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March 7, 2022

The Main Course of Oakland Yacht Club’s Sunday Brunch Series

Sunday couldn’t have been better for sailing the Bay. Or the Estuary. Joerg Bashir treated us to some better-ways-to-spend-Sunday shots of Oakland Yacht Club’s Sunday Brunch Series. He shot some great telephoto images from the docks using his Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV digital camera. We’re always impressed with so many of the phone images we receive for our Sailagram (like this month’s cover image!) but a good lens on a digital camera still does an amazing job.

Oakland Yacht Club Sunday Brunch Series
Oakland Yacht Club Sunday Brunch Series
© 2022 Joerg Bashir
Oakland Yacht Club Sunday Brunch Series
Zeehond and Dreamcatcher. Dreamcatcher took first in class.
© 2022 Joerg Bashir
Oakland Yacht Club Sunday Brunch Series
There’s no better way to spend a Sunday on the water than at OYC’s Sunday Brunch Series
© 2022 Joerg Bashir
Oakland Yacht Club Sunday Brunch Series
Ursa Minor took first in class with a nice douse at the leeward mark.
© 2022 Joerg Bashir
Oakland Yacht Club Sunday Brunch Series
The Sunday Brunch race was sunny, warm and pleasant.
© 2022 Joerg Bashir
Oakland Yacht Club Sunday Brunch Series
Faster Faster! trying to go even faster.
© 2022 Joerg Bashir
Oakland Yacht Club Sunday Brunch Series
Zeehond hugs the shore.
© 2022 Joerg Bashir

Joerg also took some terrific drone footage.* It’s pretty long, but in the first minute you see an excellent example by the Santana 525 Ursa Minor of why it’s good to douse early and be ready to head upwind in good trim while Loki is putting away the spinnaker and not getting into trim. It’s the kind of moment when you learn to love or hate drones. We’ve all been there, but not always with a drone overhead.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the beauty of the sailing we forget how hard people are working onboard to win! Results matter, though coming in last on a day like yesterday would be much better than not being out there at all. Everybody looks good, but the moment of truth: results here.

*”Footage” is a term left over from the days when reels of film recorded these shots. What’s the proper term today?

Silver Gate Yacht Club Awarded for Excellence in Junior Sailing

It can happen. A non-racing junior program has won the Garrett Horder Memorial Trophy, in part because it teaches the pure love of sailing instead of competition. Awarded annually by the Pacific Coast Yachting Association (PCYA) for excellence in junior boating education, the Horder in 2022 goes to Silver Gate Yacht Club in San Diego.

Girl on O'Pen Bic
Joyful sailing out of Silver Gate Yacht Club in San Diego.
© 2022 T. Kent Prater

Silver Gate YC Junior Program

Silver Gate YC’s program is designed around a small physical footprint and a high instructor-to-student ratio. Program director Kent Prater said, “Making sailors for life is our priority, and we don’t take it lightly. We believe that pressure to always compete drives too many kids away from a sport they could enjoy for a lifetime.” In his submission to PCYA, while paying respect to racing programs that also turn out lifelong sailors, Prater described his system as complementary, attracting certain kids who experience Silver Gate’s offerings as a safety valve from the sharp focus of competition.

RS Feva sailing with spinnaker
RS Feva sailing with spinnaker.
© 2022 T. Kent Prater

Most of Silver Gate’s participants are new to sailing, however. No club affiliation is required. “We see success in how many of our first-time kids come back for additional weeks of sailing,” Prater said. “There’s also the kid who ages out and then comes back during college years to join our instruction staff.”

The award was announced at PCYA’s Change of Watch on March 1. Bobbi Campbell, 2022 PCYA commodore, said, “We had great entries for the Garrett Horder award, an amazing fact considering the restraints of COVID. But one program rose above the others for inclusion and fun. Director Kent Prater knows how to share the great secret, that there is nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats, simply messing.”

The practical limitations of Silver Gate YC’s site hold student numbers to about 14 in a program week. Sailors are aged 8 to 18, with never more than four students per instructor.

Young people in a keelboat cockpit
Keelboat sailing on a Hunter.
© 2022 Courtesy Silver Gate Yacht Club

Silver Gate has a small keelboat for adventuring around San Diego Bay, but most instruction — including the weekly beach picnic/paddleboard extravaganza — takes place close to the base in a variety of dinghies including RS Fevas, Sabots and, especially, Bic Sports. Prater relates that Bics are ideal for un-regattas in which kids develop boat-handling skills while they think they’re just goofing around capsizing on the whistle or aiming for the biggest splash.

