Skip to content
February 9, 2015

Help This Sailor Circumnavigate

If you don’t get distracted by Elizabeth, you can see that the Ostranders believe in solar power. This photo was taken aboard Journey in French Polynesia.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you could help the lovely young cruiser in the above photo pursue her dream of sailing around the world, and it wouldn’t cost you a cent or take more effort than a few clicks of a computer mouse, would you do it? We sure hope so.

The lovely young woman in the photo is 26-year-old Elizabeth Ostrander, who came to San Francisco two years ago from the east coast of Florida to learn how to sail and hopefully to meet a man who shared her dream of sailing around the world. It didn’t take long before she met and fell in love with Erik Ostrander, who is the swashbuckling 37-year-old owner of the Pier 39-based San Francisco Sailing Company, the San Francisco Sailing School and The City Yacht Club.

Erik, who is a most interesting character you’ll learn more about in Latitude 38, fell in love with Elizabeth, but not just because she’s a stone cold gorgeous redhead who is enthusiastic about sailing and “wants to be a playful sex bomb for life."

“When you captain a charter boat on San Francisco Bay,” reports Erik, “a lot of female customers fall for you. For one thing, their life is in your hands, and women love men who protect them. Plus, I would tell every group, ‘For safety’s sake you must do what I tell you to do, when I tell you to do it.’ Then I would look at the girls and say with a smile, ‘And I do abuse my authority.’"

After a decade of captaining the party boat, Erik decided you could actually have too much of a good thing. “So before I met Elizabeth, I wasn’t looking for a super hot young sex bomb. I was looking for a woman of about 30 who shared my core values.”

Elizabeth won Erik’s heart because of “her great personality” and because “she said all the things I wanted to hear.” What he wanted to hear is that Elizabeth wants to sail around the world, that she wants lots of kids, that she wants to be a stay-at-home mom, and that she wants to make dinner for her husband and children.

The lovely Elizabeth, aboard her and husband Erik’s San Francisco-based Freeport 41 Journey. Judging by her outfit, the photo was taken in the South Pacific during their recent voyaging there. 

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Just four months after meeting, the couple — who were both born on Pearl Harbor Day — were married on their boat in Aquatic Park. Just a few days later they started off on their honeymoon, which they hope was the start of a 3- to 5-year circumnavigation, by sailing to Hawaii aboard Journey, their Islander Freeport 41. Having sailed almost exclusively on San Francisco Bay, Erik didn’t realize that leaving San Francisco on Halloween to sail to Hawaii is not the best idea in terms of weather. The two of them had a rough passage.

After cruising to every Hawaiian island, the couple found a berth for their Islander Freeport 41 Journey at the Ala Wai for the maximum of four months, and had a fabulous time. “We used to close down the club Addiction at 4:00 a.m., then have after-parties aboard Journey, which was berthed right in front of the Chart House. If we could have stayed longer, we would have.”

But they continued on to Bora Bora and French Polynesia. You can read all about it — it was another difficult trip — in the March issue of Latitude 38.

Fun-loving, smart and funny, Erik is originally from Seattle. He arrived in the Bay Area with nothing but an old van. Despite not knowing how to sail, he traded the van for a small sailboat, and from there has built a small sailing empire based out of Pier 39. 

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Before sailing to Hawaii, the couple had gotten on craigslist and bought several years’ worth of Playboy magazines from the late ‘60s and early ’70s. Elizabeth loved the classic looks of the women, and despite the joke, Playboy really did have a lot of excellent articles by top-flight authors. While paging through the magazines, Elizabeth couldn’t help but admire the photos of the Playmates. “I wish I could be a Playmate of the Month,” she finally said.

So when the couple made a brief visit back to California before casting off for Bora Bora, Erik tended to business in San Francisco, while Elizabeth flew to L.A. for a test shoot at the Playboy Mansion. The Playboy staff obviously liked what they saw, because Elizabeth became both the cover girl for the December issue and the December Playmate of the Month.

