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October 16, 2017

PSSC Small Boat Regatta

That’s Amoore. Joy Dahlgren’s Moore 24 hailing from Royal Victoria YC prepares to hoist the spinnaker.

© 2017 Jan Anderson

Jan Anderson of Jan’s Marine Photography sent us these photos of the PSSC Small Boats Regatta. The event was hosted by Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle on October 7-8. (PSSC stands for Puget Sound Sailing Championship.)

A start in the 12-boat J/24 class.

© Jan Anderson

Jan described the regatta: "There were plenty of one-design classes on the course, some with more boats and some with only one or two, but all with a strong racing spirit throughout the entire fleet. Sure, the conditions were OK (less spontaneous splash and dash, more forced introspection and mindfulness), yet the fleets had enough drive to generate several general recalls — never giving an inch."

The RS Aero fleet also had a dozen boats on the line.

© Jan Anderson

See more of Jan’s excellent photos from this regatta here.

The Star Boat remains a thing of grace and beauty, more than a century after the inception of the design.

© Jan Anderson

Small Boats, of course, was followed up by PSSC Big Boats on October 14-15. We hope to bring you a sampling of photos from that regatta in a future post.

Why I Sail in the Leukemia Cup

Here’s my leukemia story and why I sail in the Leukemia Cup. This is a picture of my little brother Larry. He invented the selfie in 1967.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

He died of leukemia roughly six months after he took this picture. He was my best friend and wrestling partner and second-youngest in a tribe of five. We shared a room for all of his brief 11 years and we laughed or argued each other to sleep every night. He was also the bravest person I ever knew and endured horrific and endless hospital visits with the fortitude of a warrior, the calmness of a monk and the disposition of a saint.

It was truly amazing to behold and humbling to experience. My mother and father did everything in their power to save his life, as did many doctors and nurses at Stanford Hospital. Larry passed away in August 1968.

I’ve sailed in the Leukemia Cup since its inception with my friend and coworker John Arndt — the owner and Editor in Chief of Latitude 38 — along with his wife Leslie aboard his Ranger 33 Summer Sailstice. I sail with my brother in my memory.

The new Latitude mothership, and Leukemia Cup entrant, Summer Sailstice. 

© 2017 Don Wieneke

This is a photo of my great-nephew Cal, my niece’s 3-year-old son.

© Peggy Perkins

In August, our family was delivered a second kick to the stomach when Cal was diagnosed with leukemia. Now Cal is also fighting a battle he didn’t choose with the spirit and courage of a super hero. Where children get this strength is mysterious and awe-inspiring.

The good people at Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno are supporting my great-nephew’s effort, and between his mother’s strength and his amazing fortitude, I’m convinced that Cal is going to live a full and fruitful life.

In my brother Larry’s day, the survival rate for leukemia was abysmal. Cal’s chances are much much better thanks to Larry’s generation of patients, doctors, nurses and researchers. Leukemia is a battle we are all touched by, and the only way to win it is through expensive research and family sacrifice. There is a chance that this harsh reality can be brought to an end. Pediatric leukemia is one of the most studied and curable diseases because of tremendous research efforts and financial support.

Great strides have been made. More work is needed.

On October 22, Cal will be honorary skipper aboard Summer Sailstice in this year’s Pacific Union Leukemia Cup Regatta. Team Summer Sailstice is raising money to compete against a club that nobody wants to be member of and needs to be abolished. When he gets through his three-year treatment, I’m taking Cal out sailing for real.


A donation to any team is greatly appreciated.

The Leukemia Cup is organized by the San Francisco Yacht Club, and will be held this coming Sunday (October 22) with the start off of Point Knox. There are 45 Leukemia Cup Regattas nationwide, and the Bay Area has been the top fundraising version in the country for nine consecutive years, having raised $7.2 million dollars since its inception 12 years ago.

There’s still time to enter and sail or even start your own fund raising page. You can learn more and sign up here.

Lucky Day in Inverness

You never know. Remember years ago how cool it was when you bought a box of Cap’n Crunch and you’d reach in to find a plastic dinosaur or a fake tattoo? For the past few months, our readers have been experiencing something similar when they pick up a copy of Latitude 38.

Mike Wing of Kentfield stopped by his favorite sailing club — the Inverness Yacht Club on Tomales Bay — to pick up the magazine when out fell one of our ‘Lucky Day’ notes. He’d won a Latitude 38 T-shirt or hat.

Inverness Yacht Club is one of many great places to sail a Day Sailer and pick up your copy of Latitude 38.  

