April 20, 2020

Delta Doo Dah Dozen Open for Business

By the time you read this, we will have opened registration for Delta Doo Dah Dozen. We held off a bit on taking entries while we adapted to the shelter-in-place situation. But we’re hopeful that the sailors who sign up for this inland rally will actually be able to cast off their docklines and cruise the Delta.

As far as large gatherings go, the Delta Doo Dah has been a DIY rally since 2013 anyway. This spreads out the fleet’s impact on the region over three or four months and over a vast network of waterways. Anchoring in a bucolic backwater or taking a slip in a marina not your own is already happening, even though it’s perhaps not strictly in the spirit of the shelter-in-place orders. We don’t know what the near future holds, but we’re guessing that the powers that be will condone this type of recreation before allowing big gatherings.

Little Lara with inflatable dinghy
Jay and Peggy Bowden’s Dana 24 Little Lara had the Walnut Grove guest dock to herself one evening last summer.
© 2020 Little Lara

Official Doo Dah Events

Speaking of big gatherings, we do have some official events on our 2020 itinerary. The first is our Kickoff Party and Seminar. Richmond Yacht Club has scheduled this for the evening of Saturday, May 16. If we had to lay odds, we’d bet 9 to 1 that Contra Costa County won’t let RYC open the doors to 40 or 50 folks by then. If that proves to be the case, we’ll take this event online and make it a Zoom meeting. Either way, Delta vets Craig and Ann Perez, Doodette Christine Weaver, and Delta Rat Bill Wells will be the presenters. Bill is the commodore of the Delta Chambers and writes the Delta Rat column for Yachtsman. We’ll invite attendees to introduce themselves, ask questions, and share their own tips. And we’ll have ‘door’ prizes! (If your business is interested in donating an emailable gift certificate, please contact Doodette Chris.)

The Delta Ditch Run, scheduled for June 6, is the next event on the list. The Delta Doo Dah has helped to grow the Cruising Division of this all-day race from RYC to Stockton Sailing Club. All of SSC’s races and socials are on hold for now. We’ll keep you posted.

Lucky Mud on the river
John Speck’s Pearson 323 Lucky Mud cruises up the San Joaquin River in last year’s Delta Ditch Run.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The odds improve for our events later in the summer. Delta Bay Marina will host us for the second year in a row at their resort on Isleton’s Delta Loop, just off the San Joaquin River, on Sunday, August 9, starting at noon. Bill Wells will speak at this event too. Then, the following Saturday, Owl Harbor on Sevenmile Slough (also in Isleton) invites Delta Doo Dah sailors to join them for their tenants’ BBQ and Dinghy Poker Run on August 15.

Sign up for the Doo Dah at www.deltadoodah.com/register.html.

Where Would You Find a Copy of Latitude 38 in La Paz?

We’ve always appreciated the businesses, yacht clubs and organizations which help us bring you Latitude 38 every month. Rich and Lori Boren of La Paz Cruisers Supply in, guess where…..La Paz, Mexico, sent in this photo of Rich with the latest issue of Latitude 38. Lori wrote, “I hope that you are doing well and staying healthy. This is a photo of Rich Boren in front of our shop in La Paz Mexico. It is located in Marina Palmira. People come by and check to see if we have the latest issue of Latitude 38. They eagerly await it each month.

“Thanks for sending it!”

Rich Boren La Paz Cruisers Supply
Rich Boren holding the new, April issue with a Jim DeWitt original on the cover.
© 2020 Lori Boren

Under normal conditions, you would also have seen Rich last weekend in the Cruise RO Watermaker booth at the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show. Next time.

If you are on the waterfront in La Paz or up and down the West Coast you can pick up an April issue at any of our 700+ distribution points. Find one here. It’s wise to call in advance.

Thanks to Rich and Lori and everyone else who helps you pick up the latest from Latitude 38.

An Aussie in Berkeley: OCSC’s Trevor Steel

We’re shining our Latitude 38 spotlight on local sailing instructors, the on-the-water community of folks who introduce newcomers to our lifetime sport. Trevor Steel is the head of instruction at Berkeley’s OCSC Sailing.

Where did you grow up sailing?

This question assumes that I have grown up. We’ve all heard the story of the boy whose mother asked what he would like to do when he grew up. When the boy answered that he’d like to grow up and be a sailor, his mother sagely replied. “I’m sorry, you can’t do both, you’ll have to make a choice.” I have to confess this applies to me.

Growing up on the eastern coast of Australia you would think that I would have begun sailing at a very early age. Sadly, in the time of my youth, sailing in Australia was a rather exclusive and expensive pastime, and the circumstances of the time kept it beyond my reach. That’s not to say that the passion I had for the water, adventure and travel were in any way diminished. When the opportunity to learn to sail eventually came within reach I grabbed at it with both hands and have never since let go.

Trevor Steel standing at the mast in foulies
Trevor Steel at the mast
© 2020 Trevor Steel

Who taught you to sail?

