San Francisco has been at the center of the peace movement for many decades. It might have started with the founding of the United Nations at the Herbst Theater in 1945, or possibly with the Summer of Love and the Berkeley Vietnam War protests. The Bay Area was also home to many military bases and a critical component of the Pacific theater victory in World War II. In the years since, most of the military presence has left the Bay, but, with the upcoming Fleet Week, there will be many military sailors on Navy ships and jets. Other sailors will present a different tack toward peace. In the next couple of weeks, the Peace Navy plans two events as a reminder to give peace a chance.
First, the Peace Navy is inviting all sailors to come sail out to The Heart of San Francisco and Peace Navy Parade on the afternoon of Sunday, October 6. The plan is to sail and gather by the Golden Gate Bridge where a skywriting plane will create the ‘Heart of San Francisco’ overhead.
Chris Hardman, founder of the Antenna Theater in Sausalito, organized the event, with the theme The Heart of San Francisco. Hardman founded the Antenna Theater in 1980 to create a wide variety of performance art. The Heart of San Francisco is unique in its connection to sailing. “If Peace and Love have a geographic epicenter anywhere on the globe it would be San Francisco,” says Hardman. “Jerry Garcia stated these thoughts: ‘What we’re thinking about is a peaceful planet; we’re not thinking about anything else. We’re not thinking about power, we’re not thinking about revolution or war. Nobody wants to hurt anybody. Nobody wants to get hurt. We would all like to live an uncluttered life, a simple life, a good life, and think about moving the whole human race ahead a step.'”
If the October 6 event doesn’t fulfill your need to sail for peace, there’s a second chance to connect your sailing with the Peace Navy on the Bay. Jan Passion, who just returned from sailing his Seawind 1000 Hokahey in the SoCal Ta-Ta, wrote in to say, “Some Bay Area sailors are organizing a ‘peace flotilla’ on Sunday, October 13, during Fleet Week. We are partnering with Code Pink and Veterans for Peace.
“We dress up our boats and remind folks that, despite the thrill and excitement of loud planes, fast planes and stunt planes, war, and preparation for war, and glorification of war are problematic on multiple levels. Such as contributing to climate crisis (the US Military is the largest single contributor to carbon emissions), and a squandering of precious resources (the US spends more on war than the next eight countries combined), which leaves insufficient money to fund basic human services (homelessness, health care, education, infrastructure, poverty, etc,).”
Fleet Week puts on a stunning display of military might around the Bay. However, the Peace Navy is there to remind us that they see an alternative course toward peace. Chris Hardman of the Antenna Theater and Jan Passion would love to see more sailboats bring the peace movement, which has been so visible for decades around the Bay, out onto the water for the next couple of weekends.
Tomorrow is the day we’ve all been waiting for, as the October issue of Latitude 38 will hit newsstands, Wi-Fi signals, and the synapses of a Nation. Please let us prepare you for a Latitude adjustment tomorrow:
What’s Next for Berkeley Marina?
Berkeley Marina is a vital, much-loved, and well-used park full of sailing schools, marine businesses, a boatyard, restaurants, and miles of trails and epic views — as well as aging infrastructure. Much of the Marina’s facilities, which were built between the mid-’60s and early ’80s, have reached the “end of their useful life,” according to a report from the city of Berkeley. The Marina’s budget is derived entirely from the Enterprise or Marina Fund, which is filled by revenue generated by taxes on Marina businesses, as well as slip fees. This year, the Enterprise Fund’s structural deficit, where spending exceeds revenues, will reach $1 million. There is nearly $106 million of unfunded capital, meaning that lots of infrastructure needs to be replaced and, at present, there’s no money to do it.
We often wonder, ‘What’s going to fail next and how is it going to affect operations?’ said Scott Ferris, the director of Berkeley’s Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department, which manages the Marina. “But the waterfront is a truly amazing facility; there’s a lot of amazing things down there and beautiful views. In order for the waterfront to be viable, we need to fix it.” The city of Berkeley has taken the first steps to inject cash into its waterfront and revitalize the Marina.
But a story about a city is not defined just by its politics or infrastructure. Most important are the people who use a place, and when it’s windy, you will find windsurfers sailing out of Berkeley Marina’s multiple launches, including the now-shuttered Hs Lordships. This month, we begin a series of stories asking what is next for one of the Bay’s bastions of sailing access, and we meet some of the longtime windsurfing devotees who make up the East Bay Crew.
