Legendary bluewater cruiser Larry Pardey sailed away to his final resting place last Sunday after living the past 11 years on the island of Kawau in New Zealand.
Larry started his sailing career as a teenager in North Vancouver, British Columbia, but really made his mark on the sailing world after moving to Southern California in the mid-’60s, where he met his wife and lifetime cruising partner, Lin Pardey. Together they built Seraffyn, the 24-ft wood Lyle Hess-designed sloop, which was the start of a 200,000-mile engineless cruising career. A career that in turn became the foundation of a dozen cruising books, as well as the inspiration for thousands of cruisers who followed in their wake.
Often referred to as “America’s first couple of cruising,” the Pardeys lived the simple life they preached. When it was time to build a bigger boat they moved up from the 24-ft Seraffyn by building the 30-ft Lyle Hess-designed Taleisin in Bull Canyon, CA. Their message of exploration, adventure and simplicity has resonated with sailors for 50 years and may be even more powerful today.
Larry, who was 81, had been suffering from Parkinson’s and Parkinsonian dementia before suffering a stroke that had him living in a nursing home in New Zealand for the past year.
Lin said on her Facebook page, “I will think of Larry every day of my life and feel extremely privileged to have been part of his life.”
We feel a part of the thousands of sailors who were privileged to learn from the the thousands of miles of experience the Pardeys shared through their books, seminars and videos.
You can help keep Larry’s memory alive by contributing to the Larry Pardey Memorial Observatory at Camp Bentzon on Kawau Island.
Welcome to August! Did you know that August was originally the sixth month of the calendar year? According to Time and Date AS, August was named Sextilis (Latin for sixth) in the Roman calendar. As the years passed, Sextilis underwent a few changes. By the time it was renamed August in 8 BCE, in honor of Augustus Caesar, it had become the eighth month of the year and had gone from having 31 days, to 29 days, and back to 31 days. Are you confused yet? Think about how August must have felt!
Fortunately that confusion has long passed and August is now a happy month in which we bring you excellent sailing content in the form of cruising stories, racing news, chartering updates, and all the regular features you enjoy.
Here’s a sneak preview of what’s inside the this month’s edition of Latitude 38:
Pip Hare and Medallia Take on the Vendée
Only 78 sailors, mostly from France, have finished the eight previous editions of the Vendée, and just six of them have been women. To most Americans, including many of the folks here in Latitude Nation, the Vendée Globe is a little-known cult event, either ignored due to the language barrier or followed fanatically by the few who have heard about it.
Ben Brown — Hobie 16 North American Champion
Many of us have either fallen into or carefully sought out a fleet of racing boats that has those magic ingredients: fun boating experience, talented fleet members, competitive on-course racing, and off-the-water camaraderie. This is a profile of a young man who found all of this before he was even 10 years old.
Singlehanded Farallones — You Can’t Get There from Here
In the age of pandemics and shelter-in-place lockdowns, a minor miracle happened. There was an organized official race around the Farallones. The Singlehanded Sailing Society’s annual Singlehanded Farallones Race was bumped from its original date of May 16 twice, but finally landed on Saturday, June 27.
And remember to look for all your favorite features:
- Letters: Passing Time, Sipping Rum, and Reading a Magazine During the Quarantine; When It’s Time to Just Go for It; There Are no Drones Quite Like Sail Drones.
- Max Ebb: Mind the Gap
- Destination: Channel Islands
- A fantastic guide on Dine-Out Cruising.
- World of Chartering features ‘A Bare Boat Cruise and a Wedding in the Eastern Caribbean’
- And of course there’s this month’s Racing Sheet.
East Coast USA has been put on alert as Hurricane Isaias tracks its way north. The weather system, which started as a tropical storm, crossed Haiti and the Dominican Republic before escalating to a Category 1 hurricane.
As the hurricane continues its northward trajectory, NOAA has issued a Hurricane Warning for the Bahamas and portions of Florida’s east coast, from north of Deerfield Beach to the Volusia-Brevard county line. Other nearby regions are under watch or have been issued Tropical Storm Warnings.
Updated information can be found on NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s webpage.
Boating has now proven to be a great family recreational activity during the COVID-19 era. San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta offer a plethora of fantastic cruising destinations, and more and more folks are taking advantage of these waterways. Many restaurants offer boat-up dining, and most marinas are accepting visitors. There are also beautiful anchorages where you can spend the night in quiet solitude, enjoying the wonders of the marine environment.
My wife Cathy and I have been on our boat every other weekend all summer. Here are a few of our favorite destinations.
