Steve Lehmann is Latitude 38‘s latest Golden Ticket winner. Steve and his wife, Terri, had spent the past five months in Utah. One of the first things they did when they returned to the Bay Area was pick up a Latitude magazine at Marina Village, Alameda. Inside was Steve’s ticket for a free T-shirt.
“It was great to get back onboard and to pick up a Latitude 38 at Marina Village!” Steve said. “I’m an avid reader of Latitude 38 and was very surprised when I saw the ticket for the shirt. Keep up the great work!”
Steve and Terri bought their Catalina 34 MkII in March 2019, and are members of the Oakland Yacht Club.
“We are ‘wannabe’ cruisers,” Steve said, “and have learned a lot with this boat, as well as from the great people of OYC!”
Both sailors are retiring this year and plan to buy a cruising boat in the near future.
“We are from the mountains of Utah, so ocean sailing is new to us other than the few charters we have done in the San Juans and Virgin Islands.
“Previously, I had a Ranger 23 that I kept on the Great Salt Lake, and we did a short stint with Park City Sailing in Heber, Utah. They had a couple of J/22s and Rhodes 19s.”
Steve and Terri live in Las Vegas, and before COVID-19 threw the world into turmoil they would commute to Oakland on weekends.
“OYC is a short drive, and we loved spending our weekends on Alameda at OYC and on the Bay,” Terri said. “Now with COVID we aren’t flying and have listed our boat for sale, which is a little sad.”
However, selling their boat is not the end of Steve and Terri’s sailing story.
“With retirement this month we are getting our ducks in a row to purchase the cruising boat. We are thinking a 42- to 46-ft monohull. We are flexible on starting location, so the right boat anywhere works for us. Ideally an upwind starting location!”
And in the meantime, “The T-shirt arrived today and it’s terrific. Thank you!” – Steve.
We keep seeing more signs of people returning to small boats. There are many good reasons to sail small boats including affordability, small or singlehanded crews and, as always, they’re lots of fun. While reading the news we see that bicycle sales are through the roof. Singlehanded dinghies are essentially the bicycles of the sea. They’re something you can use on your own, in a short period of time, and put away relatively easily when you’re done.
So it was no surprise to receive this letter from Ben McGinty, in Southern California.
“I picked up a Sabot this last week from an estate sale,” Ben wrote. “After doing some research, I came across your site. It said you’re interested in filling gaps, and I’m interested in learning more about this Naples? Sabot.”
“So the story goes: This kid was walking home one day back in the ’60s, saw this Sabot in his neighborhood behind the Disney Studio in Burbank. Not sure of the particulars, but he was told he could have it, went home, asked his mom, she said yes and he wheeled it home. His dad, being a WW2 Navy vet, was happy to have a new hobby for the family. There are no markings or plaques identifying it except for on the sail; it sure seems like it’s a Naples. I would appreciate your input and thoughts on its origins if you’re able to shed some light on my new acquisition, and if you wouldn’t mind sharing your thoughts with me.”
“I haven’t been out in the boat yet, but hope to sometime in the near future. It’s really fun and I have had lots of people get a kick when I it set up in front of my shop. Look forward to hearing back if anyone knows about this li’l boat! Here I am trying to drum up some business sailing the sidewalk. haha.”
We know our Southern California readers are much better qualified to help Ben than we are. If you’ve got some input for Ben you can add it to our comments section below.
There are a thousand reasons to keep a good lookout. Modern navigational aids and numerous digital devices continue to improve, reducing accidents at sea. Despite all that equipment, it remains very important to keep an eye ahead and even read the signs along the shore. Dick & Laura Peek of the Sceptre 41 Maia in Queensland (QLD), Australia, who were also part of the 2018 Pacific Puddle Jump, sent us this photo of an unusual aid to navigation.
Typically you’d be watching for ships, reefs, navigational buoys or sailing traffic but, in this case, you’d have to be looking for blinking lights ashore and hope you have good enough eyesight or binoculars to read the sign to understand what they mean.
Hopefully, when you approach this sign and the lights start blinking, you’re not sailing under full spinnaker and shorthanded. According to Dick, this signal in Mackay, QLD, separates the inner, pleasure-boat marina from the outer, commercial harbor.
