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Calling All Sailor Chicks

February 26, 2018 – La Cruz, Mexico

A few years ago, we wrote about a judgment-free Facebook group called Women Who Sail. Since that 2015 Lectronic Latitude article, the group has grown from an impressive 6,000 members to an astonishing 14,575 — all women who sail, want to sail or have sailed. You don’t even have to sail — all female boaters are welcome, no matter their vessel of choice.

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Women Who Sail provides the opportunity for women around the world to connect, in person and over the interwebs.

© 2018 Katrina Liana

Can’t figure out how to sand the inside slats on your teak cockpit grate? Searching for the best solution for heating your boat? Looking for a reputable charter outfit in Croatia? All of these questions have been asked and answered in WWS, all by women who know exactly what they’re talking about.

Teak grate

If you're looking for answers that don't make you feel like an idiot, the kind ladies at WWS will have them.

© 2018 Sherie Munday

But the fun doesn’t stop with that group. Nearly 40 ‘subgroups’ have been started since Charlotte Kaufman created WWS in 2011. Many are topic-focused — healthy living, LGBTQ sailors, splicing, cooking, writing — but most are location-based, such as the San Francisco Bay Area ‘chapter’.

Two such regional groups that southbound cruisers should check out are WWS Pacific Coast Americas and WWS Latitude 28 (Guaymas/San Carlos). These smaller subgroups are a great way for sailor chicks to keep in touch, plan cruise-outs or meet-ups, and share local knowledge — weather, tides, local service providers and so on.

But a separate subgroup isn’t required to coordinate an event. Just last month, dozens of women gathered at Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz to discuss all things sailing. Among the attendees was solo circumnavigator Jeanne Socrates. Socrates was forced to scrap her latest attempt to become the oldest person to solo circumnavigate nonstop when she fell off a ladder and injured her neck shortly before she was to set off from Victoria, BC. Looking chuffed without her ever-present neck brace, Jeanne told attendees she wasn’t going to let a little thing like gravity get in the way of her goals. It appears she’s once again planning for an October departure aboard her Najad 380 Nereida.

Jeanne Socrates and Doña de Mallorca (not this writer) were guests of honor at the La Cruz gathering of Women Who Sail.

© 2018 Katrina Liana

Whether you're new to boating or a seasoned sailor, Women Who Sail offers something for everyone. Except dudes. They still need not apply.

- latitude / ladonna

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Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

Celebrate Ties Another Knot

February 26, 2018 – Fort Lauderdale, FL

A hearty congratulations to Charlie and Cathy Simon of the Taswell 58 Celebrate, who just ‘tied the knot’ of a 14,000-mile North American continent circumnavigation. The Spokane-based couple departed Fort Lauderdale in March 2017, and crossed their outbound track on February 23 — just last Friday! Celebrate is only the 15th known boat to have completed such a passage.

Cathy and Charlie on Celebrate

Cathy and Charlie Simon celebrated another circle on Celebrate on Friday. Cathy is a member of Women Who Sail (see our next story).

Photo Courtesy Celebrate
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We caught up with the Simons last September soon after they had completed the Northwest Passage leg of the journey (see Changes in Latitudes in the November issue of Latitude 38). That was a 60-day, 3,300-mile trek measured from the time they crossed the Arctic Circle (66° N) northbound in the Atlantic near Nuuk, Greenland, to the time they re-crossed it southbound in the Pacific near Nome, Alaska. (We were surprised to hear they consider that voyage much more difficult than the 13-month, 26,000-mile World ARC circumnavigation they completed in 2014-2015.) They then made a 1,300-mile dash south to San Diego for the October 29 start of last year’s Baja Ha-Ha. After that came a Panama Canal transit, followed by the ‘home stretch’ across the Caribbean to Florida.

Look for more about this adventurous couple's North American circumnavigation in the April issue. In the meantime, you can find more about the Simons and their extensive cruising at

- latitude / jr

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Ad: KKMI Spring Specials

February 26, 2018 – Sausalito & Pt. Richmond

© 2018 KKMI /

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February 26, 2018 – San Francisco Bay

The weather gods have been kind to San Francisco Bay this winter. Besides a few blustery days and the odd raindrop or two it's been pretty pleasant sailing all winter when there's been enough wind to sail.

Just chillin' — as the ebb was turning to flood, this Catalina 350 was enjoying a leisurely afternoon wander down Raccoon Strait. There was no Photoshop involved in that blue sky!

