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September 1, 2023

Wednesday Night Woodies and Beer Can Racing Season Draw to a Close

One of the fantastic things about these two photos of sailing the Bay, sent by Brock de Lappe, is that they were taken on two different Wednesdays, just one week apart. The sad part about these photos is that they’re the last couple of Folkboat Wednesday Night Woodies and beer can racing events out of the St. Francis Yacht Club. The Corinthian and Island Yacht Club Friday beer cans end tonight, though several other clubs carry on through September, with Sequoia Yacht Club running their beer can series until October 4 and Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club ending theirs on October 11. You can see all the Northern California beer can racing here.

Folkboats at StFYC Wednesday Woodies.
Folkboats have been sailing the Bay and the StFYC Wednesday Woodies for decades.
© 2023 Brock de Lappe

The other thing we always notice in the stunning photos of evening beer can racing is that the racers tend to be the only boats on the Bay. Obviously, you don’t need to race to experience an evening sail like those pictured here, but as always, the simple act of signing up to race tends to get you on the water when you otherwise wouldn’t make the effort. If you signed up to race on evenings like this and came in last every time, it would still be well worth it.

Folkboats at StFYC Wednesday Woodies
Folkboats at the StFYC Wednesday Woodies help make sure you never miss the best of the Bay Area.
© 2023 Brock de Lappe

As race editor Chris Weaver wrote on Monday, there are still plenty of other races to sign up for in September. They range from low-key to intense, plus inshore and, Andy Newell reminded us, offshore. The last race of the YRA offshore series is on Saturday, September 9.

Fall is one of the best times to sail the Bay, and there’s a lot more to sailing than racing. If signing up for something helps, you could sign up for the “I Heart San Francisco” day on the Bay when Antenna Theater draws a heart over the Golden Gate Bridge for a Sunday, October 1, tribute to Tony Bennett.

We’re sad to see the beer can racing season winding down, but fortunately, California sailors still have many good days of sailing ahead.

Call of the Sea Crew Party With Latitude 38

Have we mentioned that next week is our annual Latitude 38 Baja Ha-Ha Fall Crew List Party? Tickets are selling like new boat gear, and our exhibitors are lined up and excited to share their latest news with the Bay Area sailing community.

The afternoon will kick off at 4 p.m. with the Baja Ha-Ha cruising seminar for sailors and cruisers preparing to head south. The seminar goes until 5 p.m. followed by a half-hour Q&A session. The main party then begins at 6 p.m. with everyone joining in and making good sailing connections. You’re sure to find people you know, but the best part is that there’ll be dozens more new friends just waiting to be met!

Before you come along to the party, stop in at Call of Sea’s dock by the Bay Model and take a guided tour of the brigantine Matthew Turner. Crew will be onsite at the gate to the pier from 3 p.m. for anyone wishing to join a tour. Tours will be conducted in groups of 8-10 people who will be escorted to the ship. (As the pier is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, people cannot enter without a COTS escort to bring them to the ship.) Tours typically run for around 15 minutes. So add that to your calendar as a great prelude to the party!

Matthew Turner crew sweating lines
Find out how the crew handle the myriad lines and sails aboard the 135-ft Matthew Turner. Cool shirts, by the way!
© 2023 Call of the Sea

Call of the Sea’s vision is to “empower generations of students of all ages and backgrounds to become environmental stewards and transform their world through on-the-water field experiences.” And they’re doing a great job of it. This summer the nonprofit organization had a full schedule of programs. Sylvia Stewart Stompe shared some of the happenings from the last few months.

“Highlights include a four-day seamanship program with Sea Scouts from the San Francisco Sea Scout Viking and Corsair crews. We also piloted a four-day program with 12 students and six teachers from the Utah School for the Deaf, which required extensive advance preparation and planning, including teaching the crew some vital ASL sign language terms!

“The final voyage was with a small group of college students on a summer fellowship from Whittier College, who spent six days sailing around San Francisco Bay and the Gulf of the Farallones. Day programs featured sailing and science summer camps on both schooner Seaward and brigantine Matthew Turner. Campers also spent time sailing the Pelican boats from Spaulding Marine Center and engaging with cool sailing science exhibits run by the Sailing Science Center. They even spent time dissecting squid and enjoying fun games and crafts.

“We are now gearing up for a busy Fall season of school field trips! Learn more at”

Call of the sea Crew
Clara Fraser, Lili Jeske, Lael Burgess and Chad Brubaker have had a busy summer filled with camps and activities. But the sailing won’t stop there; check Call of the Sea’s website for fall sailing opportunities.
© 2023 Call of the Sea

We hope to see you at next week’s party, and we hope you’ll get onboard for a guided tour of the Matthew Turner. Drop us a a thumbs-up below if you’re planning on joining us next Thursday. And in the meantime, have a great weekend!

September’s Latitude 38 Magazine Is Out Today

Woweee! It’s September already! As one of our crew so accurately wrote this week, “Boy, we thought August arrived quickly; nothing compared to how quickly it blasted past.” September often signals change: change in the seasons, change in the weather conditions, upcoming holidays … The one thing it doesn’t signal in our part of the world is the end of the sailing season. California sailors are blessed with year-round sailing. No putting the boat away; just changes in outfits as the fall and winter kick in — still a little way off, as most days the weather is as summery as we could wish for, here in the Bay Area. And as we’re all about sailing, here’s a preview into this month’s Latitude 38 magazine, filled with stories about sailors and sailing.

