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August 3, 2020

Kiting and Cruising the California Delta

Among the many sailors rediscovering the Bay Area’s local cruising scene is Jos Cocquyt who, along with his wife Anne, headed up the Delta aboard their Santana 30 Electra for some summer cruising and kiting.

Jos wrote, “We were enjoying some Delta magic on Electra earlier in the year. I solo snuck up there in the height of COVID for my sanity, and then my wife and I did a week in June that was beautiful. We loved Benicia and spent several days by Sherman Island, where we normally go kite in summer and camp on land (no camping now). I added a couple of pics of our trip here.”

Jos Cocquyt Kiteboard
The sunrise brightens and sheds light on the kite gear ready to launch.
© 2020 Jos Cocquyt
Jos Cocquyt kiting
Jos takes a spin off Sherman Island.
© 2020 Anne Cocquyt
Bunker fuel powers a ship through the land of wind power.
© 2020 Anne Cocquyt
Electra at anchor
Not far from the densely populated San Francisco metro region, Electra finds herself all alone.
© 2020 Jos Cocquyt
Jos & Anne cruising the Bay
When not kiting or cruising the Delta, Jos and Anne find time to escape for a cruise on the Bay.
© 2020 Jos Cocquyt

The Delta is always there for California cruisers. In this year’s pandemic, many sailors are rediscovering our close-to-home getaways.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif: One of the Good Guys

You may have seen Laurent Duvernay-Tardif on the news in the last few weeks. He is a 29-year-old offensive lineman on the Kansas City Chiefs football team. Back in February, he helped that franchise earn their first Super Bowl rings in 50 years.

What makes him newsworthy now is that between games and seasons, Larry managed to complete a medical degree. These days, the man many teammates call ‘Doc’ can be found on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working in a long-term care facility in his native Montreal.

Last month, he became the first NFL player to voluntarily opt out of the upcoming season. He will remain where he is, even if it means giving up a $2.6 million salary. “There are going to be bigger issues than not playing football,” he said recently. “If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”

We were intrigued enough to dig a little deeper into Duvernay-Tardif’s background. It was a surprise to find that perhaps the seminal experience of his life was a yearlong cruise in 2003 with his parents and two younger sisters on their 30-ft boat from Montreal to the Caribbean, with lots of stops on the East Coast. Larry was 12 at the time.

“My dad gave me a lot of responsibility,” he recalled in a Sports Illustrated article back in April. He took part in all aspects of sailing, steering, navigating and maintenance. He also learned a lot about people. “We fished, traveled from community to community, met all of these new people, and experienced so many different cultures,” he says.

“Those experiences really defined me as a man.”

Good Guy, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
Larry still sails. While Disney might have you believe all the Chiefs’ players headed for the Magic Kingdom after the Super Bowl last February, Duvernay-Tardif and his girlfriend, Florence, chartered a yacht out of Antigua and went sailing.
© 2020 Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Two Sailors Rescued from Sinking Vessel

The US Coast Guard has reported that two sailors were rescued after their sailing vessel began taking on water one nautical mile offshore from Albion, CA, in Mendocino County on Sunday.

Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay watchstanders received a notification just after midnight that the sailing vessel Playtime had reportedly hit a submerged object in heavy fog and was taking on water. The two people onboard only had their cell phones and emergency flares available.

At approximately 1 a.m. the Coast Guard launched a dispatched 47-ft response boat crew from Station Noyo River, and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Humboldt Bay. When the boat crew arrived on the scene at 1:45 a.m. they recovered both people from the vessel and transported them to Fort Bragg. Both people were in good condition.

Playtime was determined unsafe to attempt to salvage and was reported submerged. The Coast Guard then issued a broadcast to alert mariners to this potential hazard to navigation.

“This case could have gone south quickly,” said Capt. Mark Hiigel, commander, Sector Humboldt Bay. “Search and rescue, especially at night, is inherently risky and is almost always a difficult mission to complete. The more a mariner is prepared with appropriate safety gear and emergency communications, the more likely there will be a successful outcome.”

USCG assisting sailing vessel
USCG from MLB Station Noyo River (in Fort Bragg) seen here assisting an unrelated sailboat in October 2014.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The Coast Guard also issued a recommendation that all boaters adopt the following safety tips:

Carry a VHF-FM marine radio and monitor Channel 16 for current ocean forecast and emergency marine broadcast information. Cell phones can be helpful, but not reliable for emergencies, as they often lose signal and can run out of a fully-charged battery.

Have and register an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), as they provide the fastest and most accurate way for response crews to locate and rescue people in distress.

Always wear a life jacket. The Coast Guard estimates that life jackets could save more than 80 percent of boating fatality victims.

Sailing Leadership Forum Takes on Diversity

Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

US Sailing’s Leadership Forum is normally an in-person gathering of sailing leaders — as you may have guessed by the name. But this is no normal year, and US Sailing is taking leadership topics online. A panel discussion tomorrow evening, August 4, at 5 p.m. PDT, will tackle the topic of Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Sport of Sailing.

“The panel will discuss ways sailors and sailing organizations can implement strategies now to increase awareness and opportunities within their sailing organizations and programs for individuals from diverse backgrounds and people of color,” reads the event notice. “The panelists will provide practical guidance for conducting outreach in your local communities and best practices on fostering relationships with community leaders and influencers to help you achieve your diversity, equity and inclusion goals.”

US Sailing’s Leadership Forum takes it online.
© 2020 US Sailing

Meet the Panel

The panelists seem to come from the Chicago area, but this forum is directed toward the entire county. Ayme Sinclair, vice president of the National Women’s Sailing Association will moderate. Panelists are:

Karen Harris, immediate past commodore of Jackson Park Yacht Club; Lou Sandoval, commodore of Chicago YC; Captain Bill Pinkney, the first African-American to solo circumnavigate the globe; and Joe Harris, manager of sailing for Chicago Park District. Learn more about the panelists’ backgrounds and tune in to the forum on the Starboard Portal at

US Sailing’s Starboard Portal presents many other topics of interest. Check ’em out at

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