To name an individual would be a disservice to the hundreds of sailors, mentors and students that I have worked with and listened to over the years. Every single one of them taught me some aspect of sailing that my countless hours of self-learning, reading, and studying failed to cover. Add to that making mistakes that I was fortunate enough to walk away from — all became part of learning to sail. To suggest that the learning is over is a grave mistake on the part of any sailor.

What kind of sailing do you do now?

Of course teaching makes up a great deal of my sailing. I have never raced simply because in order to race and be competitive you have to find the limit of your boat and rig… I’ve never been able to afford ‘finding the limit’. I’ve also never seen the point in breaking a perfectly good boat. As a result, I confess to being a cruiser.

OCSC's building
OCSC’s building contains offices, a classroom and a store.
© 2020 Susan Burden

What’s your favorite thing about teaching sailing?

In this age of technology there are very few activities that involve science, that is understanding and using the physics involved in sailing; craft, that learning that allows lines to be worked and spliced and sails to be trimmed and shaped; and, finally, art, that sense of feel and balance that lets you know all things are in harmony. Sailing needs all of these to be learned. There is no ‘Reset’, no ‘Play Again’ and no quick Google searches to get you through the problem at hand. The thing I like most about teaching is opening this door to folk and letting them experience the calmness that comes from being fully engaged without being overwhelmed.

Student steers the boat away from the dock while instructor stands ready
The instructor stands ready at the stern, but the students are in charge of the boat.
© 2020 Susan Burden

What’s your favorite thing about sailing? Or why do you sail?

Why do I sail? For the same reason I teach.

Can you name three of your favorite sailing books?

The Hornblower Series by C.S. Forester, Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum, and Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Eight Bells for Clinton Pearson

Boatbuilder Clinton Pearson passed away on April 4. He was 91.

Fred Heald and cousins Everett Pearson and Clinton Pearson
Left to right: Fred Heald and cousins Everett Pearson and Clinton Pearson founded Pearson Yachts in 1956.
© 2020 Dan Spurr / Heart of Glass

Clint and his cousin Everett, both Brown University alumni and Navy veterans, started experimenting with fiberglass construction in the family garage in Rhode Island in the mid-1950s. The two went on to found Pearson Yachts a few years later, and by 1959 produced their first ‘big’ boat, the Carl Alberg-designed 28-ft Triton. After it debuted at the New York Boat Show that year, they got deposits for 17 of them. In its nine-year production run, 712 Tritons were built — and many are still sailing today.

Triton plug under construction
Pearson Yachts lofted the wooden plug for the 28.5-ft Pearson Triton in their first facility, an old textile plant on the Bristol, Rhode Island, waterfront.
© 2020 Dan Spurr / Heart of Glass
Triton start
Tritons, most of them beautifully restored, have the largest one-design fleet in Bay View Boat Club’s Plastic Classic. This photo is from the start of the 2018 race on San Francisco Bay south of the Bay Bridge.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

When Grumman bought controlling interest in the company in the early ’60s, Clinton struck out on his own. He bought out a troubled boatbuilder named Sailstar, and, a couple of years later, renamed the firm Bristol Yachts. The first production boat to wear the name was the Bristol 27, another Alberg design that is almost indistinguishable from the Triton except for the sail logo. Halsey Herreshoff — son of L. Francis, grandson of Nathaniel — designed the next one, the Bristol 29, as well as a slew of additional models. Ted Hood’s design shop did most of the later design work for the ‘decimal models’ (29.9, 31.1, 35.5, etc.). By the time Bristol Yachts closed its doors in 1997, more than 4,400 boats ranging from 22 to 72 feet had rolled out the doors. All told, Clinton Pearson is said to have been involved in the building of some 20,000 yachts.

Clinton’s spirit of sportsmanship and the value of hard work lives on in two-time Volvo Ocean Race skipper Charlie Enright, his grandson. In a 2015 Cruising World piece, Charlie remembers one of his first exposures to sailing was at age 3 when Grampa Clint put him in a little boat, pushed him out and ‘steered’ with lines from shore.

Coast Guard Rescues Kayaker off Pacifica

On Friday, the Coast Guard came to the aid of an overturned kayak in Bay Area waters.

The kayaker was rescued off the beach town of Pacifica, just south of San Francisco. “San Mateo County personnel contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at 3:50 p.m. reporting a person in the water in distress approximately 100 yards offshore,” a Coast Guard press release said. The Coast Guard sent a rescue helicopter, which arrived on scene at 4:25 p.m.”

The kayaker seemed to be suffering from hypothermia, but there were no further details on their condition, according to the press release.


Video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Taylor Bacon / US Coast Guard

The rescue comes as the Latitude 38 community has been debating whether to sail and recreate on the water during California’s COVID-19 lockdown. Forcing first responders to come to the aid of ‘pleasure craft’ was seen as the worst-case scenario.

The Coast Guard, who often uses rescues as teachable moments to remind mariners about safety practices, made no mention of the quarantine — or recreational boating in general — in their press release.

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SIP with Latitude 38
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