Skip to content
December 14, 2018

‘Golden Rule’, ‘Balclutha’, Mavericks

Golden Rule Looking for New Skipper

“S/V Golden Rule, a project of Veterans For Peace, needs a captain/skipper who can prepare the boat and crew, then skipper the gaff-rigged ketch to and around Hawaii in spring 2019,” read a press release from Jan Passion, who’s been involved with the storied Golden Rule for a number of years. “We need a very experienced sailor who is aligned with the Veterans For Peace Golden Rule Project’s mission.  We ‘Sail for a Nuclear-Free World and a Peaceful, Sustainable Future.'”

In 1958, the original Quaker crew of the Golden Rule had intended to sail to the Marshall Islands to deliberately interfere with US nuclear testing. Golden Rule was stopped in Hawaii, but their mission was carried on by the Reynolds family aboard the Phoenix of Hiroshima. “These actions helped spur the movement that resulted in the Limited Test Ban Treaty in 1963, and helped spawn Greenpeace,” a Golden Rule press release said.
© 2018 Phoenix of Hiroshima Project

There’s a possibility the new skipper will continue on a longer voyage to the Marshall Islands, Guam, Okinawa, Korea and Japan in 2020, which will mark 75 years since the US hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs, according to the press release. The 30-ft Angleman-Davies-style Golden Rule is looking for the following qualifications: “Experience with cross-ocean sailing; experience with wooden boats, preferably gaff-rigged ketches; experience directing and training crew. License not required but is preferred.”

In July 2017, the Golden Rule sailed up the Mokelumne River for a ceremony with the Phoenix of Hiroshima, which sank in the Delta in 2010.
© 2018 Brian Cowden/The Phoenix of Hiroshima Project

The Golden Rule is currently docked at the Cabrillo Isle Marina in San Diego. If you’re interested in the position, please contact Helen Jaccard, the Golden Rule Project Manager, at 206-992-6364, or email her at [email protected].

Balclutha Returns to Aquatic Park

After over a year of maintenance at Bay Ship & Yacht in Alameda, the 132-year-old Balclutha is making her return to Hyde Street Pier and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

“I looked up from my desk just now and what do I see in my little Bay view [on Mission Street in San Francisco? The Balclutha returning from Alameda?” wrote Ernest Galvan.
© 2018 Ernest Galvan
The anchorage at Aquatic Park Cove was shut down yesterday to accommodate the 301-ft square rigger’s return.

Mavericks is Firing

If you happen to be sailing to Half Moon Bay this weekend, you’re going to want to give Pillar Point a wide, wide berth. This weekend’s double dose of North Pacific energy will bring huge waves to the California coast.

East Coast surfer Will Skudin posted this photo on his Instagram today. We’re glad there are no sailboats in the lineup.
© 2018 Will Skudin

Today, the Bay Area has seen wind and light rain, which is expected to continue through tomorrow, bringing with it a small craft advisory. But the real doozy will be on Sunday, where all of the elements — wind, rain and waves — will become more robust.

Talk about a one-two punch. Note the small system currently hugging the coast, followed by the substantially bigger system behind it.
© 2018

“Don’t go to the beach. Don’t step on the sand. Stay on the sidewalk,” meteorologist Brian Garcia was quoted as saying in a SF Gate story. Well, that might be a bit extreme, but please use caution and stay safe out there, everyone, and enjoy nature’s show — the Mavericks Challenge may be a go for next week.

SoCal America’s Cup Team

They’re in! On Wednesday, we floated the well-founded rumor that Taylor Canfield would head up a Long Beach Yacht Club-flagged America’s Cup team. Now it’s official. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron accepted LBYC’s challenge, Stars & Stripes USA. The team is the fifth challenger to enter the 36th America’s Cup and the second representing an American club.

Cup challengers Taylor and Mike
Taylor Canfield (left), 29, lives in Miami, FL. Mike Buckley, 36, is a New Yorker.
© 2018 Stars & Stripes USA

Tactician Mike Buckley and skipper Canfield co-founded the challenge after their team won LBYC’s Congressional Cup, in which they defeated that other US AC team, New York YC’s American Magic. “We are committed to making the team 100 percent American,” said Buckley.