Photo Latitude / John
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This weekend was no exception. A Sunday afternoon cruise aboard our Ranger 33 Summer Sailstice saw plenty of boats just out chillin' on the Bay with comfortable breezes, but enough wind at the Gate to get the kiters up on their foils. We let our lead keep us comfortably upright and our freeboard keep us dry. 

Sailing Salutes

Greetings from the Central Bay. Give a wave to your friends (when sailing on the Bay, everyone is your friend).

Photo Latitude / John
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We always keep an eye on lone kiters outside the Gate. The breeze was great but if it quit, what would happen? No auxiliary to turn on and, though you're warm in a wetsuit, the flood won't get you home quickly. This guy looked solid and cruised home, no problem.

Photo Latitude / John
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The breeze, the temperature and the flat-water flood made the cruise out the Gate a perfect afternoon.

Photo Latitude / John
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We were in competitive mode last weekend doing the CYC midwinters and, as we approached our boat for a pleasure sail this weekend, club member Ted Goldbeck said, "Don't you know there's a penalty for using your boat for pleasure?" Yesterday there appeared to be many boats on the Bay willing to accept the consequences, and we were too.

- latitude / john

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Rio and The Bastard

February 26, 2018 – San Diego, CA

More than seven months after the race began, the 49th edition of the Transpac has officially come to a close with the final boat safely making its way back to California. While racing to Hawaii in July, Manouch Moshayedi's super-maxi Rio 100 lost her port-side rudder after a collision with debris. By covering the hole in the bottom of the boat and installing their emergency rudder on the port side, the crew of the black 100-footer was still able to hold off the next-fastest monohull to win the coveted Barn Door Trophy. (The 100-ft Comanche was still faster and set a new monohull course record, but was not eligible for the Barn Door due to her canting keel.)

Rio 100 motoring out of the channel at Honolulu's Ala Wai Harbor to go on a test sail, just before leaving on her delivery back to the mainland.

© 2018 Robert Oehler

Delayed from returning to the mainland while awaiting repairs, Rio 100 finally received a new pair of rudders from C-Tech in New Zealand and then had them installed at The Phoenician boatyard on the west side of Oahu. Once the boat was fully ready to go, a crew of nine including this writer embarked on a midwinter delivery back to San Diego. Massively lifted while reaching out of Honolulu, the team made some serious easting on the way north toward the Pacific High. Once in the high, Rio was forced to stop sailing for more than 24 hours to avoid meeting a 40+ knot northwesterly gale. Once back on her way, she was free to stretch her legs, devouring the last 1,200-odd miles to San Diego on a long port-tack reach and arriving at the coast in benign conditions.

Onboard Rio with a splash

Rio 100 knocking out miles on a long port-tack reach toward California.

© 2018 Ronnie Simpson

The boat arrived last Thursday night at Driscoll Mission Bay Boatyard in San Diego, where she was scheduled to be hauled out to finish preparations for this weekend's PV Race from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta.

It was plenty wet and plenty cold during the midwinter delivery to California, but the weather was great and the sailing even better.

© 2018 Ronnie Simpson

Coincidentally, Rio wasn't the only big black maxi yacht to make her way to California in the middle of winter. Karl Kwok's Botin 80 Beau Geste has been sold to Steve Meheen (former owner/charterer of the R/P 63 Aszhou, ex-Invisible Hand) and will reportedly be renamed El Cabrón. Since departing Sydney and calling on Apia, Samoa and Honolulu, the boat is currently making more than 14 knots toward San Diego (view the tracker here).

Beau Geste 97

Steve Meheen's new El Cabrón is the former Beau Geste. The yacht was designed by Botin Partners and built to beat up on the bigger 100-footers Down Under. She has sailed with mixed success over the last few years, but is an undeniably cool and fast boat. Take a look at her very full and round bow, almost a scow bow. While she was designed to be an off-the-breeze flyer, she has somewhat ironically established herself as a demon upwind.

© 2018 Botin Partners /

With the boat's canting keel, massive daggerboards and a very unique design, we will wait with bated breath to see how Meheen and crew can get her going and begin challenging Rio and others for line honors in every race she enters. Either way, we're stoked to see some of the coolest maxi yachts on earth calling California home and being campaigned hard!

- ronnie simpson

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Ad: Modern Sailing School & Club

February 26, 2018 – Sausalito, CA

© 2018 Modern Sailing School & Club /

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