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October 5, 2022

Bay Area Sailor John Clauser Wins Nobel Prize

From sailing to science, it appears John Clauser from Walnut Creek has all the right stuff. Known locally as an avid sailor aboard his 1D48 Bodacious+, the perhaps lesser-known side of Clauser is his work as a physicist. To the science world, he is known as Dr. John F. Clauser, 2022 Nobel Prize winner. Clauser, 79, is one of three physicists awarded for their work in quantum information science — specifically, their experiments concerning quantum entanglement, a phenomenon that occurs when two separated particles behave as one.

Clauser is an experimental and theoretical physicist, best known for his contributions to the foundations of quantum mechanics
© 2022

Author of several science publications and winner of at least three prizes, Clauser, when not studying photons and other data, sails with both Berkeley Yacht Club and Richmond Yacht Club. His wife, Bobbi Tosse, is well known in Bay Area racing communities as a race PRO for BYC.

Below is an interview Clauser gave after learning of his Nobel Prize. By the way, despite the intense and high-profile nature of his work, the man is definitely a sailor at heart. It’s stated at the closing of his official CV — “John is also an avid sailboat racer.”

Congratulations, John! We’re honored to be sailing in company with you. (Although… does this mean you’ll now be using your physics skills to beat us all in every race?)

John Clauser's Bodacious on SF Bay
John Clauser and his crew aboard Bodacious+ competing in last month’s Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by St. Francis YC.
© 2022 Daniel Forster

Good Jibes #60: Archie Contreras on Relaxing at Catalina Island

This week’s host, Ryan Foland, is joined by Archie Contreras in person just off Big Geiger Cove at Catalina Island. Archie owns the 60-foot Titania — showcased at wooden boat shows — and has been sailing to Catalina for years, just like Ryan. But first, remember to enter our Good Jibes one-year anniversary contest. Details below.*

Archie Contreras at helm
At 14:55 find out what Archie wanted to do when he grew up.
© 2022 Archie Contreras

Hear about the joys of visiting Catalina; how to extend your boundaries, improve your anchoring skills, and predict the weather; and why there’s nothing wrong with doing nothing.

This episode covers everything from Catalina to wooden boats. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • When did Archie start sailing to Catalina Island?
  • What’s the history of Titania?
  • Why are there bison on Catalina?
  • What sailing lessons does Archie have to share?
  • How is it sailing to Catalina?
  • What keeps Archie coming back to Catalina?
  • How do you get better at anchoring?
  • Short Tacks: What’s the number-one spot to check out on Catalina?

Learn more about Archie on Instagram @SY_Titania.
Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots — follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

*Good Jibes One-Year Anniversary Contest

This month we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of our Good Jibes podcast by giving away five Spracht BoneHead Sport headsets. Just sign up for our weekly Good Jibes newsletter to enter. Five winners will be drawn at random from people who sign up from October 1 to October 31. The BoneHead bone-conduction headsets go around your ears, not in them, so if needed, you can hear what’s going on around you while you listen to your Good Jibes podcast or your favorite sailing songs. Sign up here.

More Ways to Win: Leave a review and tell us why you love Good Jibes in Apple Podcasts.

To complete the entry take a screenshot of your review, share on social media, and tag @latitude38magazine, email the screenshot to [email protected] OR both for extra entries.

Mexico-Bound Cruisers Are Passing Through San Francisco Bay

Fall is when cruisers in the Northwest, along with whales and other migrating species, start making their way toward the warm, sunny waters of Mexico. Many met up at our Fall Crew List Party at Spaulding Marine Center, and others are anchored in the Bay or tucked into marinas. We were on the docks at Schoonmaker Point Marina in Sausalito and came across a couple of impressive boats that are heading out shortly.

The 68-ft Gunboat Slim was tied up in the basin, looking polished and ready to go anywhere. We spoke with the crew, Travis and Anna McGarry, along with their ship’s dog Lola, as they were preparing to head south. Like many, they had been coming through the Panama Canal a year ago, but pandemic delays caused them to miss the window to head to the South Pacific.

Gunboat 68 Slim
Travis, Anna and Lola aboard the Gunboat 68 Slim in Sausalito.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Plan B was a trip up the West Coast coming as far north as San Francisco. Asked what they’d discovered as a highlight of this trip, they mentioned Catalina Island as an unexpected surprise. After being in the Med they were expecting something more like the hard-partying, overdeveloped islands lying off Italy or Spain, but were completely surprised by the raw, natural beauty and open spaces with wild bison roaming around. Despite being well-traveled professional sailors, they were also amazed by the swimming and diving. Not at all what they expected just 25 miles offshore from the 20+ million people living in L.A. Avid kite- and wing foilers, they also were awed by, and took full advantage of, San Francisco’s reliable winds: another huge plus for their California diversion.

