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December 30, 2020

Delivery Day for the Port of Oakland Terminal Cranes

While Latitude drivers were out delivering the January issue, a unique cargo ship was making a unique delivery to the Port of Oakland. We got up early to see the sunrise arrival after the ship had spent a few days anchored in Drake’s Bay to lower the cranes so they could ‘limbo’ under the Golden Gate.

Three of the largest cranes in the US have a new home in the Port of Oakland. Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) invested $30 million in the three giant cranes for its marine terminal at Oakland International Container Terminal.

Port of Oakland ZPMC
At about 7:30 a.m. the new cranes were headed past Point Bonita toward the Port of Oakland, arriving all the way from China.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The monster cranes will be a boon to the Oakland area. Taller cranes can more easily handle cargo coming in on ultra-large container ships. Danny Wan, Port of Oakland executive director, noted, “Ultimately, bigger cranes at our waterfront translate into maritime and related jobs for the region.”

Port of Oakland ZPMC
From where we were, aboard John Kahn’s Striper 270 Kahnquest, it looked like the cranes wouldn’t fit under the bridge.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

An early-morning wake-up netted some amazing views of the cranes as they made their way through the Golden Gate early this morning aboard the Zhen Hua 35. The towering pieces had to be folded in order to fit under the bridge.

When the cranes are finally installed at the port, they will soar more than 400 feet above the wharf. SSA currently operates 10 cranes at the Oakland International Container Terminal. Three older cranes will be removed from the terminal when the new ones arrive.

Port of Oakland ZPMC
A tug was there just in case ….
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The early-morning photoshoot was inspired by Michael Rossi of the Cheoy Lee 40 LunaSea, currently berthed in Marina Riviera Nayarit. We also saw Abner Kingman out there shooting from his RIB, so he’ll likely have some great shots on his website soon. It’s not every day you see a ship with this kind of cargo arriving in the Bay, and fortunately the fog lifted and the sun was shining so we could capture some photos. Once the cranes are installed, Oakland Estuary sailors will be sailing beneath these booms high overhead.

January Magazine Out Now

This is it, folks, the end of one year (and what a year it’s been!) and the beginning of the next. This year has brought its challenges, but as the true sailors we all are, we met and rose to those challenges and did our best in whatever endeavors we undertook. For us here at Latitude 38, aside from our own personal 2020-related challenges, we worked extra hard to ensure we kept bringing you a fresh edition of the West Coast’s favorite sailing magazine every month. And we think we did a pretty good job. (Hopefully, you do too.) And now we’re excited for January, and the first 2021 issue of Latitude 38, which hits the streets today!

Mayday! Mayday!

It happened in an instant.

One moment, Niklas Hache was scrambling across the deck of his 22-foot Santana sailboat and the next he was underwater. Fighting the shock from the cold winter water, watching his boat sail away unmanned, Hache found himself adrift in San Francisco Bay.

It was November 22, a sunny afternoon. Hache, a 32-year-old German, had been out for a solo Sunday sail, his third time going out by himself. He spent most of the afternoon in the waters outside the Berkeley Marina, sailing back and forth in mild winter winds. But as the afternoon progressed, clouds gathered in the sky. Around 3 p.m., Hache decided to go back home.

To return to shore, Hache went forward and took down the jib. As he was walking carefully back to the cockpit, the boom swung across the boat, throwing him off balance, and he slipped, going overboard.

“Suddenly, I was in the water,” said Hache. “I just knew — I’m in serious trouble.'”

Hache was living a boater’s worst nightmare: He was separated from his boat, alone in the icy winter water, subject to the Bay’s strong currents and tidal changes.

January Magazine: New Year, New Issue
Niklas Hache at the helm on a better day.
© 2020 Niklas Hache

Sharon Green — The Woman Behind the Lens

Years ago when I first started working at Latitude 38, I was instructed, when out on the water, to take lots of “splashy” and exciting racing pictures (thank you, LaDonna). Sounded simple enough, but real-world experience taught me to truly respect those who are able to capture the sport’s most vivid and dramatic moments. If conditions are good and there’s lots of wind, be prepared to get tossed about the photoboat with reckless abandon (on the bow), spend lots of time cleaning saltwater off your lenses, and keep the camera on the subject matter, focused and ideally composed (try doing this while driving a small dinghy yourself!). At the end of the day, the joy of sifting through 600+ images awaits you so that you can find just a few that meet your editorial needs. It’s challenging work in the best of times.

January Magazine
Sharon Green and her father Donald in front of the Canada’s Cup trophy at Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto.
© 2020 Sharon Green

Krista Swedberg — 131-ft Bark Europa 

On March 27, we set sail down the Beagle Channel and began the longest nonstop voyage that either Europa or I have made. With 19 crew of 12 nationalities, we sailed the ship 10,180 nm in 81 days, along the traditional S-shaped offshore route (with all ports being closed, there was nowhere to stop anyway) — and only had to resort to using the engine once, just west of the Azores.

As a rule, we use the engine as little as possible on Europa, and indeed during this long trip there wouldn’t be a lot of fuel for motoring after planning what the generator would use. The input from the home office was that it would be great PR to sail the whole way, but the ultimate decision was, of course, left with our fearless leader, Captain Eric.

