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March 14, 2018

The Hills Are Alive

What’s the only thing better than the waters of San Rafael? The hills of San Rafael, which reveal an amazing, awe-inspiring view of said water.

The hills are alive, about a half mile behind Loch Lomond Marina. You can just make out the trail, which is where we shot the next picture from.

©2018Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After a sail last weekend, we hiked into the smallest hills of the San Pedro Mountain Open Space Preserve for a look at the sunset. The view did not disappoint.

A modest attempt at a panoramic collage. There was a lovely pink tinge to the Bay after the sun slipped behind Mount Tam.

©2018Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The hills of San Rafael are one of its many hidden-in-plain-sight treasures that we’ll be featuring in the April issue of Latitude.

Aaaaannnnnd one more of the hills during daylight hours, looking down at Loch Lomond. It’s amazing what a little elevation does for your perspective . . .

©2018Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Save Yourself First

A few weeks ago we reported on an unfortunate incident near the entrance to the Oakland Estuary. On the very blustery Sunday of February 11, the Harbor 25 pictured below simply ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. As we reported then, they weren’t the only ones. A Moore 24 ended up on the Richmond breakwater as well, though with a better outcome. What happened to the Harbor 25?

Joseph Ording of the Santa Cruz 50 Riffraff happened to be in Sausalito a few weeks ago when he saw the result of the accident resting on a trailer.

© 2018 Joseph Ording

The boat was recovered by Parker Diving Service in Sausalito and sadly looks like a total loss. We contacted them to find out more and found, perhaps understandably, that the owners didn’t want to share the particulars. 

Pushed up against a rocky lee shore in a strong breeze and chop, even the best-built boat will succumb.

© 2018 Joseph Ording

Having stubbed our toe on more than one cleat, we’d be the last to wag a finger. And while it is crushing to see the result of fiberglass meeting rock, it reminds us of what a captain should warn new crew, and what all crew should remember — boats can be replaced; people can’t. We understand the crew escaped safely and, unlike the boat, will be able to sail again. Even on the best of days situations can unexpectedly get out of control, and, while we all want to avoid results like this, the most important thing is to keep people safe first.

‘Matthew Turner’ Gets Rigged

It seems like yesterday that the Matthew Turner saw a major milestone with the raising of her masts. In fact, that was summer, and it’s been a while since we’ve brought you any news of one of the most important and exciting projects on the Sausalito waterfront in over 100 years. Our longtime contributor and roving reporter John "Woody" Skoriak recently snapped a bevy of photos of the 100-ft brigantine.

"It was the first time in many months that the Bay Model work barge Raccoon was gone so we could get some clear photos of Matthew Turner," Skoriak told us. "The Raccoon is the huge workboat directly on the other side of the Turner, and it was impossible to get a good photo. I’ve been waiting for that for months and months, and it was perfect timing because we just finished the yards and most of the rigging and fittings."

© 2018 John Skoriak
"The riggers are Noah Limbach, 24, and Kiel Koehler, 30," Skoriak said. "They were adjusting the yards, which had just been fitted, and all the lines, braces, hardware, etc. They are incredible riggers and are both volunteers."

© 2018 John Skoriak
"Note the Pasha container, sitting prominently," Skoriak told us. "Pasha [Hawaii, a container ship company] has been a very big supporter of the Matthew Turner, and that container was just donated by Pasha. We could not use our old containers on the Bay Model Pier; we had to have something that looks nice. That will be our dockside workshop/storage, since we took down the tent." Skoriak’s wife Miri is Chief Mate on the Pasha Lines container ship Horizon Enterprise, which is headed for Honolulu as we speak.

© 2018 John Skoriak
The life of a rigger. We bet the cell service is pretty good up there.

© 2018 John Skoriak
Skoriak said riggers Limbach and Koehler exemplified the exceptional — and nearly all-volunteer — talent that the Matthew Turner has drawn.

© 2018 John Skoriak

Skoriak has been a volunteer (relief skipper, mate, PR, manager, etc.) for the training ship Seaward, which is also part of the non-profits Educational Tallships and Call of the Sea. "In fact, Alan Olson and I sat on Seaward in Mexico years ago and pored over a set of plans he had drawn up," Skoriak said. "Needless to say, I was excited. That was about two years before anything got off the ground."

