If you’ve been looking out across San Francisco Bay recently, you may have noticed a large tall ship gliding gracefully across the water. The vessel is most likely Matthew Turner — the 132-ft brigantine built by Call of the Sea. Matthew Turner is now engaged in regular sea trials and crew training as part of her Coast Guard licensing requirements. The end goal is for the vessel to receive her COI (Certificate of Inspection) and join Call of the Sea’s fleet to deliver educational programs alongside the schooner Seaward.
Recent reports tell us that though the installation of navigation, electronic and safety equipment is still underway the team at Call of the Sea is excited about Matthew Turner’s approaching completion. And far from being seen as a chore, the current schedule of sea trials is only adding to everyone’s enthusiasm.
Over the next few Fridays and Saturdays, volunteer crew will be onboard the vessel to practice hauling lines, raising and dousing sails, and maneuvering off and back onto the dock. Many of these sailors are the very same volunteers who have been donating their time to Matthew Turner’s construction and are now seeing their efforts coming to fruition. Last Saturday’s crew also had the honor of being the first to fly the ship’s square sails.
In the meantime, schooner Seaward has just completed a two-week haulout at the KKMI yard in Richmond. The 82-ft steel-hulled vessel is now back at her dock in Sausalito where her crew is continuing her refit in preparation for the Mexico chartering season. Seaward’s captain, Jay Grant, said the Mexico season is important for Call of the Sea as the charter income helps provide subsidized and free educational sailing trips for Bay Area youth.
Seaward’s crew was cleaning and tidying their boat last Saturday as Matthew Turner motored off into the fog-laden Richardson Bay with a deck full of enthusiastic hands. Fortunately they were able to down tools and whip out their mobile phones to capture footage of Matthew Turner as she gracefully motored her way into the Bay.
Upon completion of her refit Seaward will have a freshly painted interior, hull and topsides and will be fitted with updated electronics and navigation equipment. (Look out for the December edition of Latitude 38 magazine for the full story.)
“We want people to be comfortable on board,” Capt. Jay added, “as well as safe.”
If you’d like to support Call of the Sea’s mission to educate Bay Area youth you can become a sponsor, partner or volunteer at www.callofthesea.org/support-us/, or you can book a Mexico Charter: www.callofthesea.org/sail-with-us/adult-family/sail-south/
It’s no surprise that Bob Hinden has again entered Surprise in the Pacific Cup. “I will be navigator, and it will be my sixth Hawaii race,” says Bob’s daughter, Rebecca.
Rebecca’s first sailboat race ever was a Pacific Cup, 11 years ago. “My dad’s previous boat was Acacia, a Valiant 42 — definitely a cruising boat. He did two Pac Cups on her. I joined for the second one in 2008, which was a fantastic experience. We enjoyed great food, fishing, lots of time with the kite up, and beautiful trade winds all the way to the island. That trip totally hooked me on bluewater sailing. We came in last in our division, but I still rank it as one of the most fun passages I’ve ever made.”
Two years later, Rebecca met Kame Richards and started racing on his Express 37 Golden Moon. “I found out what sailboat racing really looked like and loved it. I started sailing as much as possible — both around the buoys and out the Gate.” Rebecca, 36, is a professional photographer and has done some video and photography work for Kame’s company, Pineapple Sails. She also does sailboat rigging.
Bob Hinden had seen Surprise, a custom Schumacher 46, at Pacific Cup seminars and loved the boat. “She’s a pretty special yacht,” said Rebecca, “built in New Zealand in 1998, with a carbon fractional rig and masthead symmetrical kites, a spare but beautiful cruising interior, and just a dream to sail. Many of your readers will probably know her from the years she spent at her dock just across the water from the Richmond Yacht Club.
“It was Father’s Day in 2013 when we found out she might be available for sale and went to have a look. Needless to say the whole family was in love. My parents bought Surprise pretty soon after. We did Pac Cup in 2014 with a great crew, but it was a bit of a shakedown race for us. We found a couple issues with the boat that ultimately prevented us from getting the most out of her.”
Since 2014 Rebecca has done three more Hawaii races plus a ton of other sailing. “Surprise (and my dad) did Pac Cup in 2016, but I wasn’t aboard. I was on Elan, an Express 37.” She sailed her red Express 27 Bombora triplehanded in the 2018 Pac Cup. Bombora was the only small ULDB in a division of big displacement boats, and she finished second in division.
“I am really excited to bring what I’ve learned back to the family program and see what we can do with Surprise. We’re working with Greg Stewart to optimize performance to our rating, which mostly means getting the wrenches out and taking a lot of things off the boat. She’s already sitting a lot higher in the water. I can’t wait to see how she feels with the kite up! The boat is currently at KKMI for a bottom job, while Pacific Rigging does a full standing rigging and rudder inspection. All that plus a new sail or two from Pineapple — pretty standard stuff for an ocean race.”
“I really look forward to crossing an ocean again with my dad. We are putting together a solid crew and it’s a great boat. I can’t wait to see what we can do.” The Pacific Cup will start the week of June 29 and sail from San Francisco to Kaneohe Bay on Oahu. See https://pacificcup.org.
In modern times it’s extremely rare for human travelers to stow away aboard sailboats. But over the years we’ve reported on all sorts of freeloading creatures found aboard cruising boats. Among them was a giant albatross that laid claim to a sizable area of deck space for days and a water snake that took up residency in a boat’s only toilet.
The most unwelcome offender we’ve encountered on our own boat, Little Wing, was a nasty old rat who snuck aboard at a work dock. Our initial shock at finding telltale scraps of packaging turned to white-hot rage when we discovered he’d nibbled through half of our stash of Mint Milano cookies. Seriously, the nerve of that ugly varmint!
Another challenge was trying to convince a swarm of honey bees that our varnished teak handrail was a lousy place to build a hive — especially since we were about to cross an ocean.
Birds? As with most sailors who venture offshore, plenty of them hitch rides with us. Although it can be fascinating to observe them up close, the deal-breaker is usually when your decks become peppered with piles of guano. There was that one blue-footed booby, though, who kept to his promise during two days of mid-ocean sailing, never to poop on deck.
If you’ve got an unusual stowaway story to tell — regarding human or animal travelers — we’d love to hear it (write to us at [email protected]). Be sure to include your full name, boat name and model and homeport.
Reader Brett Langolf sent us this message — and link — a few weeks ago. It’s the first of a few youth-oriented things we have in the works . . .
It’s time to put the fun back into the sport we love.
How? We don’t know for sure . . . but we do know it’s a collection of parents, kids and friends who want to see this sport grow again, and give kids the opportunities to learn sailing — just like we had. We have elected to launch and make YouTube our foundation; please subscribe to help this grow. We will start by posting videos and fun content and use social and traditional media to share our adventures. We even had a printed newspaper article written about us this summer. Now that’s old school.
We cannot do this alone. If you have a video and want to contribute your sailing story, let’s talk. Share, take some videos, pick some cool songs, and grow the sport of sailing. #MoreKidsOnSailboats.