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October 10, 2022

A Lot of Fleet Week Fog and Only a Little of the Blue Angels Air Show

OK, we know not everyone is stoked about Fleet Week’s air show, and their reasons are valid. We won’t go into all that right now, but we will say, for the people who don’t think the air show is a positive thing, that this year’s show was, by usual standards, a bit of a flop. Karl the Fog was in his element this weekend, wafting thick and heavy across the Bridge and along the San Francisco shoreline, and all the way across to the East Bay. As a result, Saturday’s Blue Angels show was a limited iteration of its full version, and Sunday’s show was canceled. Understandably so; doing what those pilots do would be hard enough without having to fly blindly through fog.

The good news is that one of our crew, Nicki Bennett, managed to sneak out of work on Friday to join Chris and Marissa Neely aboard their Cheoy Lee 41 Avocet and watch the show from the water.

The only fog-free afternoon of the three-day air show.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
Chris Neely happy at the helm of Avocet. He and Marissa sailed north from Ventura to enjoy some Bay time before heading south for the Baja Ha-Ha.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
One lone angel in the sky.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
She may not be nimble like the jets, but it’s always exciting to watch the United passenger plane go through her paces.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
What was your office view like on Friday?
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
Freda B and Matthew Turner were crossing tacks with the schooner Seaward (the platform for this photo).
© 2022 Spaulding Marine Center/Jay

Private vs Charter Yacht Ownership — Which is right for you?

Dream Yacht Sales

Considering a yacht purchase? Curious about the advantages of a yacht charter ownership program? Learn more about what factors to consider in making a yacht purchase decision that’s right for you. Read the blog.

Only Three Weeks to Baja Ha-Ha XXVIII — Are You Ready?

It’s now exactly three weeks before the start of the 28th Baja Ha-Ha. To help cruisers prepare for this fun sailing rally to Mexico, the Poobah has put together some helpful tips. Below is Part One.

The Poobah is happy to report that he’s rapidly recovering with a new hip he got in Mexico from the great Dr. Max in Bucerias. And is otherwise in shockingly excellent health thanks to the Ha-Ha Boot Camp.

Because of the devastating Hurricane Ian in Florida, and Hurricane Orlene, which just passed the Poobah and Puerto Vallarta last week, the Poobah understands that folks might be concerned about hurricanes in Mexico at the Ha-Ha time of year. While it’s true that October is the month with the highest number of tropical storms in Mexico, historically everything has changed by November. There has never been a tropical cyclone that crossed the Ha-Ha path, although twice the fleet was paused out of an abundance of caution due to potential disturbances that turned out not to live up to their potential.

People have asked if it’s possible for “outsiders” to attend the Last Cheeseburger in Paradise Costume and Kick-Off Party at the West Marine Store in San Diego the day before the start of the Ha-Ha. Yes, everybody is welcome. Skippers and first mates of entered boats get in free; there is a $12 entry fee for all others. Lunch consists of salad, burgers, beans, pie and whipped cream! Limited amounts of wine and beer are free for those of age. Lunch is served until 3 p.m.

Enrique, in Turtle Bay, called yesterday to say the town is once again eager to welcome the Ha-Ha fleet. He will be selling fuel at $7.50 a gallon. Yes, it’s expensive, but Turtle Bay is in the middle of nowhere, so it’s kind of like buying fuel in Mendocino, California, where gas is $9.60 a gallon. There are other fuel options, such as Cedros, Asuncion, and San Carlos, but none are as convenient as Turtle Bay during a Ha-Ha. If you’re going to want fuel in Turtle Bay, Enrique is asking you to get on Channel 16 as soon as you arrive to let him know. The Ha-Ha will be there at the same time as the smaller 30-boat CUBAR powerboat fleet, and most of them will want fuel. Enrique will have 14,000 gallons.

The Turtle Bay Beach Party is “Bring Your Own Food,” but the Ha-Ha will have a grill and briquettes for anyone to use. The locals will be selling ice-cold beer. The Poobah will also be selling 200 Ha-Ha Dogs for $2 each, with all proceeds going to a Doña de Mallorca-supervised Mexican charity to feed schoolchildren. It has not been uncommon for people to donate as much as $100 per dog, even if they don’t want the dog.

Turtle Bay
Oh, boy… If you’re heading south, this is just one of the beautiful stops you can look forward to. Are we jealous? Yes!
© 2022 Kurt Roll

There are no banks on the Ha-Ha route between San Diego and Cabo San Lucas, so bring lots of US ones and fives.

Victor, our host in Bahia Santa Maria, called to report that he’ll once again have a live rock ‘n’ roll band for the beach party up on the bluff. And that the wives of the fishermen will be preparing the fish plates for lunch. They will have lots and lots of cold beer, too. It’s a surreal experience.

The best things are baseball equipment (even in Bahia Santa Maria, where there is no field) as well as school supplies, dolls, and other toys. Little hands do better with crayons as opposed to pens and pencils. Mind you, Turtle Bay is a village without paved streets, and Bahia Santa Maria is a tiny enclave that doesn’t even have streets. So the kids have almost nothing and are very appreciative of what they receive. It takes so little to bring huge smiles to their faces, so please, those of us who have so incredibly much ought to make the effort.

