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January 15, 2018

Missing: Irwin 52 ‘YachtCruz’

A sailboat traveling from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego has gone missing, and debris and an EPIRB have been found, according to people familiar with the incident.

A photo of YachtCruz, a 52-ft Irwin ketch, taken from Jeanne Pepler’s Facebook page.

© 2018 Jeanne Pepler

The boat in question is YachtCruz, a 52-ft Irwin ketch, owned by Patrick and Sandi (or Sandy) Foree. There have been rumors and speculation about the nature of the distress for YachtCruz, possibly severe weather, but nothing has been confirmed as of this writing.

"Many have probably seen posts on Facebook from my friend Sandi Foree, aka Go YachtCruz," wrote Connie Cramer Caster on Saturday. "Sandi and Patrick have been sailing for six years around the Caribbean, Panama and up the coast of Mexico. They were headed home toward their new boat slip in Chula Vista. On January 10, the Coast Guard received two distress signals from them but have not found their boat, only their emergency beacon, life jackets, some wood and a mattress on the shore.

A photo of Sandi and Patrick, taken from the Go YachtCruz Facebook page. 

© 2018 Go YachtCruz

The post was echoed by Eva Emelev, Sandi Foree’s daughter. "The Coast Guard has found my mom’s emergency beacon on shore. They have found life jackets, a few bumpers, some wood, a mattress. No other signs of their vessel. The Coast Guard did confirm that they got two distress calls from [their] vessel on Jan 10. However, no vessel was spotted from where [distress] calls came from."

We will keep you updated as this story develops.

This story has been updated.

BCDC Continues Westpoint Assault

The  BCDC’s recent loss of their case against John Sweeney’s Point Buckler Island has only caused them to modify their strategy regarding Westpoint Harbor in Redwood City. Despite numerous local citizen supporters and an award-winning environmental design, the BCDC is going out of its way to shut down the facility. In response, supporters are asking people to sign a petition and attend the next public enforcement hearing this Thursday, January 18, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Bay Area Metro Center, 375 Beale Street, Board Room, First Floor, in San Francisco. You can review the full agenda here.

Mark Sanders, creator of Westpoint Harbor, tells his story on at

© 2018 Westpoint Harbor

The BCDC was created 50 years ago to help remedy an exceptionally polluted Bay and prevent it from becoming filled in and landscaped, and to provide public access. Seeing so many whales in the Bay this summer reminds us what a success the environmental improvements have been. But environmental goals appear to have overshadowed public access. Is there anything that provides more access to the Bay than a marina? The BCDC touts some of its positive contributions to the Bay as, "The Bay shoreline is now fringed by hundreds of miles of trails, parks, beaches, promenades and restoration projects." But it would be wrong to confuse a Bay fringed by trails, parks and promenades with access. Access means the ability to get in or on the Bay. 

Beaches allow Bay access for swimmers, but Bay access for boaters is provided by marinas, launch ramps, dry storage areas with hoists, yacht clubs and similar facilities. This past weekend we actually wanted to launch a small inflatable for a photo session and were dismayed to find the only places to launch in Marin, a county surrounded by water, were San Rafael, Sausalito, Marshall and Black Point — exceptionally limited.

We’d like to suggest that the BCDC become a sponsor of the Westpoint Regatta to celebrate the expanded access to the Bay.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We think if the BCDC were truly committed to providing Bay access rather than just Bay views, they’d be fully supportive of model marinas like Westpoint Harbor. Sailing the Bay is one of the huge lifestyle magnets for living in the Bay Area and is one reason people might consider paying exorbitant sums to live here. But if the BCDC is going to use their authority to restrict access to the Bay they will be curtailing one of the region’s biggest draws.

We must not understand something. One BCDC fine is for docking the Redwood City Police and Fire boats? 

© 2018 Ken Castle

We appreciate all the BCDC has done to clean up the Bay, restore marshlands, and prevent Bay fill, but we think their mandate to provide access should make the agency a huge booster of marinas and other marine businesses that support that mission. Like so many agencies the BCDC was created to solve some problems, but this type of action reminds us of the quote, "Having lost sight of our objectives we’ve redoubled our efforts." Saving the Bay and providing access are not mutually exclusive.

