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January 24, 2022

Sunday at the San Francisco Bay Waterpark

Sunday on San Francisco Bay was as pleasant as it gets — though a little more breeze would have been helpful. Regardless, the Bay Area’s centrally located waterpark provided many sailors with another warm weekend escape.

Without much breeze to tempt a sail, we decided it was a good day to head to the pump-out and continue on for a brief Sausalito waterfront tour. We spotted boats attempting to sail, others motoring about, and others sitting idly at the dock, but still looking good in January afternoon lighting.

Dragon Slayer
Dragon Slayer strikes a mellow pose on a placid January Sunday.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Bird Boat Skylark
The Bird boat, Skylark, is pretty dockside too.
© 2022 John
Bear Boat #65
Bear Boat #65 making the most of breeze to avoid the clatter of the outboard.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Good Samaritin
The Hunter Passage 420 is being a good Samaritan to fellow windseekers aboard the Corsair 27 trimaran Dolphin Spirit II.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Foil boards
Foil boards passing port-to-port in the Sausalito HOV lane, which is available to single-occupancy electric vehicles.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
The Pearson Triton (Ariel – see below),Orinoco Flow, is unruffled on the calm waters of Richardson Bay.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Summers coming
January was likely warmer on the Bay than we expect it to be for Summer Sailstice 2022, which is now just five months away on June 18.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The quiet Sunday was a quiet follow-up to a warm, breezy Saturday. Weekends like this past one are why sailing instructor Brian Cline wrote in our January issue that fall and winter are among his favorite times to sail in the Bay Area. More to come.

Sailing from Australia to Sausalito Aboard Andiamo

In previous issues of Latitude 38, we’ve shared stories from Paul Eichen and Susan Flieder aboard their Buizen 48, Andiamo.  Originally from Sydney, Australia, Andiamo is now docked at her new home port in Sausalito.

Andiamo at anchor somewhere in Alaska (the white patches are foam from a nearby waterfall).
© 2022 Andiamo

To bring the boat to the Bay was quite the adventure. Paul and Susan found the boat — sought out mainly for its comfy pilot house — in Australia in 2018. The initial plan was to ship it back to the Bay on a freighter, but longtime friend Henning Kather convinced Paul he’d probably never have another opportunity to sail back. With the die cast, the first year was spent refitting the boat at the builder’s yard in Pittwater. Paul, Henning, and two more friends finally departed for the start of the big journey in December 2019. In the last issue, they’d just made it to Papeete through a labyrinth of pandemic rules, restrictions and quarantines. On April 17 this year, they finally cast off the docklines for the longest leg of the trip: 2,400 miles to Hawaii — which is more like 3,000 once you figure in all the easting you have to do first.

The story goes like this …

If you follow Henning on watch, you must wait patiently until he turns in before letting out the mainsheet, which means less heeling, and slowing down a little. Henning is an expert and utterly devoted ocean racer and cannot bear to see any puff of wind go to waste. He carefully trims the sails for maximum boat speed; only the threat of no supper will get him to slow down to allow use of the galley to cook.

Nine days out, with more than 1,500 nm remaining, we crossed the equator. With a little prodding, I got Henning to participate as a polliwog in a traditional equator-crossing ceremony — he is now officially a Shellback!

‘Neptune’ paid a visit to the boat at the equator to initiate Henning into the Loyal Order of Shellbacks.
© 2022 Andiamo

Once inside the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) — aka the Doldrums — we were grateful that we had waited for our weather window, because we did not find the typical low-wind conditions that can keep boats stalled for days, or sometimes weeks. After a bit of light breeze, we soon reached the northeast trade winds — along with rainy, squally conditions, and a washing-machine sea with steep swells coming from multiple directions. It was a lumpy ride while it lasted.

Continue reading at Latitude

Santa Barbara Yacht Club Celebrates 150 Years

The Santa Barbara Yacht Club, founded in 1872, is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Starting in January and continuing throughout the year, the club will be hosting events and races to commemorate its history, achievements, contributions to the city of Santa Barbara, and its national and international involvement in the sport of yachting.

According to the Lloyd’s Register of American Yachts, the Santa Barbara Yacht Club was formed in 1872, and is the second-oldest yacht club on the Pacific Coast. Club records show that the original clubhouse was a 35- by 20-ft building at the foot of Stearns Wharf. The southeast corner of the building was occupied by a galley with a wood stove. The southwest corner was a head with a pipe leading to the beach below. A battered piano stood in the northeast corner. The membership totaled 50.

Santa Barbara Yacht Club
Fortunately, the clubhouse facilities have improved significantly.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Today, the club has an impressive history of prestigious sailing events, with Sir Thomas Lipton once awarding it one of his spectacular solid-silver trophies in appreciation of the “zeal and activities of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.” The Lipton Cup Regatta itself is an annual event sailed as the International Star Boat Regatta. Other notable sailing credits include the 1923 Transpac Race, which was hosted by and started from the club’s facility.

