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May 23, 2022

Who Are Your Baja Ha-Ha Fleet Neighbors?

Preparations for the 28th Baja Ha-Ha are in full swing, and when we checked this morning, 75 boats had already signed up for the approximately 750-mile cruisers’ rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. As part of preparations, the organizing crew is putting together a “Meet the Fleet Guide” that will help sailors doing the Ha-Ha get to know each other. After all, sailing in company is much more fun when you know your fellow crews. However, the Grand Poobah has noticed that some people have been skipping this important part of their registration, and he is asking sailors to go back to the website and fill in the rest of their details.

“Speaking as the Poobah, I’m honored by the large number of people who have registered for the Ha-Ha as soon as it was possible. What I didn’t realize is that there would be a negative side effect. In order to enter as quickly as possible, almost everyone skipped, or at least skimped on, their bio information for the ‘Meet The Fleet Guide’ that I’m putting together.

“This is not good, because the bio information in the guide is one of the lubricants that facilitates participants’ making new friends and having more fun. And I want the guide to be as good as it can be. So if you skipped the bio information questions, I’m encouraging you to remedy that as soon as possible.”

2021 Baja Ha-Ha
Spot yourself in the 2021 Baja Ha-Ha party crowd.
© 2022

“Please be as specific as you’re comfortable with. For example, if you responded that your career was in ‘finance’, it doesn’t tell other participants whether you were a bank teller or the bagman for the Sinaloa cartel. One would paint you in a much different light than the other.

“Similarly, there are lots of ‘engineers’ in each Ha-Ha. Are you a train engineer, a software engineer, or a civil engineer? Other participants want to know.

“Describing your personal preferences is even more helpful. We suggested things like identifying your favorite quote, sailing hero, destination, and dessert. Don’t have a favorite dessert? Then what’s your favorite vegetable? Favorite movie? Favorite rock band? Anything. It doesn’t even have to be relevant. ‘I like ’55 Chevys’ works, too. Anything to help others to get to know a little bit about you or be a conversation starter.”

Aria's Song, Carolyn and Richard
Two of last year’s Ha-Ha participants, Carolyn and Richard aboard Aria’s Song. While Richard is an engineer (type not specified), Carolyn was likely the only animal trainer in the Ha-Ha fleet.
© 2022 Aria's Song

“Always remember that the Ha-Ha is an escape from the ‘real world’, so we encourage light-hearted, whimsical, and even silly responses to help set the tone for the event. There are only two things to be serious about in the Ha-Ha: 1. Safety. And 2. Having fun.

“Please email that bio info to [email protected] as soon as possible.

“The Poobah thanks you.”

To give you an idea, take a look at the 2021 “Meet the Fleet Guide.”

Annual Women’s Sailing Seminar Returns to Corinthian YC

Tiburon’s Corinthian Yacht Club is hosting its 38th Women’s Sailing Seminar next month. The annual event is organized by the Corinthian Women’s Group and is scheduled for the weekend of June 11 and 12. Participants can expect an array of on-the-water and shore-based classes designed for beginner to experienced women sailors throughout the Bay Area.

Day 1 covers preparing to sail, boat terminology, how sailboats work, reading the wind, points of sail, and some knots. Day 2 adds rules of the road, basic navigation, tides and weather, sail trim and more. Both afternoons are spent on the Bay, sailing in small groups, so students get a chance to put their new knowledge to work.

“It’s a real joy to share this sport with new and experienced women sailors; [I’m] glad the event has returned. I look forward to instructing and sharing my Bay and ocean sailing skills,” said CYC Staff Commodore Timothy Ballard.

Corinthian YC - Women's Sailing Seminar
Register by June 1 to take part in this 38th annual event.
© 2022 Corinthian Yacht Club

The Women’s Sailing Seminar is designed to promote women’s sailing, and has given many women their start in the sport. It is open to yacht club member and non-member women, and is taught by “very patient and experienced” Bay and ocean sailors.

The cost is $395 and registrations are required by June 1, 2022. For more details about the event and to register, visit or call (415) 435-4771.

Founded in 1886, the Corinthian Yacht Club has an extensive history spanning over 130 years. It is the second-oldest yacht club in Northern California and has remained in its original location since its founding. For more info on CYC visit


KC Crowell Relaunches ‘Chance’, Bear Boat #47

In Latitude 38‘s May issue we ran a story about KC Crowell’s dedicated effort to restore and relaunch Bear #47, Chance. Last week we received an email and photo from KC saying they’d gotten Chance underway for her first shakedown sail! The story on the restoration was finished and submitted a few months ago, so while we’ve been waiting to run the story, KC and her team have been hard at work.

Bear #47, Chance
Bear #47, Chance, has been given a second chance by KC Crowell, who now has her back where she should be — sailing San Francisco Bay.
© 2022 Paul Holl

KC wrote to fill us in, saying, “When Heather (author Heather Breaux) first talked to me we still had most of the deck off and Steve Hutchinson was working like mad to button her back up. But once we hit the water, my partner Sam and I have been spending most of our free time checking things off the to-do list (with some short breaks to go climbing in Pinnacles and Yosemite just to keep ourselves sane).”

