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July 25, 2022

New Pedestrian Bridge Planned to Cross Oakland Estuary at Jack London Square

Reader John Callahan alerted us to a report on the City of Alameda website about a planned Oakland Estuary lift bridge for bicycles and pedestrians to cross the Estuary at Jack London Square. Reviewing the 136-page report and the site, it appears the process began in 2002. The initial study was published in 2009. The current drawing of the result looks like this:

Estuary Foot Bridge
The current drawing of the planned Estuary bridge crossing. The report indicates potential usage of 2500 to 4000 bicyclists/pedestrians per day.
© 2022 City of Alameda

We’re not sure how many Oakland/Alameda sailors have been involved in the planning process over the past 20 years, but from our quick look at the plans the 45-ft bridge-down clearance looks as if it would create a problem for quite a few sailboat tenants currently berthed in Estuary marinas.

Oakland Estuary Bridge Drawing
A drawing of the bridge shows 45 feet of clearance with the bridge down and 175 feet of clearance with the bridge up.
© 2022 City of Alameda

The report indicates that public involvement was requested in 2008 from various interest groups and Bay Area transportation agencies.

Site location
Map showing current planned location for the bridge.
© 2022 City of Alameda

This certainly looks as if it could have a dramatic effect on sailing activity and events on the Oakland Estuary. Larger boats finishing races down the Estuary, or the Master Mariners gathering at Encinal Yacht Club, plus regular traffic from all the marinas and yacht clubs appear as though they could be seriously impacted.

If any sailors have been involved in the planning process we’d love to let our readers know if these issues were discussed or how this plan is intended to accommodate Estuary boat traffic. Leave your comments below or email us at [email protected].

Latitude 38 Crew List Party Announced for September 1st

Yes, folks, it’s on again! We’re excited to announce that Latitude 38‘s Crew List Party will be held on the evening of September 1 at Spaulding Marine Center in Sausalito. Join us and connect with other sailors, find crew, or get onto a boat!

Several vendors and industry partners will be set up inside the building to answer your questions about cruising and heading south to Mexico. You’ll also have the opportunity to chat with local partners and sailing groups who want to help you get sailing on the Bay. San Francisco Sailing Science Center will be on hand with an entertaining and educational exhibit. And of course Spaulding Marine Center is a treasure trove of Bay Area sailing history.

The rest of the event (the mingling) will be outside, in the boat yard, where we can take advantage of the fresh air. But remember, this is Sausalito and often cool, so layer up! The Casablanca Mediterranean Food Truck will be serving delicious foods from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the Spaulding crew and volunteers will host the bar, with all proceeds going to benefit their education programs.

Prior to the main event we’ll be holding our annual cruising seminar for Baja Ha-Ha sailors and cruisers preparing to head south. Fito Espinoza from Hotel Coral and Neil Shroyer from Marina de La Paz will be on hand to give an hour-long cruising seminar from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed with a Q&A session from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Our crew parties are geared toward bringing the sailing community together and helping people find sailing opportunities for cruising, racing, or daysailing. The Fall Crew List party is ideal for boat owners seeking crew who want to head south to Mexico, or crew who want to find a boat to join. It’s also well suited for folks looking for midwinter race crew or anyone who just wants to sail the Bay. Many sailors have met at a Latitude 38 crew party and forged long-lasting friendships and sailing connections. In case you’re on the fence about coming to the party, check out the wrap-up from last year’s event held at the Bay Model.

Crew party
Our last Crew List Party in September 2021 drew a great bunch of sailors and want-to-be-sailors.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The party starts at 6 p.m., tickets are $10.

Admission for the Mexico Cruising seminar is $10, or $20 for both.

Each skipper and first mate registered for the 2022 Baja Ha-Ha gets free entry to the Fall Crew List Party and Mexico Cruising seminar. Admission includes free munchies, entry to door-prize raffle, and a sailing slide show.

Get your tickets here.

Parking: There is parking around Spaulding; please use the Parking Map to find parking. Please do not park at Clipper Yacht Harbor.

National Sailing Hall of Fame Class of 2022

The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) announced 13 sailors comprising its 12th class of inductees.

Bill Lee
Santa Cruzer Bill Lee is among the Class of 2022. We snapped this shot on New Year’s Day, 2017, aboard Merlin.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

West Coast sailors make a good showing. They include Santa Cruz yacht designer Bill Lee, famous for building the legendary Merlin and her sled descendants — and for twice gracing the cover of Latitude 38. Jonathan McKee, a Seattle native, just won the Race to Alaska. Cruisers and authors Lin and Larry Pardey of Victoria, BC, are well known to Latitude readers. The late Nick Scandone of Orange County won Paralympic gold while battling advanced ALS. And the late philanthropist Roy Edward Disney of Los Angeles (Walt Disney’s nephew) launched the Pyewacket yacht racing program — his son Roy Pat just smoked the 2022 Pacific Cup with the stable’s latest steed.