We’ll share more tips on heading south in an upcoming ‘Lectronic. In the meantime, take a look at last year’s Baja Ha-Ha.

The Latest News for Yacht Racers From the YRA

Save the Dates

The Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay has scheduled their Year-End Trophy Party for Saturday, November 19. All awards from the YRA’s 2022 racing season will be handed out at the party. If you raced with the YRA this year, plan on coming out to share a beer and swap racing tales, and to pick up any awards you might have won. Location TBA. Latitude 38 plans to cover the YRA champions in our January issue.

The YRA’s Doublehanded Midwinters will start the next day, on Sunday, November 20. The series will continue on December 18, January 22 and February 26. Look for registration to open soon on Jibeset.

J/88 Butcher with spinnaker
The YRA began offering Doublehanded races in 2020 as a way to get sailors back on the water following the initial COVID lockdown. The format proved popular.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

And plan ahead to add May 6-7, 2023, to your calendar for the Great Vallejo Race. New for next year, the YRA is planning a team trophy, with four boats per team.

Vallejo Race raftup
Sunday morning at Vallejo Yacht Club, as racers prepare for Great Vallejo Race Day 2 from VYC to Richmond YC.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Race Committees Need Volunteers

The YRA will host a virtual Race Committee Workshop on Wednesday, October 19, 7-9 p.m., led by Jeff Zarwell, the US Sailing Area G ARO. Register here.

Jeff Zarwell with flags
Jeff — and other PROs — would prefer not to be a one-man band. Can you lend a hand?
© 2022 Courtesy Yacht Racing Association

“Serving on a race committee is a great way to give back to the sport of sailboat racing. It gives you additional perspective regarding the work it takes to pull off a regatta,” writes the YRA. “This virtual workshop will be an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to get more involved in race management and working on race committees. Jeff will take participants through the various jobs race committee volunteers can expect to take on, and best practices for the various race committee duties. After the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to join race committees for upcoming races, getting hands-on experience.”

2023 YRA Schedule Deadlines

If you’re in charge of your club or association’s 2023 race schedule, please send your event details to Laura Muñoz at the YRA no later than October 24. Email your info to [email protected]. This will facilitate your marine event permit with the Coast Guard and it will get your race(s) into the 2023 Northern California Sailing CalendarThe YRA’s final calendar meeting will be on October 26 to review the dates.

The deadline for advertising in the calendar will be November 4. Please contact Nicki Bennett to reserve your ad space: (415) 383-8200 ext. 109 or [email protected].

PHRF Certificates

The YRA will begin issuing 2023 PHRF Certificates starting on December 1. If you need a 2022 PHRF Certificate, you have only a couple of weeks left to get it. The next PHRF Committee meeting is scheduled for October 24. If your boat needs a new rating, please send its information in to the YRA office by Thursday, October 20.

Looking Back at 2022

In 2022, the YRA issued more PHRF certificates than in any recent year since 2016. However, attendance in individual regattas and races was down. We speculate that the field has been becoming ever more diluted, with so many diverse races. Now that COVID restrictions have lifted, the calendar is as full as ever. And more events seem to pop up each year.

Turn In Your Old Marine Flares for Safe Disposal

Over the next four weeks boaters can take advantage of free marine flare collection opportunities around the Bay Area. The locations and dates vary, so check the details below for your locality’s drop-off point. Proof of residence will be required.

West Contra Costa County — October 5 to November 5, 2022, Wednesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond, CA 94801. Learn more here.

Del Norte and Humboldt County — November 5, 2022, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1700 State Street, Crescent City, CA 95531. Learn more here.

East Contra Costa County — November 6, 2022​, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 2550 Pittsburg-Antioch Hwy, Pittsburg, CA 94565. Learn more here.

Alameda County — November 6, 2022, at 2100 E 7th St, Oakland, CA 94606, by appointment only. Make an appointment here or call (800) 606-6606​.

For general information on disposal of expired marine flares, please contact the California Department of Toxic Substances Control ([800] 728-6942) or your local Certified Unified Program Agency for assistance.

flare disposal
Boaters can easily amass an arsenal of expired flares. It’s better to take advantage of a free disposal opportunity.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / andy

The collection project is a partnership of Alameda County, Delta Diablo, Del Norte County, West Contra Costa, and the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) with CalRecycle, California State Parks and Coastal Commission’s California Boating Clean and Green Program, and BoatUS Foundation. The aim is to collect expired marine flares and educate residents about marine flare management safety, including the advantages of reusable distress signals, to protect communities and local environment.

​Recreational boaters in grant areas can take expired marine flares to the collection events at their local household hazardous waste (HHW) facility during special events. Only expired marine flares from residential boaters will be accepted, not those from commercial craft or an organization. No other HHW materials will be accepted during the special event.

​The coalition behind these events urges residents to stay alert for future temporary collection events and consider switching to reusable eVDSDs. You can learn more about reusable eVDSDs and the collection events here.