead. Racing concludes tomorrow.

The International Canoe World Championship, hosted by Richmond YC, will begin on Sunday and run through the 15th. (ICs are one-person sailboats, not the kind of canoes you paddle!) According to the class's website, L. Francis Herreshoff called the IC, "One of the most interesting things that God let man make."

J/70s at RBBS

Chris Kostanecki's Jennifer and Frank Slootman's Little Hand will be returning to the Rolex Big Boat Series in the littlest boat class, the J/70.

© 2017 Daniel Forster / Rolex

The 50th Rolex Big Boat Series begins on Thursday, September 11. Classes include ORR, HPR, BAMA, J/70, J/105, J/111, J/120, Melges 24, Farr 40, Express 37 and Farr 40. So far, 102 boats are registered, but the Express 27 fleet, invited for the first time, is not among them. We'll be reporting from St. Francis YC during the four-day regatta.

Right next door, at Golden Gate YC, the SSS fleet will take off for Half Moon Bay on Saturday the 13th. The skipper's meeting will be held at Oakland YC on Wednesday evening, September 10. See www.sfbaysss.org for details.

Also on the 13th, the Interclub Series wraps up on the South Bay, and, farther south, Sequoia YC's Singlehanded/Doublehanded #5 will combine with their Commodore's Cup. Gobs more races in the month of September can be found on our Calendar.

- latitude / chris

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Mexico-Only Crew List Party

September 5, 2014 – Encinal Yacht Club, Alameda

Mexico-Only Crew List Party

Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

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Destination: Channel Islands Harbor

September 5, 2014 – Oxnard, CA


There's plenty of space to accommodate transient boats at Channel Islands Marina. We love it here so much, we're coming back in October.

© 2017 LaDonna Bubak

The Great Migration has begun. We’re not talking about whales, but rather the annual migration of northern sailors heading south, seeking warmer climes. Without local knowledge, though, it can be hard to know the best places to stop along the way. Cruisers’ needs are usually much different from the average boater’s, and finding details on any given harbor can be a lesson in frustration. One spot to mark on your Southern California charts as ‘cruiser friendly’ is Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. Not only are many services and stores easily accessible, but the several marinas housed within the harbor offer plenty of options for moorage. 


Chantel Stiles and Karen Duffey are ready to welcome southbound cruisers.

© 2017 LaDonna Bubak

Needing to find a slip for our Wauquiez Centurion 47 Gazelle for the month of August, my husband and I randomly chose Channel Islands Marina as our destination, and we couldn’t have been happier. The grounds are beautifully maintained, the staff is beyond helpful and the facilities are excellent. They also happen to be an official sponsor of the Baja Ha-Ha and SoCal Ta-Ta.


A few spots southbound cruisers might want to visit while in Channel Islands Harbor.

© 2017 Google

The walking path that runs along the waterfront leads to a maritime museum, several restaurants, a health club, and a small market. The only thing missing along the west side of the harbor is a coffee shop, but that ‘problem’ will be resolved with the upcoming opening of Honey Cup in the Marine Emporium Landing (crisis averted!)


Channel Islands YC members enjoy a rambunctious game of bocce ball every Thursday.

© 2017 LaDonna Bubak

We also just happen to be right in front of the very fun and friendly Channel Islands YC, which hosts three dinners each week, along with a bocce ball tournament on Thursdays. It’s a small club with no guest docks, but Pacific Corinthian YC, all the way down the west ‘arm' of the harbor, offers a reciprocal moorage for visitors. 


PCYC's guest dock has plenty of room for several boats. 

© 2017 LaDonna Bubak

There are no grocery stores within easy walking distance — although there is a farmer's market every Sunday. But a short dinghy ride to a county-owned dock at Fisherman’s Wharf, at the termination of the east ‘arm’, gets you within a block of a Ralph’s, CVS, West Marine, Starbucks and, most importantly, a Spudnuts donut shop. For a bigger provisioning run, consider dinghying deep within the housing development north of the bridge to the Von’s shopping center. Their dinghy dock is right outside the store, making it easier to load your groceries.


Provisioning runs require a lot of energy. Good thing there's a Spudnuts handy!

© 2017 LaDonna Bubak

Need to hit more stores? Uber runs in Oxnard (Lyft doesn’t), or you can call Steve’s Beach Shuttle. Steve lives in Hollywood Beach and charges flat rates to wherever you need go — Costco, Trader Joe’s, the Post Office, etc. His number is (805) 208-5377. Speaking of mail, Mariner’s Mail Stop will accept packages for yachts in transit, and if you plan to stop for a spell, you can rent a mailbox on a month-to-month basis.


Steve will drive you wherever you need to go. Call a few days in advance, if possible.

© 2017 LaDonna Bubak

A word of warning: When entering Channel Islands Harbor, use the south entrance, even if you’re approaching from the north. “To save on dredging costs, the county is letting the north entrance silt in,” says Karen Duffey, Channel Islands Marina’s leasing agent. “It’s a much longer walk to get to the water on Hollywood Beach these days.” Hollywood Beach, by the way, is about two blocks away and seems to be the most overlooked beach in Southern California. Stop by The Rudder Room bar at the southern end of the beach and take your cocktails outside to watch the sunset or a game of volleyball.


The north entrance has silted in so much over the years that it's recommened that keelboats not use it. The southern entrance is wide open.

© 2017 Google Earth


Hollywood Beach has to be one of the loneliest beaches in Southern California. Even on weekends, only a handful of sun worshippers come out to play. Just be sure to wash the tar balls off your feet before getting back aboard.

© 2017 LaDonna Bubak

The fuel dock is almost directly across the harbor from Channel Islands Marina, on the east side of the harbor. Just north of it is The Boatyard, in case you need any work done. And harbor bulletin boards are littered with the business cards of a number of divers and boatwrights who will come to you.

While Channel Islands Harbor doesn’t have the quaint, touristy quality of Santa Barbara or the high energy of Marina del Rey, the laid-back vibe, slip availability and easy access to services make it a great stop for this fall’s batch of cruisers.

- LaDonna Bubak

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