Do you have a shot of an unusual navigation marker? Send it to email@example.com.
While Latitude 38 is a sailing-focused magazine, we believe that maritime history in general is an interesting topic for most sailors. So when we received this story from the World War2 Crash Boat Society about the 1944 vessel Intrepid, we felt it was worth sharing with our sail-centric audience.
The San Francisco Bay Area has many historic and treasured vessels of the World War II era: the Liberty and Victory ships Jeremiah O’Brien and Red Oak Victory, the former Coast Guard cutter and presidential yacht Potomac, and the submarine Pampanito. Add to that list a new historic vessel for the public to enjoy — the former WW II armed search and rescue vessel Intrepid.
The Intrepid will provide public access in multiple ways — an annual fall-semester active-learning education tour for K-12 students where the field trip comes to the students; a traveling maritime museum visiting marinas throughout the Bay Area and Delta; a summer Delta youth camp; a maritime training program; a veterans’ program; a daysail program for groups and friends; and a VIP annual daysail on significant World War II commemorative events including Pearl Harbor Day, the Doolittle Raid, Midway, D-Day, VE-Day and VJ-Day.
Intrepid is an 85-ft-long armed search and rescue boat designed to retrieve downed air crews and pilots during World War II and the Korean War. Built in 1944, the Intrepid was designated as an ASR 85 (Air Sea Rescue). Since the vessel rescued crew members from airplanes that had to crash —or ditch — into the sea, the boats were also dubbed “crash boats” to distinguish themselves from their close cousins, the PT boats (Patrol Torpedo boat).
Crash boats were 104, 85, 63 and 50 feet in length, depending on their area of operations. They were developed during the Battle of Britain, when US observers decided to replicate the British military system of specialized vessels designed to save fliers during those desperate days.
Intrepid is not new to San Francisco Bay. Her history from 1944 to 1970 is currently being researched. In 1970 the Palo Alto-based Sea Scout unit Intrepid first acquired the vessel, which was then located at the Alameda Naval Air Station.
The Navy towed her on a barge to Mare Island — they had stripped her entire interior except her forward crew quarters. At Mare Island the Sea Scouts replaced the Intrepid‘s hull and installed four 671 engines. in 1974 she was towed to the Palo Alto Harbor, where her restoration work continued until 1980. Having acquired another training vessel, the Sea Scout unit transferred the ASR 85 to the Berkeley Sea Scout unit Farallon.
Farallon continued the restoration work for another 10 years, and in 1990 Intrepid became an active training vessel and spent the next 20 years on San Francisco Bay and the Delta. Alas, unable to pay for emergency repairs at a haulout yard, the vessel was repossessed by the yard (not something the previous World War II generation would have ever done) and sold to a private party in 2011.
While en route to Seattle, Intrepid made an emergency landing at Eureka, where her new owners made the decision to resell the vessel. In 2012 Intrepid was sold to another private owner and renamed All American. The ASR 85 was delivered back to the Delta, where she operated as a private motor vessel until 2018. She was then donated to the coed Sea Scout unit Albatross in Martinez. A year later the Albatross unit acquired a new training vessel and listed Intrepid for sale.
The Sea Scout Intrepid Alumni Association, led by principal buyer Miguel Pena, purchased Intrepid in April 2020. She has in effect made a full circle. Returning to crew members once teenagers, now in their 50s and 60s, Intrepid has come home to her all-volunteer crew, who are committed to sharing this historic treasure with multiple audiences and again operating her as a training vessel.
The Bay Area and Delta communities will soon have another great reason to live in this part of the nation — a chance to step back in time on a WW II armed search and rescue vessel, designed for one purpose: freedom.
Intrepid is currently berthed at the Stockton Downtown Marina. Her skipper, Kevin L. Murray, and crew members are using this time to ready the vessel for summer 2021 and beyond. Limited service for small groups (with masks and appropriate social distancing) can be arranged.
Interested new members, donors (we accept boats, cars, campers, and maritime equipment) and volunteers are encouraged to contact the nonprofit World War 2 Crash Boat Society via their website at crashboatsociety.homesteadcloud.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. All donations are tax deductible.