Gunboat 68 Slim
Gunboats look fast even sitting still.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Travis, Anna and Lola are finally going to be heading south with plans for the South Pacific as the season opens in 2023.

Nearby was the 72-ft Sea Dragon, which visited the Bay in 2018 with then-crew Eric and Shanley Loss. Eric and Shanley are both adventurous Southern California sailors whose adventures include Eric’s solo circumnavigation on an Islander 36 and their sailing voyages on their own boat to Greenland and elsewhere. We wrote about them in our March 2019 issue. Eric and Shanley are still managing shoreside operations for Sea Dragon while the new Italian skipper, Alessandra Peparini, and her crew are bringing the boat south from the Pacific Northwest.

Alessandra Peparini Sea Dragon
Skipper Alessandra Peparini started her professional sailing career in the Med but now she’s taking Sea Dragon wherever the wind blows.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Alessandra and Sea Dragon are heading to Ensenada, where they plan to haul out and refit before resuming their scientific and charter voyages among the Pacific islands. You can learn more about the Sea Dragon and Pangaea Exploration here.

Most of the boats sailing through are filled with people taking time off work to explore the warm waters to our south. But for both of these crews, taking the boat south is “work,” though sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. There are dozens more who have passed through to join the Baja Ha-Ha or are just following the annual migration at a pace that suits them.

Pat Broderick Presents “Ghost Ships of San Francisco Bay” Tonight

Have you heard of the ghost ships of San Francisco Bay? It’s estimated that over 4,000 ships have met their end on San Francisco Bay, the adjacent Pacific Ocean, and the Sacramento Delta. Some foundered in the notorious fog, some succumbed to storms, some became part of downtown San Francisco after being abandoned by Gold Rush crews; surprisingly, some drifted ashore due to tidal action and lack of wind, and others simply vanished.

Tonight (Wednesday, October 5) local sailor Pat Broderick is presenting his talk “Ghost Ships of San Francisco Bay” on Zoom, at the Mill Valley Historical Society, as part of Mill Valley Library’s virtual events.

Pat has sailed on San Francisco Bay since 1971. He’s well known to Bay Area racers as both a race organizer and a competitor, currently sailing his Wyliecat 30 Nancy. Pat became interested in San Francisco Bay nautical archaeology when a tugboat engineer neighbor came home with wine bottles from a Gold Rush-era ship uncovered by construction along the old Embarcadero.

USS Benevolence lies awash on her side
The USS Benevolence, a Navy hospital ship, lies sunken and awash about three miles off Lands End, just south of the shipping channel.
© 2022 US Coast Guard

We don’t want to give too much away, but this excerpt from Pat suggests his talk will be very interesting:

“The first ship to enter the San Francisco Bay was the Spanish packet San Carlos, commanded by Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala, on August 5, 1775. The San Carlos departed Sept 18, 1775. Since that day, not all ships have departed the Bay or arrived successfully. The first recorded wreck, the Spanish galleon San Agustin, washed ashore during a storm in 1595 at what we now call Drake’s Bay, about 30 miles north of the Golden Gate. Four hundred twenty-seven years later, winter storms continue to cause anchored boats to break loose and wash ashore, adding to the total.

“How many shipwrecks lie scattered on the floor of the Bay, or in nearby waters or landfill? Few of us are aware of these relics from San Francisco’s maritime past, many forgotten for a century or more. Yet every day Bay Area residents pass over long-buried ships. Some Muni riders even tunnel through a ship on their daily commute.

“This evening’s talk will visit some of the steam schooners, Gold Rush ships, workhorse steam schooners, Golden Gate wrecks, and US Navy ships that forever remain ‘ghosts’ in our waters, if not in our memories. It features a video of our late friend Garland Sloan, who survived the sinking of the only US Navy hospital ship to sink — just a few miles beyond the Golden Gate.”

The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. (PT) on Zoom.

Advance Registration is Required. Register here: Ghost Ships of San Francisco Bay

The talk will also be available on the Mill Valley Library website later this week.

Pat presented his talk at the Corinthian Yacht Club in February this year. If you missed it then, here’s your second chance.