When it comes to cruising, small and simple can be inexpensive and trouble free. Take the case of Tahoe residents Bob Bahlman and Margie Hughes, who just completed a most enjoyable eight-month cruise of Mexico aboard their Sausalito-based Catalina 30 No Name. They could have gone to the trouble and expense of installing an electric windlass on their humble cruising boat, but they decided to use Margie as the windlass instead. Sort of an inversion on the old ‘why be a dishwasher when you can buy one?’ advertising slogan.
No Name‘s windlass performed flawlessly through the cruising season, which saw the couple travel as far south as Huatulco, Mexico. We’re not suggesting that everyone revert to the human windlass solution for two reasons. First, the little Catalina didn’t need the heaviest anchor and rode in the world. And second, as you can see from the photo, Margie, who worked as a personal trainer at the Mill Valley Health Club and Spa, is in spectacular physical condition. Bob is no slouch either, having raced bicycles for over 20 years.
We’ll have more on Bob and Margie’s cruise in the September issue of Latitude, but as a preview, we can tell you that they thought their Catalina 30 was an "awesome" cruising boat, although they are going to go with a much larger boat for their much longer upcoming cruise.
Moments before this story was uploaded, the final Delta Doo Dah morning net concluded with bittersweet thanks to all the participants, organizers and sponsors. No doubt everyone had a terrific vacation in the delightful Delta sun, and all are looking forward to a great BBQ and party hosted by the generous folks at Stockton Sailing Club tonight, but Doodette Christine Weaver’s detailed weather report of wind on the nose for the bash home, coupled with reports of fog, fog, and more fog on the Bay, brought the reality home: Delta Doo Dah Deux is coming to a close and we will now return you to regularly scheduled programming.
But once home, this year’s batch of Doo Dah’ers will at least carry with them warm memories of their three ‘free days’: consuming mass quantities of clam chowder at The Lighthouse, water battles in which the deadliest foes were teenage girls, picking blackberries along the levies, runs to Korth’s for more ice and refreshing beverages, sailing wing-on-wing up the Stockton Deep Water Channel, and above all, letting go of the ‘real world’ for just a little while.
The Doo Dah may be over, but the weather is still fine in the Delta: Perfect 85° temps and endless sun. If the Bay’s so-called summer has been getting you down, you owe it to yourself and your family to take a trip up river — even if only as far as Petaluma — to dry out and soak up some Vitamin D.
We’ll file a full report on the Doo Dah in the September issue, but in the meatime, enjoy a few snapshots from Potato Slough.
Just about everywhere you look around San Francisco Bay, there are treasures of our rich maritime heritage. Some, though, are less obvious to the untrained eye than others.
Take, for example, Ron MacAnnan’s classic woodie Pursuit, which lies quietly in her berth at Sausalito Yacht Harbor year in and year out. Unless you read the small plaque on a handrail nearby, you might never know she is one of a proud fleet of 82-ft M-Class sloops that had a colorful racing history here on the West Coast during the ’40s and ’50s. In fact, she is one of the last — if not the last — of her breed that’s still seaworthy.
Why do we mention this now? Because Ron and a crew of ol’ salts plan to take her out of mothballs tomorrow morning for a rare spin around the Bay. How rare? If our memories serve us correctly, the last time she graced Bay waters was during the Sail San Francisco procession in 2005. And the time before that was 1978!
"It’s going to be a bit of a Chinese fire drill for sure," says Ron with a laugh, because none of his thrown-together crew has sailed her before. But we expect they’ll get it together. So if you’re out on the Bay tomorrow and see a tall, sexy classic blasting in under the Gate under a massive chute, take a good hard look, because you’ll be witnessing a rare gem from the Bay’s nautical treasure trove. And if you get some decent photos of her, we’d love to see them.
There may be heat waves in other parts of the world, but as we don’t have to tell you, the coast of California, from the Oregon border to the Mexican border, has been socked-in almost non-stop for months with fog the consistency of Miracle Whip. Even the folks who did the Pacific Cup didn’t see sun until Diamond Head was almost in sight.
In response to a request for a photo of a boat in actual sunshine, we give you a shot of Profligate taken at Isla Partida a few months ago. We don’t know about you, but it makes us hot in more ways that one. So, heck yeah, we’re going to Mexico again this winter, and so far 140 boats have signed up to join us in the Baja Ha-Ha. Don’t forget the sunblock and bimini, because you’ll need them!