On April 22, we were pleased to join Paul Cayard and a group of nine guests and crew aboard Translated 9 US, a Sparkman & Stephens-designed ketch. A friendly, quiet fellow with a charming European accent grabbed our rather heavy sea bag and gave us a hand aboard. He said his name was Marco. This unassuming chap turned out to be the CEO of a multinational company and the owner of the 65-ft yacht we had just boarded. Marco Trombetti, an Italian entrepreneur, is assembling a crew to compete in the Ocean Globe Race. Not to be confused with the Golden Globe Race, the Ocean Race or the Clipper Race, the OGR will sail around the world with full crews and stops. But it will do so in the tradition of the original Whitbread Race in 1973 — 50 years ago.
In 1999, Trombetti and his wife Isabelle Andrieu founded Translated, a service that uses artificial intelligence to help professional translators. “People are thinking that machines can do everything, and even too much,” Marco explained to the guests. “They underestimate the potential of humans and the fact that this world is built around human needs. We discovered that there is an actual bigger opportunity, not only ethically and socially but economically, to support humans in building tools for them — in our case, translations.”
Translated’s slogan, “We believe in humans,” seems compatible with the OGR. The race forbids computers, GPS and other satellite services, and high-tech materials. Navigators will find their way around the world using sextants.
Based in Rome, Translated has additional headquarters in France, Berlin and Palo Alto. So Marco keeps a sistership to his European Swan 65 in Sausalito — San Francisco Bay being a great place to recruit and train crew. This is the boat we went sailing on in April.
Just few sprinkles fell during the crisp morning. Conditions were ideal, with enough breeze to sail but not too much for the less experienced passengers. We sailed out the Golden Gate into a big but gently rolling Pacific sea swell, returned to San Francisco Bay, and sailed around Alcatraz before returning to Sausalito Yacht Harbor. Guests took turns at the big wheel, Paul Cayard coaching them.
Bay Area sailing legend Paul Cayard is a two-time Olympian, America’s Cup skipper and Whitbread winner. He was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2011, and currently works as the executive director of the US Sailing team. “I did win the Whitbread Around the World Race in 1997 and met Marco a couple of years ago through some other Italian friends,” he told the group. “I liked the idea of the project. It was a different world 50 years ago. To go around the world, it was much more adventurous and dangerous in some ways. They didn’t push the boats as hard as we did in the ‘90s. It was much more about making sure you came back alive. The competition has gotten more and more intense as the years went by.
“This is celebrating the original adventure. That’s why they’re taking only three professionals and seven amateurs, allowing people to have this big life experience. I love the idea that Marco is not only entering the race to celebrate human adventure and the human spirit, but that he wanted to bring the boat here to San Francisco, my hometown. I grew up sailing right here on this Bay.
“His willingness to share this adventure, a piece of it for a couple of hours — maybe it’ll be more for some of you — to give you a little insight into this human endeavor, is very cool. I like when my sport is involved in that way, so I agreed to promote it. When they told me the story two years ago, I said, ‘Yep, I want in, I want to be a part of it.’ That’s my reason for being here and being involved with Marco.”
The Ocean Globe Race will start on September 10, 2023, from Southampton, UK. The eastabout route will stop in Cape Town, Sydney and Rio de Janeiro. Each leg will take about 40 days, and the circumnavigation will take about eight months to complete. With no American teams entered, we’re stoked to have a team to cheer for. Read more about the OGR and the Translated 9 entry here.
We’ll have more in Sightings in the June issue of Latitude 38.
PS – what’s the allure of celestial navigation and how do you learn it? Check out a recent story on Paul Kamen’s celestial class at CYC.
When we last wrote about Kenichi Horie, he was 30 days into his voyage and had passed the Hawaiian Islands. Now, the 83-year-old solo sailor, who set sail from San Francisco on March 26, is 80% of the way across the Pacific and nearing his destination, Nishinomiya City, Japan.
