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Safe Boating Week Gives Food for Thought

May 15, 2015 – Sausalito, CA

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Coast Guard search and rescue personnel risk their lives often to save the lives of boaters. As statistics show, many boating accidents and fatalities could have been easily avoided. 

Photo Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Undoubtedly the attitude of some boaters toward safe boating precautions is, "Yeah, whatever." But first responders such as Coast Guard air rescue personnel consider basic boating safety to be a deadly serious matter: "All too often rescue crews are called out to look for lost and injured people whose problems could have been avoided with better knowledge, planning and safety equipment." says Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio, commander, 11th Coast Guard District (which includes the Bay Area). "Make sure your boat has safety gear and that everyone wears a properly fitting life jacket. Check weather conditions, and know your limits and the limits of your boat or equipment. Everyone on the water needs to watch out for themselves, their loved ones and one another." Amen to that.

As confirmed by the just-released review of boating accidents and deaths in 2014, sailboat accidents and fatalities rank much lower than those involving most other watercraft. But in the Coast Guard's view — and ours — even one fatality is too many. (See the full 2014 report here.) Not surprisingly, the highest number of boater deaths involved alcohol. Two of the highest ranked causes of boating accidents involved operator inattention and failure to keep a proper lookout.

Given that Safe Boating Week begins tomorrow and runs through the 22nd, now is an ideal time to review your onboard safety procedures, check the condition of your safety gear, and address deficiencies. If you'd like to improve your safety education, see this link for a comprehensive list of CG Auxiliary safe boating classes (click on Boating Safety Education).

Note also that an elaborate Safe Boating Expo will take place tomorrow (Saturday, May 16) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat Station Golden Gate — from which many lifesaving near-shore rescues are launched (located at Fort Baker, 435 Murray Circle, Sausalito, near the base of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge). There'll be tours of Coast Guard vessels and the station, bomb-sniffing dog demos, helicopter rescue demos, and free boating seminars, and free life jackets will be given away. Designed to be fun and educational for the whole family, seminars will be conducted throughout the day addressing topics such as knot-tying, weather, engines, and rules of the (nautical) road. Learn more here.

- latitude / andy

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Fall Crew List Party

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Weekend Racing Preview

May 15, 2015 – Northern California

Express 27s Libra and Dianne

Modeling the hazards of summer sailing on the Circle, one crew member on the Express 27 Libra in last year's Elite Keel sports an inflated PFD, while another wisely wears a crash helmet.

Photo Latitude / Ross
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

San Francisco Yacht Club will host the Elite Keel and the J/24 Western Regional Championship this weekend, with racing in the challenging breeze and choppy water of the Berkeley Circle. Meanwhile, over on the Cityfront, St. Francis YC will host the Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta.

Whiplash at Blossom Rock

The MC 38 Whiplash, sailing in last year's Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure, rounds Blossom Rock. This buoy is tricky in any season: during the winter the wind is often too wimpy to overcome a raging current, and during the summer, the wind is often overabundant. (San Francisco Bay's 'summer' arrives well before the solstice.)

Photo Latitude / Ross
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

YRA's Spring Series #2 will carve out a corner of the Berkeley Circle on Saturday, with starts at 'FOC'. In the North Bay Tiburon YC will host the Behrens Regatta on Saturday, with three races scheduled.

The first monthly Friday evening Laser event at Santa Cruz YC is tonight, with a BBQ afterward.

This Sunday, Fremont Sailing Club will host two-person El Toro teams for the Fremont Relays, a four-lap race around Lake Elizabeth. Each team member sails two laps. A common combination for teams is the Senior/Junior pairing. The team member not sailing can indulge in the lunch provided. Entries can be accepted onsite.

The J/24 Nationals will come to Berkeley YC on May 19-24, with 24 to 30 boats expected.

Today is the deadline for the early entry discount in June 6's Delta Ditch Run from Richmond to Stockton. Singlehanded and doublehanded options are possible for monohulls. One brave singlehander has signed up so far: John Dukat with his Mancebo 24 Critical Mass. Also encouraged are cruising entries, which start earlier and get a motoring allowance. Sign up for the Ditch and the Delta Doo Dah and you'll be doing the Doo Dah Ditch Run!

Start of 2014 Ditch Run

Last year's Delta Ditch Run racing divisions starting area, between the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and the Brothers Islands.

© 2018 /

Those of you anticipating a return delivery from SSC via the False River shortcut will be out of luck this year — a salinity dam is under construction at the west end of False River. To see exactly where the barrier is located, click here.

- latitude / chris

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Classified Deadline Friday, 5PM

May 15, 2015 – Latitude 38 World Headquarters

© 2018 Classy Classifieds /

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Kicking Off Delta Doo Dah 7

May 15, 2015 – Richmond Yacht Club

We'll be kicking off the 2015 Delta Doo Dah this Saturday evening, May 16, with a party and Delta Cruising Seminar hosted by Richmond YC from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The bar will be open (cash only) and complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be available. We'll have burgees and a limited quantity of logowear Sport-Tek shirts on hand to purchase (cash or check only).

RYC's commodore, Craig Perez, and his wife Ann, will present their Delta Cruising Seminar. Novice and experienced cruisers alike are encouraged to participate! Tom Lueck from Stockton Sailing Club will talk about the Delta Ditch Run and other opportunities to visit SSC.

Marrakesh in Potato Slough

Craig and Ann Perez, their Express 34 Marrakesh, and just some of their Delta toys in Potato Slough last Fourth of July.

Photo Latitude / Chris
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Always a favorite at our Kickoff Parties, we'll have an excellent collection of door prizes to raffle off, this year including:

  • An AnchorRescue from Scanmar. AnchorRescue will allow you to retrieve a stuck anchor from the bottom so you don't have to dive for it.
  • A gift certificate for a paddle adventure for two from Delta Kayak Adventures.
  • Martinez Marina will provide us with one free weekend of berthing to raffle off to a lucky winner.
  • Three pairs of sailing gloves from OPB-YC.
  • A beautiful yet highly functional bag of goodies from Owl Harbor Marina, including two coffee mugs, two T-shirts, two hats, and two hat leashes.
  • A $40 gift card to Rosa's at Tower Park plus a free night at Tower Park Marina on Little Potato Slough.
  • A pair of tickets to the Cajun & Blues Festival on June 20-21.
  • Because our theme this year is Lucky 7 (What Happens in the Delta Stays in the Delta), Latitude 38 will bring an appropriate surprise.

You must be present to win, and you must be registered for the 2015 Delta Doo Dah (it's free!).

Although RSVPs are not strictly required for this event, we'd love to get a rough idea of how many folks to expect, so if you can, please do drop us a note to let us know if you're coming.

- latitude / chris

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