Today is the day — Latitude 38′s May issue has hit the docks. Where will you get your copy?
Which means Jay Fowler at Whale Point Marine in Point Richmond should also have a stack by now. But if you’re nowhere near Richmond, you could pick up your issue at any one of our Bay Area distributors. Check out the map for your best location.
Here’s a preview of what’s inside the May issue.
Nate first fell in love with the small boat when, as a 17-year-old, he joined the WoodenBoat School’s ‘Fundamentals of Boatbuilding’ course. “At the end of the afternoon, you go down to their waterfront and go sailing in your choice of wonderful wooden boats. One of the boats was a Biscayne Bay 14. Some boats just put a smile on your face, and this is one of them.” By the end of the course, Nate had bought the plans, not knowing that he would tuck them away for over 25 years …
Variety Is the Spice
Do you look in your pantry and see row after row of peas, corn, green beans and SpaghettiOs? Hey, I’m not judging SpaghettiOs. People like what they like. But the point is, a lack of variety in the pantry can make for boring and uninspiring meals that make cooking a chore.
It’s not often that these big sleds meet on the starting line, so all eyes were on the lookout to see who would outperform whom well before the start signal even went off. To the delight of all, there was good pressure at the start, and indications were that it would hold deep into Baja California on the way to Cabo.
Plus you’ll find all your favorite regular pages: Letters, Max Ebb, Racing Sheet, Sightings and more. And don’t forget everyone’s favorite pages, the sailboat owners and buyers’ bible, Classy Classifieds
The Baja Ha-Ha Grand Poobah wrote up a variety of options available for leg one on the Baja Ha-Ha website, which we share here for anyone planning to join the Ha-Ha and head south this fall.
There are three legs in the Ha-Ha — the 750-mile cruiser’s rally — the 27th edition of which starts on November 1. Although 90% of the over 3,000 boats that have done the Ha-Ha sail straight from San Diego to Turtle Bay, there are more options on that leg than on the 240-mile second leg and the 175-mile third leg.
One option, which has always been fully supported by the Grand Poobah, is to start from Ensenada. That shortens the first leg by about 60 miles. And it doesn’t mean you have to miss the traditional Ha-Ha Halloween Kick-Off Party in San Diego.
There are a number of anchorages between San Diego and Turtle Bay that offer fine protection from the normal northwesterlies. Each year a few boats decide to stop at one of these to catch up on sleep. One year, I think it was 2009, there was a threat of winds to 35 knots and big seas, so the mothership, Profligate, and about 80 other boats pulled into Colnett or other anchorages for protection. It was lovely.
One year two boats went quite a bit out of the way to stop at Guadelupe Island. There’s not a lot to see at that barren island — unless you go underwater and look for great white sharks.
Each year participants ask if we go inside or outside Cedros Island. It all depends on the weather and our whimsy.
We’ve gone to the east of the island, we’ve gone to the west of the island, and we’ve spent the night anchored there. We’ve even gone far to the west between the Benitos after a stop at the lighthouse. Other participants have done each of these also.
If it makes a difference to you, you can pick up decent internet near Cedros Village on the east side of the island. One reason to stay well offshore of Cedros is kelp. There are thick forests of it just to the south of the island and all the way to Turtle Bay. Fish traps, too.
While Isla Natividad is noted for surf, there’s no good place to anchor. If you’re careful, you can pass between Natividad and Punta Eugenia on the mainland. We’ve done it twice, and both times we got hung up on fish traps. We probably won’t do that again anytime soon.
The weather on the first leg isn’t as predictable as on the second leg or the remarkably consistent third leg.
The start of the first leg is usually quite consistent, with a close reach from Point Loma under either white sails or a chute, and a nice afternoon breeze that tends to get very light at night. You might find a breeze through the night if you get offshore. And it can be damp.
The next 300 miles are less predictable. Some boats have reported brief spells of wind over 30 knots, but most times the fleet wishes for more wind.
No matter if it’s light or breezy on the remainder of the first leg, the wind will be out of the north or northwest. None of that sailing-to-weather nonsense for the Ha-Ha.
Naturally, the Ha-Ha has little control over the weather, so even the consistent patterns can’t be guaranteed.
Some boats stay inshore, some sail a straight line, and others go far offshore. Most boats will always be in sight of other boats, which is fun.
The farther south you get, the warmer it gets, and there is usually less fog. Passing the south end of Cedros, about 50 miles from Turtle Bay, is like the border between Northern California and Southern California at Point Conception. The weather totally changes for the better — meaning warmer.
While it’s up to every skipper to decide whether to enter Turtle Bay at night, we’re not sure anyone has ever waited for morning. The entrance is pretty wide, GPS and charts are good, and if you wait just a bit, you can follow the parade of experienced skippers in. And there’s room for 1,000 boats to anchor.
