June 5, 2009

Angel Island State Park Threatened

The cover of the June issue of Latitude 38 features beautiful Ayala Cove on Angel Island. How ironic is it then, that the Island, which is a state park, is on the chopping block, slated for closure in the face of the state’s budgetary woes?

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

So much for ‘stay-cations’. The California Department of Parks and Recreation confirmed on May 28 that it plans to close or partially close many state parks, a move meant to help ease the ongoing budget woes. The ‘new’ news in the announcement was not the confirmation of 48 parks mentioned earlier this year, but that the number is now up to 220. Among those on the expanded chopping block is Angel Island State Park. In broad terms, this would mean everything at Angel Island would be padlocked and no one could legally land, dock or even moor in Ayala Cove. (Boaters could anchor in other coves which are not controlled by the park.)

Details of the closure and how it would be implemented is very much up in the air at this time. With Park personnel only learning about the proposed closure when everyone else did a week ago, “There are more unknowns than knowns,” said Park Superintendent Dave Matthews.

The decision makers in Sacramento need to hear from you about this. To make your voice heard, go to the California State Parks Foundation site at www.calparks.org/stopclosures and use the automated form to generate a fax on your behalf directly to the Governor and your state representatives. Feel free to tweak the form to specify your concerns about Angel Island. If nothing is done, Angel Island and 219 other state parks could close as soon as Labor Day.

St. Mary’s Wins Nationals in Final Set

Yale (Boat 2) Leads St. Mary’s (Boat 12) around the mark in the last A-division set of the ICSA/Gill National Championships. The battle between the two schools went down to the wire.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After last week’s ICSA Women’s Nationals came down to the final set, we honestly didn’t think that any of the subsequent events could top it for drama. But along came the ICSA/Gill National Championships . . . which came down to the final set! Throughout the regatta, St. Mary’s College and Yale kept pushing each other further ahead of the rest of the field. On Wednesday’s final day, the two traded the lead after the final A-division set put St. Mary’s behind by three points. But sophomore Michael Menninger and crew Jennifer Chamberlin finished with a 6-1, putting Yale — which posted a 14-16 — in the ‘hurt locker’ during both starts, to take the title for St. Mary’s. There were a lot of great stories to come out of this event, and we’ll have a lot of them for you in the July issue of Latitude 38.

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Around the Americas

Prior to departure, Schrader (far right) and his crew strike a pose with Seattle’s renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly (with eye patch).

© Courtesy Around the Americas

Having already sailed in all of Earth’s oceans, two-time circumnavigator Mark Schrader is now captaining a unique expedition dubbed Around the Americas, which aims to raise awareness of the issues threatening the marine environment — including global climate change.

As the name implies, the expedition, which departed Seattle’s Shilshole Marina May 31, will take Schrader and crewmembers David Logan, Herb McCormick and David Thoreson around both North and South America aboard a specially equipped 64-ft cutter named Ocean Watch. Along their 24,000-mile route, which will initially take them through the Northwest Passage, the crew and guest researchers will conduct a variety of scientific studies and will host on-board educational presentations at 30 pre-determined port stops in 11 countries.

In addition to threading their way through the Northwest Passage, the team will eventually round Cape Horn.

© Courtesy Around the Americas

A variety of teachers are also expected to join specific legs of the trip, as marine education is a primary focus of the project. As such, bilingual curriculum materials and a K-8 teacher’s guide will be available at the Around the Americas website by mid-summer. This ambitious project is a joint collaboration between the Pacific Science Center, the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory and Sailors for the Sea, a Boston-based nonprofit founded by David Rockefeller, Jr. Look for further updates here as the team completes their unprecedented lap around the Americas.

It was so warm in La Paz in late May that Patsy Verhoeven always chose the lap pool over the hot tub at Marina Fidepaz.
Registration for the 2009 Baja Ha-Ha has been open for a month and 77 intrepid souls have signed up so far for the annual cruisers rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.
So many Delta Doo Dah‘ers wanted a place to bounce ideas off each other on where to go, what to bring and what to do in the Delta this summer that we created a forum dedicated to the topic.
Countless sailors have visited St. Barth, our favorite island. Every last one has been entertained by the follies of airplanes trying to land at the tiny airport.