Skip to content
March 6, 2009

A New Generation of Net Controllers

Cruisers seem to be in agreement that 10-year-old Mera and her sisters do a bang-up job as net controllers.

Don Quixote
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

When couples with children take off cruising, the parents sometimes enjoy the adventure much more than their kids. That doesn’t seem to be the case with the Congers. Sailing aboard their Seattle-based Lagoon 380 cat Don Quixote, Mom (Karen), Dad (Dean), and their three daughters, Jaime, 12, Mera, 10, and Aeron, 8, are all equally excited about their year afloat.

In fact, the kids have gotten so deeply immersed into the cruising life, that they’ve recently taken over net control duties practically everywhere they go — and they’ve earned kudos from adult cruisers for the ‘professional’ job they do. Read more about them in the upcoming edition of Latitude 38.

Sewage Spill Strikes Pt. Richmond . . . Again

Last week, a million-gallon sewage spill forced the cancellation of two Richmond YC events: the final installment of the small boat midwinters, and Sail A Small Boat Day. Apparently black water has mucked things up for RYC members this weekend too, according to an email sent to club members yesterday afternoon.

"Contra Costa County Health Dept. has notified us that there was another spill this morning at the Veolia sewage treatment plant near Pt. Isabel. They have posted signs at the club due to the high bacterial content in the water and recommend ABSOLUTELY NO HUMAN CONTACT. If there is not any rain overnight, they may test the water content tomorrow. We should know more on Monday. The Junior Program was the only on-the-water event scheduled for the weekend. It has been cancelled."

While the advisory may be issued by Contra Costa County, the Bay knows no county boundaries, so if you’re out on the water this weekend, keep your mouth closed . . .

Sailing the Green Mile

Every marina has them — neglected boats covered with green gunge and bottoms so foul that they could be declared their own ecosystems. But what happens when the owners stop paying their moorage? Besides being eyesores, these abandoned boats cost local marinas thousands of dollars — not only in lost revenue but also in labor to keep them afloat, file lien requests and, after months (if not years), sell the boat at auction.

These boats – including the Catalina 30 in the foreground – sold for a song at a recent lien sale auction.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One such auction happened recently at Berkeley Marina, with 10 boats on the block. Harbormaster Ann Rial Hardinger reports that eight of the boats — which owed on average $2,500 each — sold, some for the opening bid of $250. "We never make back what we’re owed," Hardinger said, "but at least we can rent the slip again." Hardinger said most lien sale boats are in the 25-ft range but a Catalina 30 in the latest auction sold for $1,150! Of course, these boats are not for the faint of heart . . . or wallet — they’ve typically been neglected for so long that it’ll cost thousands of hours and dollars to get them back in good shape again. "There’s nothing I like better than to see one of these boats brought back to her original beauty," said Hardinger.

Lien boats go through two auction cycles at Berkeley Marina, then, if no one buys them and no donation program wants them, they’re sent to that big bay in the sky. As part of the Department of Boating & Waterway’s Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Program, San Rafael Yacht Harbor receives dozens of derelict boats to destroy every year, including this line-up from Berekely. "Those had already gone through the process twice and had been here 2-3 years," noted Hardinger.

A line-up of 10 junkers on their way from Berkeley Marina to an appointment with the wrecking ball.

latitude/John A.
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Hardinger recommends that if you find yourself falling behind in your moorage payments, talk with the harbormaster about a payment plan. If you just can’t afford it anymore, try to sell the boat or donate it to one of many charities. "Whatever they do," she said, "act before we have to put a lien on it."

Doo Dah Is Filling Fast

We had a feeling folks would be eager to join our inaugural Delta Doo Dah — the laid-back rally to the Delta that we announced in the March issue of Latitude 38 and in Wednesday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude — but the response has been tremendous! All kinds of boats — from Ari Samole’s Lock Crowther Buccaneer 24 Kalona (the smallest boat in the fleet so far) to Keith and Dana Jensen’s Beneteau 49 Optimus Prime (the largest) — from all over the Bay Area are gearing up for some Delta antics this summer.

In fact, nearly all 30 open spots for the rally have been taken — there’s only four left! Registration is as easy and low-key as the Doo Dah (June 27-July 3) promises to be, but you’d best hurry as these four remaining spaces won’t last long.

  1. Georgia, Custom 41, Ben & Lucie Mewes, Alameda
  2. Tamara, O.L. 33, Adam Correa & Kathe Hashimoto, Sausalito
  3. Moo’rea, Ericson 29, Jay & Jer Hickman, San Rafael
  4. Windsome Wench, Newport 30 MkII, Robbie & Ruben Gabriel, Benicia
  5. Feolena, Valiant 32, Aaron Dunlap, Gig Harbor, WA
  6. Mi Amor, Islander 36, Arnie & Louise Gallegos, Tiburon
  7. Peregrine, Marine Trader 36, Pat & Carole McIntosh, Sausalito
  8. Iliohale, Hanse 34, Gary & Nancy Ryan, Greenbrae
  9. Zephyr, Cape Dory 36, Don Alden, Sunnyvale
  10. Legacy, C&C 34, Lewis & Willa Keizer, Aromas
  11. Kalona, Lock Crowther Buccanneer 24, Ari Samole, Fairfax
  12. Renegade, Tayana 48, Paul & Marilyn Butler, Fair Oaks
  13. Love in Vane, Golden Gate 30, John Chille & Lisa Donovan, Alameda
  14. Odyssey, Bristol Channel Cutter 28, Wayne & Karen Edney, Cameron Park
  15. Tamara Lee Ann, Celestial 48, Doug & Tamara Thorne, San Francisco
  16. Lucy!, Beneteau 35, Roy & Barbara Johnston, Santa Rosa
  17. Moondance, Canadian Sailcraft 34, Niels Frommann, Santa Clara
  18. Volaré, Hunter 30, John & Alisa Cassero, Albany
  19. Fullhouse, Gemini 3000 catamaran, Jon & Vicky Jones, Hillsborough
  20. Oxygen, Beneteau 393, Jeff & Betsy Brown, Clayton
  21. Grace, Traveller 32, Robert Walker & Sue Clark, Grass Valley
  22. Shiraz, Hunter Passage 42, Phil & Nora McCaleb, Sacramento
  23. Optimus Prime, Beneteau 49, Keith & Dana Jensen, Cameron Park
  24. Starduster, Modified H28, Eric, Michael & Ryan Gerhardt, Yountville
  25. Green Buffalo, Cal 40, Jim Quanci & Mary Lovely, San Francisco
  26. Doggone, Searunner 40, Greig & Leslie Olson, Kelseyville
Craig and Kiki will keep a sharp lookout on their way south. Oya
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC Apart from being a bit rolly, the La Cruz anchorage in Mexico’s Banderas Bay usually provides cruising sailors with a quiet night of sleep.
Get away from the rat race – and the Bay’s chilly summer winds – by joining Latitude 38’s 1st Annual Delta Doo Dah!