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April 4, 2018

Summer Camp

What if you went to camp on the water and not on the land? Most summer camps involve hiking in the woods, bows and arrows, arts and crafts, and other shoreside activities. However, the Bay Area has dozens of on-the-water camp opportunities for kids.

Shoreline Lake in the South Bay is a hidden gem for warm, sunny summer sailing for kids (and adults too). Sign up the kids, then rent a boat to sail yourself as well.

© 2018 Shoreline Lake

From Shoreline Lake in the South Bay all the way to Stockton in the Delta to Tahoe in the Sierra there are endless ways for kids to get started or expand their sailing horizons. The current issue of Latitude 38 has a great story on sailing the San Rafael Canal, which is the homeport for programs from Sailing Education Adventures

Bay Area sailors take pride in sailing the blustery Central Bay but many know there are calmer, sunnier, warmer options that are great places to start a sailing life.

© 2018 Sailing Education Adventures

It goes without saying that if you live in the Bay Area you live close to the Bay. Our annual sailing guide provides a pretty darn comprehensive list of the nearby Northern California youth sailing options for kids of all ages. 

Sometimes the kids do have to ‘suffer’ some time on land.

© 2018 Sailing Education Adventures

People have said that cruising is like camping without the dirt. The nice thing about sending kids to camp on the water is they don’t come home dirty but with giant smiles and already rinsed off (most of the time)!

I Tooled You So

A few weeks ago, reader Bob Adams asked the question, "Have you seen one of these before?" 

"Just what the heck is this thing(?)," asked Bob Adams.

© 2018 Bob Adams

Adams said that he used this mystery tool to disassemble his speed winches. Many of you agreed that this was its purpose, but several suggested it might have additional duties. "That tool, used to strip the winch, can be found under another guise as a key to open the water or diesel inlet, or deck fitting," wrote David Wheatley from Portsmouth Harbour in the UK. He included a link to Sheridan Marine.

© Sheridan Marine

These multi uses — a winch wrench and a deck fitting key — seemed to have been the general consensus, the bulk of which we’ll include in the May issue’s Letters. But the discussion prompted the presentation of yet another mystery tool by reader wrote Ernest Galvan, who found this thingamabob on his Ericson 30 Plus Zenergy.

"This mystery tool is in Zenergy’s nav desk," wrote Ernest Galvan. "No idea what it’s for."

© 2018 Ernest Galvan

As it turns out, we have some firsthand knowledge of this particular instrument. "I have the same tool on my boat," said Latitude publisher and editor in chief John Arndt of his 1973 Ranger 33 Summer Sailstice. "And I’m sure there are lots of boats built in Costa Mesa in the ’70s with the same thing. Mine is used on the top and bottom of the dinette table to hold it secure."

The mystery tool in use aboard Summer Sailstice.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Question? Comments? More mystery hardware to share? Please, let us know.

Do Something About the Weather

"Everybody talks about the weather," says the Pacific Cup Yacht Club. "You can do something about it."

The fifth and final Pacific Offshore Academy leading up to the 20th Pacific Cup race to Hawaii will tackle the tricky topics of weather and navigation. 

Record-breaking navigator Stan Honey in action at a POA in 2016, talking about the highs and lows of getting to Hawaii.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Richmond Yacht Club will host the seminar on Sunday, May 6, with registration starting at 11 a.m. (this is an earlier time than the previous POA seminars; bring your own lunch). The fee is $30, and registration is online at

Topics will include:

  • 12:10 – Weather Knowledge, Lee Chesneau
  • 12:45 – Navigation, San Francisco to Hawaii, Stan Honey
  • 1:30 – Navigation, Hawaii to San Francisco, Mike Pasha
  • 1:40 – Breakout Session
  • 2:10 – Going Green to Hawaii and Back, Rowena Carlson & Bill Robberson
  • 2:45 – Power, Dustin Fox 
Post-POA pupus are included in the price of admission.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The seminar will be followed at 4 p.m. by a cocktail hour, and dinner will be available afterward at reasonable prices. "Sign up today for a better race tomorrow. Or, you know, in July."

As spotted from the Marin Headlands, part of the last Pacific Cup fleet tacks their way out of San Francisco Bay on July 16, 2016.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

RYC will also host a Pacific Cup Village July 1-9. The Pacific Cup divisions will depart San Francisco Bay during the week of July 9, bound for beautiful Kaneohe Bay on the east side of Oahu.

Onboard Vestas/11th Hour Racing after dismasting on Friday. They arrived in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, on Saturday.
Jim Cotton sent us this postcard, a little the worse for wear after passing through the hands of the Postal Service.
The crews of Capri 25 My Tahoe Too! and Cal 28 Osituki enjoy an evening on the Estuary in an Encinal Yacht Club Twilight race last June.