2021 Baja Ha-Ha entries are scheduled to open on May 6.
The innovative Walder boom brake — active safety at sea www.boom-brake-walder.com
Already tired of the San Francisco fog, and it’s not even May yet? Latitude 38’s Delta Bureau recorded a high temperature of 93° yesterday! Delta Doo Dah regular Dave Cowell sails out of Owl Harbor Marina in Isleton. He took his Islander 30 Mas Tiempo out for a little overnight cruise on Wednesday evening. “Although winds were light, there was quite a flood tide. I ended up over at the Bedrooms on Potato Slough. To my surprise there wasn’t another boat in sight! Calm this morning, and I motored back to Owl Harbor.” Dave plans to sail in the Delta Ditch Run from Richmond Yacht Club to Stockton Sailing Club. “If only I can find a crew. Unlike last year, I hope to use the boat a bit this summer.”
May 4 Kickoff
We created the Delta Doo Dah with the idea of getting sailors to use their boats and to visit the usually uncrowded waterways and destinations in the sunny Delta. Delta Doo Dah Lucky 13 has been accepting free online entries since St. Patrick’s Day, but this year’s rally will kick off for real (but virtually) on Tuesday, May 4. That’s when we’ll host (via Zoom) our Kickoff event. (It will be up to each of you in your respective homes or boats to make it a ‘party’).
The main feature of the evening will be Craig and Ann Perez’s Delta Cruising Seminar. Members of Richmond YC (Craig was commodore in 2015), the Perezes have been cruising the Delta for 20 years with their Express 34 Marrakesh.
- Planning Your Departure
- Length of Cruise
- Stopovers and Anchorages
- Inflatables and Small Engines
- Cooking and Refrigeration
- Waste Water and Storage
- Water Toys
This seminar will be especially useful to first-timers, but we encourage everyone to participate. We always pick up new tips and ideas, and cruisers with experience will be invited to share morsels of knowledge with the fleet. There’ll be time for questions too. We’ll also talk more about this year’s plans.
Guest experts will be on hand, including Bill Wells, commodore of the Delta Chambers and Delta scribe for Bay & Delta Yachtsman. And, what would a Doo Dah Kickoff be without door prizes? You must ‘attend’ the Kickoff for a chance to win a prize.
The official event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m., but we’ll begin checking in Doo Dah’ers as early as 5:30. If you check in before the seminar portion begins, we’ll invite you to introduce yourself and say a bit about your boat and your plans. But join in whenever you can — we realize that there are people out there who actually have to drive home from a workplace in order to begin their evenings!
To be invited to the Kickoff and receive your Zoom link, sign up for the Delta Doo Dah at www.deltadoodah.com before noon on Tuesday. You’ll also find more details about the rally there. As of this morning, 67 boats had entered.
Local adventurer/entrepreneur Cyril Derreumaux is preparing to paddle his kayak, solo and unsupported, across the Pacific — a journey that will take him from San Francisco to Honolulu, HI. The 43-year-old father of two plans to begin his 2,400 nm/70-day journey on May 30, 2021. “During that ocean crossing, I will be solo; living and paddling on my own the whole way,” Cyril writes on his website.
Cyril has an impressive ocean résumé, which is helping him prepare for this next challenge. In June 2016 he and three teammates entered the Great Pacific Race — 2,400 nm of ocean rowing from California to Hawaii. They came in first and earned themselves a Guinness World Record for completing the row in 39 days, 9 hours and 56 minutes. This time, however, Cyril is traveling alone and in a kayak instead of a row boat. The kayak, named Valentine, is a 23-ft cabin-style ocean kayak built from a carbon and epoxy composite, making it very light, but also very strong.
Cyril expects his first 15 days at sea to be the hardest. He will face “seasickness, sleep deprivation, new food, new pace of paddling, etc.” His schedule for a typical day will run like this: “Wake up, breakfast. Start paddling at sunrise for four to five hours. Break for lunch. Another paddling session of four to five hours. Maybe more if conditions are good. Sunset, prepare for the night. Wake up every two hours during the night to check on the boat.” His meals will consist mostly of freeze-dried and dehydrated food and high-calorie bars (Cyril estimates he will eat approximately 6,000 calories per day, but will burn 8,000, resulting in a weight loss of around 20 to 25 pounds). Water will be produced using an onboard watermaker. And each day he will start over, until he reaches Hawaii.
A big part of Cyril’s motivation is to raise awareness of the Sausalito-based nonprofit Ocean Voyages Institute, “Because I’m tired of any kind of trash in our oceans.”
You can learn more about Cyril’s voyage and past oceangoing challenges at his website, Solo & Unsupported Kayak to Hawaii.
Did you get out sailing in April? It has been an incredible spring for many sailors. This month’s Sailagram feed is full of photos submitted by our readers, the real sailors who make our community so amazing.