Skip to content
October 12, 2022

The Bay Area Boats You See on the SF Osprey Cam

As we have mentioned before, we often use the “Osprey Cam,” which can be found at, to check the wind in the East Bay. The advantages of the cam are threefold: It’s the easiest (and freest) way to see if it is ON in the wonderful sailing grounds of Point Isabel; one can be an amateur ornithologist by checking in on the osprey maternity ward in the spring months; one can often catch a glimpse of Bay Area boats gliding by.

You can just make out the rough, circular blob of the osprey’s nest at the apex of the upside-down V shape atop the crane in Richmond, seen here on October 1. The osprey cam sits atop the rail, to the right of the nest.
© 2022 Tim Henry

Here are some highlights from this past summer:

We’re pretty sure that’s Nico Popp’s Jeanneau SF 3600 Invictus — which was also the March issue’s cover girl — gliding into the frame on May 8.
© 2022 Golden Gate Audubon Society
A zoomed-in, grainy version to confirm our suspicions.
© 2022 Golden Gate Audubon Society

This was our prize catch from the summer (and kind of the whole justification for this story):

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the Matthew Turner, heading into Richmond on August 17.
© 2022 Golden Gate Audubon Society
We caught the MT coming — and going, about an hour after arrival, and clearly with some more bodies onboard.
© 2022 Golden Gate Audubon Society


And now a few honorable mentions:

We’re pretty sure that’s a Tom Wylie-designed boat that materialized in our pixels on August 29.
© 2022 Golden Gate Audubon Society
It’s not sailboats, but for nautical nerds, it’s always fun to watch boats — as if they were models on a set — do their thing. The rain and clouds were a sight for sore, drought-ridden eyes on September 18.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Golden Gate Audubon Society

If it’s a windless day and you’re looking for a random shoreside adventure, type Riggers Loft Wine Company into your phone, and be prepared to weave through an industrial slice of the waterfront, past parking lots full of brand-new cars fresh off the boat, to arrive at a little slice of gentrification on the waterfront. Riggers Loft is a great place to put up your feet, enjoy a fancy adult beverage, and watch the abundance of boats go by — from sea level and in real life, rather than from a high perch beamed onto your screen.

This corner of the Richmond waterfront is also home to the Red Oak Victory (top left corner), a World War II-era ship built at Richmond Kaiser Shipyards.
© 2022 Tim Henry

Good Jibes: Adventures From Sausalito to Costa Rica With Jim Shaw

This week’s host, John Arndt, is joined by Jim Shaw to chat about the best of times sailing from Sausalito to Mexico to Costa Rica and beyond. In the early 1970s, Jim and some friends pulled off a legendary cruise from Sausalito down to Mexico in a rebuilt, refashioned surplus Navy whaleboat.

Hear how they rebuilt the boat and about their adventures down the coast, the characters they met along the way, eating well on the water, and the perks of cruising and living in Costa Rica.

Jim Shaw on Good Jibes
How long did it take Jim and his friends to rebuild the whaleboat?
© 2022 Jim Shaw

This episode covers everything from the tumultuous 1960s to Sausalito houseboats. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • How did Jim and crew put the boat together?
  • What year did they go to Mexico?
  • Has Jim been in Sausalito recently?
  • Does he ever wish he’d stayed at the bank?
  • Where does he live in Costa Rica?
  • How’s the cruising in Costa Rica?
  • Did Jim stop sailing at some point?
  • Short Tacks: What was his longest offshore voyage?

Learn more about Jim here: and check out his Facebook group:

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!

Thanks for listening to Jim Shaw and John Arndt on Good Jibes with Latitude 38. Subscribe here to receive Latitude 38 at your home each month. And remember to sign up for our weekly Good Jibes newsletter for a chance to win one of five BoneHead Sport headsets. BoneHeads 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. We’re giving them away in celebration of the one-year anniversary of our Good Jibes podcast. Sign up here.

Baja Ha-Ha Means It’s Time for Downwind Marine’s Mexico Cruising Seminars

If you’re heading south with the Baja Ha-Ha, Downwind Marine, “the cruiser’s chandlery,” is one of the many businesses and Baja Ha-Ha sponsors ready to help you on your way. Boats have been moving south from as far north as Alaska and everywhere in between, and are hopefully already enjoying some leisurely West Coast cruising before the final send-off on Monday, October 31.

Baja Ha-Ha Parade
If you’re in San Diego but not going on the Ha-Ha, we still encourage you to come out for the Monday morning send-off just because it’s a lot of fun.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The Downwind Marine seminars start on October 17 with Tim Gaub of Doyle Sails, followed by seminars with Safety at Sea moderator Bruce Brown talking on Basics of Safety on Board, and a shipwright from Koehler Marine talking on making friends with your diesel. You can see the full line-up of Downwind seminars in our monthly calendar, or in Downwind Marine’s ad on page 103 of the current issue. The seminars are open to all cruisers heading south, so it’s a great opportunity to refresh your cruising knowledge before turning left.