Sailing San Francisco ‘Valley’

Besides being one of the world’s great sailing meccas, the Bay Area is also a world-renowned food and beverage destination. Napa Valley has set the standard, but the food culture that surrounds the entire Bay is unbeatable. And what’s San Francisco Bay but a valley that’s filled up with seawater? If you’re a ‘slow food type’, what could be more natural than a five-knot food-and-wine tour sailing San Francisco ‘Valley’? 

Jack London Square has plenty of upscale eateries on offer within walking distance of the guest docks. But you can also grab a pint at Jack London’s old haunts like Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon.

©2018Latitude 38 Media, LLC

These next two weeks are an especially good time for a slow-food cruise. Both San Francisco and Oakland are promoting their ‘restaurant weeks’ in an attempt to bust your New Year’s resolutions and get you back out on the eating circuit.  Oakland Restaurant Week is January 11-21 (sorry we’re a little late with the ‘heads up’) and San Francisco Restaurant Week is January 22-31. Plus, sailing San Francisco Valley is much better than driving to Napa Valley.  

Sam’s in Tiburon can take on an entirely different flavor, but just about anything you want is on the Bay or within three blocks of it.

©2018Latitude 38 Media, LLC

To help you navigate the Bay’s food scene, we’ve recently updated our 100% accurate, comprehensive, unimpeachable, infallible list of all restaurants within three blocks of a public dock, marina or yacht club. You can check out the list here. If you feel that we missed some spots or have any suggestions, please email us here.

Pier 1.5 in San Francisco is the gateway to many great waterfront dining options. 

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Addition: Hey, we learned something new already. Laraine Salmon wrote to say it’s also Alameda Restaurant Week January 12-21. 

Winter Is Seminar Season, Part 2

Picking up where we left off on Friday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude post

Corinthian Yacht Club invites racers to sail or drive in to the CYC on the Friday night before the Corinthian Midwinters on January 20-21. "We’ve persuaded Liz Baylis, past world match-racing champion, America’s Cup racer and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year (2002) to give a talk. She’s agreed to cover that oh-so-important start (tactics, tides, and recovering from an oops), overall race strategy, and related topics." The talk will be on Friday, January 19, at 6:30 p.m.

Liz Baylis raced with Jim Antrim in last year’s Three Bridge Fiasco aboard the Antrim Class 40 California Condor. Most of her sailing career has been far more exciting than this.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Bahia Corinthian YC, Newport Beach will host the Sailing Convention for Women on Saturday, February 3, with seminars on land and water. $225 by January 27 or $250 thereafter.

North U Racing Sail Trim seminars, conducted by Andrew Kerr, will be held at Tacoma Yacht Club on February 8, Anacortes YC on February 15, Berkeley YC on February 24, and Seattle YC on February 25. See

St. Francis YC will host an Advanced Race Management Seminar on February 3-4. The $125 fee includes course material, online testing, and continental breakfast. The seminar will run from 8:30 to 5 p.m. both days. Online registration will close on Monday, January 29, but late registration will still be available for a $25 late fee through Wednesday the 31st. See

Not ready for the ‘advanced’ course yet but interested in stepping up from the ranks of race committee volunteers? Treasure Island Sailing Center will host a US Sailing Club Race Officer Course on Saturday, February 17, and a Club Judge Course on Sunday, February 18. A $50 fee will be charged for each course; bring your own lunch and beverages.

The Berkeley Yacht Club race committee prepares to send yesterday’s Midwinter racers off on Course 2. Volunteering for race committee is an excellent way to learn more about racing, give back to the sport, or support a significant other’s passion.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Pacific Offshore Academy #4 will cover all things medical. Richmond YC will host from 1-5 p.m. on February 24. Register for $30 at

On Sunday, February 25, the YRA will host a US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea course at Berkeley YC. The eight-hour course will be moderated by Chuck Hawley. The $150 registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and snacks. Register at On the same day in SoCal, a half-day Coastal Safety at Sea Seminar will be held at Bahia Corinthian YC in Corona del Mar.

For much more, see our online Calendar, check out the Calendar section in the current (January) issue of Latitude 38, and see the February issue, coming out on February 1.

This past Monday we posted a story about Karen Swezey who, after winning a T-shirt from Latitude 38, let us know she’d started her sailing life while young aboard a family Sunfish in the South Bay.
The winter months of January and February are so replete with seminars on virtually all aspects of sailing that we won’t have room to list them all in one post.