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October 11, 2023

Hurricane Lidia Crosses Mexico Coastline Near Puerto Vallarta

Tropical storm Lidia quickly turned into Hurricane Lidia after Monday, and came ashore just a bit south of Puerto Vallarta as a Category 4 storm. The storm was looking to head farther north, though veered south as it sped up.

Hurricane Lidia
Hurricane Lidia threatened the entire area around Banderas Bay.
© 2023 NOAA

Our friends at PV Sailing updated their Facebook page, saying Lidia crossed the coast last night and that they’re now on the “back end” with little damage. Other areas didn’t fare quite as well as the hurricane made its way through Puerto Vallarta. According to Reuters, although the storm had weakened to a Category 2, the hurricane’s strong winds caused the death of one person when a tree fell on the van he was driving.

Social media videos showed flash flooding amid reportedly 140 mph winds:


Good Jibes #111: Dr. James Bender on Teaching on Boats

Welcome to Good Jibes Episode 111. This week’s host, John Arndt, is joined by Dr. James Bender to chat about his love for being on boats and giving back to the next generation of sailors. James has spent most of his career as a captain and educator on sailing ships, and in outdoor environmental education programs both in the US and internationally.

James Bender
How did James become an educator?
© 2023 James Bender

Hear how he got interested in life on the water, what he learned working on barges, about his most memorable deliveries, of the magic of education on boats, and why Croatia is the best place in the world to sail.

This episode covers everything from British barges to island-hopping. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • How did James get into wooden boats?
  • Where did he grow up?
  • How did he end up in Croatia?
  • What kind of racing does he do in the Bay Area?
  • How did he start teaching on boats?
  • What stories does he have from Mystic, CT?
  • When did he start delivering boats?
  • Short Tacks: What’s his longest voyage?

Learn more about James at and

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and your other favorite podcast spots — follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

The Waterfront Gears Up for This Weekend’s Inaugural Sausalito Boat Show

As sailors, we love boats, and one of our favorite ways to enjoy boats is to attend a boat show. The Bay Area has a history of boat shows, but usually in the East Bay — a routine we’d come to know, and expect, until 2020 upset everyone’s calendars. This coming weekend, the other side of the Bay gets to turn it on, with the inaugural Sausalito Boat Show.

The event has been months in the making, starting from an idea seeded by a group of Marin-based maritime businesses and boating enthusiasts. “It’s taken on a life of its own!” says show manager Mitch Perkins of the local, “grassroots” event. The show will feature around 45 sailboats including Jeanneau, Catalina, Excess catamarans and others, all presented by Bay Area dealers. But of course, that’s not all.

Informative seminars about sailing, rigging, marine navigation equipment, corrosion, electrolysis and shock hazards, as well as a talk by the Marine Mammal Center, and Michael Rex sharing information about the Charles Van Damme Ferry Paddle Wheel Project, are spread across the three days. No registration is required. Seating will be on a first-come first-served basis.

Paddle Wheel.jpg
What’s going on with the paddle wheel?

In true show style, the weekend is likely to feel more like a festival than just a boating event. Five different bands will provide a musical backdrop, starting at 3 p.m. on Friday with the Hawaiian-grown performer Matt Bolton. And don’t forget Sunday’s “Last Call in Paradise Party,” from 12 to 2 p.m., co-hosted by Latitude 38 and Spaulding Marine Center. The party is free to show ticket holders, and you can get discounted beer tickets at the Latitude 38 and Spaulding booths. Come along and enjoy the music of the Cruz Boys and a tribute to Jimmy Buffett.

The Juke Joint Band will play their tunes from 3 p.m. on Saturday.
© 2023 Sausalito Boat Show

Another fun, community feature will be glass-art displays, and on Saturday from 11–5, artists at the nearby ICB/ART facility will be giving demonstrations in their studios.

Did we mention family fun? Parents can be assured both they and their kids will be entertained with games and activities such as Giant Jenga, Bean Bag Toss, a Pirate Ship Bounce House, and more. Oh, and scuttlebutt says KKMI’s Paul Kaplan is going to be seated in the Dunk Tank!

But back to the show. We’re looking forward to catching up with all our friends and readers. We’re also excited to spend time with many of our advertisers who are hosting their own booths. You can see the full list of exhibitors here.

The Sausalito Boat Show is scheduled from October 13 to 15, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (5 p.m. on Sunday) at Clipper Yacht Harbor, 310 Harbor Dr., Sausalito.