In celebration of this great history, the club has planned several events to run at various times during the year:

  • The unveiling of a bronze plaque at the club entrance, recognizing its 150-year history.
  • Hosting the club’s Opening Day events and activities over two days on the weekend of April 2 and 3.
  • The Blessing of the Fleet event.
  • A sailboat race series of five races, scheduled throughout the year.
  • An event to recognize and honor the staff commodores. There are 112 known commodores of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, of whom 22 are alive. There has been one honorary commodore — in 1925 Major Max Fleischmann was made honorary commodore for his efforts to build the harbor breakwater, both a financial and a personal commitment.
  • A yacht club history display at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
  • A professional video production about the yacht club — sailing and contributions to the community.
  • A tall-ship arrival and celebration highlighting the yacht club’s contribution to youth sailing.
Santa Barbara YC boats
These days the club hosts events that can bring 300 yachts and up to 5,000 people into the seaside town of Santa Barbara.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

For more information about the club and the planned events, you can visit the website or email [email protected].

You can read more about the history of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club in The Santa Barbara Yacht Club: A Waterfront History, and on the club’s website

The Resourceful Sailor: A Traveler’s Story

What do you do when your aging sailboat hardware needs rebuilding or replacing? What if the manufacturers no longer make it or its components, or they no longer exist themselves? What if the modern designs don’t fit your boat? The Resourceful Sailor recently faced this dilemma with Sampaguita, a 1985 Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20, in Port Townsend, WA. Her vintage of Flicka came with a Schaefer round bar traveler that incorporated the 1-inch stern rail. While the stainless steel parts had stood the test of time, the 36 years of use and UV solar radiation had degraded the five small sheaves that were part of it. What was a resourceful sailor to do?

The Resourceful Sailor
The Flicka 20 Pingouin‘s round bar traveler.
© 2022 The Resourceful Sailor
Resourceful Sailor
Sampaguita’s round bar traveler.
© 2022 The Resourceful Sailor

Schaefer does not appear to make this piece of hardware anymore. Nor do they mass-manufacture replacement sheaves of the proper sizes to rebuild it. And neither do the competing brands. Redesigning the entire mainsheet traveler system would be epic and costly. However, I did find a new, old-stock Wilcox, Crittenden 1-inch round bar traveler online at a reasonable price, so I purchased that. It is a robust piece of hardware that should do the trick, but its fit is a little sloppy on the rail and concerns me. I recall the Schaefer’s fitting more snugly, and experience tells me that looseness can create wear and tear.

Sampaguita’s round bar traveler with the old sheaves.
© 2022 The Resourceful Sailor

In anticipation of voyaging with Sampaguita, this system must be reliable. The Schaefer traveler is known to me; the Wilcox, Crittenden is not. I decided that rebuilding the Schaefer and having a spare would be a sound strategy and prudent redundancy.

Upon close inspection, the old sheaves show chips, cracks, and UV degradation.
© 2022 The Resourceful Sailor

As it turns out, there is a local Port Townsend tradesman who specializes in making replacement sheaves. Coincidentally, he’d recently rebuilt a Schaefer round bar traveler. He spec’d out the sizes and improved the fit in the process, using Delrin® and incorporating bushings. I did not even need to deliver the hardware to him for sizes. The cost was comparable to that of the new, old-stock Wilcox, Crittenden, and it feels good to rebuild this classic.

This particular circumstance was simple for me because the stainless steel parts of the traveler were still sound. If not, I could have called on a local machinist. With the old hardware in hand, a skilled and humble craftsperson can sometimes make a replica for a price competitive to the process of refitting available brand-name hardware.

Resourceful sailor
The custom sheaves ready for installation.
© 2022 The Resourceful Sailor

With modern sailboat hardware commercially driven by racing, manufacturing is increasingly from non-metallic materials for weight savings, aesthetics, and economy. While this results in initially higher-performing hardware, longevity and repairability may be the trade-off. From a Resourceful Sailor perspective, Sampaguita’s obsolete Schaefer round bar traveler has lasted 36 years. With new sheaves, it could go another 36 years.

The following video shows the inner workings of a Schaefer round bar traveler, giving some insight on how to rebuild one.

Remember, keep your solutions prudent and safe, and have a blast.

Latitude 38 Delivery Driver Wanted

We have a vacancy for a Latitude 38 delivery driver. Imagine being one of those wonderful people whom everyone is happy to see as you deliver bundles of joy to sailors throughout the Bay Area. This particular vacancy is for the Peninsula route, which starts at the St. Francis Yacht Club and ends at Sierra Point YC in Brisbane.

In the early morning light, Sue Weaver picks up magazines to deliver.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

It’s the perfect sailor’s job: 29 days off every month! On the first of each month you will deliver Latitude 38 magazines to our Bay Area distributors. That’s it! Take the rest of the month off and go sailing.

Our drivers are also ambassadors for the West Coast’s premier sailing and marine magazine. Applicants should feel comfortable engaging with our wonderful distribution team and maintaining relationships with sailing and marine businesses in the Bay Area. An ideal candidate will keep track of the magazines delivered to each location and look out for new distribution locations.

Deliver Driver wanted
You may not bump into this guy every time, but you will get to meet up with some very cool customers.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Mitch

To apply, send your résumé and cover letter with sailing experience by email to [email protected] with “Latitude Driver” in the subject line. Please, no phone calls!

The Ancient Science of Wayfinding
The Polynesian Voyaging Society will engage student navigators in storm training and the ancient science of non-instrument, wayfinding navigation.
Sponsored Post
The perfect sailor's job: 29 days off every month! This is a one-day-per-month position to deliver 'Latitude 38' magazines to our Bay Area distributors.