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May 28, 2021

The Veterans for Peace Anti-Nuclear Protest Vessel ‘Golden Rule’ Returns to the Bay

Back in 2018, we wrote of the Golden Rule‘s plans to revisit the Marshall Islands, which were the original focus of their anti-nuclear protests. Once again the 34-foot gaff-rigged Angelman ketch has had to change plans and is now on her way back to the Bay Area with arrival planned under the Golden Gate Bridge on Memorial Day. The Veterans for Peace, who manage the vessel, just sent us the news, bringing us up to date on their recent voyage and future plans.

Golden Rule
The Golden Rule is not big but she’s had an outsized impact.
© 2021 Ann Wright

This press release from the Golden Rule:

After 28 grueling days crossing the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu, the historic anti-nuclear sailboat Golden Rule and crew will arrive in San Francisco Bay on Monday, Memorial Day.

The Golden Rule first sailed from California to Hawai’i 63 years ago, in 1958, on her way to interfere with U.S. atmospheric nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, the site of 67 U.S. nuclear bomb blasts from 1946 to 1958. Under orders from the Atomic Energy Commission, U.S. Coast Guard stopped the boat from leaving Honolulu. The arrest and jailing of the captain and 1958 crew garnered international media attention and increased opposition to nuclear testing and nuclear weapons. Atmospheric nuclear testing was stopped by the U.S., the UK and the Soviet Union in 1963 with the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty.

Veterans For Peace, who owns and manages the Golden Rule, sailed the 34-foot ketch from San Diego to Hawai’i in July 2019, with the intention of proceeding on to the Marshall Islands, the original destination of the 1958 crew. But once again, the Golden Rule’s voyage to the Marshall Islands was stymied. Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Marshall Islands remains closed to international boats.

While in Hawai’i, the Golden Rule team met with members of the Marshall Islands community who live in Hawaii and heard stories of the severe medical problems and forced relocation of residents of several islands that were blown up or severely contaminated with radiation from the U.S. nuclear tests. Twenty-three nuclear tests were conducted by the U.S. on Bikini Atoll, and 44 on or near Enewetak Atoll.

The largest nuclear weapon ever detonated by the United States, the Castle BRAVO test on March 1, 1954, yielded 15 megatons and contaminated the inhabited atolls of Rongelap, Rongerik and Utirik with deadly radioactive fallout.

During the 21 months that the Golden Rule was in Hawai’i, project manager Helen Jaccard and others spoke in over 100 events in communities in all the Hawaiian Islands, except for Ni’ihau, concerning the dangers of nuclear weapons and the growing danger of nuclear war. With its red (tanbark) sails emblazoned with a large peace sign and the logo of Veterans For Peace, the Golden Rule was a familiar sight to many in the Hawaiian islands.

“We are sailing for a nuclear-free world and a peaceful, sustainable future,” said Golden Rule’s Helen Jaccard. “What better way to bring a message of peace and sustainability than this beautiful sailboat, which puts a smile on people’s faces!”

“We have made many friends in Hawai’i, who have shown us how the Hawaiian Islands have been militarized by U.S. bases and continued bombing, causing devastating environmental damage and threatening native Hawaiian culture. This also must end,” said Helen Jaccard.

The Golden Rule crew are: Captain Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa of Hilo, Big Island, Hawai’i, Captain Malinda Anderson of Kona, Big Island, Hawai’i, Michelle Kanoelehue Marsonette of Albany, Oregon, and Nolan Anderson of Seattle, Washington.

The Golden Rule and her four crew members will have been at sea for 28 days and nights. With shifts of four hours on and four hours off, they are sleep-deprived. Upon their arrival, they are looking forward to showers, a good meal, and a long sleep. Their arrival time is projected to be between 10 am and 7 pm on Monday, Memorial Day.

The Golden Rule will remain in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout the summer, before embarking on another epic educational voyage. She will sail the “Great Loop” along the Gulf Coast, around Florida, up the East Coast, through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi River, stopping for events in dozens of communities, often in areas where U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants are located. For more information, or to arrange media interviews, please call Gerry Condon at 206-499-1220, or email him at gerrycondon@veteransforpeace.org. END.

In 2017 Latitude 38  wrote about the Golden Rule and another anti-nuclear protest sailboat, the Phoenix of Hiroshima.

We Now Take a Break from Sailing to Watch Birds Eat

For the last two years, I’ve been using www.sfbayospreys.org as a wind camera to check conditions at Point Isabel. Next to the Red Oak Victory museum ship at the Port of Richmond, the top of a crane is home to a growing family of ospreys.

I obviously should have brought the telephoto lens, but the ospreys’ crane is in the upper right-hand side of the photo, dwarfed by Mount Tam in the background, and as seen from Point Isabel on a light-wind day.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

I remember seeing, but not being terribly impressed by, eggs in the nest a few weeks ago, failing to realize (I guess) that chicks were on the way.

