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December 2, 2022

Have You Seen the Daughter of Mount Tamalpais?

Vikas Kapur recently won a copy of Tales of the Fish Patrol by Jack London, when he was the first to read and respond to a story about our new Latitude 38 bookstore. He subsequently sent in a couple of photos and a track of his Saturday sail out of Sausalito, aboard Modern Sailing’s Beneteau 41. During the sail he took the shot below, showing the symmetry of the hills in the foreground and Mount Tamalpais in the background.

Mt. Tamalpais and daughter
Have you ever noticed this before? From this perspective, Mount Tamalpais, said to be a sleeping maiden lying on her side, has a matching range of hills in the foreground.
© 2022 Vikas Kapur

One of the crew noticed this alignment a few years ago and called it “Mt. Tam With Her Daughter.” Most who’ve sailed this classic loop think they’ve seen it all, but there’s always something new to notice.

Modern Sailing sail track
Vikas also sent us the track of his 27-mile sail, including a whale sighting to the east of Alcatraz.
© 2022 Vikas Kapur

While we keep looking at various tracks on the Bay, we wonder if anyone has ever tried to spell their name or create some type of art with their sail track. Either way, this 27-mile loop of the Bay, with an average speed of five knots, offers the endlessly stunning views of various parts of the Bay and a broad, comfortable spectrum of Bay sailing conditions.

This coming weekend doesn’t look as good as the last one, but there’s plenty of good sailing ahead.

Berkeley Midwinters and More Look Forward to Round 2 in December

Race start at XOC
The November Berkeley Midwinters used the fixed mark XOC as the startline pin. Identifiable in this photo are the race signal boat Windance (a Gulfstar 41), Dan McGuire’s Sweden 41 Resa, Katie Cornetta’s J/105 Nirvana, and Inspire Sailing’s J/105 Inspire.
© 2022

As December begins we look forward to the second round of the Midwinter Series races that kicked off in November. Among them is the Berkeley Midwinters, sailed on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month through February. Berkeley Yacht Club’s Mark Bird filed this report about the first weekend of racing on November 12-13.

The first weekend of the Berkeley Midwinters Series was exactly what we have all come to expect from the Midwinters. No wind. Or, if there does happen to be some wind, there is no way to know what direction it will come from. Nevertheless, 38 boats showed up in five divisions on Saturday, eager to race in whatever wind came our way.

Saturday Series

Saturday’s dead calm brought a 1-hour, 40-minute postponement. The race committee milled about the XOC mark like a mama duck followed by 38 ducklings. Finally, a very light 3.5-mph wind kinda filled in from the SW-S-SSE. We quickly dropped the mark and fired off the horn to get started. All 38 boats were on their way around a rather short windward/leeward course.

As it turned out, nearly the entire course was updwind, as just about the time the first boats rounded the windward mark the wind began to shift 180 degrees. This made for a beautiful, slow-moving spinnaker dance. All the spinnakers slowly rotated from a run to a reach and then finally a douse about midway to the leeward mark one mile to the north. The wind began to fill in from the southwest, which bunched the boats together at the leeward mark. Then it brought all the boats to the finish line in one glorious group, making for an exciting finish.

The J/111 SwiftNess, skippered by Nesrin Basoz, took first in the Carbon Fiber Everything Fleet (PHRF <84). The Olson 30 WYSIWYG, skippered by Hendrik Burns, crossed first in the We Used To Be the Fast Boats Fleet (PHRF 87-111); Will and Julia Paxton, skippering Motorcycle Irene, took first in the Express 27 ‘Nuff Said Fleet. The Santa Cruz 27 Sunshine Express, skippered by Ben Tallarigo, won the day in the Kinda Fast Fleet (PHRF 111-156). Paul Sutchek’s Cal 20 Slainte crossed first in the Don’t Leave Without Me Fleet (PHRF >159).

