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April 20, 2022

Join the Celebration at Opening Day on the Bay 2022

This coming Sunday, April 24, is Opening Day on the Bay. Boats of all sizes, shapes and means of propulsion are invited to join the celebrations. There is no requirement to be part of a club, and registration is free. Although the official PICYA flyer says registrations close today, we hear (from an insider) that registrations can be accepted right up to the day before. But just to be sure, do it today! Fill in the Skippers Online Entry here.

The official PICYA Opening Day Parade of Sail will start at noon, just north of Anita Rock off the shore of Crissy Field in the Presidio. Boats are asked to pass as close as possible to the St. Francis Yacht Club to be captured on the live stream as they continue along the Cityfront to end at Pier 39, where the committee boat will be stationed to award points for the best-dressed boats and crews.

This year’s theme is “San Francisco Bay — Leading the Way.” Decorating your boat and dressing up your crew are two of the beautiful things about Opening Day on the Bay. After all, how often do you dress up in grass skirts and coconut bikinis to go sailing? Flags and streamers are also acceptable, and are usually displayed by all boats, with some flying a dozen or more!

However you decide to decorate, doing so will put you in the running for this year’s prizes and trophies: the BoatUS Ward Cleveland Memorial, the Captain Morgan, the Pier 39, Royal Cruise Line, Marine World Foundation, and the Claude Benham Memorial. There will also be prize bags for first, second and third place in each group.

Amanda‘s crew brought their own sunshine to last year’s damp Opening Day.
© 2022 Island Yacht Club

Anyone who doesn’t have a boat, or for some reason can’t sail or motor their boat that day, can join one of the many public charters that will be hoisting their sails to participate in this annual event. You can find a list of Bay Area charter boats on our website here.

This year’s Parade route.
© 2022 PICYA

For those who would like an extra dose of good vibes for the coming season, the Corinthian Yacht Club’s Blessing Vessel, Aurora V, will be anchored in Raccoon Strait to cast favors upon those boats that pass alongside.

Opening Day on the Bay 2021
The 2021 Blessing was given from Corinthian Yacht Club’s race deck.
© 2022 PICYA

The Blessing kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Vessels are to stage off the east end of Raccoon Strait, avoiding traffic lanes; line up single-file, and proceed from the east to the west through the passage between Aurora V and the Corinthian Yacht Club.

J/105 Jose Cuervo
The J/105 Jose Cuervo passes by the Blessing Vessel in 2019.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The current forecast is a very nice, mostly sunny day and 71 degrees. See you on the water!

Click here for more information.

Ryan Finn Expected to Reach San Francisco Tomorrow

Singlehanded sailor Ryan Finn and his 36-ft proa Jzerro are getting closer. As we write this on Wednesday morning, they’re off Lompoc, inching their way north in light wind. The ETA for the Golden Gate now is Thursday, April 21, sometime mid-morning/afternoon. Jzerro’s destination is Richmond Yacht Club.

Ryan Finn's tracker
A screenshot of Ryan’s tracker captured this morning. Jzerro does not have an AIS transponder.
© 2022 2Oceans1Rock

While we wait for their arrival, let’s look at the history and records of the Route d’Or, named after the Gold Rush that enticed thousands of ships to make their way to San Francisco. Getting around Cape Horn, passing though the doldrums twice, and the final push upwind in a usually heavy northwesterly make it one of the hardest routes in the world.

The clipper ship Flying Cloud set the record in 1854 with a passage of 89 days, 8 hours. That record stood for 130 years until Warren Luhrs and crew on Thursday’s Child, an Open 60, beat it in 1989 with a time of 80 days, 20 hours.

Famous French solo sailor Isabelle Autissier had crew on Ecureuil Poitou in 1994 when they made it in 62 days, beating the standing record by more than two weeks. Giovanni Soldini and crew now sit atop the monohull record at 47 days, set in 2013 on the Volvo 70 Maserati. Lionel Lemonchois and crew set the  outright record of 43 days in 2008 on the catamaran Gitana 13.

Guy Bernardin waves
Guy Bernardin departs aboard BNP Bank of the West in 1988.
© 2022 Wikipedia

But these are all crewed records. For singlehanded attempts, we found only two previous to Ryan Finn’s. Guy Bernardin tried it in 1988 but had to abandon along the Chilean coast when his boat (another Open 60) was badly damaged and sank. In 1989 Philippe Monnet made it in 81 days on a Shuttleworth-designed trimaran.

Philippe Monnet
French sailor Philippe Monnet.
© 2022 Yacht Club de Cannes

Are there others we’ve missed? If so, please note them — and cite your sources — in the Comments section below. We found most of our information on and in Wikipedia.

Jzerro is a 36-ft Russell Brown-designed proa.
© 2022 Ryan Finn

Jzerro and Ryan Finn are still fighting the light wind for now, but the forecast calls for a nice southerly with the next front moving in to push them to the finish inside San Francisco Bay. See more at

Defender NavPods: Built to Last

Defender ad - April 2022


The latest generation of NavPods deliver convenience right at your fingertips, offering a smart solution for mounting at the helm. Their unique watertight seal and quality workmanship will ensure reliability and longevity of your marine electronics.

