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March 8, 2023

Happy International Women’s Day From the Women of Latitude 38

We all know women who sail, and many of us are those women who sail. But today, we have the opportunity to make more noise and bring to everyone’s attention a few of the women who sail, who also happen to be the crew behind your favorite sailing magazine, Latitude 38.

The following women have all made their own marks on sailing in every form from daysailing to Bay sailing, racing to cruising, offshore to passage making, deliveries and everything in between. And, then we can add that all of these women are also competent mechanics, electricians, woodworkers, bottom painters, riggers… the list goes on. And that’s when they’re not using their skills to collate and publish the stories, photos and ads that make up the monthly pages of the magazine.

Today we pay tribute to this crew, and all women everywhere, whether they be sailing on the water or on land. Thank you for being you and for making the world a better place.

First up (we’re going alphabetically) we have Nicki Bennett, our sales and marketing guru. Nicki singlehands and lives aboard her Ericson 32 Sospiro. Unless she’s out cruising the snow-covered mountains in her “Rad Van.”

women of Latitude 38
We all remember the feeling of “first time…” First time taking our own boat to the pumpout is a significant moment.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki

Next we introduce Heather Breaux. Heather joined the crew just recently and has already managed to sheet in more than a few of our wayward tacks.

There’s nothing half so much worth doing as simply mucking it out on boats. (Yes, we tortured Kenneth Grahame’s quote.)
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Heather

Many readers will already know Penny Clayton. Penny works out of our New York “office” and runs the Latitude 38 office kitty and ensures we always have everything we need for smooth sailing. She’s also our Classy Classifieds magician!

Penny was also lucky enough to sail with Sylvia and Barry Stompe aboard their 48-ft yawl Iolani during the 2013 America’s Cup.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Penny

Here we have Monica Grant. Monica has been heading up ‘Lectronic Latitude for the past couple of years. She loves hearing from all of Latitude’s readers and says you all need to share more of your own stories, too!

Remember those “first time…” moments? They also apply to baking banana bread on an offshore passage, and riding the bowsprit of an 82-ft schooner.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Monica

Please meet Jean Ouellette. Jean is one of our outstanding proofreaders, who on most days can be found ridding our pages of typos and errors.

It’s not the vessel that matters to Jean; it’s simply the adventure and the joy of being powered by the wind.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Jean

This brings us to Christine Weaver. Chris is a foundation of Latitude 38. She is an avid racer and cruiser and can often be found sailing on the Bay out of RYC or somewhere in the Delta.

Chris has also been known to cruise to Mexico with the Baja Ha-Ha.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

And finally we have Colleen Young. Colleen has worn many hats with Latitude 38, from managing the Classy Classifieds to designing and fine-tuning our editorial artwork. In other words, she makes us look good.

Proof that the L38 crew do sail together. That is, when we’re not stuck at our desks.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Colleen

But wait, let’s also recognize Leslie Arndt. Leslie is the wife of Latitude 38 publisher John Arndt, and Leslie is the person who makes everything work. Because… well, all the women will understand 🙂

If she can hold up the GGB, she can hold up the magazine. Thanks, Leslie!
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Leslie

And one more… The wonderful, versatile Crissy Fields, who has been with us through storms and squalls and fair weather alike.

Thanks for always being there, Crissy.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Crissy

Thanks to everyone for joining us on this journey of celebration. And to all the women who aren’t on this page, you, too, rock!

Good Jibes #81: Marga Pretorius on Cruising Solo

This week’s host, Nicki Bennett, is joined by Marga Pretorius to chat about singlehanded cruising on her Kelly Peterson 44 Dogfish. Marga is a shipwright and marine surveyor currently based in Mexico.

marga Pretorius on good Jibes
At minute 26:06 hear Marga’s advice for women who want to cruise solo.
© 2023 Marga Pretorius

Hear how to cruise solo while running your business, how it compares to cruising with a partner, how learning sailing skills can help you conquer other obstacles in life, what the cruising community has meant for Marga, and about her love for the next generation of sailors.