© Mike Wing

Mike has been reading Latitude 38 for over 20 years while sailing his 1963 O’Day Daysailer on Tomales Bay — it’s quite a coincidence, since we just featured Tomales Bay in the September issue.

We’re also partial to the old fleet, because builder George O’Day lived down the street in Massachusetts when we were young and his son, who was a bit older, used to buy us beer in high school when we weren’t quite 18. Our family still owns the Daysailer’s big sister, a 1964 Rhodes 19, on the coast of Maine.

Low Times for a Caribbean Captain

Originally from the eastern Sierra, Peter Whitney has been a friend of Latitude’s since he was aboard the Freeport 41 ketch Country Gentleman for the boat-destroying Cabo storm of 1982. He’s subsequently spent many years running charter boats in the Caribbean, many of them with Darcy Whitney, also from the eastern Sierra. They have a house in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.

For the last bunch of years, Peter and Darcy have been running charter boats for The Moorings, most recently the $20,000/week Lagoon 52 Tobarths. If anyone thinks that the life of a charter boat captain in the BVI is just one bit of fun after the other, check out his report for the first 10 months of 2017:

"The year 2017 has been a tough year. The Lagoon 52 we operate was hit by lightning twice. But that was nothing compared to monster hurricanes Irma and Maria, which not only destroyed the catamaran we ran and our jobs as captain and chef, but much of the Caribbean, too.

"Loss of life was minimal considering the strength of the two hurricanes and the devastation. But well over 2,000 boats, most of them charterboats, were destroyed and/or damaged. Sustained winds of 160 -180 knots, with gusts to 220+ knots, just blew everything apart."

Like so many other islands in the Caribbean, St. Croix saw massive destruction to its charter boat fleet.

© Chris Hanley

"But there will be lasting pain, as the actual hurricanes were just the ante. The aftermath of the two storms is even more destructive, as homes, businesses and livelihoods blew apart. Things that people take for granted in the First World were taken away from us in a matter of hours.

"Except for those few that have generators, there are no lights at night. There is no refrigeration and thus no way to store food. There is no water to bathe with or flush a toilet. That means eventually you have to use your yard as an outhouse. Soon the insects, rats and diseases start making their rounds in the splintered debris.

"Utility power poles — approximately 3,000 on St. Croix alone — and cables litter the roads and must be navigated carefully in order to not be snagged by them. No one drives at night unless they want to risk big dangers. A good example of which can be found at the propane depot. People use sticks to raise power lines so that the large propane trucks can get underneath them without exploding."

The storm itself is one thing, but living on an island that’s been battered to pieces is another.

© 2017 Darcy Whitney

"There are long lines at the markets. To keep control, armed guards only let in small groups of people at a time to see what might still be on the shelves. One of the most desired commodities is ice. It’s delivered by police escort between 11 and 12, with only one bag allowed per household.

"As of late September we’ve had no electricity — except from our generator, which hasn’t worked in a month now. The road to our house was covered by a landslide, which left us no way out by vehicle. Our neighbor’s house is about to slide down the hillside. Rain, rain, rain – it doesn’t stop!"

The aftermath of this season’s hurricane’s saw boats slammed against the shore in unnatural positions. 

© 2017 Chris Hanley

"Cell phone and Internet service is spotty, and most people, like us, must drive to places on the side of the road to get reception. Since there is no electricity and no generator, our cell phones, computers are ‘battery challenged’. We have to charge them in our truck.

"We do have a makeshift shower that we devised using a garden hose, gravity and our small pool. But the pool water is turning green despite the bleach we put in. I don’t expect electricity will be restored to us for at least two more months, as Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. John will take up most of the manpower for restoration. Installing thousands of poles and endless amounts of wire and cable will take some time to complete."

From Darcy Whitney’s Facebook page: "Peter [Whitney] has improved our outdoor shower. Water in the pool is green and full of mosquitoes. He rigged up the hose to pull water from the cistern and attached the sprinkler so we could have a spa type shower!"

© 2017 Darcy Whitney

"The National Guard has been doing a great job flying in and distributing essential things like MREs [Meals Ready to Eat], drinking water, blue tarps, and such for those in need. The sun came out today and the Caribbean Sea is a lovely turquoise blue. The leaves that were shredded and ripped off plants are being replaced by new buds, and here and there blossoms are opening. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new day is dawning and hope is being restored.

"Darcy and I are blessed in the fact that we did not lose our roof and had minimal damage to our home. So there you go. Our advice is to appreciate what you have now."

Words to live by.

In Wednesday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, we previewed Tiburon Yacht Club’s Joan Storer Regatta, scheduled for tomorrow, October 14.