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September 24, 2021

Hurricane Sam Makes Slow Progress in Atlantic

The 2021 hurricane season continues as the newly named Hurricane Sam takes a slow path toward the Caribbean. After being monitored by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as a tropical storm, Sam was upgraded this morning, making it the 18th hurricane this season. The NHC described the hurricane’s current activity as “taking a momentary pause from intensification.” And while Sam doesn’t appear to be in any great hurry at the moment, its projected path could see the weather system crossing the Leeward Islands next week.

According to the latest NHC advisory, at 8:00 a.m. today Sam was situated near 11.8N, 43.7W.

Hurricane Sam location
It may look a long way from any land, but once Hurricane Sam is finished having a rest, its strength is expected to intensify rapidly.
© 2021 Google Maps

The report continues. “Sam is moving just north of due west near 14 mph (22 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue through tonight. A decrease in forward speed and a motion toward the west-northwest are expected over the weekend. Maximum sustained winds remain near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. Rapid intensification is forecast to resume over the next several days and Sam is likely to become a major hurricane on Saturday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles.”

Hurricane forecast graphic
This graph posted by the NHC this morning shows two disturbances (orange) with a 40% chance of evolving into hurricanes in the next five days, and one (yellow) with a 20% chance.
© 2021 National Hurricane Center

Right now we don’t know what is in store for the Leeward Islands, or for any other of the Eastern Seaboard localities, but from the indicators on the current forecast map, there is potential for a couple of tense weeks for our friends in Hurricane Alley.

In the meantime — not to minimize the suffering and tragedy that can result from hurricanes — we did find this very cool image that illustrates the hurricane tracks in the Atlantic, 1851 to 2019.

According to Wikipedia, Hurricane Alley is an area of warm water in the Atlantic Ocean stretching from the west coast of northern Africa to the east coast of Central America and Gulf Coast of the Southern United States.
© 2021 Created by Nilfanion

Wing Sailors Catch Ship to Ride the Endless Summer

While shooting for the recent Rolex Big Boat Series, photographer Sharon Green caught a couple of shots of one of the latest ways wing sailors are riding California’s endless summer. The objective is to line up and snag the bow wave of incoming ship traffic and ride the wave as far as it takes you.

Catch a Ship
David and Goliath go buddy boating.
© 2021 Sharon Green

The wing gets you up on your foiling board, and once you are foilborne you can one-hand the wing and focus on surfing the wave. It doesn’t take much but practice and skill to stay on a wave and surf until the wave runs out. As with any California beach break, you may have to wait your turn to get into the lineup.

Ship surfing
Winging your way to the endless wave.
© 2021 Sharon Green

Then, when you’re done, you just wing your way back to the beach or the next ship coming in the Gate.

If you want to see more about wing sailing, see our earlier story about the exciting new sport that’s storming the Bay.

A Trip We Will Certainly Never Forget

In Latitude 38‘s September issue, Dave Bernard shared memorable moments of a sailing trip “back home” on the south shore of Massachusetts and the ripe summer cruising grounds of southern New England.

As the doldrums of winter 2020 slogged on, the reality of my recent sale of my Hunter Legend Soupy Twist II (don’t ask) set in. Newly boatless, I needed to book a sailing trip! Somehow, the scheduling gods at my employer blessed me with a couple of weeks off from late July into early August. This would be a great time for my wife Krista, my daughter Alyssa and me to visit “back home” — the south shore of Massachusetts and the ripe summer cruising grounds of southern New England.

Swift Yacht Charters has a great mix of privately owned yachts varying from about 32 to 50 feet in various marinas throughout southern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. My biggest desires were modern electronics, a bimini/dodger and a dinghy, and all were met and my expectations exceeded when I booked Winona, a 2019 Jeanneau 419, for seven nights at an excellent price. Quahogs, oysters and lobstah rolls, here we come!

Sailing like a local also means dressing like a local. Capt. Dave Bernard looks appropriately ‘East Coast’ as he takes the helm aboard Winona.
© 2021 Winona Crew

The months and weeks inched toward summer, and it looked as if the COVID debacle was firmly in the rear-view mirror. As we neared the charter date of July 25, Hurricane Elsa crept up the East Coast, dragging what seemed to be the entirety of the moisture in the USA behind her. Halfway through July, Massachusetts had rain nearly every day of the month. Surely with the wet start to the month, we were due for some blue skies! Or not …

The crew also included my sister Jess and brother-in-law Andy, and we were all in good spirits as we motored south along the Sakonnet River toward the Atlantic. Apprehension quickly started to mount as the chop grew larger and more frequent, and the wind fought the outbound current. I assured the crew that once we entered the ocean, we’d be making a 90-degree turn for Cuttyhunk, and the wind and waves would be mostly behind us, making for a “smoother” ride (which wasn’t really an outright lie). We made 7 knots with 20 knots apparent, but the six-foot-plus waves bashing the stern quarter turned the crew a darker shade of green. We toughed out the last 15 miles to Cuttyhunk, with Alyssa taking a motion sickness-induced nap.

Less than two hours later, we glided into Cuttyhunk, the harbor that’s been my desktop screensaver since I booked this trip back in March.

Sailing trip in Cuttyhunk
One of the pleasures of East Coast cruising is having dinner delivered to your boat.
© 2021 Winona Crew

Please continue reading at Latitude

If you want to charter close to home, i.e. right here on San Francisco Bay you can visit our charter page here

A Sailing Photo Collage to Get You Ready for the Weekend

Here at Latitude 38, we consider ourselves to be in the best position as we get to see all the photos that sailors send us of their adventures on the high seas — or as is probably more often the case, on the Bay. But this week we realized it’s likely that many of our readers won’t see all the photos we publish. Why? Because we don’t always publish the same photos in ‘Lectronic or the magazine that we share on our social media feeds, and on our Sailagram page.

So we decided to do a little cross-posting and share with our readers some of the great photos that have, so far, only been shown on our Facebook, Instagram and Sailagram pages.

Latitude‘s racing editor, Chris Weaver, captured this classic San Francisco Bay sailing shot, taken from aboard Merlin in the lead-up to last weekend’s Rolex Big Boat Series (RBBS).
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Now doesn’t this look like a perfect way to spend your day?
© 2021
There was lots of wing action in the recent Ronstan Bridge to Bridge race.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
A perfect wave captured by @twothehorizon during a delivery to the Pacific Northwest.
© 2021 @twothehorizon
This rail crew look as if they’re trying to decide whether to stay aboard or take a swim.
© 2021

We have stacks more photos, but not enough time or space to share them all here. If you’re missing out on the full picture, go check out and follow us on Facebook and on Instagram — @latitude38magazine — for the latest and most up-to-date pics. And be sure to check out the monthly Sailagram photos.

To have your photos featured in Latitude 38, send them to [email protected], and include a little about where and why you were sailing that day, and with whom! And if you want to add your photos to October’s Sailagram, email them to [email protected], and again, add a little about the day!

Your Ears Will Thank You
Hear about what to do if you wipe out or get thrown overboard, how to eat and sleep during the race, debunking sailing superstitions and more.