Despite the hail, rain and gray skies, Richmond Yacht Club’s Sail a Small Boat Day was a complete success. People of all ages and skill levels came out to try their luck on anything from a Hobie kayak to a Laser to a Wylie Wabbit. Volunteers at RYC warmly welcomed guests and invited everyone aboard. Various small boats and watercraft launched at the club’s dock, where people lined up bundled in foul weather gear, sweaters and PFDs.
Who ever said bigger is better? Some could say there is a different boat out there for every kind of experience you could want on the water. There are many makes and models of boats in our modern age. Have you ever whipped around on an Optimist, capsized a Byte, or sailed on a foiling Moth? This weekend sailors and non-sailors were given the opportunity to test-run a wide variety of sailing dinghies and small keelboats around the Richmond Harbor.
The morning started off cold and rainy, with no wind, but that didn’t stop the crowd. By noon, the sun peeked through clouds, and the wind picked up to 15 knots, for full sails, big smiles and full stomachs from the free hot dog lunch. It’s safe to say that Sail a Small Boat Day recruited a few new sailors.
For those who can’t wait to get back on the water, and for those who missed the event but want to take a chance on a small boat, RYC will be offering summer lessons for children and adults at different skill levels.
A man identified by the San Francisco Chronicle as Bryan Pennington has anchored his 30-something-ft trimaran at Aquatic Park Cove for over 100 days, overstaying his welcome and triggering action by law enforcement. "He has been arrested, cited, and has gone to court," said Lynn Cullivan, a management assistant at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. According to the Chronicle, Pennington, who described himself as a disabled veteran, "has pleaded not guilty to three counts of violating a permit requirement, each punishable by six months in jail and a $5,000 fine."
As many sailors know, those wishing to drop the hook at Aquatic Park can obtain a permit for $5 a night, and can stay in five-consecutive-night blocks for up to 30 nights a year. Needless to say, Pennington is a little outside the five- or even 30-day window, and never had a permit, according to Cullivan. There have also been accusations that the trimaran, which reportedly has no holding tank, has been dumping human waste into the Cove. "To my knowledge, no one has witnessed him dumping," Cullivan said. "Some people said they have smelled it, and I have heard that it occurred."
Yesterday, we met up with Meeka Toner, a local swimmer who was just coming out of the water. "I’ve heard that he’s dumping his waste in the Cove." The Chronicle reported that people saw "Pennington dump buckets of waste overboard" and said that when boarded by the Coast Guard, officers found buckets of human waste.
"He’s been here for a couple of months," Toner went on to say. "One time when I was swimming past the boat, through the corner of my eye I noticed somebody, and when heard me, he ducked and hid," Toner said. "I thought, ‘that was weird.’ I’ve seen him come up on the beach a bunch of times." The Chronicle also reported that swimmers said they were threatened by Pennington when they encountered him on shore, and that he was convicted of misdemeanor battery on two harbor patrol officers in Santa Barbara — the conviction was overturned on a technicality by the California Supreme Court.
In addition to permitting and poop issues, the trimaran is anchored just inside Aquatic Park Cove’s ‘swimming lanes’, which is perhaps the most contentious and egregious affront to the community — the Cove is the Bay Area’s most popular open-water swimming destination. "And what he’s done is parked himself in the middle of the lanes, where people have been swimming for years," Toner said. The lanes — located just inside a line of 5-mph buoys — have become especially relevant after a spate of sea lion attacks in December and January. Needless to say, people aren’t too pleased with where the trimaran chose to anchor, "so they graffitied his boat on both sides," Toner said with the message: "Move the Boat."
The Park’s Cullivan expressed a concern likely shared by many sailors who enjoy the phenomenally cheap and incredibly scenic Cove. "I feel bad that somebody is making it hard for other people to enjoy the area." We will keep you updated in the ongoing saga of the overstayed multihull. And as always, we’d like to hear your thoughts.
This story has been updated.
One thing experienced cruisers know is that once you reach port your mobility can be limited to walking, public transit or cab services. But, if you were to cruise Alameda and find a guest slip at one of the many marinas there or have reciprocal privileges at one of the six Alameda yacht clubs, you’d be able to cruise the island with a new option: Lime Bike. We haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like a convenient and fun way to get some exercise and tour the island if you decide to make it a weekend destination.
One of the great things about biking Alameda is that the highest elevation we could find on the island was just 32 feet, so hill climbs are nonexistent, and, like many Bay Area communities, Alameda has been adding bike paths across the island. With a little pedaling you could easily reach Tucker’s Ice Cream on Park Street or head to the wineries, distilleries and brew pubs on Alameda Point.
If you’ve tried the Lime Bike, let us know how it works. It looks like a great addition to the Bay Area cruising scene.
Golden Gate Yacht Club on the San Francisco Marina has once again offered their beautiful clubhouse for Latitude 38’s Spring Crew List Party, tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. $7 cash will get you in the door ($5 if you’re 25 or under, with ID). Included in that price are heavy hors d’oeuvres, color-coded name tags, a sailing slideshow with stills and video, and lots of door prizes. For instant winners, we’ll raffle off Latitude logowear and 20 Ultimate Sailing 2018 wall calendars featuring jaw-dropping sailing photography. Plus you can enter a drawing to win one of 40 tickets to this April’s Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show.
David Korman will bring a photo booth, complete with props, just for the fun of it. Don Ahrens and Rich Pipkin from the Yacht Racing Association will be on hand to answer questions about racing in the Bay Area. We’ll have YRA Calendars available to pick up, as well as Latitude’s March issue. We’ll also have more Latitude logowear available to purchase.
At the height of the party, one guest will pull the cord to inflate an emergency liferaft, courtesy of Sal’s Inflatable Services. This is always a crowd-pleaser.
Click here for directions to GGYC. Parking is free, but you’ll have to walk a short distance. Doors don’t open until 6 p.m., so no early birds please. Come as you and come ready to meet and mingle!