Clipper Cove, Treasure Island
This anchorage is close to home and offers nice shelter and great views of the new Bay Bridge. It’s also a popular spot for raft-ups, but for now, sadly, we can’t do raft-ups.
The mooring buoys are now open, and although it’s a busy anchorage we love the island and the Central Bay location.
Sam’s in Tiburon
Although their small dock is often crowded, the drinks are stiff and the appetizers are fantastic. As of now they offer takeout as well as outdoor seating on their Bayside deck.
Napa Valley Yacht Club
Located just outside Downtown Napa, this club offers great hospitality and a wonderful location. The guest dock is open, and they are currently offering takeout dinners on Fridays that can be enjoyed either on your boat or on their deck. The river has been dredged all the way, but if your mast is over 60 feet you can’t transit the Imola Avenue bridge.
Heading up the Delta, we love Korth’s Pirate’s Lair Marina, where San Mateo native Tom Tate is your friendly harbormaster. Their tiny café offers breakfast and lunch on weekends. Next door is Moore’s Riverboat Restaurant, which has a large dock and open-air dining. Thursday is $4 burger night, and we make a habit of tying up there for cocktails and dinner when we are in the area.
Other great boat-in spots with social-distance outdoor dining include Sugar Barge and The Rusty Porthole on Bethel Island, Giusti’s in Walnut Grove, and Tiki Lagoon in the heart of the San Joaquin Delta.
But the best part of the Delta, to us, is to anchor in the shelter of an isolated tule island, relax on a float in the cool water, enjoy the great blue herons and snowy egrets fishing for their dinner at sunset, and perhaps see a family of playful river otters swim by. After a dinner of fresh-caught Delta crawdads, we spend the night listening to the sounds of the frogs and crickets and wake up to a beautiful sunrise garnished with a fresh morning breeze.
San Francisco Bay Area
Sequoia Yacht Club’s six-event Quarantine Cup Series will continue racing on August 1 and 22 on the waters of the South Bay.
The Singlehanded Sailing Society’s Round the Rocks Race is a go for August 8. As of this morning, 63 boats had signed up, 19 singlehanded and 44 doublehanded. It’s no surprise that a bunch of Doublehanded Express 27s have signed up, but a five-boat Doublehanded Alerion Express 28 fleet has also formed. Sign up by August 5, when there will also be an online skippers’ meeting, starting at 7:30 p.m.
For the first time, the SSS will use two Bay Tour courses of 19 to 21 miles. The two courses will help separate the doublehanders from the singlehanders and avoid smushed fiberglass at the rounding marks.
In question as of this writing was the SSS participation in the Drake’s Bay Race on August 22-23. The OYRA has canceled Drake’s Bay, as they have every other offshore race in their series so far this year. (Among them, the Jr. Waterhouse had been scheduled for August 8). A few years ago, the SSS joined the OYRA’s long-standing two-race weekend. An overnight on the hook in Drake’s Bay makes this a unique regatta.
Sausalito YC has canceled all their races through September. “The Sausalito Yacht Club Race Council has revisited the club’s racing situation and decided to continue the cancellation of all SYC club sponsored racing until further notice,” states the racing page on their website. “This decision was made to help control the spread of COVID-19 and to recognize the inability to insure a ‘level playing field’ for all racing crews. The SYC Race Council thoroughly examined every aspect of the situation before making their decision and felt this is the best course of action for our racing sailors and the entire Marin County community. While the summer seems to be slipping away, we are hopeful that at the least we’ll see all the fleets out racing for the Midwinters.”
Encinal YC plans to run their doublehanded Gracie and George Regatta on August 16. In this coed race, Gracie takes the helm.
St. Francis YC has canceled the Aldo Alessio (August 21) and Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta (August 22-23). The Ronstan Bridge to Bridge, in which kiteboarders and windsurfers dash from the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge, is “TBD.” StFYC has the B2B on the calendar for Thursday evening, August 27. As noted on Monday, the club called off September’s Rolex Big Boat Series.
Racing on Monterey Bay
San Diego YC will limit their Olympic Classes Regatta on August 8-9 to singlehanded classes only: Finns, Lasers and Laser Radials.
“Although the San Juan Island YC has postponed the 50th Shaw Island Classic Sailboat Race until 2021 (let future club historians figure out why it took us 51 years to celebrate the 50th), we invite you to participate in the special and unique 49½ Un-Shaw Island Sailboat Race to be held Saturday, August 8, 2020.” See www.sjiyc.com for more about this event in Washington’s beautiful San Juan Islands.