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Sailing in Southern California Is Sweet

August 13 - Santa Catalina Island

It's not uncommon for Northern California sailors to pooh-pooh sailing in Southern California. The truth of the matter is that given the right time of year - mid-July to mid-October - and given a boat that can sail well in under 15 knots of wind - it's a great place to sail.

Last weekend, for example, the Wanderer, Doña de Mallorca, and eight others enjoyed three days of shared expenses sailing between Long Beach, Catalina, and Newport Beach. The sailing was lovely. We left from the Californian's berth at Rainbow Marina in Long Beach, headed high across the channel at 9-10 knots in order to set up a screecher reach to Avalon. It worked - just about everyone was hitting the low teens with a top speed of 14.5 knots.

After an afternoon and early evening of fun at Avalon, and anchoring for the night halfway to White's Landing, the next morning we slowly motored up the coast to Two Harbors. After a morning of hiking, running, and swimming, a light breeze came up at 2 p.m., and for most of the next three hours, we enjoyed more screecher reaching at about 10 knots. As was the case the day before, it was only blowing 10 to 14 knots, so the seas were flat, the air was warm, and it was perfect for taking it easy on the forward tramp. After a barbecue at the Isthmus on Saturday night, we had an asymmetrical spinnaker run toward Newport Beach in moderate winds that finally died out - as they always seemed to do - just north of the Newport Pier. Still, we had enjoyed about 75 miles of absolutely lovely sailing over a three-day period, with no foul weather gear in sight, and not a drop of water on the deck.

There's no knocking Northern California sailing, of course, but for boats that can move in light to moderate winds, Southern California has fantastic sailing, too. Vive la différence!

Holly and Peter at the grill at Two Harbors on Saturday night. Peter and Arnie, another of the crew, were kings of the Q.

Although Profligate is sailing along at 12 knots, the crew takes it all in stride.

Birds seem to love Avalon's casino just as much as mariners do.

White's Landing, a little less than halfway between Avalon and Two Harbors, on Saturday morning. It was crowded but lovely.

Bonfires are big and bright at the water's edge at Two Harbors.

Our barbecue crew. Standing, from left: Holly, Peter, Arnie, Joanne, and Doña de Mallorca. Sitting, from left: Jacqueline, Ron, Leslie, and Dave.

Photos Latitude/Richard

"The Young Guy? Just Leave Him Up There."

August 13 - Newport Beach

When we arrived in Newport, the kind folks in the Sheriff's office assigned us a mooring - $100 for 20 nights! - not far from Brad Avery's boat. Brad is the head of Orange Coast College's superb sailing program and the Commodore of the suddenly revived TransPac Yacht Club, and we started talking about sailing in the 'old days'. Brad had the best story.

Something like 30 years ago, when he was 17, Brad managed, after a year of trying and two sailing trips across the Atlantic, to get a job as lowly deckhand aboard the legendary 71-ft Herreshoff ketch Ticonderoga in the Caribbean. As the youngster on the crew, he got no respect. The beautiful and busty young French girl who was the cook, and with whom he bunked in close quarters, ignored him completely. And the captain did pretty much the same - even in harsh conditions. For example, one of Brad's duties was to keep the varnish up on the mast. "I often spent the entire day up the mast varnishing. I remember being up there one squally day in Grenada. I'd been varnishing for awhile, when I saw this big squall approaching. Did they even think of lowering me down to the deck? Of course not. So I just put a cover over the can of varnish and hung on while the squall raged through. After it passed and everything dried, I resumed varnishing. For this, I was paid a total of $75 a month."

And as you might expect, they were some of the greatest days of his life. He just didn't realize it at the time.

J/105 North Americans this Week

August 13 - San Francisco

Anika Leerssen, Race Coordinator at the St. Francis Yacht Club, dropped us a note to remind us that the St. Francis Yacht Club and SF Bay Fleet 1 will host the 2003 J/105 North American Championship starting tomorrow. This event will be a seven-race, no throw-out regatta, and the owner-driver rule will apply. Thursday and Friday's racing will be in the Treasure Island area. Saturday and Sunday's racing will be off the Cityfront.

So far, 39 boats are registered. The event attracts racers from all over the country. Boats are coming from New York, Connecticut, Florida and Texas. There is also a heavy participation from an active southern California fleet. The local J-105 fleet is the oldest and largest fleet in the country with 52 registered boats. All of the top local boats will be racing, including Good Timin' (1), Zuni Bear (2) and Arbitrage (3).

"We expect the combination of San Francisco Bay winds and tides with a number of highly competitive boats on the starting line to produce truly world class racing," said Jaren Leet, the Regatta Developer.

This event kicks off a jam-packed late summer/early fall racing schedule for St. Francis YC. For more information go to www.stfyc.org and drill down through Regatta Information and the Racing Calendar. Photos, results, and other information are updated daily. Better yet, head out and watch the action, by sea or by land.

Calling All Women to Race for Mikey

August 13 - Tiburon

On August 24, the Tiburon YC will be holding a revived edition of the Joan Storer Regatta, a women's PHRF regatta. One male is allowed on board, but may not touch the helm. The event this year will be a benefit for the Mikey Murison Fund, and TYC would like to see a big turnout.

Mikey is a 24-year old sailor well known in the Bay Area as a Richmond YC and SFYC junior sailor, Santana 22 champion, RYC high school FJ coach and 470 class Olympic hopeful. He founded the College of Marin sailing team and led them to the Pacific Coast Championships. He's a great guy as well, and he is being treated for stomach cancer. The proceeds from the day's events will help raise funds for Mikey's recovery.

The regatta will be followed by a "huge silent auction," where you can bid on a Sailing Lesson from Yachtswoman of the Year Liz Baylis and items donated by West Marine, Pineapple Sails, Leatherman, Vanguard, Harken, Wichard, Ronstan, Mt. Gay Rum, Sailnet and Latitude 38 - and this is just a partial list. Guys are welcome at the auction and the $7 barbecue dinner.

Mikey (driving) in his Olympic 470 campaign
Photo Courtesy SF470

A Racing Seminar by women's sailing champion Marcia Peck will precede the race.

See www.tyc.org for more information, race instructions and entry form. The deadline to enter is August 18.

Poobah to Wander over to Corinthian Tomorrow

August 13 - Tiburon

Having just wandered back to the Bay Area after a sojourn in SoCal (see top story), the Wanderer/Poobah will give a presentation tomorrow night at the Corinthian YC on the Baja Ha-Ha.

Last night he visited a crowd at the Long Beach Singles Sailing Association, and here is some feedback he got, "Just want to say THANK YOU so very much for what was the best presentation that they have had in the year that I have been a member there. People raved about it long after you left. I think that you have started a new fan club here in the hinter lands of Los Angeles.

"The vignettes with each slide certainly revealed your excellent wit and sense of humor. All in all a smashing success! There were 2-3 more people who talked to me after the meeting about wanting to take their boats on the Ha-Ha either this year or next."

Don't miss out - head over to the Corinthian YC at 43 Main Street in Tiburon tomorrow night, August 14, 6-9 pm. This event is sponsored by KKMI. Admission is $10 per person. Visit www.cyc.org/speakers or call (415) 435-4771 if you have questions.


August 13 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to www.bitwrangler.com/psn.

Weather Updates

August 13 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

Check out this guide to San Francisco Bay Navigational Aids: http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/sfports.html.

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind.

The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at www.wrh.noaa.gov/Monterey.

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/Maps/Southwest.shtml.

Pacific Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

The site for the Pacific Ocean sea states has moved to http://www.mpc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/PacRegSSA.shtml.
For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see http://www.oceanweather.com/data.

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