“We have always considered Congressional Cup the road to America’s Cup,” said LBYC Commodore Bill Durant, “and we are excited to be on this road with Taylor, Mike and the Stars & Stripes team. These are exciting times for Long Beach and our club members.”

“At LBYC’s November 14 general membership meeting, Commodore Bill Durant announced plans on the proposed tentative agreement,” reported Jo Murray in the Long Beach Grunion (great name for a waterfront newspaper!). “The next evening, potential Long Beach patrons were briefed on the plan. There was a flurry of activity to meet RNZYS’s November 30 entry deadline.”

Dennis Conner okayed the team moniker. “Our name is a nod to Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes campaigns that defined all-American America’s Cup racing for decades. We are the next generation,”  said  Buckley.

The team’s 36-year-old CEO, Justin Shaffer, is from San Francisco. “Our funding to this point has come from a number of founding patrons from coast to coast who are passionate about our message, and I think that’s indicative of our inclusive aim,” said Shaffer.

They are already building an AC75 in Holland, MI. The team expects to be ready to compete in the first AC World Series event, which is planned for Italy in October 2019.

The challenger of record is Italy’s Luna Rossa; other challenger teams are Sir Ben Ainslie’s INEOS Team UK and Malta Altus. At 122 square miles, the Mediterranean island Republic of Malta is the smallest country to ever challenge for the Cup. Defender Emirates Team New Zealand will host the  36th America’s Cup in Auckland on March 6-21, 2021.

We’ll have much more on this exciting new West Coast team in future issues of Latitude 38.

The Return of the King Tides

The year’s highest tides, known as ‘king tides’, will hit California shorelines on the weekend of December 22-23, and again on January 20-21 — coinciding with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (Get it? A King tide on King Day?)

Ramp going up to the dock
Boats and docks float, but tidal extremes screw with the design of marinas, as seen here at Stockton Sailing Club during a king tide in January 2017.
© 2018 Jim Cahill

The term ‘king tide’ is a colloquialism for a perigean spring tide. The next perigee (when the moon is closest to the Earth) will be on Christmas Eve. Extreme high tides will have their reciprocals, of course — extreme minus tides. At the Golden Gate, the tide cycles will peak at:

  • Dec. 22, 2018
    high time / height: 10:20 AM / 6.87 ft.
    low time / height: 5:09 PM / -1.33 ft.
  • Dec. 23, 2018
    high time / height: 11:05 AM / 6.91 ft.
    low time / height: 5:54 PM / -1.49 ft.
  • Jan. 20, 2019
    high time / height: 10:03 AM / 7.02 ft.
    low time / height: 4:55 PM / -1.51 ft.
  • Jan. 21, 2019
    high time / height: 10:53 AM / 7.05 ft.
    low time / height: 5:41 PM / -1.59 ft.

Sailors and the general public can participate in the California King Tides Project, a citizen-science initiative, to help California communities prepare for flooding and sea-level rise. The project asks Californians to observe the ultra-high tides and share their photographs, to show how homes, harbors, beaches, wetlands, seawalls and public access to the water are affected by sea-level rise. The images are used by state and local officials, as well as climate-change researchers, to validate sea-level rise models and better assess local flood vulnerabilities. Understanding the impacts of sea-level rise is essential to finding a way forward that balances all interests.

In a pre-drought year, waves crash over the breakwater at Corinthian Yacht Club. A king tide corresponding with a massive storm can mess with the best-laid schemes of mice and men.
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Californians are also invited to participate on social media:

The website includes a calendar of local events (including one at Marin County’s China Camp tomorrow), a map of tide times throughout the season, and information on submitting your king-tide photos. And we invite you to send us your best shots of extreme tides affecting sailboats and the waterfront.

Green Shipping
In the December issue, we featured local artist, sailor, fisherman and merchant marine Martin Machado.
Do You Like to DIY?
Latitude Nation — It’s been a while since we’ve asked any DIY questions, and with the weather going all gray and wintry, we’re wondering if anyone out there is working on a rainy-day project or projects.
Racing News
Rumor has it that a new proposed America's Cup team hails from Long Beach Yacht Club. The New Zealand Herald speculates that Taylor Canfield's USA 21 challenge has been accepted.