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April 19, 2021

April Magazine is a Lucky Issue for Tom

Reading is good for you, particularly when it’s a great sailing magazine like Latitude 38 — just ask Tom Porcella. Tom found a Golden Ticket when he picked up his copy of Latitude‘s April issue at Fortman Marina in Alameda.

Lucky April issue
There’s no telling where you might pick up a lucky issue. Even we don’t know!
© 2021 Tom Porcella

Tom has been sailing the Bay since 2000, after taking lessons at Modern Sailing School and Club in Sausalito.

Tom told us, “We joined Tradewinds [Sailing School and Club, Richmond] for a while and got lots of experience in preparation for our honeymoon, bareboat charter in the BVI.”

For several years Tom was “boatless,” and crewed aboard other people’s boats in YRA and beer can races. Then he and his wife bought their Hunter 280 Blue Monday, which they sail out of Fortman Marina.

“My wife enjoys the flat water of the Estuary,” Tom said. “I like to get out with our boat partner to tag the Gate, or cross the Slot. We’re looking forward to our next BVI trip with our teen daughters, who have warmed up to sailing over the past year.”

Tom is going to be the proud wearer of a Latitude 38 T-shirt.

Sailing North from Santa Barbara to San Francisco — the First Time

Last month we shared a story about our illustrious leader’s sail from Santa Barbara to San Francisco. Usually the trip north is a bit of a ‘bash,’ with most who have done it citing the 300 miles as producing the “worst weather” of any trip, ever. However, on this occasion Finistere and her crew endured calm seas and minimal wind. It was such a surprise that in order to learn if others have had the same experience, we asked readers to tell us, “What was your best or worst northbound experience?” and “Where have you hidden out or found protection on your way north?”

David Cohan wrote and told us of two northbound voyages he has experienced, the first in 1986 and the second in 2000. Here’s his description of the first trip.

We’ve made two trips north along the coast after spending time cruising the Channel Islands and beyond. On both trips we experienced conditions similar to yours [aboard Finistere], partially through luck, and partially through patience.

The first trip north was in 1986 aboard Synergy, our Southern Cross 35 cutter, returning from a month-long shakedown cruise the year before our two-year Pacific circumnavigation. As it was just two of us, and we were relatively new to ocean travel (and I suspect you’d agree that the Pacific Coast north of Point Conception qualifies as “ocean”), we decided to do it in day hops only, waiting as needed for either calm or favorable winds.

Synergy was somewhat underpowered, and while we could max out at about 6.5 knots, our consistent cruising speed under power was 5.5 to 6 knots. Even with fairly long late-summer days, this limited us to no more than about 60 to 70 miles between stops. So we stopped at every conceivable spot between Santa Barbara and San Francisco Bay:

1. Coho Anchorage in the lee of Point Conception — which we first learned about from reading Richard [Spindler]’s articles in Latitude 38. Tucking in behind the kelp beds it was very calm, with just a very gentle surge in the prevailing NW winds.
2. Port San Luis — anchored well outside the wharf, but well protected by Port San Luis. Didn’t go ashore, but great display of pelicans diving to feed.
3. Morro Bay — a very short hop, but we wanted to make the next one as short as possible, hence took advantage of the opportunity. We were welcomed at the Morro Bay Yacht Club guest dock.
4. San Simeon Bay — again, well protected from NW winds, a very calm and peaceful anchorage. We spent a layover day to visit Hearst Castle (hitchhiking up).

San Simeon Bay was a well-protected and pleasant anchorage.
© 2021 David Cohan

5. Pfeiffer Cove — your mention of this is what triggered this email. Pfeiffer “Cove” hardly merits the term “Cove.” Unlike Coho, where it was fairly easy to tuck in behind well-defined kelp beds, at Pfeiffer the kelp was almost like a maze, and it took some time, effort, and tension to find our way through to a spot somewhat (barely) protected and shallow enough to anchor, but far enough from the beach for comfort, and with acceptable bottom for anchoring.

Sailing North
This picture shows a bit of how marginal Pfeiffer Cove felt to us. We would avoid it in the future if at all possible.
© 2021 David Cohan

6. Monterey — easy, fun stop, as always. [Yes, we did skip Stillwater Cove, but have been there twice since. A nice anchorage.]
7. Santa Cruz — always room for guests; just raft up a bit deeper.
8. Half Moon Bay — ditto, always room to either anchor, or most often, get a guest slip if desired.
9. Back home to Coyote Point — our then-home marina.

We lucked out, and had either calm or near-calm conditions every day of the trip north in late August and early September. We would have waited if we’d faced significant winds from the northern quadrant, but also had to get back to work, so it was a relief to have an easy, albeit somewhat time-consuming, trip.

We’ll share David and Sharon’s story of their next trip north in an upcoming ‘Lectronic Latitude. In the meantime, there are more answers to the questions posed in our earlier article. You can read those here.

Youth Match Racing World Championship Accepting Applications

Youth Match Racing World Championship

Balboa Yacht Club in Corona del Mar will host the 2021 Youth Match Racing World Championship on August 9-14 in provided Governor’s Cup 22 sloops. To compete, sailors must be under the age of 23 in 2021. The selection process for the American skipper will be by résumé. Up to 12 teams will be invited to compete. Each four-person crew must include at least one female and one male.

