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April 2, 2021

Searching for an Old Flame, ‘Kate II’

Kimball Livingston, a recent commodore of St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, has asked us to help find his old flame, Kate II ….

Kate II took a lot of kids sailing while she was the flagship of St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC), and she made me a happy skipper.

Now I’ve lost track of Kate, and I can rest easier if I just kinda sorta know where she is and how she’s getting along.

Find me, please, on Facebook, or leave a message at reception at StFYC. Not every old girl has tales of winning the 1960 Swiftsure. She’s a goer in 4 knots or 40. — Kimball Livingston.

Kate II beneath Bridge
Have you seen Kate II, or do you know her current location?
© 2021 Kimball Livingston

A Fortunate Ending to a Soggy Pizza Lunch

Robert and Cappy Larson were enjoying a pizza lunch at Angel Island when things suddenly got a little soggy. Robert wrote us with this story.

First, thanks to KKMI for the haulout a couple of weeks ago at midnight. The encapsulated keel of our Gulfstar 37 Wanderlust was breached by a mooring chain at Angel Island (think chainsaw). Without the Coast Guard arriving in five minutes, Vessel Assist taking over 45 minutes later and towing us to Richmond, and KKMI hauling at midnight … it would have been a different story. We were lucky.

Wanderlust in sling
Better out than in when you have a leak.
© 2021 Robert & Cappy larson

We’ve been to, and moored at, Angel Island many times. We were prepared with two Hook & Moors, at both bow and stern. Our stern line was a “temporary” floating line to help keep it out of our prop. We typically get into place and swap out the floating line for a regular three-strand line. Have done this many times.

It was one of those awful-wind, awful-current, and falling-tide days (we draw 4ft 9in). Despite the conditions, we first docked to pay our fee. That took a while (wish there were a way to pay remotely and not dock, then moor). Next, out to the moorings. It took us a couple of tries, but we finally were connected fore and aft, but could not get ourselves centered between our two mooring balls. We carry long lines and were pushed toward our starboard so far that we had the adjacent mooring ball at our side, but couldn’t budge the boat. I figured we’d wait for the conditions to settle down and the tide to rise and we’d be fine.

Apparently the chain from the ball to our side was diagonal behind our keel. We didn’t hear any untoward noises other than the ball banging on our starboard topsides. The boat was messy from a COVID year of non-use, so I figured I’d add that to the cleanup list.

Damaged bow pizza-lunch
It’s amazing how much pressure there can be on a mooring ball — and the unexpected damage that can occur.
© 2021 Robert & Cappy Larson

We started the oven and heated a pizza, and while I took my first bite I felt rising water on my foot. Checked all thru-hulls, turned our washdown pump into an additional bilge pump, called the Coast Guard …. If the Coast Guard had not responded within five minutes, it would have ended much differently.

Repainted keel
Hopefully the next pizza lunch at Angel Island will be more successful.
© 2021 Robert and Cappy Larson

The repairs on the keel are made, but we’re awaiting a new starter, which apparently gave itself up to a watery death. Back to sailing in a few more days.


Talking About February’s Barra de Navidad Cruise-in Week

This is the second year that John Ryan and Elinore Craig of the Island Packet 380 Nakamal and John Schulthess and Monique Boucher of Baja Fog have been in Barra de Navidad and participated in Cruise-In Week and Fiesta de Veleros together. (It’s Nakamal‘s third year).

Cruise-In Week is usually full of events arranged around the boaters to encourage people to come to Barra. The Fiesta is a series of land-based events to encourage people (mostly snowbirds) to have fun and donate money for the local schools. The two events usually merge on Friday of that week, when boaters volunteer their time and effort to take paying customers out on sailboat rides around the bay, relaxing and sometimes spotting whales playing. It’s a huge fundraiser for the local schools — last year the boat trips alone raised almost $5,000 to split among three local schools.

Cruise-in Week
Cruisers helping at a local school.
© 2021 Linda Bello Ruiz

In Mexico, the government builds the schools and, after they are open, provides enough funding to pay the teachers and utilities. However, ongoing maintenance and improvements are the responsibility of the community and the occasional municipal (county) grant. Want to buy, replace or upgrade computers? Need electricity rewired? Want a shade cover for the outside play area, or new toilets in the bathrooms? Fresh coat of paint? Tools for the groundskeeper? Need to fix drainage to keep the classrooms from flooding during summer’s rainy season? All that and more are the responsibility of the community, and why the donations are so important.

Cruisers, especially those of us who come down every year or stay here year-round, are grateful to the Mexican communities that share their country and hospitality with us. Events like this are one way we can give back. However, just like everything else everywhere in the world, Cruise-In Week 2021 (Pandemic Version) promised to be different.

In December, we didn’t think we could do any fundraising at all due to COVID restrictions preventing large gatherings, plus so many snowbirds aren’t even here this year. So, Baja Fog floated the idea of a sailboat race, and once we figured out how we could have folks bet on boats and make money on it, we were off with ideas and no clue as to how, or even if, it would be successful.

Please go to April’s Latitude 38 to continue reading.


Looking for a Fresh Seaweed Salad?

Randall von Wedel was helping out a friend aboard his boat, which had been COVID-idled for a year. Before trying it out they went to clean out the strainer and the water intake for the heat exchanger, and were lucky to find the weed pictured below. This was out of the strainer, but Randall also took the icy, wetsuit-free plunge into the Bay to clear out the intake so any growth from the past year could be removed before starting the engine.

Seaweed Salad
It always makes sense to check your filters.
© 2021 Randall von Wedel

Water intake, fuel filters, oil filters, and water filters are all there to prevent problems. But if you don’t check them and change them they’re not much help at all. Once started, the engine purred, and a check of the water coming out the exhaust let them know all was well. Of course, if you sail a Laser you don’t have to worry about any of this.


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