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December 4, 2015

Across the Atlantic at 500 Miles/Day

Less than six days out of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, the great MOD70 Phaedo3 rushes to the finish line off Grenada in the West Indies. 

© 2015 Rachel Jaspersen / Phaedo3

Lloyd Thornburg’s St. Barth- and Newport Beach-based MOD70 Phaedo3 has added yet another record to her season of greatness, finishing first in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 3,000-mile race from the Canary Islands to Grenada. Skippered by Brian Thompson — with Paul Allen of Santa Cruz along as crew — the lime-green trimaran averaged an astonishing 500+ miles a day to finish in just under six days. The crew consisted of owner Lloyd Thornburg, skipper Brian Thompson, Miles Seddon, Paul Allen, Sam Goodchild, Henry Bomby, and Pete Cumming.

After living on the edge 24 hours a day for nearly six days, the Phaedo3 crew take a welcome leap of recklessness. Skipper Brian Thompson is at the far left, owner Lloyd Thornburg is third from the left.

© 2015 Rachel Jaspersen / Phaedo3

To give you an idea of what it was like aboard, here’s a crew posting from two days ago:

“Every watch is showing an average of 28 to 30 knots of speed. We are not holding back at all, what with the sistership Concise 10 right behind us. The person at the helm carves his way through the waves like a skier through a mogul field. The driver has to follow the liquid terrain to harmonize boat speed, heel angle, and apparent wind angle to keep our speed constant through the ever-changing waterscape in front of our Phaedo3’s bows, trying not to fly the main hull or stuff the bows. And generally doing the former will precipitate the latter.”

Important races coming up for Phaedo3 are the Caribbean 600 in February and the Voiles de St. Barth in April. But knowing Lloyd as we do, we suspect he’ll make several other record attempts between those events.

What’s Your Winter Project?

If weather prognosticators are correct, there will be a lot of rainy days this winter when you probably won’t want to go out on the water. But such days are often perfect for facing up to the many boat projects on your ‘to do list’ — especially indoor installations. 

During the winter months, it’s wise to pick outdoor projects that can be accomplished during a short stint of calm weather. Seen here is a flexible solar panel being installed on a soft dodger.

© Solar Marine

Also, here in Northern California, even during intense winters there are often windows of fine weather — sometimes lasting a week or more — when you can sneak in a quickie haulout (often at discounted rates), or accomplish outdoor tasks such as painting or fiberglassing. Despite cooler air temperatures, the calm waters and light winds of winter can actually make such jobs easier than in mid-summer.

Most boat owners do their haulouts during the summer, but there are advantages to hauling during winter, when the weather is right: You can often find discounted hauling rates, yards will be less crowded, and because business is slower, you may find that yard workers are more readily available to assist you. 

© Channel Islands Boatyard

So tell us, what winter boat projects do you hope to tackle in the coming months? Send us a note here, along with a few photos if possible. Whatever you intend to accomplish, we wish you the best of luck. 

Lighted Boats Brighten December

With the first weekend in December comes the first batch of holiday lighted boat parades, the nautical contribution to brightening the year’s darkest month.

Sailors have an advantage over powerboaters in lighted boat parades — they can get creative with the rigging.

© 2015 Shirley Vaughan

December 5:

Lighted Yacht Parade. Contestants will ‘Deck the Hulls’ and proceed along the Oakland-Alameda Estuary tomorrow night. The route is a little longer this year so that Fortman, Grand Marina and the yacht clubs can participate. The boats will stage between the public pier at Fortman Marina and Wind River buildings. The parade will start at dark and proceed west past Encinal and Oakland YCs for judging. The boats will continue to the Rusty Pelican, turn to Jack London Square, cross back to Alameda, return to the staging area, then repeat the entire route. This one benefits Oakland Firefighters Random Acts and the Alameda County Community Food Bank. 

Petaluma Lighted Boat Parade. A flotilla of lighted boats will proceed up the Petaluma River tomorrow, departing from the Petaluma Marina around 5:30 p.m., sailing into the Historic Downtown Harbor Turning Basin, where they will remain lit all night.

Vallejo Lighted Boat Parade. Vallejo YC hosts this one, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Santa Cruz’s Lighted Boat Parade is sponsored by SCYC, with support from the Santa Cruz Port District, and will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the South Harbor. Entries will be judged in the categories of Theme, Lights, and Music.

December 6:

Monterey Lighted Boat Parade, hosted by MPYC, 6-8 p.m. in the Monterey Marina.

December 11:

Decorated Boat Parade, put on by St. Francis YC along the San Francisco Cityfront, starting at 6 p.m. ‘Deck the Hulls’ is the theme.

December 12:

Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade, followed by fireworks, 6-9 p.m. A tent in front of the Spinnaker Restaurant will open at 5 p.m. with live music and drinks for sale (a suggested donation of $10 per person for entry will go to charity.) The tent is heated, and the parade will go on rain or shine! Best free viewing will be from Gabrielson Park.

December 13 and 20:

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. This parade will start at Shelter Island at 5:30 p.m. ‘Christmas Around the World’ is the theme.

December 19:

San Rafael’s Lighted Boat Parade will start at 5:30 p.m. on the Canal. The turning basin in front of SRYC is a prime spot for viewing and can be seen from the Montecito Plaza shopping center.

The Lighted Boat Parade on the San Rafael Canal.

© 2015 San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade

The San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park at Hyde Street Pier is offering several holiday-related events this month; we’ve listed many on our December Calendar. Let the festivities begin!

The ‘aires‘ might be bueno in the capital of Argentina, but the agua apparently isn’t.
The December issue of Latitude 38 hit the somewhat chilly docks of the San Francisco Bay Area yesterday, and has been shipped and mailed to ports beyond our horizon.