The mama osprey (I presume) was sitting on her eggs on April 11. There often seems to be the odd plastic bag in the nest. “In San Francisco, one osprey pair used ‘caution’ tape to help build their nest!” the Golden Gate Audubon Society said. (P.S.: That’s Brooks Island in the background.)
© 2021 Golden Gate Audubon Society

 

Several sailors from around the Bay have sent us screen shots of any number of cool sailboats transiting past Point Potrero. There were plenty of commercial ships passing by, too, on April 29.
© 2021 Golden Gate Audubon Society

Sure enough, a few weeks later, three chicks were in the nest, and they were hungry.

Top photo: You can just see the squawking heads of the triplets in the middle bottom of the photo. Bottom right photo: A young osprey is (apparently) a bit homely, and looks a little like a miniature dinosaur, or a Muppet, compared to the handsome, regal adults. Photos from May 6.
© 2021 Golden Gate Audubon Society

I couldn’t believe that, in checking the wind, I had caught such an intimate moment between mother and chicks. Suddenly, the osprey cam was like watching the C-SPAN version of a BBC documentary.

“Open wide … Here comes the airplane!” There is part of a fish under Mom’s foot from which she tore out mouthfuls of pink flesh, feeding the young ‘uns fresh Bay-caught sashimi on May 15.
© 2021 Golden Gate Audubon Society

A few days after the feast pictured above, I told a friend what I’d witnessed. He asked to see the cam, and we tuned in exactly as one of the parent ospreys had half a fish in its talons, and began the slow, patient process of mouth-to-mouth feeding the chicks. My friend and I shrieked like ten-year-olds at a zoo’s baby panda exhibit. I’ve since witnessed several other feedings, and have watched the chicks grow. Moments that one expects to see on the cover of a National Geographic are suddenly on tap. Apparently, ospreys eat all of the time.

This shot is from 10:30 this morning, as the osprey family was having breakfast.
© 2021 Golden Gate Audubon Society

If there’s any way you can read this next paragraph in David Attenborough’s voice, please do: Female osprey lay three beige- and brown-speckled eggs between mid-April and late May, and incubation lasts for 38 to 42 days. The eggs do not hatch at the same time, and the first chick may hatch as many as five days before the last, creating a sibling hierarchy. Osprey chicks are full-grown at six weeks and take their first flights from the nest at about 8 to 10 weeks of age, when their mortality rate will be high.

Appeal to Your Sense of Adventure with Our New Nautical Access Powerboating Club

Nautical Access Powerboating Club

Put some fun into your daily grind and join our new exclusive boating club. Enjoy boating on San Francisco Bay without the costs of owning a boat! Members have access to exclusive benefits; including private boating lessons. Join the fun today.

Back for a Day and Already Volunteering

Despite the travel restrictions associated with the pandemic, our ‘Lectronic editor had managed to travel outside the US. While absent, she had been hearing news of home and the hard work being done by volunteers at Spaulding Marine Center. Little did she know that upon her arrival she would be roped into helping build the nonprofit’s fleet of Pelicans.

“Been in town a day and he’s already got you working!” Spaulding’s president, Bell Edinger, commented upon seeing the newest volunteer with paintbrush and pot of epoxy in hand. And he was right. She had been there only 24 hours and was already helping out. But it was for a good cause.

Volunteering
Off the plane and straight to work? What happened to recovering from jet lag?
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Monica

Spaulding Marine Center is building the Pelican sailboats for their upcoming youth camps, and for community sailing.

“We’re getting there,” education director Jay Grant said. “The volunteers we have are excellent, a good crew and very enthusiastic. They’re fun to work with. But we could do with a few more people to help get the job done.”

Here’s a little clip we took of Spaulding’s volunteers working on the Pelicans. As you can see, there is more work to be done.

With summer camps only weeks away, it looks as if our editor may find find herself building Pelicans on weekends. Want to join the fun? She tells us conditions are good and the work is rewarding. You can get onboard here.

Sneaking a Peek at June Races and Regattas

California Offshore Race Week

California Offshore Race Week will start tomorrow with the Spinnaker Cup from San Francisco Bay to Monterey. On Memorial Day, Monterey Peninsula YC will usher the fleet out of Monterey Bay on their way down the coast to Santa Barbara in the Coastal Cup. Participants can enjoy a Wet Wednesday race in Santa Barbara, then complete their dash down the coast to San Diego in the SoCal 300. Fleet members can choose all of the above or just one or two events. Got a really fast boat, like a MOD70? Then the CA 500 is for you. San Francisco to San Diego nonstop sailing out the Golden Gate on June 3.

Also Offshore

The OYRA will continue their 2021 with the Farallones Race on June 5. That same Saturday, the Otter Cup Invitational will take sailors from Monterey to Moss Landing.

