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January 14, 2022

New Rules for Cargo Ships Entering Port of Oakland

In the coming weeks, the sight of cargo ships lined up outside the Port of Oakland will become visible only in our memories. In an effort to “reduce congestion, to promote maritime safety and minimize air quality impacts,” the Pacific Maritime Association, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and the Marine Exchange have joined forces to create a “new off-shore queuing process.”

According to SFGATE, under the new rules, launched this week, instead of anchoring in the Bay while they wait for their turn at the dock, the 200,000-ton vessels will receive an assignment time and will remain in a newly designated zone, the “Safety and Air Quality Area,” which lies 50 miles off the coast.

San Francisco South Bay Ships
Scenes like this will become a thing of the past.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) told SFGATE that the new system will “reduce emissions from vessels located near the Bay Area, and allows more space between vessels.” They expect that it will also allow the ships to “slow steam across the Pacific,” and thereby reduce their overall emissions.

The new system is already in use in Southern California at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and according to PMA President and CEO Jim McKenna, the system is a “resounding success.”

You can read the full story here.

Jessie, Luke and Otis: Sailing Aboard ‘Alekona’

In a recent episode of Latitude’s Good Jibes podcast, we chatted with sailor Jessie Zevalkink — photographer, storyteller, mom and wife who is currently based in San Carlos, Mexico, aboard Alekona. After sailing from Newfoundland to England in 2017, Jessie and her husband Luke were searching for a vessel that would be better suited to the higher latitudes (think ice and snow). In 2020 they discovered Alekona, a 1983 steel-hulled Endurance 44.

Alekona‘s former owner, Terry Causey, had sailed her extensively throughout Hawaii and the South Pacific before donating her to Call of the Sea in Sausalito, in 2019. Latitude contributing editor John Riise was among the crew who would deliver Alekona to the Bay Area, where she was to be sold, with the proceeds going toward Call of the Sea‘s mission to provide experiential education for Bay Area youth.

Jessie and Luke bought Alekona the following January. But she needed work. And we all know what happened in 2020 … Regardless, the determined couple weathered the storms of the pandemic, and the excitement of bringing their first child into the world, and completed the work on Alekona, whereupon they heeded the suggestions of Bay Area sailors and turned left out the Gate, not right.

More than a year elapsed between the couple’s buying Alekona, and sailing south to Mexico.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak
Jessie and friends
Jessie (far right) had spent some time sailing in the Bahamas before buying Alekona and becoming a mom.
© 2022 John 'Woody' Skoriak

Head over to Good Jibes #20 to learn more about Jessie, Luke and their son Otis’s sailing adventures in Mexico.

Looking for a New Boat? How About an Ericson?

We love seeing the variety of boats that turn up in our Classy Classifieds. And as you may have read in last week’s ‘Lectronic, when we wrote about the Albin Vega, sometimes the boats bring back memories or remind us of stories about other sailors.

One of our recent listings is a 1972 27-ft Ericson. This little boat sounds as if she has a good history and is good value for money — recently surveyed, new autopilot, new halyards in 2021. And a stack of more features.

Get yourself a fun boat and start planning your spring sailing adventures now!
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Classy Classifieds

The ad also reminded us of a story from our archives, in which Rick Daniels was setting up to sail his Ericson 41, Lazy Daze, from San Diego to Hawaii. Rick and his crew experienced almost every type of wind and wave during their 23- (or 24-) day crossing. At one point they ‘squall surfed’ for a day. “We’d be sailing in 5 to 10 knots of wind, see a squall, and track it down. Once in the squall, we’d have 20 knots of wind, so we’d run along the face of it. Once we’d sailed out of it, we’d look for another.”

Rick began his story saying that he would normally sail singlehanded. But when considering the distance he was about to cover, he decided to find a couple of crew to help handle Lazy Daze during the weeks-long crossing. And where did Rick find his crew? In Latitude 38‘s Crew List! True story.