Alerions and Strange Magic
John Arnold’s Alerion 28 Diana, Larry Telford’s Islander 30-II Antares, and Mark Werder’s Islander Bahama 30 Strange Magic on a reach during Sunday’s race.
© 2022

Sunday Series

Sunday’s race started out with just enough wind (5-8 knots) coming from due north, which allowed for an almost-on-time start. Thirty-two boats in five divisions showed up for this one. As the race committee worked their way through the five starts, the wind began to drop, prompting a discussion of how best to shorten the twice-around windward/leeward course. In the end, the do-nothing approach won out, as the wind not only picked up to 8-12 knots but also shifted 90 degrees to the west, turning the race into a reach-athon. This actually turned out to be a fun race, with just the right amount of wind, even if it was a reach.

Frank Nagelmann, at the helm of the Olson 34 L’Attitude, crossed first in the Fast for Sunday Fleet (PHRF <126). The J/24 Froglips, skippered by Richard Stockdale, took first in the Anything Goes Fleet (PHRF123-168). In the Prettiest Girl at the Dance Alerion 28 one-design fleet, Fred Paxton and Arnie Quan on Zenaida took first. Mark Werder’s Strange Magic crossed first in the Not Too Terribly Fast Fleet (PHRF >171). In the I Wanna Hold Your Hand (Doublehanded) Fleet, Colin Moore and Alex Hanford sailed Colin’s Wylie Wabbit Kwazy together as equals to victory. Finally, in the Leave Me Alone (Singlehanded) Fleet, Paul Sutchek skippered Slainte to a lonely victory.

For complete standings and more info, see

Readers — Find many more Midwinter Series in our Calendar on pages 12-14 of the December issue of Latitude 38 and online here.

Factoid — BYC race committee volunteer extraordinaire Bobbi Tosse will miss December’s BYC Midwinters. She’ll be in Sweden with hubby John Clauser, who’ll be there to accept his Nobel Prize in Physics. — ed.

Exceptional 39′ Dragonfly 1200 For Sale on San Francisco Bay

Dragonfly 1200 Helms


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The Sailing Books That Made Us

We’ve all probably told everyone who would listen about the sailing books that were seminal in our lives.

I probably told you that after reading The Long Way, by Bernard Moitessier, I was inspired to return to the world of sailing and sailboats. I’ve definitely told you that I had been windsurfing my brains out for almost two decades, but after reading Bernard, I was ready to return to keels and cabins and canvas, long passages at sea, and anchorages off beautiful islands.

But was I able to tell you exactly why The Long Way spoke to me? As I’ve sat down to write this story, I’m not sure that I can articulate what was so stirring about Moitessier’s words. I guess it was the right book at the right time for me.

Some sailing books just make us.

Just to be clear, my telling you about my favorite sailing book — yet again — is an attempt to get you to tell us about your favorite sailing books. (Please comment below, or write us here.) Can you say why it’s your favorite? Can you say how it “made you” the sailor that you are? (And just to be clear, this story is yet another attempt to try to get you to visit Latitude 38’s new online bookstore —

The list of sailors influenced by The Long Way is simply too long to mention. (I bought a copy for a friend years ago and still haven’t sent it.)
© 2022 Tim Henry

I found my copy of The Long Way on an outdoor rack at Pegasus Books in Berkeley in 2014. I had seen the documentary Deep Water about the 1968 Golden Globe Race just a few weeks before, even though the film is from 2006.

I’m sure I found the book to be just as much a look inward as it was outward, at the sea.

“I am neither happy nor sad, neither really tense nor really relaxed,” wrote Moitessier in Chapter 14, Joshua Against Joshua. “Perhaps that is the way it is when a man gazes at the stars, asking himself questions he is not mature enough to answer. So one day he is happy, the next a bit sad without knowing why. It is a little like the horizon: for all your distinctly seeing sky and sea come together on the same line, for all your constant making for it, the horizon stays at he same distance, right at hand and out of reach.”

Even though he was attempting such an epic thing, Bernard was just a man enjoying being at sea. He never seemed alone; he was always reveling in the nature around him.