Tickets are available here: Let’s Go to the Show!

And for the show map, parking and shuttle information, follow this link. There will be designated bike parking, so you can leave the car at home!

sausalito boatshow

Oh, one more thing … pets are not invited this time, but service animals are welcome.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Two America’s Cup Anniversaries Have Come and Gone

On September 26, 1983 — just over 40 years ago — the longest winning streak in sporting history was broken when the US lost the 25th America’s Cup to Australia. This was news to most Americans, who probably never knew the Cup existed until they lost it.

Australia’s win in ’83 set up what will forever be my favorite Cup: the 1987 Match in Fremantle, Australia. I was 12 years old and had been sailing for a few years, and I was just starting to race. Thirteen challengers from six countries battled in the Louis Vuitton Cup in the big breezes and smashing seas off Western Australia, with Dennis Conner ultimately finding redemption. To quote the classic 1992 movie Wind, which was inspired by the events between 1983 and ’87, “The only thing better than winning the America’s Cup is losing it … and winning it back.”

“Me losing after 132 years was the best thing that ever happened to the America’s Cup and the best thing that ever happened to Dennis Conner,” said Dennis Conner. “Before the win by the Australians, the America’s Cup was only big in the minds of the yachties, but the rest of the world didn’t know or care about it at all. But when we lost it, suddenly, everyone appreciated it. If I hadn’t lost it, there never would have been the national effort. Without that, there never would have been the ticker-tape parade up Fifth Avenue in New York, lunch with the President at the White House, and all the doors of opportunity that it opened.”

This photo of Australia II, seen here just after winning race 7 in 1983, made the rounds on my social media feed in late September.
© 2023 National Museum of Australia/Larry Moran

On September 25, 2013 — just over 10 years ago — Oracle Team USA completed one of the great comebacks in sports history after rallying from an 8-1 deficit to beat New Zealand and successfully defend the 34th America’s Cup right here on San Francisco Bay.

Sailed on the giant AC72 catamarans, the Cup had entered the foiling era.

I worked for the America’s Cup Event Authority in the summer of 2013. After watching the final race on the big screen at piers 27/29, I found myself on the dock next to Teams USA and New Zealand as they converged to shake hands. Larry Ellison cracked a small, satisfied smile, while Emirates Team NZ skipper Dean Barker looked absolutely devastated. Team USA had won eight races in a row to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Surely, the America’s Cup would forever be ensconced in these glorious, feel-good moments.

The 34th America’s Cup was a spectacular event in a spectacular sailing venue, with Team USA (foreground) mounting a phenomenal comeback over Team New Zealand.
© 2023 Abner Kingman/ACEA

Though I was personally invested in both events, I’ve kind of lost interest. I wish there were more teams and more all-star skippers aside from the small handful who also moonlight on the SailGP circuit. (Actually, SailGP is now their full-time gig and the AC is the side hustle.) I like the foiling boats and appreciate the massive technological leap taken. I have seen first-hand the trickle-down effect — countless windsurfers whom I’ve sailed with for 15 years, most of them in their 60s, have jumped onto foils.

But once you’ve watched one foiling boat going 50 miles an hour, you’ve seen them all. Once you’ve watched a boat raise and lower a spinnaker, you’ve seen them all. To be fair, once you’ve watched other people play sports — be it surfing, football, sailing, basketball, etc. — you’ve seen them all.

Could the argument be made that the winged keel used by Australia in the 1983 Cup led to the foiling era? Foiling has been around since black-and-white photography, but the winged keel marked the beginning of an arms race in innovation.
© 2023 Wikipedia

My apologies, reader, for my tardiness in marking these two significant America’s Cup anniversaries. Since starting at Latitude in 2017 — the year of the 35th AC — I’ve been curator of a deeply polarized and sometimes bitter discussion over the past and present of the Cup. People either love or hate the foiling era, and say so often.

I posted that top photo of Australia II on our Facebook page; the only comment was this: “The same guy built two more 12-Meters to defend the Cup; [they’ve sat] abandoned in a yard in Borneo for well over 10 years, winged keels and spars, sails rotted away years ago. BTW, I think the Cup lost its glory when they stopped racing 12m boats. I lost all interest.”

According to Sailing Anarchy, Bengal II and III — originally Australia III and IV — were spotted in Miri, East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, in April.
© 2023 Sailing Anarchy

What about you, reader? Do you occupy a middle ground between the two Cup extremes, aka the past and the present? Do you have memories of Cups past that are unique to you or evoke nostalgia?