Navy Takes L.A. Harbor Cup

Foggy Friday at the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup Regatta for 10 collegiate teams sailing matched Catalina 37s.

© 2018 Bronny Daniels / Joysailing

On Sunday the US Naval Academy Midshipmen clinched the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup trophy after three days of racing that tested the skill and endurance of competitors from across the US and Ireland.

The regatta, sponsored by the Port of L.A. and hosted by Los Angeles Yacht Club, delivered a mix of weather conditions that were a distinct contrast to the warm LAYC hospitality. Light, shifty breezes, fog, rain and sloppy seas challenged the sailors from the 10 invited universities and academies. But the LAYC race committee succeeded in pulling off the 10-race series, and the sailors stepped up to the plate. California Maritime Academy (from Vallejo) is the hosting team, and crews race in an equalized fleet of Catalina 37 sloops, managed by the Long Beach Sailing Foundation.

On Friday, bullets went to Cork Institute of Technology, University of South Florida and UC Santa Barbara, with Santa Barbara’s Gauchos taking first place. Although denied a bullet, the Midshipmen were close astern on the leaderboard, thanks to consistent top-five finishes.

The Navy team douses the kite on foggy Friday.

© 2018 Bronny Daniels / Joysailing

On Saturday, the Cal Maritime Keelhaulers stepped up to the podium — sitting in second place at the end of five dreary, drizzly races. Cal Maritime has long dominated the Harbor Cup, with six victories in the past 10 years. Although Navy logged an impressive 1-1-4-1-6 on Saturday, the Keelhaulers’ pedigree had rivals wondering if, once again, they would rally to victory.

Despite what Los Angelinos considered inclement weather, many of the visitors delighted in the conditions. For teams from Cork Institute of Technology, Maine Maritime Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the like, above-freezing temps and the absence of snow were treasured. Plus, the visitors were enthusiastically hosted by LAYC members, with all accommodations, meals and programs provided. And on Saturday night they were regaled with a presentation by sailing rock star Terry Hutchinson, on the Bella Mente Quantum Racing New York YC America’s Cup 36 challenge.

Sunday dawned sunny and clear, at last. After the penultimate race the championship was decided. Navy’s second-place finish in that match clinched their Harbor Cup title. They reined in their effort and took an easy victory lap in the final race, while the remaining teams battled for silver and bronze.

¡Olé! It’s the UCSB Gauchos in action.

© 2018 Bronny Daniels / Joysailing

Acing that last contest, the Gauchos seized second place, edging out third-place USF by just two points. USF was also recognized with the Best Kept Boat Award. Cal Maritime came in fourth.

“We’ve been here since the beginning (2008), and it’s the first time Navy has won it,” said Midshipmen skipper Teddy Papenthien. “This is, for all of us, our last intercollegiate race, and for most of us probably our last regatta for a long time. We’ve got two Surface Warfare Officers, three Marines and two Navy pilots going off to try some different things.” In addition to the perpetual trophy, the Midshipmen received a take-home half-model of the Catalina 37 and a cash prize from sponsor Community Bank.

The victorious Navy crew will all be off to other pursuits after this semester. The Naval Academy is in Annapolis, MD.

© 2018 Bronny Daniels / Joysailing

The event was created to encourage young men and women to enjoy competitive big-boat sailing. College-level regattas are typically sailed in small one- or two-person dinghies in protected waters. The Harbor Cup provides a rare opportunity for offshore racing with large, competitive co-ed teams.

For complete info and complete results please visit

Aaaaaannnnnnnd here’s your March Caption Contest(!), which will be published in Loose Lips in the April Issue, and will earn the winner a brand-new Latitude 38 T-shirt.
Latitude 38 reader and Westpoint Harbor supporter Bob Wilson wrote to remind us about the next BCDC meeting concerning West Point Harbor.
These are good days to own a sailboat. Adding to concerns that sea level rise will inundate much of the shoreline, there is mounting concern that, at the same time, the shoreline is sinking into the sea.