Catalina Diving With David Crosby

Rick Marvin recalls stories of diving and sailing with David Crosby aboard Mayan in the Channel Islands. “My wife Amy and I owned a charter sailing business, Bluewater Sailing, on the island of Kauai from 1983 until 2005. We had a Pearson 424 ketch rig that we sailed from Hanalei Bay in the summers, and spent the winter sailing from Point Allen on Kauai’s southwestern shore. David and Jan Crosby, Graham and Susan Nash, and many of their friends sailed with us often on Lady Leanne II. Needless to say, we had a ton of fun in the trade winds, and a great boat to enjoy the excellent sailing conditions.”

September issue
Clockwise from left: Bill and Lynn Long, David and Jan Crosby, Rick, baby Anabelle and Amy Marvin
© 2023 Schooner Mayan

I’m Not Bob — The 99th Mackinac Race

The Great Lakes are more like oceans than lakes, but without salt or sharks. They can present dangerous and challenging conditions like the oceans, hurling towering swells, hurricane-strength winds, and freezing sleet and snow, as well as hour after hour of easy downwind runs and gorgeous pink and Tiffany-blue sunrises and sunsets.

Pippin Brehler working the foredeck.
© 2023 Tom Conley

Getting Back to Sailing Basics on Lake Tahoe

I have fond childhood memories of dangling my legs over the rail as I sailed with my best friend’s family to the Channel Islands. I was only 8, and we did not have active roles on those trips, but as saltwater sprayed in our faces, the sailing seed was firmly planted. Years later, the dream was kept alive first by sailing books, followed by a mild obsession with sailing blogs, and then the advent of YouTube sailors. Watching the big sailing channels in their infancy, I saw people learning the life and lifestyle as they went. Sailing felt attainable.

Latitude crew member Nicki Bennett takes the helm during the four-day sailing class on Lake Tahoe.
© 2023 Ryan Cummings

Plus, we bring you all your favorite, regular columns:

  • Letters: DFZ’s First Moore 24 Regatta, a Family Affair; Hold On, Have Fun; Trailerin’ Bigger Boats; Bay Area Cruising Infrastructure Sucks; and many, many more.
  • Sightings: Maui Memories: And Now It’s Gone; Baja Ha-Ha XXIX Is Raring To Go; The Worst Timing Meets the Best Luck; Bear Boat Trigger To Race Again; A Boat and a Life Launched on S.F. Bay; and other stories.
  • Max Ebb Takes Waves 101.
  • Racing Sheet: El Toro North Americans and Santana 22 Nationals, the YRA Encinal Regatta with a crew-overboard recovery, victory at Cowes Race Week for a Sausalito team, a challenging Drake’s Bay Race, the Mercury Huntington Lake Regatta and the Shaw Island Race are the stories covered here. Plus we report a personnel change at the YRA and spew forth abundant Race Notes and Box Scores.
  • Changes in Latitudes: With reports this month on Convergence’s most memorable moments in their seven-year cruise through the Med; Shindig’s owners’ unexpected detour to Vanuatu; Thursday’s Child’s PPJ and ongoing South Seas adventure; Raven’s rewarding exploration of the Marquesas Islands; and a helping of Cruise Notes.
  • Loose Lips: Check out the July Caption Contest(!) winners.
  • The sailboat owners and buyers’ bible, Classy Classifieds.

If you’ve subscribed to Latitude 38, you should receive your issue shortly. If you haven’t subscribed, you’re missing out, but you can still pick up your copy from your favorite distributor.

Joining the Marine Trades With Spaulding Apprenticeships

As we head into Labor Day weekend, we thought it was a good time to welcome aboard the Spaulding Marine Center apprenticeship class of 2024. When we stopped by a couple of weeks ago to make arrangements for our Fall Crew List party on September 7, we learned it was the first day for the Center’s third class of Boatworks 101 participants.

Spaulding Marine Center Boatworks 101
The class of 2024 has just started training at Spaulding Marine Center.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The apprenticeship program is a 12-month paid apprenticeship that trains participants for a career in the marine trades. The best thing about the program is that when you graduate, you’re on your way to one of the best careers anyone could ask for. You’ll be working on the waterfront with a fantastic community of coworkers and with a challenging, interesting array of projects on boats and the waterfront.

Bear boat Huck Finn
To the untrained eye, the Bear Boat Huck Finn might look beyond hope. To the trained apprentice, it’s a diamond in the rough.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Working with your hands to restore, manage, build or care for boats attracts many for the career opportunity, and others as a passionate hobby. The September issue of Latitude 38, being delivered today, has the story of Karl Joost restoring the Bear Boat Trigger, and Allen Gross’s decades of care for the cutter Folly, built in San Francisco in 1889.

Spaulding Marine Center apprentices have built a fleet of Bay Area Pelicans.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Spaulding youth classes
Spaulding Marine Center also is ready to train those who want to start early.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

And while Spaulding’s new apprentices enjoy a long weekend, we’re sure many Bay Area boaters will take the opportunity to sail, and/or to spend their weekend practicing a bit of the marine trades on their own boat. And that’s just fine with us.

Welcome aboard to the Boatworks 101 Class of 2024. We look forward to seeing you at the Crew Party next week, and at a boatyard nearby after graduation.

The Sounds of Sailing
Alli has sailed four Transpacs and is on the board of the Transpacific Yacht Club, the San Diego Yacht Club, and the Cruising Club of America. Hear her thoughts on everything from Transpacs to life lessons.
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