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February 9, 2018

Boats on the Beach

When settlers first arrived on the shores of New England a few hundred years ago, they said lobsters were so plentiful they’d just wash up on the beach after a storm. They were so cheap they were considered junk food (of course they never conceived of how bad junk food could get a few hundred years later). Today, there might be even better deals washing up on the beaches. 

Steve Damm, a local small boat sailor and member and instructor at Tradewinds Sailing Center, sent us a few shots of boats washed up on Point Pinole and, like the boat we saw washed up near McNears Beach last week, it remains a mystery as to how they got there. We’ve seen news stories of dolphins and whales that beach themselves, possibly after Navy sonar testing, but somehow we don’t think that’s the cause of these three recent beachings.

If you were looking to negotiate a good deal on this boat, you might suggest that the jib looks like it needs replacing.

© 2018 Steve Damm

Shortly after Steve sent the photos, we received a press release from the state of California announcing the availability of $4.25 million in funding for local public agencies to help keep California waterways safe and clean. Nice timing. 

The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) will now accept your grant application for the disposal of any abandoned and unwanted vessels with more than $4 million available from the Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund. Applications are being accepted from February 1 through April 30, 2018. 

While this money is meant to alleviate these eyesores, it isn’t enough funding to polish the teak and bring them back to life. But, just maybe, like the lobsters on the East Coast, some may just find that some of what’s washed up isn’t so bad.

If you’re negotiating for this bargain, we’d like to point out that she appears to be riding a little low in the water. Possible issue with the bilge pump? 

© 2018 Steve Damm

After shooting the photos a few weeks ago, Steve reports that the vessel on the beach was removed on January 31 (the blue/super moon day) during a 7.4-plus tide, with the help of a very powerful powerboat and a lot of determination. The vessel near the old pier wasn’t so lucky. She now has a huge hole in her hull and continues to break apart.

You can learn more about the program here.

Playing Hooky? Who Needs Weekends?

It’s been a terrible winter for skiing but pretty sweet for sailing. Driving out of San Francisco on Wednesday we noticed a few boats were ‘playing hooky’ and snagging a little hump-day sailing. Or maybe they were finally bolting south. The foolish ones were those of us on shore.

It’s been like this almost every day for weeks. This is how to enjoy it best.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC
The weekend’s ahead so you won’t need to play hooky to enjoy a day like this.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It’s looking like an ideal weekend for sailing in East Bay events like the BAYS Winter Series #3 for youth hosted by the Encinal Yacht Club on the Estuary, hitting the Midwinters on Lake Merritt in Oakland, or joining Berkeley YC’s Midwinters or Island YC’s Island Days. For the rest of us, a sail over to Angel Island for a hike to the top would only improve upon the views shown above. 

Check out other events for this weekend and the rest of the month in the 2018 YRA Sailing Calendar.

On January 23, a 7.9 earthquake pulsed from the Gulf of Alaska, and triggered a tsunami warning in San Francisco Bay in the middle of the night.