Since our last update on April 26, Kenichi has been sailing well and in varying conditions. Late April saw his purpose-built, 19-ft aluminum cutter Suntory Mermaid III sailing along with the trade winds from the stern. But within 24 hours this had changed to “The weather is a little unstable. It changed to a weak southeasterly wind from eight hours ago. It’s slowing down a bit in front of the International Date Line,” which, Kenichi wrote, “you want to cross as soon as possible.” Kenichi crossed the International Date Line at 8:00 p.m. on April 28.
By April 30 the winds were blowing and making the boat “run too much.” After he’d reefed the sails, the boat was shaking, but Kenichi was still able to drink his coffee — just. “Sometimes it spills. It’s a problem.” It’s difficult to be sure of the nuances of his words in translation, but we get the impression Kenichi is relaxed and in good humor, despite his spilled coffee.
Suntory Mermaid III‘s navigation lamps, amateur radio, personal computers, and electric lamps are powered by solar. The system has been working well. Sometimes too well. “Before noon, the GPS suddenly turned off. The sunny weather continues and the solar power generation is in full operation. It seems that the battery is full and the overcharge prevention device has worked. I put a shirt on half of the solar panel and had them take a break for a while. After a while, GPS was restored.” Simple solutions are often the best.
Kenichi reported on May 8 that he had been able to communicate with 49 radio stations, including one in Brisbane, Australia. He also reached a new maximum speed. “At 1900 last night, the speed was 6.109 knots per hour. The fastest ever. Mermaid III has 19 feet, and the maximum speed is said to be 19 feet square root x 1.5. It’s 6.53 knots. The wind was a little too strong, so I made the sail smaller, but I think it’s still over 6 knots. 4-5 knots is the optimum speed. (1 knot = 1.852km).”
At the start of this week, Kenichi was approximately 470 km away from Minamitorishima, Ogasawara-mura, Tokyo, the easternmost point of Japan, and he expected to pass it in around three days. “I feel like I’m closer to Japan,” he wrote. His decision then was whether to pass the island to the north or the south. On May 12 he was passing the island on the north, slowly — “no wind or waves” — and was looking forward to a star-laden night sky. By now the time difference with Japan had been reduced to one hour.
Kenichi’s latest report is of squalls, “coming one after another.” Each new squall, coming almost hourly, sees the intrepid sailor escaping to the cabin. “I’m sick,” he writes.
We feel for you, Kenichi, and wish you fair winds and following seas as you navigate the final miles of your voyage.
One point we find interesting is that Kenichi reports no sightings of dolphins or whales, though he has had numerous birds land on the deck and deliver little parcels, which he writes are difficult to clean off the boat. He has also had flying fish land on the deck, a discovery he made after accidentally stepping on a 15cm-long specimen (approx. 6 inches). “Disappointing,” he wrote.
Kenichi Horie is expected to reach his destination in early June. Stay tuned as we bring you further updates in the coming weeks.
Waves of improvement are transforming the Berkeley Marina. Download a free day pass for your boat and check out all the improvements we have to offer. A clean, fenced entrance off of the freeway transitions drivers off of I-80 while smooth paving and new street improvements guide you to your dock gate. Come on in to check out our renovated restrooms, dock improvements, and more.
A reputation that we’re saddled with here at the latitude of 37.7749° north is that there aren’t many places to cruise — other than the Delta, of course. Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve done the Delta Doo Dah (it’s free!), and that you’re intimately familiar with the 1,000-plus miles of waterways there are to explore to the north. Where might you go cruising next?
Seriously, where would you go?
For the forthcoming June 2022 issue of Latitude 38, we’re putting together a list of Northern California cruising destinations, and we need your help.
Have you done Drake’s and/or Tomales Bay? Have you ventured to Bodega Bay, or braved the extreme tides and narrow entrances in Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor or beyond? Do you take the occasional jaunt to Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz or Moss Landing? Do you stretch your legs as far as San Luis Obispo? Is Santa Barbara a realistic, not-too-bashy-on-the-return destination for a two-week trip?