Good Jibes with Nicki Bennett and Eric Jones of Sea Valor

Welcome to Good Jibes Episode #36! This week’s host, Nicki Bennett, is joined by Eric Jones to talk about the beautiful healing power of spending some time on the water. Eric is a 9/11 first responder who received the Medal of Valor from the Department of Defense for his heroic efforts at the Pentagon and Ground Zero.

Eric Jones Sea Valor
At minute 27:54, hear about some of Sea Valor’s success stories.
© 2022 Eric Jones

In 2019, Eric founded Sea Valor, a nonprofit that uses sailing to help improve the quality of life for those with PTSD, underprivileged youth, and local heroes. Hear why sailing is therapeutic and brings people together, about the impact it has on depression and stress, why there’s no shame in experiencing trauma, and success stories from Sea Valor.

This episode covers everything from sailing therapy to starting a nonprofit. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How much did Eric sail when he started Sea Valor?
  • What did starting the organization look like?
  • How many boats does it have now?
  • What impact has it had on the community?
  • How is it funded?
  • Where do they need volunteers most?
  • What are some success stories?
  • Short Tacks: What’s Eric’s bucket-list sailing trip?

Get involved and give back to Sea Valor at

Read about a recent local search and rescue organized by Sea Valor and various supporting agencies.


Coast Guard Shuts Down Illegal Charter Vessels in San Diego Bay

The US Coast Guard has shut down charter boats in San Diego Bay over unlawful operations. “Sector San Diego boarding team members and investigators identified three illegal charter boats operating in the bay and terminated all three voyages due to unsafe overloading conditions, insufficient lifesaving equipment and failure to provide a qualified or licensed operator while carrying passengers for hire,” a USCG press release said.

All three vessels were issued a captain of the port order that restricts the boats from operating until they have satisfied “all valid charter requirements to the Coast Guard.”

Cmdr. Ronald Caputo, of the Coast Guard Sector San Diego Prevention District, said, “Illegal charters are a serious risk to their passengers and to other boat operators on the water. There is a reason for the regulations we put in place; we don’t want lives to be lost.”

The Coast Guard says that while passengers booked their charters through online booking systems, responsibility for compliance with Coast Guard passenger safety laws and requirements rests solely with the boat owners, not the online application administrators.

To clarify, the Coast Guard states, “Any boats carrying passengers for hire are required to hold a Coast Guard license and meet minimum safety standards. Proper emergency safety gear, navigational systems and communication equipment are required for safe operations. Un-inspected passenger vessels are only permitted to carry up to six passengers for hire under Coast Guard regulations.”

The Coast Guard urges anyone paying for a trip on a passenger vessel to verify that their captain has a safety plan and a Merchant Mariner Credential. For larger charter boats or those with more than six passengers, ask to see a Coast Guard-issued Certificate of Inspection. “If the operator cannot produce appropriate credentials, passengers should not get on the boat.”

USCG inspected vessel decal
US Coast Guard inspection decal examples.
© 2022 USCG

Most of us have heard about boat crews being called upon for random drug tests. What we don’t usually hear is that operators that fail to enroll in a drug and alcohol testing program can be fined $7,710. And that a vessel carrying more than six passengers must be able to provide a Coast Guard certificate of inspection or face a fine of $4,803. And those are the cheaper fines! Fines can exceed $59,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire-operations, and charters that violate a captain of the port order can face over $500,000 in penalties and possible Class D felony charges.

For information regarding your boating operations or charter regulations, please contact Sector San Diego Investigations Division personnel at (619) 572-2904 or via email at [email protected].

To verify a captain’s license or verify the inspected status of a vessel carrying more than six passengers, or if you would like to report a potential illegal charter, please contact Coast Guard Sector San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center personnel at (619) 278-7033 or D11-SMB-SectorSD-[email protected].

For additional recreational boating safety information, please visit

Sailing Science Center Exhibits at Call of the Sea’s Tall Ships Celebration

As part of Call of the Sea’s Tall Ships Celebration, San Francisco’s Sailing Science Center is sharing an Earth Day Exhibition at the Bay Model in Sausalito this Saturday, April 23. 

Activities on the day include:

  • Matthew Turner and Seaward tours
  • Interactive Sailing Science exhibits
  • Knot-tying and engineering activities
  • Old-time tunes and guitar picking
  • Food and beverages for purchase
  • Heritage sail on the Matthew Turner from 3:45 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. (Tickets are required for this sail.)
Sailing Science Center image
Book tickets for the Matthew Turner Heritage Sail here: MT Heritage Sail.
© 2022 Sailing Science Center

The event is also a fundraiser for scholarships that provide life-changing on-the-water experiences to underserved youth. See all the Sailing Science Center’s exhibits, including our newest entries: Making Waves, The Vortex Cannon, and The Balancing Bernoulli Ball.

Date & Time: Saturday, April 23. 12 noon to 3 p.m.

Location: Bay Model Visitor Center, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito.

Full details and free entry tickets are available here.

“Have fun! Win prizes! Join us for a fun-filled day supporting a good cause!”

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