The Baja Ha-Ha will be hosting USCG Search and Rescue specialist Doug Samp, and also Pacific Pacific Puddle Jump ringleader Andy Turpin, on October 28 and 29 at West Marine in San Diego. You can see more in our Calendar.

In the midst of all the seminars, Downwind Marine will be hosting their annual Cruisers’ Welcome Event and Vendor Fair on Saturday, October 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can meet some of the speakers and vendors with questions at the fair, located at 2804 Canon St. near Shelter Island.

Baja Ha-Ha Costume Party
Just because they’re having fun doesn’t mean they’re not serious cruisers who soaked up a lot of knowledge at Downwind Marine’s seminars during the weeks leading up to the Ha-Ha.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Richard

This all leads up to the Baja Ha-Ha Kick-Off Party in the West Marine parking lot on Sunday, October 30. It’s Halloween weekend, so it’s a costume party. Guests are welcome. Then on Monday morning, October 31 at 10 a.m., the Baja Ha-Ha parade will once again send off the fleet from the end of Shelter Island.

The parade is hosted by the Sportfishing Association of California aboard the sportfishing boat Dolphin. Mariachi music, fireboats and cheers from guests, and Ha-Ha “chaperones” like West Coast Multihulls, will be all part of the launch of the 28th Baja Ha-Ha.

We look forward to seeing everyone in San Diego at the end of the month. Hopefully you’re already in cruise mode and can take advantage of these last opportunities before heading to the warmer Mexico cruising grounds to our south.

Want To Learn To Splice Rope? Join Jeff Zarwell for His Upcoming Class

PRO or rope guy? Jeff Zarwell is probably best known for officiating sailing regattas and races around the Bay Area and all over the country, so we’re pretty sure you’ll have seen him around. Some of you may even have seen him at West Marine. But did you know that Jeff is also a rope guy? Next week, on Wednesday, October 19, Jeff Zarwell is sharing his other great skill and passion: rope slicing.

Jeff is conducting a free two-hour rope splicing class at Spaulding Marine Center. During the class you’ll learn how to make an eye splice, splice in a thimble, end-to-end splice, and if time allows, a rope-to-chain splice with three-strand rope. You could, of course, try learning this from a book or from a video clip, but we all know that in-person is a much better way to learn hands-on activities. Jeff has been splicing for years, for both practical and decorative applications, and his technique is outstanding, just like his PRO skills. He knows what he’s doing!

Jeff Zarwell with flags
We’ve heard of a person wearing many hats. But what about waving many flags? Jeff does both.
© 2022 Courtesy Yacht Racing Association

At the completion of this class, you’ll be able to splice your own dock lines, rope/chain anchor rode, dog leash, or whatever needs a piece of three-strand rope with an eye (loop) at one or both ends. So book yourself in for this free class, and learn, or even brush up, your splicing skills.

The class will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Spaulding Marine Center, 600 Gate Five Road, Sausalito. Spaces are limited, so book here.

According to Samson Rope, knots can significantly decrease a rope’s strength, while, in most cases, splicing maintains 100% of the specified rope strength.
© 2022 David J. Fred

And if by some chance you’ve never heard of Jeff Zarwell…

Jeff began competitive one-design racing on San Francisco Bay in 1980, and in 1994 began managing the races for the Golden Gate YC. He was certified as a US Sailing National Race Officer in 2002, and after developing and managing a winter training series for the West Coast Farr 40 fleet, he founded RegattaPro.

Jeff Zarwell profile pic
Jeff Zarwell in action on the water.
© 2022

He has managed regional and national championship regattas, as well as world championships and the America’s Cup World Series across the United States, Central America, Cuba and Europe. Jeff is also currently the Area G Race Officer for US Sailing, overseeing the development and training of current as well as aspiring race officers.

You’ll be in good hands!

To see all current and future classes at Spaulding Marine Center, go to their home page, or see the full list here.

Bay Area Boat Dealer Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

On Thursday, October 6, the California attorney general announced a guilty plea by Debbie Reynolds of Passage Nautical for tax evasion. Over three years, Reynolds withheld $1.3 million in sales tax revenue from her businesses in Richmond and Oakland. Reynolds pled guilty in Contra Costa County Superior Court to felony sales tax evasion.

We contacted Debbie Reynolds, who reports she chose to plead guilty to avoid a lengthy trial and possible jail time, and to continue the business so she can pay restitution and serve her customers and employees. She stated, “I regret that I did not fully pay the sales taxes to California on time. I have paid restitution. I have also hired a firm to take care of my accounting and ensure all reporting is accurate and timely.

“I am in the business, running it, and will continue to run it. The state agencies are expecting my business to continue operating and that I will be running it. I am very remorseful that this happened, and it is truly my sincere hope that people will forgive me and will want to continue to work with me and my team, who should not suffer at my negligence, and that if there is a loss of any trust or faith in me, that it can be regained.”

Bay area boat broker Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds is continuing to operate her business, Passage Nautical.
© 2022 Deborah Reynolds


The World Famous L38
Here's an unusual picture for this month's Caption Contest(!). Hopefully this hasn't happened to you!