And in case you missed it, our Crew List was relaunched last September, ahead of the fall Crew List party at the Bay Model. The list already has almost 450 people signed up. Eighty-nine of those are boat owners, just like Rick, who are looking for crew to join them racing, cruising, or just plain sailing. The balance are crew looking for boat owners. At the recent YRA awards ceremony, a racer asked if we could add the date of entry to the Crew List display, which we’ve done, so you can now sort and see participants in the order in which they have been received. If you update your listing as crew or skipper your entry migrates back to the top. You can do this easily, here.

Sailing in fresh air has been a great pandemic escape that has reactivated many once-idle boats. They all need crew and some need new owners. The goal of our Crew List and Classifieds is to help keep more boats and people sailing.

And while we’re talking about new boats, another indication of the Ericsons’ pedigree is that one of our own crew sails an Ericson. Latitude‘s sales and marketing guru Nicki Bennett has a 1972 32-ft Ericson named Sospiro. Nicki has sailed Sospiro all over San Francisco Bay and the Delta, and lives aboard for much of the year. So be like Nicki, and get yourself an Ericson (or other sailboat) and go sailing!

Crew Party Sails
Nicki’s Ericson 32 Sospiro is perfect for casual sails with friends.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki

Want to buy or sell a boat? Check out the Classy Classifieds. And remember, the deadline for print ads in the February issue is January 15 — that’s tomorrow!

Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight

A while ago, a reader asked the Old Farmer’s Almanac about red skies: “Does the weather proverb ‘Red sky at morning, sailor take warning / Red sky at night, sailor’s delight’ have any basis in weather fact?”

The experts at the Almanac replied, “The basic idea here is a sound one for most of the United States, where the weather patterns move from west to east. A red color in the sky is the result of sunlight reflecting off clouds. If the sky is red in the morning, the eastern horizon must be clear, and the clouds foretelling a coming storm are in the west, indicating the potential for bad weather. By contrast, a red sky at night can be produced only if the western horizon is clear and the clouds overhead are moving east, or clearing out. So the proverb seems to have some validity.”

A gorgeous sunset on Tuesday evening, but notice the lack of wind on the water. It’s been a great week for paddling.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

This week, Northern California has been basking under a high-pressure system and the resulting inversion layer. The haze in the sky combined with patchy clouds has produced spectacularly vivid sunsets. Sunrises, by contrast, have failed to stream rosy light through our windows. What do these meteorological phenomena portend for weekend sailing?

We’re just dumb writers, not meteorologists or scientists of any kind. But looking at the forecast, we think that tomorrow’s breeze on San Francisco Bay will be from the northeast — an odd direction but not surprising in winter. For racers in this weekend’s Corinthian Midwinters, the National Weather Service calls for “E wind 7 to 12 kt becoming variable and less than 5 kt. Partly sunny,” on Saturday, and “N wind 7 to 9 kt. Mostly sunny,” on Sunday.

West Coast Windy map‘s forecast for noon tomorrow, Saturday, January 15. The map shows moderate wind from the northwest for the San Francisco Bay Area, and light breeze from the east for Santa Cruz, where SCYC will host their third Midwinter race day.
© 2022 Windy

We’ll be interested to see if tonight’s sunset is as red as last night’s, given this Small Craft Advisory from the National Weather Service, as of 8:43 this morning: “A small craft advisory remains in effect from 9 p.m. this evening to 9 a.m. PST Saturday,” for San Pablo Bay, Suisun Bay, the West Delta and the San Francisco Bay north of the Bay Bridge. “Conditions will be hazardous to small craft. Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in hazardous conditions.” During the summer, experienced San Francisco Bay sailors are accustomed to sailing in Small Craft Advisory conditions.

Meanwhile, huge storm systems elsewhere in the Pacific are swirling west of British Columbia and north of Hawaii.

Windy Pacific
Pacific storms lurk to the northwest and west of California. We took this screenshot off around 10 this morning, Friday, January 14.
© 2022 Windy

Again, we’re not weather scientists, so don’t take our word for it. Check your own sources (or find some here) and plan your weekend on the water accordingly.

It's a Sailors' Life
Moe Roddy is joined by Ashley Perrin to chat about her lessons from racing around the world and sailing the coldest parts of the world. Ashley is a professional racer who has sailed over 130,000 ocean miles and spent 25 years in offshore command.