Governors Cup 22s racing off Newport Beach
Governor’s Cup 22 keelboats sailing in 2019’s Governor’s Cup Match Race regatta. Sailing for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Nick Egnot-Johnson, Alastair Gifford and Sam Barnett won that 53rd edition. Alan Andrews designed the boats; Bravura Yachts, Inc., built them in 2002.
© 2021 Tom Walker

For the American team:

  • Athletes must be US citizens, or eligible permanent residents with written authorization from World Sailing for an exemption under World Sailing Regulation 24.5.4. (Athlete must hold a valid passport that will not expire for six months after the conclusion of the event.)
  • All athletes shall be under 23 years old on December 31.
  • All athletes shall obtain a World Sailing Sailor ID by registering online at
  • Athletes must attend for the entire duration of the event.
  • Athletes must be a member in good standing with US Sailing.

Applications must be submitted by 10 p.m. PDT on May 1, 2021. Learn more on US Sailing’s website.

Balboa YC last hosted the Worlds in 2017.

Governor’s Cup

Balboa YC will also host the 2021 Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship, on July 26-31.

“After the cancellation of the Cup last year for the first time in 54 years due to COVID concerns and travel restrictions, we look forward to the best ever ‘GovCup’ this year,” said Christine Robertson Gribben, chair of both events.

The club had to cancel the Governer’s Cup in 2020. This year, they’ll allow skippers invited to the 2020 Cup to request an invitation to the 2021 regatta. If invited, they may sail even if they don’t meet the age qualifications. This exception doesn’t include crewmembers, who must still be no more than age 22 on July 31. Only three potential skippers of the 12 invited last year can take advantage of this one-time rule change.

Why is it called the Governor’s Cup? In 1967, when he was the governor of California, Ronald Reagan granted the Deed of Gift to Balboa Yacht Club “for the purpose of encouraging Youth Racing in the State of California and the recognition of the skill and high performance of those men and women under 20 years of age.”

Navigating to Your Next Issue of ‘Latitude 38’

It’s not always easy to find a copy of Latitude 38, despite distribution to about 700 locations from Seattle to San Diego — they might all be gone, or hidden in the back of a shop.

It can also be difficult to buy the product you need. This past weekend we went to pick up some Biobor diesel fuel additive to help keep our new Volvo D2-40 running smoothly. We carefully read the labels on the Biobor options — we swear this is true — before selecting the one for diesel. When we got back to the boat we discovered the label now said ‘Gasoline Treatment!’ How does this happen? Is it because we used to have an Atomic 4? Admittedly there may be other reasons.

There are three choices for fuel conditioners from Biobor
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

We also checked to see if there were still some copies of Latitude 38 available. There were. But to find them, we did have to walk all the way to the back of the store to a difficult-to-find, dead-end hallway. When we ask, West Marine always explains that they put us back there for the same reason 7-11 puts the milk and beer in the back — so people make the journey past all the other products they have available for sale. They are about as far as possible from the sailing hardware section which, if you’re like us, is probably your favorite section.

We understand, but do want to remind you they’re there and the walk is worth it. (This is the ‘real-life,’ analog version of SEO).

Sausalito West Marine
Set your waypoint for dead-end hallway in the back of the West Marine store in Sausalito.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Sausalito West Marine
It’s a long haul but, if you get this far, you’ve found it.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Rather than hunting for your next issue, you can also join our list of subscribers who have Latitude 38 delivered directly to their home. While opening the mail this week we were again happy to see lots of magazine renewals from readers who’d received our ‘Ahoy Mates!’ postcard reminding them that their magazine subscription was about to expire. In another pandemic silver lining, we’ve seen a healthy increase in both first- and third-class subscribers as readers have chosen to drive less and have the magazine delivered once a month to their mailbox.

Subscribers get 12 issues a year and one postcard!

Latitude 38 Subscription Reminder
We found lots of subscription renewals when opening the mail at the office.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

We do whatever we can to make it easy for you to find your next issue. If you’re a sailor, they should be close by wherever you sail. You can find them at your harbormaster’s office, the boatyard, sailing schools, yacht brokerages, yacht clubs, chandlers* and any California marine business.

If you can’t find one at a California marine business near you let us know here. If you’re lucky you might also be our next Golden Ticket winner, like Tom Porcella in today’s ‘Lectronic Latitude.

Lucky April issue
Tom found his copy, and a Latitude 38 T-shirt!
© 2021 Tom Porcella

*Did you know? As we typed in the word ‘chandlers’ we were reminded that the word is less common now, and we wondered about its roots. According to Wikipedia, “A chandlery was originally the office in a wealthy medieval household responsible for wax and candles, as well as the room in which the candles were kept. It could be headed by a chandler. The office was subordinated to the kitchen, and only existed as a separate office in larger households.” It no longer has anything to do with candles, and changed as chandlers became businesses handling candles, oils and soaps, and eventually became ships’ chandlers for businesses that specialized in the marine trade. Eventually chandleries only referred to the marine trade, so ‘ship’ was dropped and all chandlers were now marine stores. Finally, in California, they all became places where you could pick up a copy of Latitude 38 along with your marine supplies.

Do you still use the word chandlery, or do you say I’m headed to the marine store?

Pier 39 Is Hiring

We’re looking for a Marina Office Administrator:

The perfect applicant has accounting/bookkeeping knowledge, Office 365, organizational and multitasking abilities, customer service/people skills, no small degree of patience for dumb questions, and a love of boating and boaters. Position will include one weekend day. We offer great benefits, a diverse and friendly team, and breathtaking views.

Click the link to see the full requirements!

What is in Those Purple Bags?
Ruth and Marvin were looking for a new place to have dinner one night and came across Ana Bananas. Here they found 47 Crown Royal pouches said to contain the ashes of their deceased owners.