On June 19 (coincidentally Summer Sailstice and not coincidentally the Saturday closest to the summer solstice on June 21), the 22nd Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race will depart San Francisco Bay for Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Kauai. Unlike in past decades, this year’s race will start in front of Golden Gate YC instead of the Corinthian.

Morning Star
When the SHTP fleet arrives in Hanalei, this veteran of the 2018 race, Lee Johnson on the Valiant 32 Morning Star, will be among the welcoming committee.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Next up for OYRA racers will be a jaunt down the coast in the Half Moon Bay Race on June 26.

Inshore Regattas

On June 12, Sausalito YC will kick off their Classic Boat Invitational Series for Bear, Bird, Knarr, IOD and Folkboat classes. After losing a year to COVID, the Delta Ditch Run will sail from Richmond to Stockton on June 12. Sign up for $100 by June 6 or $125 thereafter. Entries close at midnight on Wednesday, June 9. The Ditch Run is an official event on the Delta Doo Dah itinerary.

Melges 32 on whitecaps
On June 6 last year, the intended date of the Delta Ditch Run, one Melges 32 and several Moore 24s screamed up the whitecap-frothed San Joaquin River to Stockton.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Although there’ve been few if any takers in recent years, Stockton Sailing Club still offers the South Tower Race — Stockton to San Francisco’s Blackaller Buoy and back (nonstop!) — this year on June 18-20.

Also on June 18-20, South Beach YC and Encinal YC will co-host the PICYA Lipton Cup. For the third year (but not in a row because, well, you know how 2020 went), St. Francis YC will provide their fleet of 10 matched J/22s for one-design competition. The 10 clubs signed up are Berkeley, Encinal, St. Francis, Tahoe, Corinthian, Inverness, Sausalito, San Francisco, South Beach and Richmond YCs.

On June 19-20, St. Francis YC will run the Opti Heavy Weather regatta; on June 25-27 they’ll host the Woodies Invitational.

SFYC’s revived Midnight Moonlight Maritime Marathon will take advantage of the nearly full moon on June 26 for a 34-mile pursuit race to the Carquinez Bridge and back to Raccoon Strait. Register by 6 p.m. on June 23 for $40; $60 afterward. Registrations will close at 2 p.m. on June 25.

On June 26-27, Richmond YC will welcome racer kids for the Bay Area Youth Sailing Summer Regatta.

The local Vanguard 15 fleet will race Round the Island (Treasure Island) in memory of Jeff Knowles the evening of Tuesday, June 29.

Southern California Regattas

The USMRC match-racing series will continue with a qualifier at San Diego YC on June 5-6. SDYC will then host the US Open Sailing Series for Olympic classes and offshore doubles on June 11-13.

Los Angeles YC’s Breakout Series will conclude on June 19.

Find these and scads more worthy regattas and events on our June Calendar, coming out in Latitude 38 on Tuesday, June 1.

Aussie Rower Departing San Francisco, Homeward Bound

We’ve just gotten word from Sean Svendsen, from the Boat Yard at Grand Marina, that an Aussie rower is planning to row from San Francisco to Australia. The rower, whose name we don’t yet know, expects to depart this coming Sunday, and be at sea for at least 200 days.

Aussie rower and Sean Svendson
Sean Svendsen (right) and the Aussie rower. We can only imagine the conversation they were having at the time …
© 2021 Sean Svendson

At this stage that’s all we know. We called the phone number provided but at this stage haven’t heard back.

These rowboats are pretty spacious, considering what they are, but still, there’s a lot of gear to be stowed.
© 2021 Sean Svendson

We know Aussies are sometimes crazy, but 200+ days in a rowboat? Perhaps the lack of airline seats caused him to find an alternative means of transport.

Stay tuned, as we aim to bring you more details next week.

Spaulding Marine Center Is Hiring Sailing Instructors

Spaulding Marine Center sailing instructors

Are you a competent dinghy sailor? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge and skills? We are hiring sailing instructors for our three two-week Summer Camp programs. (Continuing work may be available as we expand and solidify our community programming.)

While some training will be provided, you will ideally have:

  • Previous experience with youth training, summer camps, sailing camps.
  • Dinghy instructor certification
  • Current First Aid/ CPR certification
  • Kayak, small chase boat and woodworking experience is also helpful.

Camps begin on June 14 and continue through to July 30, 2021.

Apply online at www.spauldingcenter.org

Meet the Fleet Preview
The 2021 Baja Ha-Ha received 102 entries in the first six days — the greatest number of boats in the shortest time in the rally's 27-year history.
Decked Out in the Coolest Gear
Share a photo of your dad (preferably on a sailboat) wearing his favorite T-shirt or hat to Latitude 38's Instagram page with #Latitudedads, and to honor dads everywhere, we'll share the photos on 'Lectronic Latitude. We'll even send a few lucky dads a new Latitude 38 T-shirt or hat.