Or are there lesser-known or hidden-in-plain-sight gems inside the Bay that have always been a favorite destination of yours?
We’d like to hear from you. While we’re certainly interested in ideal weather windows that might present themselves in the fall, when the sea breezes are a little more at bay, we’re especially curious about practicable destinations for the summer.
Let’s have it then. Please bombard us with stories, pictures, weather-routing suggestions, your favorite restaurants, coffee shops and bars, etc. You can comment below, or email me directly here.
Remember when you used to fly somewhere to “get away from it all?” Before you had to swab your nose, douse in alcohol, stand six feet apart in long TSA lines, wear your mask, wash and rewash your hands, and sneak peanuts into your mouth, and before ticket prices skyrocketed?
At the airport, did you notice how many millions of people were flying into San Francisco to “get away from it all?” Flying to the place you’re trying to leave? San Francisco is one of the world’s most incredible tourist destinations, and we live here. The only thing you need to get away from it all is a sailboat, not a plane ticket. A one-hour drive or less from most people’s homes in the Bay Area is the best getaway of them all — a sail on San Francisco Bay.
All you need is a sailboat, a friend with a sailboat, a membership in a sailing club, or a trip to your local community sailing center. All are incredibly available in your backyard. As we approach our June classified deadline (Sunday, May 15) we looked at a few of the boats currently available in our Classy Classifieds, and found plenty that would spare us the abuse of plane travel and help us enjoy the best summer ever, right here in our own backyard of San Francisco Bay.
The ad says this is a restored Ericson 27. Sounds like a quick start to a great summer. The rest sounds good too: “The heavy lifting and expensive work are done. Bottom paint and professional topsides paint. New upholstery in the salon and quarter berth as of last season. Engine: Single-cylinder Yanmar diesel has been fully rebuilt in 2020 plus fully serviced as of January 2022.” She’s priced at $19,995. Learn more about her in our Classy Classifieds here.
Could this be a diamond in the rough available from this estate sale? We don’t know, but this 1982 Olson 40, now located in Berkeley, is a California classic with a great pedigree. The ad from the executor says $35,000/obo with appointments from 9:00 a.m. to noon, tomorrow only — Saturday, May 14. All proceeds are going to a charity. Check out the ad here to learn more. Last used as a liveaboard.
The ad says this sweet-looking 2006 Santana 22 is very clean, boat and sails are in nice condition. Roller-furling genoa/jib, lazy jacks, mainsail cover. She’s in South Lake Tahoe and priced at $12,000. You can learn more here.
We can’t vouch for these or any of the boats in our Classy Classifieds, which many of our readers call “boat porn” because of the temptation they provide, but we can see the allure they hold. Just maybe one is the right boat for you. We do know the yacht brokers advertising in Latitude 38 have many more great boats, though they are having a heck of a time finding new listings to sell. It’s the result of many people rediscovering what we have right here close to home, and how much more fun and convenient it is than modern jet travel. And it’s available for that getaway 52 weeks a year. There are dozens more tempting vessels in our current Classy Classifieds.
While browsing the current issue we did note there are also quite a few boats up and down the West Coast from Orcas Island, WA, to Mexico. If you’re looking for one that’s “already there” you may find that in the Classifieds too. The very nice Gulfstar 50 below is lying in Southern California and the seller says she’s clean and ready to go anywhere.
If you do have a boat to sell, call to list it with one of the great brokers advertising in Latitude 38, or get your ad into the Classy Classifieds before the deadline this Sunday, April 15, at 5 p.m. for the June issue.
A sailing vacation right in your own backyard — join Latitude 38 for our 14th annual Delta Doo Dah! — a Do-It-Yourself summertime Cruising Rally to the California Delta. Latitude offers events, tips and tricks, swag, prizes and the opportunity to meet, sail, and socialize with other fleet members. Check out our hosts and prizes for 2022.
Register here: Delta Doo Dah 14