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April 29, 2016 – West Coast


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Springtime sailing outside the Golden Gate. Sweet!

Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One thing that keeps us motivated here at Latitude 38 World Headquarters is often hearing compliments from readers about how much they love our content. So thanks to all of you who've chimed in lately.

As our way of saying 'thank you'. . . well, we've just published issue 467, which is being distributed throughout the greater Bay Area as we write this, and will reach distribution points in SoCal, the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii in a few days. A reminder, though, that this and all recent issues of Latitude can also be read online and/or downloaded for free from the website.

In our features section this month we recap the Bay Area's first three offshore races of the season, introduce you to a wildly diverse group of Pacific Puddle Jumpers leaving from Panama, and discuss smart strategies for equipping your boat with safety gear. Max Ebb gives his unique perspective on classic sailing films. 

In our Sightings section we introduce you to America's oldest solo nonstop circumnavigator and to dock neighbors-turned-lovers who now intend to circumnavigate, and we recap the record-breaking Newport to Ensenada Race and the Clipper Round the World Race's rough and rowdy leg from China, plus much more.

As always, Letters is chock full of insightful commentary, the Racing Sheet reports on a wide range of recent races, World of Chartering gives food for thought on sailing getaways, and Changes in Latitudes offers firsthand reports from cruisers all over the world. 

So, pick up your copy today or check us out online. Happy reading!

- latitude / andy

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New items in Our Chandlery

Classy Deadline the 15th


Baja Ha-Ha Signups Begin at Noon Monday

April 29, 2016 – Baja Ha-Ha Rally Center

Are you ready to Ha-Ha? Organizers of the West Coast's largest cruising rally have come out of hibernation and are now gearing up for the 23rd annual San Diego-to-Cabo San Lucas rally, the Baja Ha-Ha. Online signups will begin Monday, May 2, at noon on the rally's official website. This year's activities begin October 30 — with the start of Leg One on Halloween morning — and end on November 12.


Picture yourself sailing to the sunny latitudes of Mexico without a care in the world — except perhaps keeping the spinnaker full. Seen here is San Francisco-based charter boat Bay Wolf on sabbatical. 

Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you're eager for a sunny getaway south of the border, we suggest you shanghai a few of your favorite sailing partners and join us on this 750-mile offshore cruise off the Baja coast, with rest stops along the way at Bahia Tortugas and Bahia Santa Maria. 

As in years past, all sorts of people will enter, with backgrounds as diverse as the boats they sail aboard. Sailboats (and powerboats) of 27 feet or longer that were built, equipped and maintained for offshore cruising are welcome to enter. (Sorry, no singlehanding.) The price to enter is still $375 per boat, regardless of how many crew are on board, or $325 if your boat length or the skipper's age is less than 35.


Tom Price (left) of the San Francisco-based Beneteau 473 Vitesse and his crew toast the beauty of unspoiled Bahia Santa Maria — the rally's second rest stop, which lies roughly 600 miles south of the border.

Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2017 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

On the website, you'll find the complete event schedule, along with sponsor links — many of which offer enticing discounts — and the free, downloadable First Timer's Guide to Mexico, which contains updated info on everything from immigration regulations to fishing licenses. 

We'll see you in San Diego!

- latitude / andy

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Ad: Rain Shields for Opening Ports

April 29, 2016 – Bradenton, FL



© 2017 Seaworthy Goods / www.seaworthygoods.com

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Forecast for Vallejo Race

April 29, 2016 – San Francisco and San Pablo Bays

Anxious skippers and tacticians have been hitting the weather forecasts all week seeking wisdom for this weekend's Great Vallejo Race. "Saturday looks like an upwind sail with moderate but variable winds out of the north," predicts Sail Tactics' Mike Dvorak. "The Sail Tactics 2-Day Outlook forecast is showing northerly winds of mostly 12-15 knots around noon off Point Richmond, slowly diminishing to 10-12 knots in the middle of San Pablo Bay (SPB) around 2-2:30 p.m. The winds are patchy throughout SPB, with generally less wind in the middle of the bay and more wind near the shores; not a typical flow pattern for SPB. Racers should find a good combination of wind and either ebb relief or building flood in the shallow water near the east side of SPB. Due to the diminishing winds, the first fleets to start will likely make it to the party long before the last starters." 

Wind Map of San Pablo Bay for Saturday

Sail Tactics predicts an upwind sail on Saturday, with northerly winds in San Pablo Bay lightening as the day progresses. So much for the intention to score the race using downwind ratings.

© 2017 Sail Tactics / www.sailtactics.com

"For Sunday, a completely different flow pattern emerges," predicts Dvorak. "Winds will be easterly at the start and somewhat strong (low teens) near the confluence of the Napa River and the Carquinez Strait. Winds will get more patchy/shifty and diminish into the mid-afternoon, possibly collapsing into calm in the middle of SPB, before the sea breeze fills in the late afternoon. The location and timing of the potential collapse and fill will be updated in the Sail Tactics Day-Of SPB forecast, updated around 8 a.m. on Sunday morning."

Wind Map of San Pablo Bay for Sunday

The wind map for 2 p.m. on Sunday. "Sunday could be a frustrating day, with a potential calm period as the sea breeze fights the morning easterly wind in the middle of San Pablo Bay during the midday," said Mike Dvorak.

© 2017 Sail Tactics / www.sailtactics.com

Not all the action happens on the water. Destination host Vallejo Yacht Club really puts on a shindig on Saturday. A free Mount Gay rum punch tasting will be held 4-6 p.m. right outside the clubhouse. Red Mount Gay caps will also be handed out to the first 200 skippers. Food, available from 3:30 to 7 p.m., will range from oysters to BBQ ribs. Live music will play inside the club from 3:30 to 11 p.m. Winners from Saturday's race and door prize winners will be announced at 7:30-8:00 p.m. "Clear skies and warm weather should make for a great party at the VYC," says Dvorak.

Raft-up in Vallejo Race

Here's an idea of what the harbor at VYC will look like tomorrow afternoon.

© 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

The bar at VYC, packed with people

After Saturday's race, catching up with friends in the bar at VYC is de rigueur.

© 2017 / www.norcalsailing.com

Registration is still open as we post 'Lectronic Latitude, but will close at 5 p.m. this afternoon, so don't wait until tonight to sign up!

- latitude / chris

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