This episode covers everything from singlehanding to marine surveying. Here’s a small sample:

  • How did Marga get to where she is today?
  • What did she do at BMC?
  • How has it been cruising solo?
  • What’s next for Marga?
  • How is her marine surveying business going?
  • What is her degree in?
  • How has Starlink impacted cruising?
  • Short Tacks: What’s Marga’s favorite upgrade to Dogfish so far?

Learn more about Marga at

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!

This episode is brought to you by Svendsen’s Spring Fling. Don’t miss Svendsen’s Spring Fling Boat Show on April 15 and 16. For more information, visit We’ll see you there!

Don’t Forget All the Sunny Winter Days

Although it’s a sunny day today, it does feel as if it’s been an endlessly miserable, wet (or snowy) winter. Sugar Bowl has received 605 inches of snow! The headline news of California weather would suggest nobody has had any good days of sailing this winter. But the photos we’ve received for Sailagram at [email protected] say that ain’t so.

Valerie Bucholtz sent in the photo below of her varnished 1957 Schock Thistle #1075 drying out the spinnaker while the sun sets, after a day of racing at the Thistle Midwinters West at Mission Bay, San Diego — a sunny day.

Valerie Bucholtz captures a dry, sunny evening in San Diego.
© 2023 Valerie Bucholtz

We asked Valerie about her sailing and she replied, “I’m a bit of a gypsy and live in Sandpoint, Idaho, the Bay Area and Puerto Vallarta, depending on the sailing season. I have a boat in each location (Thistle, J/24 and Beneteau First 36.7); however, they are all registered in Idaho due to the fact that I own a home there, thus being the most permanent address. The picture is my 1957 Schock Thistle named Sugar Sugar, hull #1075. She’s a beautiful woody and I’m doing my best to maintain her pristine condition and continue to race her, as she was built to be raced.

“I raced the Richmond Yacht Club small boat winter series and finished in first place overall! I towed her to Mission Bay in February and competed in the Thistle Midwinters West, where the competition was stiff and the conditions are challenging. It was a great opportunity to learn and grow my Thistle sailing skills. I will compete April 1–2 in the Pacific Coast Championships and Nor Cal Districts held at Richmond Yacht Club before beginning [my] journey to Flathead Lake, Montana, in July for the Nationals. I will compete in Eugene, OR, and Vancouver Lake along the way. So as you can see, she is a bit of a gypsy like me. Her name is based on my nickname Sugar, from my father. He calls me Sugar Sue, and my daughter ‘Lil Sug. Thanks for your interest and sorry if I’ve overshared! Feel free to ask for more info if you like. I’m hugely enthusiastic in getting women sailing, and particularly at the helm.”

We don’t think anyone can oversail or overshare. Even though they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” there’s usually a lot more to a picture than meets the eye. It is Women’s History Month and we’re happy to have so many stories to tell of women for whom sailing is a passion, including sharing it with other women.

It was really sunny on Friday, March 3. This photo of smiling crew on Pegasus is proof it hasn’t rained every day this winter.
© 2023 David P. Green

Speaking of sharing sailing, Mark Caplan sent in the photo above of the crew of Pegasus taking school kids from Rosa Parks Elementary School out for a sail on March 3. The Pegasus Project’s goal is “No Child Left Ashore.” They’ve now taken over 20,000 kids sailing aboard their Maine-built Alden center-cockpit ketch. The smiles come out rain or shine.

A Hobie Island and 29er cross paths in a sunny Belvedere Cove.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Elsewhere throughout this “rainy” winter we’ve captured other sunny shots of sailing on the Bay.

February sailing on a Shields out of Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club.
© 2023 Marty Gingras

After some sunny sailing in February, Marty Gingras wrote in about the photo above to say, “Hi, to my favorite magazine. Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club did a team racing clinic in February. We used Shields and the emphasis was on new and young sailors. The attached picture that includes a junior boy is from that clinic.

“The other attached picture (below) is also from a Shields out of MPYC sailing in February. We were exercising the boat and crew.”

Exercising the crew is tough work.
© 2023 Marty Gingras

“As an aside: Waaaay back in 1988, you guys sent me an advertising media kit so I could do an assignment for a communications class at community college. I recently retired after 30 years in fisheries biology. Thanks for the help!”