“My porpoises have been swimming around Joshua for over two hours,” Moitessier wrote in Chapter 12, The Time of the Very Beginnings. “When they leave, all at once, two of them remain behind until twilight. They swim as if a little bored, one on the right, the other on the left, for three hours, each isolated on his own side, without playing, setting their speed by Joshua’s, two or three yards from the boat. I have never seen anything like it.

“Porpoises have never kept me company this long. I am sure they were given the order to stay with me until Joshua was absolutely out of danger.”

As he was making his way to the start of the 2006 Baja Ha-Ha, Randy Ramirez of the Stockton-based Flicka 20 Dulcinea shared a magical moment that any sailor who’s been offshore can relate to.
© 2022 Randy Ramirez

Once I started working at Latitude, I wrote about Moitessier whenever I could, though he was already well established in the zeitgeist. Some of you even knew Bernard. When I first met Randall Reeves in 2017, he told me about the time he interviewed Moitessier onboard Joshua in Glen Cove, Vallejo. “Moitessier wanted to talk about saving the world; I wanted to talk about the ocean. It was the worst interview ever,” Reeves told me, adding, “[Bernard’s] descriptions in The Long Way were early inspirations for wanting to see the big, bad ocean.”

Not everyone is a fan. A friend once told me that he was living with a perhaps somewhat intense Frenchman when he tried to read The Long Way, and just couldn’t vibe with the book. Over the last few years, Moitessier has felt a tad dated to me, like an artifact of my “youth” that no longer speaks to me in the same way. His “mysticism” that I once found so compelling felt at times too “woo-woo,” like something you’d read on your hippie friend’s Instagram feed.

This, of course, is a normal cycle through which any piece of writing, music, artwork, etc vacillates — meanings ebb and flow like the tide.

In my rereading parts of The Long Way for this story, however, the meanings have changed yet again, and I remember some of the old kinship I felt nine-ish years ago. In fact, I’d almost forgotten that there was a passage that inspired a painting I made in 2014.

Again from Chapter 14:

“During a gale, I saw a pyramidal sea. It collapsed like an avalanche, and the sound it gave made me think of a distant thunderstorm. Eyes wide, I watched and listened, every hair on my skin standing straight up. The sea was angry all around, yet neither the sea nor the boat could be heard anymore, only the roaring of that wave, cascading for long seconds and covering all other sounds.”

Over the years, I remember the passage I just quoted — which inspired this 2014 painting — much differently. I guess I imagined Bernard’s wave on a moonlit night, just before it broke.
© 2022 Tim Henry

Give the Gift of Sailing With the Siebel Sailors Program

Bay Area sailor Tom Siebel is well known locally, and around the world, for creating the successful Siebel Systems and for his once-extensive and varied collection of beautiful and fast-sailing yachts, from the MOD 70 Orion to the J Class sloop Svea, among many others. However, before all his success, if we remember correctly, Tom started sailing on Sunfish around the Great Lakes. This lifelong passion for sailing has been transformed into ongoing support for youth sailing, through US Sailing’s Siebel Sailors Program.

Launched in 2019, the Siebel Sailors Program is a national drive to get more youth into sailing, and to date, has served over 700+ youths annually. Following its initial funding, the program has been expanding with your donations, and right now, every donation you make before midnight, December 31, 2022, will be matched dollar for dollar by the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation, doubling your impact! You can change the life of a child who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to be on the water. You can spread the joy of sailing by funding one or more of the gifts on the Siebel Sailors Program Wish List. Your tax-deductible donation will go directly toward the Siebel Sailors Program to ensure that these essential items are available for every new youth sailor.

youth from Siebel Sailors Program
The Siebel Sailors Program and Alameda Community Sailing are giving more kids the opportunity to sail the Bay.
© 2022 ACSC

The Bay Area is home to three Siebel Sailing Center locations, Treasure Island Sailing Center, Golden Gate Yacht Club Youth Sailing Foundation and Alameda Community Sailing Center.

It’s the gift-giving season, and there are many very deserving youth programs near you. We know the gift of sailing is one that will last a lifetime. Pass it on!