Today is December 1, and that means the December issue of Latitude 38 is on its way to you, right now! Maybe you already have your copy, or maybe you’ve been reading it online. Either way, it’s go time. Our drivers have been up since before the crack of dawn, as dawn arrives rather late at this time of year, and filling their vans with bundles of magazines, just for you — just like Santa filing his sleigh with goodies and toys. The best part is that we don’t keep a list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice; we’re happy to share the magazine with everyone! (Although we do hope you’ve all been nice, and if naughty, not terribly naughty.)
It seems this pair of sailors are gaining celebrity status. Last week they were the roving reporters who got the scoop on the boat fire in Petaluma. What will they get up to next?
Speaking of celebrities, in the December issue we bring you a story about Alex Blue and Brady Trautman, who have transitioned from the legendary YouTube juggernaut SV Delos to the creation of their new Northern California sailing school, Cruisers Academy.
“Sailing is a great filter,” said Alex Blue at the start of the conversation. “I feel like anyone I’ve met who’s interested in sailing also loves the outdoors, and they’re interested in learning more about the world and how to be more self-sufficient. A certain type of person is drawn to that, so everyone’s always awesome.”
Blue said the idea for a sailing school, and empowering people to get out on the water, had been brewing while she and Brady were still aboard Delos — but they had originally envisioned some kind of ocean voyaging school. “The plan was to teach people to sail across oceans,” Brady said. “We had no plans to move to Tahoe and start a sailing school.” But COVID made the couple take a detour. They spent many snowy days in their Tahoe condo developing a business plan and curriculum for what would become the Tahoe chapter of Cruisers Academy. They eventually built up a fleet of four Catalina 22s, and were teaching basic keelboat sailing.
But that dream of a bigger boat and blue water remained. Brady and Blue had been hinting at a “special boat” that they’d had their eye on. They had a fortuitous connection with a passionate Bay Area sailor and craftsman named Justin, who’d spent more than a decade restoring the now-glistening 1980 Passport 42 Lintika, based in Sausalito.
Also inside this month’s magazine …
This year’s overall sailing conditions for the 750-mile course from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas were the best in recent memory. Pat Williams, crew on the Ericson 38 Peregrine Spirit, said this was the most he’s flown a chute on the eight Ha-Ha’s he’s done. And if Myron Eisenzimmer of the San Geronimo-based Swan 44 Mykonos had known the wind was going to be this good for his and his wife Marina’s 12th Ha-Ha, he might not have dropped a bundle on a new engine so soon.
Fifty-one boats sailed the entire first leg, nine sailed all of the second leg, and 27 sailed the entire last leg. The seven ‘Soul Sailors’ who sailed all of all three legs were Elliot James with the Tiburon-based Mancebo 31 Bloom County; Robert Day of Newport Beach with the X Yachts AP44 Day Dreams on his fourth Ha-Ha; Andrew and Laura Park of Lake Oswego, OR, on the Jeanneau SO 440 Ever After; Scott Sibbald and Joanne Pilkington of Carson City on their Bavaria 46 Fundango; Sandra and Lawrence Blanchette of Walnut Creek on their Catalina 42 Lady Kate; Naomi Neville and Jeff Rothermel of Manhattan Beach, who did the Ha-Ha 17 years ago with their Aerodyne 38 Wilderness, and did it this year with their two daughters; and Assistant Poobah Patsy Verhoeven of La Paz on her Gulfstar 50 Talion, who has sailed every leg of all 15 Ha-Ha’s she’s done.
The pages of Latitude 38 are often filled with rambunctious adventures, competitive races and other dramatic aspects of sailing. However, we never forget how much we enjoy the simple pleasures and adventures that can come from sailing with friends close to home. Al Fricke wrote up this recent tale with a wink and a smile about a local cruise with his regular sailing fleet.
The Plan, concocted over the course of several of our weekly Salty Swabs and Sailors Zoom meetings, was to sail three boats to Fort Ross Cove, with stops at Drake’s, Tomales, and Bodega bays. We’d spend the first night, October 5, in Horseshoe Cove and ride the morning ebb to get a good start. Jubilee promised to catch a salmon big enough to feed the fleet on the way up. There would be complicated exchanges of crew in Tomales and Bodega Bay. The Boats: O’Neil’s 1984 Ericson 38 Lagniappe, Pate’s 1984 Endeavor 38 Trilogy, and Al’s 2000 Catalina 36 Jubilee.
Average age of the nine regular members of the Salty Swabs and Sailors group is a sprightly 80. All have sailed as crew or owners in many parts of the world. Trilogy sailed in the 1996 Baja Ha-Ha. Several of us have done Ha-Ha’s on other boats. Jubilee even did a SoCal Ta-Ta a while back.
Read the December issue for all your regular favorites:
- Letters: Where Have All the Sailing Instructors Gone?; The Loss of Léviathan; Are You Nostalgic For a Small Boat From Your Past?; and many more …
- Max Ebb: Drag for Poor People
- Sightings: Sailing Books for Holiday Gifts; The Comforts of Sitting with Webb Chiles; A Dust-up with the Coast Guard; plus other stories.
- World Of Chartering: Bay Area sailor Bill Crowley has taken six trips chartering in the BVI.
- Racing Sheet: J/105 North Americans; Great Fun at the Great Pumpkin; Halloween Regatta in SoCal; and more stories.
- Loose Lips, in which we announce November’s Caption Contest(!) winner.
- The sailboat owners and buyers’ bible, Classy Classifieds.
If you’ve subscribed to Latitude 38, you should receive your December issue in the mail any minute now. If you haven’t subscribed you’re missing out. But, you can pick up your copy from your favorite distributor.