Rolex Big Boat Series has No Wind Before it has Soooo Much Wind
The 55th St. Francis Yacht Club Big Boat Series on September 12-15 may wind up being remembered for a random late-summer heat wave that baked unacclimated San Franciscans in two days of T-shirt weather. The westerly did fill in, but quite late. Thus, no races started before 2 p.m. on Thursday or 3 p.m. on Friday, and those wound up being one-race — instead of the planned two-race — days. On Saturday, Karl the Fog crept in on very loud — thanks to the foghorns — cat feet, masking the big-ship traffic coming in the Gate. The on-cycle applied to the wind as well, with gusts up to 30 knots toppling three rigs. The fleet sailed Sunday’s single Bay Tour race in a more typical chilly San Francisco breeze.
This year’s RBBS also saw five elegant yachts built before 1955 competing in a crowd-pleasing division. In the inaugural year, the 1924 gaff-rigged schooner Brigadoon won every race except the last one. “Today was difficult,” said skipper Lindsey Klaus about the final Bay Tour race on Sunday. “It was a long race. Three hours with three pretty significant upwind legs; it’s hard for a gaffer, and the flood, in the beginning . . . Yeah, it was tough.”
The Crew Conundrum
One common reason for shorthanded passagemaking is that many sailors who venture offshore relish the challenge of becoming independent and self-reliant. Also, many couples who’ve successfully doublehanded their boats for years in the strong winds and rough waters of San Francisco Bay, or elsewhere, may not understand why they’d need extra hands onboard to run downwind, down-current and down-swell to Mexico. It’s a complex conundrum, so in this month’s Sightings, we’ll take a look at some of the related issues, such as setting clear expectations for both captains and crews, finding the ideal candidates and sharing the load.
And Much, Much More . . .
Also in this month’s Sightings, we’ll take a look at the many Pacific Northwest boats Passin’ Through San Francisco Bay on their way to San Diego for the start of the Baja Ha-Ha, share a conversation with recent record-setter Jeanne Socrates, and check in with Wil Spaul and his super-tiny boat Chubby Girl.
This month’s Max Ebb shares tips for small-boat cruising, the axiom for which is often incredibly obvious: “The key to cruising a very small boat is to know people cruising in much larger boats.” In this month’s Letters, our readers mourn with us over the tragic Conception fire. We’ll also wrap up the 11th Delta Doo Dah, and bring you part two of the Ha-Ha profiles.
It is finally starting to feel like fall in the Bay Area, and we can’t think of anything better than curling up with a pumpkin-spiced Latitude next to a fire. Here are some of the many places where you can pick up an issue tomorrow.
The MacGregor 65 is a legendary West Coast-built cruiser ideal for sailing from Mexico to Alaska.
- It motors fast and covers long northbound distances in a hurry.
- It sails even faster. Fun!
- Long cockpit is great for single- or doublehanding.
- Pilothouse is a great way to stay warm and dry on a cold, wet night watch.
- Lots of great cruising upgrades. New windlass, new bottom paint.
- Learn more about this boat from Denison Yachting or plan to see it open and on display this week, October 4-6, at Yacht Fest at Marina Village in Alameda.
You never know where you’ll end up if you put your name on the Latitude 38 Crew List. We just got a note from Bill Nork, past president of Encinal Yacht Club, who sails his Islander 36 Zenith on the Bay with wife Susan and twin sons Paul and Tom. His recent success with the Crew List took him to the Marquesas.
Bill wrote in saying, “This spring I put my name on the Latitude 38 Crew List to find a crew position for the 2019 Pacific Puddle Jump, and things couldn’t have worked out better. Tim Hogan and Anna Wirth from Sausalito were looking for a couple of crew to help them sail from Puerto Vallarta to the Marquesas on their beautiful Tayana 48DS Pakele Loa. They contacted me and another crew lister, Paul Hedberg of San Diego, a retired high school teacher and marine biologist. Since Tim and Anna were already in Mexico, they conducted ‘interviews’ with us electronically using What’sApp, and also did a lot of reference-checking. Once the crew was settled, we held weekly three-way video conferences which got to be pretty fun and interactive — by the time we all met in person in PV we felt almost like old friends.”
He continued, “The trip to the Marquesas went well. Except for some expected squall activity around the ITCZ, winds were mostly moderate, around 8-15 knots. We had a quick 21-day crossing, averaging about 6 knots overall. The food was great, as Anna is a gourmet cook, and, when fresh food got a little scarce toward the end, we had decent luck pulling in some tuna and mahi mahi. Tim is an electrical engineer, so we had great weather info from PredictWind and connectivity from the Iridium Go! Tim also ran the Pacific Puddle Jump SSB net once a week, so we felt pretty well connected the whole time.”
“P.S. – I made a little YouTube video of our trip. Check it out here:”