July 16, 2018

Find Your Lane on the Bay

When describing summer sailing on San Francisco Bay, sailing instructors often compare it to ski areas with the ‘black diamond’ trails along the windy Cityfront, the ‘blue squares’ perhaps over between Angel Island and Belvedere and Sausalito, and the ‘Green Circles’ in the Oakland estuary or in the lee of Angel Island or Tiburon. But, unlike ski areas, this is all subject to change.

The one thing you probably can count on is there Will Be Breeze and, if you adjust the time or place you sail, you can probably find conditions that suit you. We went out for Friday evening beer can racing and a Saturday afternoon sail and found a wide variety of conditions, sailors and sailboats mixing it up on the Bay.

Most any evening on the Bay features fading breezes, dramatic fog and beer can racers seeking the right wind and current lane.

© 2018 Annie Ellicott
The J/105 She Loves It found the breeze the boats behind hadn’t yet reached.

© Annie Ellicott
Not everyone needs their legs over the rail for Friday night racing aboard the Wauquiez 40 Willow.

© Annie Ellicott
The Derek M. Baylis joins a kiteboarder for a windy Saturday reach down the west side of Alcatraz. 

latitude/John
©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
While it was blowing in the Central Bay, the Farallone Clipper Mistress II  offered friends a warmer, more relaxing breeze and sail selection off Sausalito.

latitude/John
©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
The Bay Lady had reduced sails for her power reach across the Central Bay.

latitude/John
©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
After the last ferry boat, there were mostly sailors left to play ashore in Ayala Cove, where this group was celebrating a 50th birthday.  

latitude/John
©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Whatever kind of sailing you wanted was probably on the menu this past weekend. And while the Pacific Cup worked it offshore, YRA racers competed in the third event of their Summer Series on the South Bay, while Encinal Yacht Club hosted the second of the Bay Area Youth Sailing’s summer series, the Svendsen’s Summer Splash.

It’s always smart to look at the weather before you head out, but we’d guess there are many similar summer weekends ahead. If you’re crafting the ideal sail for friends, have a read of our well-traveled ‘The Perfect Daysail‘.

See you out there!

Coast Guard Rescues Four in Suisun Bay

On Saturday, a 22-ft sailboat ran aground and began taking on water on Suisun Bay near Port Chicago in Concord. Onboard was a family of four, including a mother, father and two children. At about 1:30 p.m., the father radioed the Coast Guard for help. A boat crew from Vallejo was diverted to the scene, as well as the Solano County Sheriff. 

"Due to the shallow depth of the water, the boat crews could not reach the sailing vessel. The Coast Guard helicopter crew lowered the flight rescue swimmer," a Coast Guard press release said. All four passengers were safely hoisted off the vessel, and were reported in good health.

This grainy screen shot shows a Coast Guard helicopter lowering rescue swimmer and Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Goodman down to the muddy, shallow waters of Suisun Bay to rescue a family of four.

© 2018 Sarah Wilson Petty Officer 3rd Class

"I’m glad we were near the location of the vessel at the time of the call and were able to get on scene in a matter of minutes to conduct the hoist," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Bradley Sorrell, who was on his first-ever rescue. "It was a proud day for me as it hits close to home, being that I have two kids myself. Seeing the family of four make it home safely is why we do this job."

As of Saturday, the 22-ft boat was still aground in two to three feet of water. 

This is the second rescue in Suisun Bay in the last few months. In May, a fishing boat "crashed into the shore near Suisun Slough," according to ABC News. In that incident, the Coast Guard airlifted four people off the boat.

There are of course hundred of boats that safely sail the endless nooks and crannies of the Bay every day without incident, but these two groundings have made us curious about Suisun Bay itself. The entrance to the Delta is known for its big winds, steep chop and abrupt shallows, but if you have any local knowledge of the area, we’d like to know.

Bob Perry Did Not Disappoint

The Sausalito Yacht Club, in association with Latitude 38, hosted a meet Robert Perry event on Sunday afternoon to raise funds for the SYC junior program.

Bob Perry, left, in his office away from the office.

© Boomer Depp

The well-attended event was a retrospective of Mr. Perry’s illustrious career in yacht design. He spoke to the crowd about how he fulfilled his childhood dream to design boats with the encouragement of one "great teacher" in school — his high-school geometry instructor, who suggested Perry join a yacht club — as well as mentors such as Bill Garden. Robert Perry has designed over 380 boats and helped launch 6000 seaworthy vessels including Valiants, Islanders, CTs, Tayanas, Cheoy Lees, Passports and many custom designs. He kept the interest of the crowd through an informal shout-out-your-question presentation. It was an entertaining afternoon peppered with some clever one-liners. "If you want to sail around the world in reverse, a double-ender is a great design." Mr. Perry is also passionate about passing on his knowledge to younger designers through his intern program.

This was a first effort in a partnered lecture series hosted by Bay Area yacht clubs in association with Latitude to benefit Junior Sailing. Stay tuned for upcoming events in Calendar, ‘Lectronic Latitude and Sightings.

Angel Island Movie Night: ‘Coco’

Happy Monday, Latitude Nation. Here in the Bay Area, we’re already making plans for next weekend. This coming Saturday, July 21, Angel Island will be hosting movie night, showing the Disney/Pixar feature Coco.

Ayala Cove is one of the Bay Area’s true gems.

latitude/John
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"The evening will include music, games and more! Movie starts at sundown," the Angel Island Conservancy said. There will be Mexican food for purchase, as well as beer, wine and beverages. Organizers recommend bringing layers, as well as a flashlight to get back to the ferry. As many Bay Area sailors know, Ayala Cove has one of the largest public docks and moorings on the Bay, with 19 slips and 27 buoys available on a fist come, first serve basis for a $15 day use, and a $30 overnight fee.

A scene from the Disney/Pixar feature Coco.

© Disney/Pixar

"Coco is a definitive movie for this moment: an image of all the things that we aren’t, an exploration of values that feel increasingly difficult to practice in the actual world," wrote Jia Tolentino in the New Yorker. "It’s a story of a multigenerational matriarchy, rooted in the past. Coco is a movie about borders more than anything — the beauty in their porousness. The conflict in the story comes from not being able to cross over; the resolution is that love pulls you through to the other side."

He’s back. After nine months and 27,000 miles, Randall Reeves and Moli have returned to the Bay Area.
Pulling the short straw, the Pacific Cup’s big-boat BMW of San Rafael E division is set to start today in the least favorable conditions of this week’s four starting days.