The Pardeys, Nick Scandone, Jonathan McKee, Roy E. Disney
Left to right: Larry and Lin Pardey, Nick Scandone, Jonathan McKee and Roy E. Disney. McKee photo ©Thomas Hawthorne.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Archives

Read About the Entire Class:

  • Ed Adams – Sail racing legend and coach, Adams excelled in college, world championship and offshore competitions. Teams he coached have won numerous Olympic and world championship titles.
  • Absalom Boston – Mariner, entrepreneur and civil leader, Boston was the first African American to captain a whaleship with an all-black crew in 1822.
  • Doris Colgate – From teaching to mentoring to writing to founding organizations that get more women on the water, Colgate has dedicated her life to advancing opportunities for women in sailing. She and her husband Steve (Class of 2015) built the Offshore Sailing School into a successful business that helps many sailors safely enjoy their time on the water.
  • Bruce Farr – Innovative champion sailor, he was the naval architect for seven America’s Cup campaigns. His firm was responsible for hundreds of breakthrough designs that influenced the direction of yacht design across the globe. Many of the Kiwi native’s designs sail regularly on San Francisco Bay.
  • Garry Hoyt – Sailor and marketing executive, he competed in three Olympic Games and multiple one-design championships. Hoyt is the founder of Freedom Yachts and holds 10 patents.
  • Bill Lee – Yacht designer known for his motto, “Fast is fun,” Lee designed fast, yet easy-to-sail boats that racked up multiple awards. He founded Santa Cruz Yachts. Merlin held the Transpac record for 20 years.
  • Jonathan McKee – Accomplished competitor with multiple world championship titles and an Olympic bronze medal, McKee was the head coach for the 1992 US Olympic Sailing Team, which took home medals in 9 of 10 classes.
  • Lin and Larry Pardey – Legendary cruisers, the Pardeys circumnavigated the globe twice on two engineless wooden boats under 30 feet that they had built themselves. They shared their adventures through instructional films, hundreds of lectures and 12 books, inspiring generations of cruisers.
  • Nick Scandone – Paralympic champion Scandone defied a diagnosis of ALS to be named the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 2005 and won a Paralympic gold medal in 2008. He proudly carried the American flag at the opening ceremony in Beijing on behalf of the entire American team.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients for 2022:

  • Roy Disney was a passionate racing sailor who competed in 16 Transpacs. He set the course record in 1999. In addition to race records and championships, Disney was an avid supporter of youth sailing projects. Those projects included the movie Morning Light.
  • Terry Kohler was a lifelong competitive sailor actively involved in improving the sport. He was instrumental in reactivating the Women’s International Match Racing Association (WIMRA). He acquired North Sails in 1983 from Lowell North (Class of 2011), and under his leadership until 2014 built it into the largest sailmaker in the world.
  • Frances Wakeman was an extraordinary sailor, winning the Adams Cup (the North American Women’s Sailing Championship) four years in a row between 1935 and 1938. She was a tireless advocate for women in competition and an inspiration for sailors to embody the virtues of sportsmanship and fair play, and to understand that competition is a pleasurable endeavor.

The NSHOF will honor the Class of 2022 at induction festivities on November 4-5 in Newport, Rhode Island.

Just a Couple More Things About Kenichi Horie

In the July issue of Latitude 38 we shared the story of Kenichi Horie’s successful Pacific crossing from San Francisco to his home port, Shin Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor, Japan. The journey took 70 days and was the 83-year-old sailor’s 11th major voyage, the first being his crossing from Japan to the USA in 1962, when he was 60 years younger.

We’ve written a lot about Kenichi over the previous months; not surprising considering the octogenarian’s history of crossing oceans in all manner of vessels. But recently we uncovered a few new facts about the famous sailor.

Prior to his first Pacific crossing at the age of 23, Kenichi worked as a car spare-parts salesman. And, although he had by then been sailing for seven or eight years, he had never sailed more than 100 miles from his home in Osaka, Japan.

Kenichi's Mermaid
The original Mermaid is displayed at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s Maritime Museum.
© 2022 San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Kenichi’s first voyage caused much consternation for the young man’s family, and the Japanese authorities. Both had refused him permission to leave the country. In fact, it was written on page three of The Sydney Morning Herald on August 15, 1962, that Kenichi had broken the law by leaving Japan without a passport and that his father had ordered him to “come straight home.”

The young man, of course, didn’t listen and spent 93 days at sea aboard his 19-ft black plywood sloop, Mermaid. He carried ¥2000 (in today’s market that’s around $15US), and had provisioned the boat with 110 lbs of rice and tinned foods, 60 bottles of beer, and four bottles of sake. He caught fish along the way to supplement his diet, and upon arriving in San Francisco still had enough food for another month, and had drunk less than half of the beer and sake.

According to the story published in the Australian newspaper, on his crossing Kenichi endured three days of seasickness, and five severe storms. However, the only time he had any concern was when during one of the storms, a 50-ft wave broke through a porthole in the cabin. At that point, he told SMH, he wished he had stayed at home.

In 2002 Kenichi again crossed the Pacific, this time aboard the Malts Mermaid III. And, with a passport.
© 2022 San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Read more about Kenichi and his most recent Pacific crossing in July’s Sightings.