Playmates of the Month are paid $25,000. They also get the opportunity to become Playmate of the Year. That woman gets $100,000, plus a new car, plus the opportunity to make quite a bit of money doing personal appearances. This is the kind of money that could really assist in Erik and Elizabeth’s circumnavigation dreams becoming a reality — and help them start the family that they intend to take around the world.

Wishes do come true. Elizabeth, seen here inside Journey, wished she could become a Playmate of the Month. After she was photographed by Playboy, she become the December 2014 Playmate of the Month. Now it’s up to you readers to help her become Playmate of the Year for 2015. 

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

How does a young lady get to become Playmate of the Year? Ostensibly by receiving the most votes from the public. This is where ‘Lectronic and Latitude readers come in. Just go to, then cast your vote. But before you do, we recommend that you take a look at Elizabeth’s photo spread in the December issue of Playboy. After all, the last thing you want to be is an ill-informed voter.

Journey in the Marquesas. Lots of young ladies tell men that they love sailing but don’t really mean it. Elizabeth is the real deal. She endured a November rough weather passage to Hawaii, and another long uphill slog to French Polynesia. And she’s eager to continue on around the world.

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Surf’s Up in SF

High tide and a big sea swell made the spray fly on shore, while just beyond, Golden Gate Yacht Club held their fourth midwinter race in a fortuitous break between big storm fronts.


When the National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory for coastal waters over the weekend, they didn’t mention anything about San Francisco city streets.

One of the lesser-known hazards of San Francisco city sidewalks.


These photos were taken along ‘Yacht Road’ which is actually a driveway and parking lot that connects the St. Francis and Golden Gate Yacht Clubs and serves the Bay side of the San Francisco Marina.

This wave caught men and dog alike. No animals were harmed in the filming of this story, but they did get damp.


Probably a good thing no one parked in those spaces, because of a formula so simple we don’t need Lee Helm to explain it to us: Salt water + Detroit steel = Rust.

We’ll have more on the actual racing, and other races over the weekend, in Wednesday’s ‘Lectronic.

Are You Too Connected?

For most sailors it used to be that part of the attraction of getting out on the water was to escape the rat race and all its trappings, such as phones, faxes, computers and buzz-killing news broadcasts. But in the current era of 24/7 connectedness, some sailors seem to have forgotten how wonderful it is to pull the plug and give 100% of your attention to your watery surroundings.

Motoring around in Southern California waters is boring, right? After all, what are the chances of actually seeing anything interesting? 

© Eric Smith / ABC News

As this photo clearly illustrates, obsession with modern technology has the potential to rob us of outstanding experiences. As reported on ABC News recently, pro photographer Eric Smith was on a whale watching cruise out of Redondo Beach when he snapped this shot — and several others — of a man so transfixed by his cell phone that he completely missed the sight of a full-grown humpback whale passing "two feet" from his boat, according to Smith.

Associate Publisher to Speak at StFYC

John Arndt, the Associate Publisher of Latitude 38, will give a talk, ‘A Sailing Life Inspires a Celebration of Sailing and Ocean Conservation,’ at a St. Francis Yacht Club Yachting Luncheon this Wednesday, February 11. The lunch buffet opens at 11:45 and John will speak from 12:30 to 1:30. The weekly luncheons are open to members of all yacht clubs and cost about $25.

John Arndt at the helm of his Ranger 33 Summer Sailstice, sailing in a Corinthian YC race.

Summer Sailstice
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

John will entertain the audience with stories and adventures from his 25+ years at Latitude 38 coupled with a lifetime of sailing. He grew up sailing in Maine and, since then, has taught sailing, raced and cruised oceans, spent almost 30 years in the sailing industry working with Latitude 38, the Baja Ha-Ha, Sail America and SailSFBay. In 2001, he founded Summer Sailstice, a global celebration of sailing.

Click here for more info and to register.

Few forms in nature are more gracefully streamlined than a dolphin cutting through the water. 
We received many responses to Wednesday’s Mystery Photo quiz — some correct, some incorrect, and some creative.
"Our friend Dereck Vance here in Kerikeri, New Zealand, has not heard from his son Andrew and wife Megan for nearly one month and understandably he is curious to know where they may be," write Michel and Jane Deridder.