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November 3, 2021

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Owl Harbor’s Halloween

Anyone who has sailed to Owl Harbor Marina knows it is a magical place. This last weekend the marina transformed into a whole other world — the land of Oz. Those who berth at Owl Harbor, or have been lucky enough to visit during one of their parties, know that marina owner Devery pulls out all the stops. And this Halloween was no exception. After a one-year hiatus, their annual Halloween Party was back, and better than ever.

Owl Harbor Halloween
Follow the yellow brick road to the party.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
Owl Harbor Halloween
Devery as Glinda the Good Witch, and her cast of Wizard of Oz characters.
© 2021 Owl Harbor

The Owl Harbor crew typically dress in theme, and this year it was down the yellow brick road with the Wizard of Oz, complete with a skit to kick off the party, which you can watch on their Facebook page. The party was complete with great food, plenty of treats, games, contests, and lots of great costumes, including nearly every dog that was in attendance.

Owl Harbor Halloween
The Halloween spread at Owl Harbor.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
Owl Harbor Halloween
Nearly everyone who attended the party was dressed in costume, including the dogs.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki

Did your marina or sailing community do something fun for Halloween? Send us your photos to be included in the next edition of Sailagram to photos@latitude38.com.

It’s Time for Some Sailing ‘Good Jibes’ with Willie McBride

This week’s Good Jibes host, Ryan Foland, is joined by Willie McBride to chat about parallels between kite foiling and traditional sailing. Willie is an Olympic coach and the CEO of the Kite Foil League. He started sailing competitively at age 10 and still enjoys racing and kite foiling to this day. Hear how to get started kite foiling, what to focus on in the moment, lessons you can apply to sailing, what the kite foiling community is like, and the time Willie narrowly avoided a giant container ship.

Good Jibes promo pic
Foiling is becoming popular. Hear what Willie McBride has to say about the sport.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Good Jibes Archives

This episode covers everything from the Olympics to kite foiling basics. Here’s a sample of what went on in this episode:

  • What is a 29er?
  • Is Willie someone who goes for the more intense situations?
  • What is the right nomenclature for kite foiling?
  • Is kite foiling considered sailing?
  • What inspired Willie’s switch to kite foiling?
  • Do yacht clubs play nicely with kite foiling?
  • How is kite foiling family-oriented?
  • Tack or Jibe: Europe or West Coast kite foiling?

Check out the episode and show notes for more detail.

You can listen to this and previous episodes on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots — follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

Good Jibes is brought to you by the Safe Boating Campaign, in partnership with the National Safe Boating Council and US Coast Guard. Learn more at SafeBoatingCampaign.com.

Potter Yachters Ghost the Delta on Halloween

This year’s Halloween was a fun opportunity for sailors around the Bay to get onto the water for some spooky sailing. Goose Gossman sent us a few photos and a rundown of the Potter Yachters‘ gathering in the Delta for some ghostly sailing. 

We had eight sailboats and three motorboats attend our last sail of the year, sailing out of Rio Vista and overnighting at Delta Marina’s guest dock.

Halloween sail in Delta
Jon Barber(left) and Goose Gossman enjoy the peace of the Delta — before the ghouls come out to play.
© 2021 Rob Sampson

This sail was hosted by Bud Kerner aboard 1967 P14 Splash. He just turned 85, and lives in the big senior development in Rio, as do several other Potter Yachters. I was aboard Gale, my modified 14-ft Potter, for the first time in about five years … and had to bend myself in ways I’ve forgotten I could do after moving up to the larger Potter 18, then a huge Nimble 25. Dressing took a bit of forethought, but making coffee was still a breeze.

Larry Tkach on Monty 15 heads upwind and downriver.
© 2021 Goose Gossman

Jeff from Seattle showed up with a hand-powered coffee grinder aboard his San Juan 21, which he’s sailed for 37 years, so he’s got her pretty well sorted out. We micro-cruisers still like the good life, and the Potter Yachters know how to get the most out of our small spaces.

Bruce and Janet Dalen aboard Patience, and Constantinos Laliotitis in the background, enjoy the perfect day aboard their P15s.
© 2021 Goose Gossman

We had absolutely stellar sailing conditions on Saturday, which turned into the “Halloween Ghost Sail” on Sunday. Other than a few fishing boats, we had the whole waterway to ourselves. The glassy water was surreal, with lots of flotsam to look out for, and invasive weeds in the shallows. We usually like to go under a few bridges, but this year conditions made staying close to port the right call, so we circumnavigated Decker Island.

Bud Kerner ‘potters’ about in glassed-off conditions.
© 2021 Goose Gossman

Rio Vista has a brand-new launch ramp, which is a short walk to some good breakfast joints. We ate at the Point Restaurant for dinners, and were very happy. Unfortunately, on Sunday morning there was a sunken cruiser tied to the public dock, abandoned and leaking gas into the water. The fire department showed up en masse, though we weren’t around to see how the situation resolved.

It was a fine ending for another strange COVID-infused sailing season. Regards, Goose.

If you’ve been out sailing and enjoying the fine, or other, weather, send us your photos and a rundown of your day or weekend on the water: editorial@latitude38.com.

Expired Marine Flare Collection for East Contra Costa and Alameda Counties

Boat owners in East Contra Costa County and Alameda County will have an opportunity to dispose of expired marine flares on Sunday, November 14.

Marine Flares
Need to dispose of expired marine flares? Flare collection event on Sunday, November 14.
© 2021 Vivian Matuk

East Contra Costa County boat owners can drop off old marine flares from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 2550 Pittsburg-Antioch Highway, Pittsburg. Alameda County boat owners can drop off their flares from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. by making an appointment online at www.stopwaste.org/marineflares. The drop-off location will be shared in the confirmation email. Proof of residency or marina berth is required.

As an added incentive to support boating safety and the environment, qualified residents and owners of recreational vessels who moor in East Contra Costa County (Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley, and Pittsburg) and Alameda County will receive a free US Coast Guard-approved eVDSD by Sirius Signal. The eVDSDs will be available while supplies last. Also offered is a free CA Boater Kit with green boating products, boating discount coupons and more.

Sirius Signal eVDSDs
Electronic Visual Distress Signals will be given to boaters at the November 14 flare collection events.
© 2021

Only recreational boat marine-signaling devices such as handheld flares, aerial signals and smoke signals will be accepted. This excludes flares from commercial vessels, military, businesses or organizations. Those dropping off flares must wear a mask and remain in their vehicles while expired flares will be unloaded from an unlocked trunk or back cargo space. For more information call (800) 606-6606.

Marine flares are required to be carried aboard recreational boats for emergency signaling. However, because they expire 42 months after manufacture, they need to be replaced about every three seasons of boating. A 2012 study found that every year California boaters generate 174,000 pyrotechnic marine flares, an explosive hazardous waste that contains toxic chemicals such as perchlorate. There are currently only two collection sites in California that will accept and dispose of outdated flares, presenting a safety hazard and disposal challenge.

The events are offered by Alameda County, Delta Diablo, and the California Product Stewardship Council in partnership with CalRecycle, California State Parks and the California Coastal Commission California Boating Clean and Green Program and the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water.

Mexico Here We Come!
The Baja Ha-Ha fleet was ready to rock as they gathered for the skippers' meeting and costume kick-off party prior to Monday's departure for Cabo.
A Question about Life on the Water
Laws about anchoring out have long been on the books, but have gone unenforced, and the reality on the water and in shoreside communities has remained in a kind of stasis, some would say a quagmire.