Sailing an O'Pen Bic to a buoy
Solo sailing on an O’Pen Bic.
© 2022 T. Kent Prater

“We are honored and gratified to receive the Horder Trophy,” Prater said. “We do things a bit differently. We work hard to create a program where kids from all backgrounds are excited to learn in a safe, non-competitive environment. This award is a wonderful validation of the support we receive from our club members and the efforts of our volunteers, who find their hours here gratifying and downright joyful.”

About the Pacific Coast Yachting Association

PCYA was founded in 1923 to promote the greatest good across the spectrum of yachting on the Pacific Coast of North America and in Hawaii. Its constituents are the 10 associations from San Diego to Vancouver that represent hundreds of clubs and thousands of sailors.

Garrett Horder trophy
The Garrett Horder Trophy.
© 2022 Pacific Coast Yachting Association

The Garrett Horder Memorial Trophy is a rich, 19th century Currier & Ives print of the sail/steam vessel San Francisco, displayed in the library of St. Francis Yacht Club. PCYA has awarded it since 2000.

BOB — Balloon Overboard Day Reduces Ocean Plastics

Ocean plastics remain a scourge for marine life. On the whole, California and Californians do a pretty good job — compared to other parts of the world — of keeping plastics out of the ocean. That doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t do better. The photo below was sent in by Carolyn Rosner and Mike Hay of the 1988 Passport 37 Sula sailing out of Ventura.

SV Sula balloons
Time for a change. Mylar balloons shouldn’t be offshore or onshore.
© 2022 Carolyn Rosner

Carolyn wrote, “Here’s a Sailagram candidate from downcoast, off Ventura, where we ended up practicing ‘BOB’ (balloon-overboard) drills one afternoon. We ended up fishing 16 balloons out of the Santa Barbara Channel. It’s also a PSA for helping keep our oceans clean: Friends don’t let friends buy Mylar balloons!”

One of the best ways to avoid having plastics escaping into the environment is to not buy them in the first place. Birthdays were fun long before Mylar balloons were invented — it’s the people, not the plastic, that make for the best birthday celebrations.

Thanks to the crew of SV Sula for keeping the oceans clean(er).

New Search Underway for Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance

When asked about a favorite sailing book, many sailors and Good Jibes guests respond with Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. The 1959 book by Alfred Lansing covers the dramatic journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew aboard the barkentine Endurance, and their attempt to cross the South Pole.

Endurance departed England in August 1914, and in January 1915, only a day short of her destination of Vahsel Bay, the 144-ft ship became stuck in drifting pack ice in the Weddell Sea. There she stayed for 10 months, moving with the ice as it drifted northwest. Eventually the ship could no longer withstand the constant pressure and movement and began to break up. The order was given to abandon ship on October 27, and on November 21, 1915, she sank. Now, a new expedition, named Endurance22, is underway to locate the sunken ship, this time aboard a vessel built 100 years after the Endurance was built, in Sandefjord, Norway.

Shackleton Endurance
This photo of Endurance taken from Lansing’s book is perhaps one of the most well-known images of the stricken vessel.
© 2022 Frank Hurley
This photo was taken by Frank Hurley as Endurance lay stuck in the ice.
© 2022 Frank Hurley

The S.A. Agulhas II, a 440-ft icebreaker carrying 46 crew and a 64-person expedition team, set off for Antarctica last month to locate the Endurance, which rests in around 10,000 feet or water. The Weddell Sea covers around one million square miles, yet thanks to the records made by Endurance‘s captain and navigator, Frank Worsley, the Aghulas II team is able to zero in on a seven- by 14-mile zone in the western Weddell Sea. Edurance22 leader John Shears told The New York Times, “We know pretty much where we need to go. We’re very optimistic that we’ll get over the wreck site with the ship.”

S.A.Agulhas II docked in the sea ice of Weddell Sea.
© 2022 Esther Horvath

The expedition will be the first to deploy SAAB Sabertooth underwater vehicles: hybrid vehicles that combine the attributes of a Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV) — always linked to the surface— and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) capable of operating without such a link. But the job will be far from easy. Shackleton’s journey took place amidst conditions that Lansing described as “… the worst they had ever been in the memory of the Norwegian whaling skippers operating in the area.” And, while the Weddell Sea has been deemed by scientists to have the clearest water of any sea, the waters are at best, a swirling mass of “thick, nasty sea ice that can be a match even for modern icebreakers,” wrote the New York Times.

Test deployment of the AUV in the Antarctic.
© 2022 Esther Horvath

Thanks to modern communications, you can follow the Endurance22 Expedition in real time. The expedition website features a range of materials including, maps, photographs, video links and educational resources. Here you can find everything from the Agulhas II‘s current location to history about the Endurance and Shackleton’s voyage.

We’re interested in the outcome and will keep an eye out for updates and news of the team’s success, or failure should that be the case.

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