KC Crowell and Latitude 38
The May issue showed the early phase of the story, while KC shows off the rebuilt Chance in the background.
© 2022 KC Crowell

“The final push was really in part due to John Hansen’s (who runs Pacific Rigging) involvement. His father was the one who rebuilt the boat in the ’60s, so not only was he game to help with the rigging but he has also filled in a lot of the gaps in her history. Having him step up for the job of sorting out our deck layout and running rigging was the last thing she needed to get back into sailing shape. He even has loaned me an album of photos from his dad’s rebuild of Chance in his yard, which I’m currently scanning and digitizing.”

KC at the helm
KC at the helm enjoying the fruits of her labor.
© 2022 Alejandro Dorazio

“I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Karl Joost, who gifted me an almost-new suit of sails off Bear Boat #37. The whole Bear Boat Association has been AMAZING in the support of me and my restoration of Chance — I have lost track of all the association members who have reached out with offers of knowledge, hardware, and encouragement.”

KC filled us in on the timeline for the project. Chance was hauled right before Christmas, on Dec 22, and then relaunched on January 25. Since launch, KC has had her in the water on the Berkeley Marine Center docks, where Steve Hutchinson finished replacing the plywood over the cabin house. After that was finished, KC took over for refitting, deck paint, and gallons of varnish. She gave a shout-out to Alejandro Dorazio, another Bear boat owner, who works out of the BMC yard and was a huge resource for advice, loaned tools, etc. He was actually the one who helped get them underway for the shakedown sail, including coaching KC on getting Chance off and onto the dock again using only sail power!

KC says, “I’m not game for Master Mariners this year — I’m not stoked about working out the kinks on a newly refit boat on a course that long. I am going to try bringing her to the Wooden Boat Show at Corinthian this year (Sunday, June 26), but mostly I am just excited to get out sailing and enjoy the fruits of my labor! And I suppose I’ve got to teach my partner Sam to sail as well — he works over at Saildrone, but those boats are a little different than this old Bear.”

Remember, if you see the beautifully varnished Bear #37 on the Bay, it’s actually Bear #47 Chance. KC’s hoping to update the sail number soon.

It’s National Safe Boating Week

Safe Boating Week May 21-27

The National Safe Boating Council reminds us that, just ahead of the boating-busy Memorial Day Weekend, there’s a thing called National Safe Boating Week. US Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities in 2020, and that 86% of those who drowned were not wearing lifejackets.

CA Boater ID Card

Here in California, a Boater Card is phasing in by age groups. (In 2022, people 45 years old and younger must have the card.) It’s not hard to get one. A one-day boating course and test, in person or online, is sufficient. Many nonprofit groups, including the Coast Guard Auxiliary, offer courses. The card costs $10 and never expires. Once you’re in, you’re in for life! Find courses here:

The card is required to operate a motorized vessel. That would include sailboats with auxiliary engines, but, presumably, not El Toros, Lasers or kayaks!

Couple with Boater Card
Are you young enough to need a California Boater Card? By 2025 they’ll be required for every skipper, regardless of age. And yes, that’s sailing safety guru Chuck Hawley in the background. He volunteered his Alerion 38 for the photo shoot.
© 2022 California Boater Card

Safety at Sea Education

Did you know that US Sailing offers their series of Coastal and Offshore Safety at Sea seminars online? And this is not just a COVID thing. See

For the International Hands-on Training, you’ll still have to show up in person (you know, because they’re “hands-on”). Find a course near you here:

Various offshore races require various levels of Safety at Sea training for the skipper and a percentage of the crew aboard. For instance, for the OYRA Series out of San Francisco Bay, “At least 30% of those aboard the boat, but not fewer than two members of the crew … including the person in charge, shall have a valid Coastal, Offshore, or International Offshore Certificate from US Sailing or the equivalent from another national authority.”

For the Pacific Cup, starting in the first week of July, “At least 60% of the persons on board shall have a certificate showing completion of Safety at Sea courses as follows: At least 30% of the crew, and not less than two, including the Person In Charge, shall have completed a US Sailing Sanctioned International Offshore with Hands On (aka ISAF or Two-Day) course within six years of the start of the race, and the remainder of the 60% shall have completed the course referenced in (a) or shall have completed, in person or online, a US Sailing Sanctioned Offshore Safety at Sea course within five years of the start of the race. A person from outside the US may petition the Technical Committee to approve an equivalent course sanctioned by their national governing body.”

Find some West Coast trainings here: There’s one coming up in San Diego at Southwestern Yacht Club on June 18-19.

These Safety at Sea courses also qualify Californians for the Boater Card.

Your Indispensable Safety Tools

In almost all the episodes of our Good Jibes podcast series, we’ve asked our guests, “Besides a lifejacket, what’s the most important safety item?” The most popular answers are a knife or a radio, but also a liferaft for offshore sailing. What’s your most important safety tool, other than a PFD? Please comment below.

Oakland Yacht Club Boat Auction

Oakland Yacht Club Boat Auction

Oakland Yacht Club Boat Auction, Tuesday, May 24th.

Viewing: 10:00 a.m.

Live Auction: 11:00 a.m.

All sales are “as is” and “final.”

Cashier’s Check or Bank Checks only.

Seller must remove boat within three days of purchase.

Boats Available:

  • 1972 Challenger 32
  • 1963 Trojan 33’
  • 1962 Pearson 26’
  • 1980 Tanzer 7.5