Krista at helm
Krista at the helm of Europa.
© 2020 Krista Swedberg
  • Letters: When You’re Wrong In the Right Kind of Way, Continued; Remembering Captain Rodgers; Catalina Yachts CEO Frank Butler
  • Max Ebb: Like Watching Very Fast-Growing Grass Grow
  • Season Champions Part 2
  • Sightings: ‘Delivery of Viveka’; ‘Alarife Rising’; ‘America’s Cup’; ‘Boatworks 101’
  • World of Chartering: We talk with veteran Andy Schwenk about chartering in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Racing Sheet: EYC’s Jack Frost; TYC’s Wild Turkey; BYC’s December Midwinter; and more
  • Loose Lips, in which we announce December’s Caption Contest(!) winner; and the sailboat owners’ and buyers’ bible, Classy Classifieds

Read online, or grab your copy from your nearest distributor. Not sure where that is? Check our directory here to find your nearest outlet.

If you’re in Sausalito, go see Adlred Chipman at Starbucks Canvas for your new copy of Latitude 38.

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Notice of Racing: 2021 Sailing Season Delivered Today

The new year can’t get here soon enough. Since the whole world is anxiously awaiting 2021, the YRA and Latitude 38 took it upon ourselves to deliver the year a couple of days early. If you’re a YRA member you should have received your 2021 Northern California Sailing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule in your mailbox already, and if you’re not a member, head down to your local Northern California magazine distributor to pick up the new year today.

Notice of Racing: 2021 Sailing Season Delivered Today
Racers know the feeling: The 2021 calendar is over the line early. It is being delivered today, but no penalty turns are required. Keep sailing forward.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

We were a little anxious when we called Laura Paul in August to find out what the YRA was planning to do about racing in 2021. Fortunately, just like the race officers, race committees, clubs, fleets, race chairmen and racers, the YRA wanted to create the future we all want to live in. That meant, despite the obstacles, making plans for a better year ahead. Congratulations are due to all of them. The racing world will unfold however it allows, but without the perseverance and optimism of all race organizers, there wouldn’t be anything on the calendar at all.

The new, 2021 race calendar is packed with events including the Three Bridge Fiasco, California Offshore Race Week, the Transpac, and the  Rolex Big Boat Series, plus midwinters, beer can races, offshore racing and a solid lineup of fun and challenging weekends. We all have to be prepared to tack on the next shift, but with the calendar in hand, you can at least know the direction you want to go. See you on the water.

Sip-and-Puff Sailor Crosses Atlantic with Breath

A few months ago we shared the story of 23-year-old sailor Natasha Lambert, who was preparing to sail across the Atlantic using only her breath. Natasha would sail the 46-ft Nautitech Open Blown Away with a ‘Sip and Puff’ — a device that is operated by sipping and puffing on a straw. According to Yachting Monthly, Natasha, who has quadriplegic athetoid cerebral palsy, left Gran Canaria, Spain, as part of the 2020 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) fleet. And on December 11, the skipper and her crew crossed the finish line in St. Lucia after 18 days, 21 hours and 39 minutes at sea.

Celebrating after Atlantic crossing
It was smiles all ’round after Natasha (third from left) and her crew reached St Lucia.
© 2020 Natasha Lambert/Facebook

Natasha’s father Gary designed and built the first sip-and-puff control system in 2012. The system was initially installed aboard smaller vessels and enabled Natasha to sail around the coast of the British Isles. It was later adapted to fit Blown Away, the largest vessel ever to be controlled by breath. The newest iteration of the sip-and-puff system accommodates two helm positions, links up with steering and sail trim as well as the autopilot, and allows Natasha full access and visibility while controlling the boat.

Blown Away under sail
In preparation for the crossing, Natasha’s family and crew spent August delivering and trialing the vessel on a voyage from their home port to Gran Canaria.
© 2020 Natasha Lambert

The family hopes to produce the Sip and Puff commercially, making it available to any sailor who would benefit from its use. But first they will spend some time in the Caribbean visiting local schools and community groups, teaching them how to use the sip-and-puff system.

Natasha using sip and puff aerial view
Natasha using the Sip and Puff aboard her first boat, Miss Isle Too.
© 2020 Natasha Lambert

Natasha hoped to raise £30,000 during the crossing for three charities:  the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and her own charity, the MissIsle School of Sip Puff Sailing,  which offers sip-and-puff sailing trips to other young people. If you would like to donate you can do so here.

Catching More Than Just The Breeze
Mike Pouliot had the good fortune to be out sailing on the Bay midweek, aboard his Yankee 30 'Emerald'. As an added bonus, he managed to catch a good feed of crabs along the way.
Nonstop Solo Circumnavigation
Whitall Stokes and his Open 50 Sparrow made it around Cape Horn on December 26 in an attempt to sail a singlehanded and nonstop eastabout circumnavigation starting from and returning to San Francisco.
Sponsored Post
We pride ourselves on having the toughest gear on the water that will always stand up to the rigors of the marine environment.
Still Thinking About Sailing
We're never far away from sailing, despite being far from the ocean, high in the mountains and surrounded by fresh snow. The neighbor next door has a Hobie Cat in the back yard, waiting for the spring.
January Events Preview
Midwinter race series continue, with some modifications due to the pandemic. Be on the lookout for late changes due to stay-at-home orders during this surge.