July 30, 2010

Cuddle Up With the New Latitude!

The August issue of Latitude 38 is a ray of sunshine after an otherwise gray month.

latitude/Annie
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

All throughout July, the weather outside has been frightful. But ’tisn’t the season unless, of course, you live in the Southern Hemisphere. While we hope the gloom and chill that we’ve had breaks soon, we thought it’d be best not to make that assumption. With that in mind, we packed as much sunshine as possible into the August edition of Latitude 38, which hits the racks today. The biggest rays come from our rundowns on the two recently finished Hawaii races, the Singlehanded TransPac and the Pacific Cup. Yet another comes in the form of a review of local sailor Bill Barton’s new book "The Legend of Imp: The Magical Yacht That Rocked the Sailing World." There’s another in a tale of triumph in the face of motor-vehicle-borne adversity, thanks to some resolute Bay Area Moore 24 sailors. Keeping with the ‘triumph in the face of adversity’ theme, we bring you the exclusive story of three Bay Area Sailors who nearly bought the farm off the Northern California coast. If you’ve enjoyed the photos that Bay Area sailor Andrew Vik has been sending back from his summer cruising around the Med aboard the $10,000 Islander 36 Geja that he found in Latitude, then you’ll appreciate his contribution to this month’s Changes in Latitudes. Vik always semes to be triumphing in the, um, ‘face’ of triumph, and we always seem to feel a little warmer for it. So if this crazy weather has you thinking about grabbing a hot toddy, making a beeline for the pilot berth and lacing the lee cloth behind you, make sure you grab a copy of the August issue of Latitude 38 before you go.

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Delta Doo Dah Deux to Decamp

The blue dots in the wall of fog off Sausalito are ships. Time to fire up the AIS!

© 2010 Hi-Def San Francisco

If you’re wondering what that grey box is up there, it’s an image taken from a high-definition web cam mounted in the Sausalito hills overlooking the Bay. The shot was taken at 11:08 this morning and clearly illustrates what the month of July has been like on the Bay — chilly, foggy and thoroughly un-summer-like. To fight the summer ‘sog’, a group of about 50 boats are hitting the high road tomorrow and heading up-Delta in the 2nd Annual Delta Doo Dah — a.k.a. the Doo Dah Deux.

The fleet of about 50 boats will head under the Richmond Bridge tomorrow morning around 11. With a forecast of 15 knots out of the wouthwest, expect a little more color at the start.

latitude/LaDonna
©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

But first, this group of dreary-weary folks will meet up tonight at Tradewinds Sailing in Richmond’s Marina Bay Yacht Harbor for an ersatz skippers’ meeting — really just an excuse to get to know each other a little, go over what to expect, and answer any questions first-timers have about sailing in the Delta.

And the sailing should be fine. According to the forecast, the Doo Dah’ers are in for a real treat — mid- to high-80s and a southwest breeze of 15 knots. Even Stockton is promising 89° for next Friday’s Doo Dah Hooplah party at Stockton Sailing Club.

The 10-day forecast for Pittsburg is for sun, sun, and more sun.

© 2010 The Weather Channel

We’ll be tweeting and posting to Latitude‘s Facebook page — and of course contributing more detailed reports to ‘Lectronic Latitude — throughout the event, as well as writing a full report for the September issue of Latitude 38. And if last year’s Doo Dah was any indicator, this year should be one to watch!

There was plenty of hot action during last year’s Doo Dah. The forecast is for more of the same!

© 2010 Jay Hickman

It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog World

“Trim that sheet, you scurvy dog!” Peaches ‘mans’ her post.

© 2010 Randi Harry

When we posted the story about Bryan and Jennifer Saulsbury’s Portuguese water dog Barley, we had no idea emotions on the topic would run so high. "If you think that dog’s a trimmer, wait till you see Peaches ‘operating’  the jib sheet," wrote Randi Harry, who sails with husband Sam Balsley aboard their Catalina 380 Barca a Vela. "Our five-lb toy poodle had never been on a boat until she was nine years old, but she absolutely loves sailing. She has her  own life jacket (marked “First Mutt”) and she thinks we bought the boat just for her. She has even figured out that if she straddles the foot rail under the cockpit table, she doesn’t slide around the cockpit on a tack! As soon as we start packing up to go to the boat, she gets very excited and doesn’t settle down until she is aboard. So far, she has been to Half Moon Bay several times and Santa Cruz once, plus sailing all over the Bay and joining our yacht club on cruises to Benicia, St. Francis, Marina Bay and elsewhere."

It seems dog owners are particularly fond of having Fido join in on the sailing fun, as we’ve received a number of great shots from sailors everywhere.

Rick Allen has sailed with Kiko aboard his Catalina 34 PainKiller for 15 years.

PainKiller
©2010 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
When Kym and Armand Renga’s beloved Brittany, Storm, passed away last fall, they adopted another Brittany, Copper, to sail with them aboard their Santa Barbara-based Atkins-designed wooden gaff-rigged ketch Charity.

© 2010 Kym Renga
Paul Rupple reports that “it seems like all sailboats in Alaska have dogs on board. They’re good for whales at sea and bears ashore!” Jonah, an Icelandic Sheepdog, sails aboard Paul’s Island Packet 370 Sundance out of Seward.

© 2010 Paul Rupple

But dogs aren’t the only pets that enjoy a fine day of sailing. Cats, for example, make fine sailors — they have excellent balance, don’t need to be taken ashore twice a day, and are just as happy snuggling in a corner when the ride gets a little rough. Birds also have a long history of ocean passages, if the old pirate tales are to be believed.

Fred on the look-out for bears in Red Bluff Bay, Alaska.

latitude/LaDonna
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Do you sail with a non-canine pet? Tell us about it (and don’t forget the photos)!

Seemed like everyone in Sausalito wanted to meet the new girl in town.
After a hurricane of public outrage, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has decided that he will pay $450,000 in sales tax to the state of Massachusetts following the purchase of his $7 million Ted Fontaine-designed 76-ft sailing yacht Isabel.
Peter Stoneberg, Shadow‘s owner, got back to us on Monday evening with a wrap-up and some lessons learned from his and his crew’s capsizing on Sunday afternoon following the YRA’s second-half opener.