If you’ve been following the tumultuous politics of the next America’s Cup engagement, you wouldn’t be alone in your curiosity about its future. Next week a fortunate few may get an opportunity to peek behind the curtain and learn more about what’s in store for the event from none other than the winners of the 32nd America’s Cup, Ernesto Berterelli and Ed Baird.
The dynamic duo plan to be in town next Friday for a meeting at the St. Francis Yacht Club. Details are still sketchy but St. Francis hopes to invite club members and guests to a short talk from the America’s Cup winners. Before traveling West they apparently will also make a stop at the New York YC, though the goal of the brief tour remains a mystery. Suffice it to say that between actual bouts of sailing there seems to be ample reason for the Cup ‘movers and shakers’ to keep lines of communication open and lots of effort to keep the America’s Cup train on its tracks. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available. We’re curious to find out if Larry Ellison will run up from Redwood Shores to be in the audience.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no, it’s just another party held by billionaire Larry Ellison, fourth richest man in America.
You may have seen four brightly painted planes doing acrobatics over the Bay on Wednesday evening. Though enjoyed by anyone in or around the area, the planes were there for Ellison’s Oracle software company VIPs, invited on board the Spirit of San Francisco to ‘watch the sunset.’ Little did they know they’d also be treated to an airshow.
Wednesday’s weather provided a perfect backdrop for the event; as the four planes did stunts and left smoke trails in the coral-colored sky. We’re sure that those who caught the show, even if from shore, were treated to just as perfect a show as Larry’s guests.
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This is Heron Lake, located in northwestern New Mexico approximately 40 miles south of the Colorado border. Heron is a no-wake lake which results in few power boats, sits at an elevation of 7,200 feet and is approximately 6 miles long and 2 miles wide. It is also the home of the New Mexico Sailing Club and its marina. While having diminished in size over the last few years due to the drought that has hit the southwest, the club still docks about 50 boats every summer including Catalinas, Hunters, J/24s, Cals and one Beneteau F235 – my La Paloma.
And while elk are the stars of this show, it should be noted that during daylight hours, there are numerous other celebrities that make Heron an absolute joy on which to sail. Heron is home to a large bird population with the main attractions being bald eagles and ospreys, the latter which nest in sites around the lake. This cast also includes mergansers, western grebes, owls, turkeys, Canadian geese, various types of ducks and hawks, blue herons, (not the namesake of the lake – it was named for the gentleman who engineered it. Heron is manmade and is a reservoir for points south.), and a new, recent addition to the troupe – white pelicans. Other land-based players include black bear, deer, beaver, coyotes and fox.
Granted, sailing at Heron is not like pounding out the Gate or sliding by the City at night, both of which I’ve fortunately had the opportunity to enjoy. But after so many years of reading Latitude which continually, and correctly, extols the virtues of sailing on the Bay, it always strikes me how lucky I am to sail at a place like Heron Lake. It brings a different light to the stage – one which many don’t even realize exists. While some anchorages are crowded with other boats, mine is packed with stars – both those on the shore and the millions up above in the coal-black New Mexico sky that scream almost as loudly as the elk on shore. I guess the point of this little screed is to urge west coast sailors to look in, as in inland, and explore the many sailing venues the west has to offer – those that have more than one visible shoreline. There’s a lot of players there waiting, ready to begin the show that never ends.
"This time of year, every time the weather is good the marina fills up," said Scott Pryor of the Monterey Municipal Marina. This writer was lucky enough to grab the second to last slip at the 413-berth facility, having just sailed down from San Francisco aboard Tom Liliienthal’s Beneteau 41 Dreamseeker. So why the rush to Monterey? Actually harbormasters all along the coast would probably make similar comments these days, as dozens of boats are fleeing the impending arrival of winter, and heading for the sunny climes of old Mexico – many will head south with the 14th annual Baja Ha-Ha rally, which begins October 29.
Weather along the north coast has been mellow for the past few days, but tomorrow afternoon is supposed to be a bit nasty off the Big Sur coast, so perhaps we’ll just chill out and take in the sights, visit the renown Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Monterey, of course, is a very cool place for a respite. Dozens of shops and restaurants are within walking distance of the marina and the well-protected marina promises a sound night’s sleep – except the squalking of the prolific sea lions on the breakwater. What we want to know is what the heck do they have to talk about at all hours of the day and night that’s so all-fired important?