On a sunny Saturday in January, the gaff sloop Black Witch crosses a sparkling Bay.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

We do have another stormy, wet stretch ahead, but as these photos show, there’s plenty of sunshine to sail in between the storms.

Will Proposed Oakland A’s Ball Park Impede a Future Port of Oakland Estuary Turning Basin?

In one of the starkest conflicts between expanding development and the Bay Area’s working waterfront, concerns have surfaced that an ambitious project along the Oakland Estuary could interfere with ship traffic. Somehow, baseball’s worst and famously lowest-budget team is not only at the helm of a transformative development on the Oakland Estuary, but could could also be in a position to control the growth of the Port of Oakland itself.

Howard Terminal, in the southeast corner of the Port near the edge of Jack London Square, is being considered for an expansion project to widen the current Turning Basin in the Oakland Estuary, where large container ships are spun around to face bow out. According to a representative from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA), the proposed expansion could be in jeopardy “if the Bay Conservation and Development Commission [BCDC] approves the Oakland Athletics application to exclude the Howard Terminal site from its current seaport designation.”

In July 2022, the BCDC voted to allow Howard Terminal to change its designation from “port priority use” to “other purposes,” a key step in clearing the path for the A’s to build a new stadium, and to potentially say no to the Turning Basin expansion. The BCDC will vote on the A’s full application on June 30, according to the American Journal of Transportation.

The inner-harbor Turning Basin in the Oakland Estuary. The expansion of the Port of Oakland’s two federally designated turning basins is seen as crucial to accommodate longer, modern ships.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim Henry

The spokesperson for the PMSA said that a yes vote for the A’s stadium by BCDC in June “will effectively cede control of the 10 acres designated for the Turning Basin expansion to the Oakland A’s,” which would allow the A’s to veto the Turning Basin expansion, which needs to be enlarged into a portion of the Howard site. The PMSA spokesperson also said that “if the Port and the A’s are acting in good faith, they should put their money where their mouth is and keep the 10 acres in the port in the port priority use, and not remove it with the rest of the land that is slated for condominiums and the ballpark,” AJOT reported.

However, a Port of Oakland official told AJOT that the Turning Basin expansion was certain to move forward. “The Port’s agreement with the Oakland A’s reserves up to 10 acres of the Howard Property for the Turning Basin project,” a Port spokesperson told AJOT.

Opinion: If you’re going to build a new ball park, maybe don’t give control of major port and shipping infrastructure decisions to a baseball team — or at least not the worst baseball team in the league. Shouldn’t you have to win a World Series before you can make decisions for a shipping hub?
© 2023 Courtesy Oakland A's

The Port of Oakland and the US Army Corps of Engineers are now studying the feasibility of the estimated $400 million project to widen Oakland’s two federal turning basins — the Outer Harbor, which lies between the eastern ramp of the Bay Bridge and the north shore of the port, and the Inner Harbor, between Howard Terminal and Alameda.

“The Port expects to complete a draft Environmental Impact Report for public review in early 2023,” the Port of Oakland said in a press release.

So how is it that the worst and lowest-budget team in baseball can wield such power over the future of the Estuary and the Port of Oakland? And how much will taxpayers have to kick in to make it happen?

The 35,000-seat, 55-acre ballpark will be “privately financed,” according to most sources. But the $12 billion project, which will include housing, retail, a hotel and other amenities, will involve some chunk of public money to finance the infrastructure and transportation surrounding the stadium.

“It’s still not clear exactly how much public money is involved,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

When the California budget was finalized in 2021, a $279.5 million appropriation to the Port of Oakland was inserted for “improvements that facilitate enhanced freight and passenger access and to promote the efficient and safe movement of goods and people,” Cal Matters reported. The state legislature’s hefty allocation was a response to “numerous pleas from the shipping industry for upgrades to maintain the port’s viability in the face of intense competition for international trade.”

But in 2022, when the port commission approved a list of specific projects that the $279.5 million would finance, the “true purpose became clear. The money would pay for facilities to make it easier for baseball fans to access the new stadium. They apparently would be the ‘passengers’ the appropriation cited,” said Cal Matters.

From the Magazine
Crosby's connection to the sea and sailing often appeared in his music, but his actual sailing life, while tightly woven and well known along the coast of California, was less well known to his worldwide fan base.