Welcome back to Good Jibes, episode #17. This week listen in as Nicki Bennett and Kayleen VanderRee chat about sailing, snowboarding, and building adventure communities. Kayleen is a lifelong sailor from British Columbia who first sailed to Mexico when she was 15.
Hear how to merge your passions for sailing and snowboarding, learn the engine and electrical system of your boat, cultivate a community around shared passions, find a sailing mentor, and live aboard your boat.
This episode covers everything from the technical side of sailing to posting your journeys on YouTube. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:
- How has Kayleen learned the engine and electrical systems?
- When did she decide she wanted to get her own boat?
- How did she get into commercial diving?
- What snowboarding and sailing expeditions has she done in recent years?
- How do you cultivate community around shared passions?
- What’s involved in getting started sailing from scratch?
- Tack or Jibe: What is something Kayleen couldn’t live without as a liveaboard?
Check out the episode and show notes below for much more detail.
Learn more about Kayleen on Instagram at @FromSnowToSail.
SailGP fans can now buy early-bird tickets for the United States Sail Grand Prix in San Francisco on March 26-27 — just in time for holiday shopping. San Francisco Bay will host the $1 million Grand Final at the conclusion of the professional sailing league’s Season 2. The tickets now on sale offer a 15% early-bird discount. The discount will end on January 27.
After nearly three years of waiting, SailGP is finally returning to American shores with eight identical F50s. The flying catamarans will battle for the right to compete in the final race of SailGP Season 2. A $1 million champion will emerge from that final race.
The United States team, led by two-time America’s Cup winner Jimmy Spithill, will be among those seeking a berth in that final race. The American team currently sits in second place in the overall standings — just one point out of the top spot.
Those of us fortunate enough to call these waters home may not even realize how widely regarded San Francisco Bay is as one of the best racing venues in the world. We just take it for granted! Hopefully, the winds of spring will deliver two days of thrilling racing just off the Marina Green, allowing spectators unimpeded views of the competition from the SailGP race village.
Ticket options are available to satisfy various spectator desires. Race-village packages feature beer gardens, tiered seating and on-site commentary. The Red and White Fleet will provide the official on-the-water fan experience.
For information on the full Season 2 calendar and the US SailGP Team, visit SailGP.com. Look for their ad in the 2022 Northern California Sailing Calendar, coming out on December 30.
The month of December is relatively quiet for stand-alone races, but this month more midwinter series join the list that started racing in November.
For Big Boats
For Small Boats
Richmond YC’s Small Boat Midwinters will kick off on Sunday, December 5.
Lake Merritt Sailing Club’s Robinson Midwinter Series for dinghies will begin on Saturday, December 11. Contact the club’s commodore, Gary Hartsock, at (510) 653-1743 for more info. (The club, based on the shores of Oakland’s Lake Merritt, has no website.)
For Armchair Sailors
Learn About Weather and More
Island Yacht Club is offering a monthly four-session Weather, Tides & Instrumentation webinar series this winter, on Mondays via Zoom at 7 p.m. Pacific Time. Classes are $25 each, or all four for $80 ($40 for IYC members and IYC Women’s Sailing Seminar students and instructors).
The classes are:
- December 6: Weather Smarts for Beyond the Bay Area, with Behan and Jamie Gifford, Sailing Totem.
- January 10: Local Weather on the Bay, with Rick Whiting.
- February 7: Tides and Currents in the San Francisco Bay, Kame Richards, Pineapple Sails.
- March 14: What’s New & What’s Working in Weather Instrumentation, Martin Spizman, Davis Instruments.
IYC will donate 25% of the fees to a marine nonprofit of each speaker’s choice.
Watch Other People Sail
Our favorite event to watch onscreen in December is the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The race starts in Sydney Harbour at 1 p.m. AEDT on Boxing Day; the timing is perfect for a break from the festivities of Christmas Day here on the West Coast of the USA (6 p.m. PST). You can watch a webcast of the live broadcast on the home page of the race website. The start and first leg — about the first hour of the 628-mile race to Tasmania — makes great viewing. Sydney Harbour is scenic and windy. RSH attracts the big (in size and cost) super-maxis, but also the multitudes. This year’s regatta has 106 entries. A doublehanded division will debut with 20 boats signed up. Sydney Hobart was canceled last year due to COVID-19.
We plan to preview lighted boat parades and other holiday-centric events in this space on Friday, so check back in.
The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has been marred by the tragic death of a crew member aboard one of the participating yachts. The World Cruising Club has reported “the death of crew member Max Delannoy on board the ARC yacht Agecanonix during the night of 26/27 November. The full circumstances of the incident are not known at this point.”
It was reported that the three-man French crew were sailing Agecanonix as part of the ARC IRC Racing Division, and had opted for a course well to the north of the rhumb line route to Saint Lucia, aiming to avoid the light winds affecting the southerly route close to Cape Verde.
“A MAYDAY call was made from the Agecanonix around midnight on 26/27th requesting a medical evacuation. Sadly, injured crew member Max Delannoy was declared dead before any outside help could be provided.”
An updated report in Scuttlebutt Sailing News added, “As Max Delannoy was taking the helm for his night shift, the boom violently hit him in the head. Philippe Anglade, who was in the cockpit, was able to hold him back from falling into the water, but he died suddenly.”
In September we wrote that 159 boats had signed up to sail the 2700 miles across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia in the 2021 ARC. West Coast sailors and Good Jibes guests Lyall and Katie Burgess, who met while sailing in St. Lucia after the ARC in 2011, are currently sailing in the ARC aboard their Dufour 382 GL Blake.
More details here.