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November 20, 2019

Tall Ship ‘Matthew Turner’s Sails Fly On SF Bay

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.

Matthew Turner volunteer and experienced rigger Noah Limbach demonstrates how to ‘palm the line’ onto the fife rail while cleating the halyard in a clockwise figure-8 wrap.
© 2019 Call of the Sea / Sylvia Stewart Stompe

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.

Matthew Turner shakes out her square sails for the first time.
© 2019 Call of the Sea / Capt. Alan Olson

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.

Boats and dogs — a sailors’ best friends. Seaward’s Head Educator Erich von Hasseln and boat mascot ‘Kira’ watch as Matthew Turner backs onto Richardson Bay.
© 2019 Thanie Pesavento

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, or you can book a Mexico Charter:


It’s No Surprise This Boat Will Race to Hawaii

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.

Surprise with spinnaker up in an ocean wave
Surprise is a 46-ft custom Schumacher design.
© 2019 Leslie Richter

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.”

sailing to Hawaii
Scott Owens (driving), Bob Hinden and David Liebenberg during the 2014 passage.
© 2019 Rebecca Hinden

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.

Bombora arrives at night
Rebecca Hinden, Zac Judkins and Scott Davidson dock Bombora in Kaneohe at the end of the 2018 Pacific Cup.
© 2019 Pacific Cup Yacht Club

“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.”

Surprise hauls out at KKMI.
© 2019 Rebecca Hinden
Chainplate with socket wrench
Removing the chainplates for inspection was a challenge. But it turned out to be worth it, as one needed replacement due to corrosion.
© 2019 Rebecca Hinden

“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

Ever Found a Stowaway on Board?

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!

Among possible stowaways, probably none are more detested than rats. Yuck!
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Andy

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.

swarm of bees
This swarm of defiant bees took up residence on our handrail, just days before we set sail for the Marquesas.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Andy

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.

Boobie on the pulpit
Before letting him stay aboard, we made this booby promise not to poop on deck.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Andy

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.

What’s Missing from Sailing? Kids

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.

Photos of the Day
Last week, reader Vikas Kapur sent us photos from a foggy day of sailing on San Francisco Bay. Vikas titled his emailed photo essay "painted ships on painted seas." He called it "thick fog but have seen worse."