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October 13, 2023

Ensenada’s Todos Santos Regatta Attracts Local and International Fleet

For anyone heading south for the coming winter, whether with the Baja Ha-Ha or by themselves, we just want to mention that cruising south of the border isn’t only about balmy evening sunsets and cocktails on the beach. Mexico has a good range of racing regattas, the most recent being the 18th annual Todos Santos Regatta around the Todos Santos Islands off Ensenada on October 8. The Sunday event featured a great mix of visiting US sailors and local racers battling for the bragging rights during this, the signature race of Club Nautico Baja (CNB).

The club filed the following report:

“It doesn’t get any better than this!” stated CNB Commodore Jorge Hurtado. “Our US friends had to deal with no wind and thick fog on their way during the Little Ensenada, but we fulfilled our promise of fine racing conditions on Sunday! Congratulation to all the winning crews and all particpants.” The after-race awards dinner at the Hotel Coral & Marina featured presentations, music and dancing, and a Mexican “taquiza” buffet that got rave reviews.

The conditions featured plenty of wind (in the 9-15-knot range) and fog along the 18-mile course, but with sufficient visibility to navigate. There was one dismasting: the 24-ft custom catamaran Mexicat, which had completed the Little Ensenada race (skipper Frondo van Os) the day before and taken two trophies, but the crew self-rescued with no harm done except to their pride.

Ensenada turned on a beautiful day for sailing.
© 2023 Club Náutico Baja

Beautiful, one-of-a-kind “sirena” (mermaid) sculptures were awarded to winners in the best overall and best corrected-time categories, open to all boats. Handcrafted of cast aluminum and created by local Ensenada artist John Reistetter, these beautiful works of art were taken home by the top two winners and provided plenty of motivation for racers. CNB expects to offer similar awards in select future regattas as an incentive to racers.

Trophy at Todos Santos Regatta
Sirena. Now that’s a trophy!
© 2023 Club Náutico Baja

This year, the major awards for the Todos Santos Regatta were:

Best overall time: Minotaur, the Santa Cruz 37 captained by Andrew Constantine of the San Diego YC, took first place in this, the top category. Hot on their heels was Spin Doctor, an Andrews 40 custom, under captain Paul Farrell of the Point Loma YC. Both boats have participated regularly in Ensenada, with great results. AEOLOS, a Beneteau First 44.7 (skipper Gregory Price, SDYC/CRA) placed third.

San Diego YC’s Andrew Constantine hoists Minotaur’s sirena trophy.
© 2023 Club Náutico Baja

Best Corrected Time: The C&C 33 MkII An Dara Claddagh, under skipper Ken Henehan (also from the SDYC), took top honors in this category, with Minotaur in second and Miguelito, a C&C 40 (skipper Larry Vanderploeg, Silver Gate YC) in third.

This year, 12 of CNB’s fleet of 34 local yachts competed exclusively for two Mexican perpetual trophies. Those results were:

Clase Ligero (light class): First place went to Yatemg (pronounced “yacht-M”), a Catalina 27 and regular CNB club-race winner, skippered by Eduardo Morales. Yatemg was awarded the B&G perpetual trophy. Yatemg also was fifth overall in corrected time behind Spin Doctor, no small feat! Captain Morales has had essentially the same crew for 10 years, and has a living room full of hardware to show for it.

In second place was Morales’ regular rival in CNB club races, Attempto, a Morgan 27 under immediate-past CNB commodore Bodo Weber. Third was Colibri (“Humingbird”), a Hunter 26.5 skippered by CNB treasurer Mark Tuniewicz.

Attempto’s crew look pretty happy with their result.
© 2023 Club Náutico Baja

Clase crucero (cruising class): The beautiful blue-and-white-hulled Beneteau 50 Pajaro Madrugagor (“Early Bird”), representing Ensenada’s Cuatro Cuatros vineyard, won with captain Xavier Hernandez at the helm. Pajaro Madrugador was awarded the Ensenada Municipal President’s (Mayor’s) Perpetual Trophy.

In second place was first-time racer Kenya, a Freedom 30 with CNB member Luis Alvarado at the helm for owner David Allen. Gioconda, a Swan Grand Soleil 50 (also a first-time racer in the CNB fleet), was third, with CNB member Paco de Anda helming for owner Ramon Maturana.

The “Popero,” or consolation prize, was given to S/V Serenity, a Columbia 30 skippered by Carlos Perez.

You can see more photos from the awards party here. But be warned, the page reads in Spanish.

Exploring Alameda’s Open House Club Crawl, Part 1

A 6.5-mile-long island deeply embedded in the Bay Area metropolis, Alameda is well positioned to show off its sailing chops. The eight-club Alameda Yacht Club Community organized an island-wide open house on September 16.

Aeolian Yacht Club

The first club on our itinerary was Aeolian Yacht Club on the southeast side, right next to the Bay Farm Bridge (we missed the left turn and ended up over the bridge and into Oakland Airport territory). We started there because Aeolian was the only one with morning hours, offering coffee, fruit and pastries. We received a thorough tour. Larry Knight built the club in 1909, and it currently has 199 members. Their docks can accept up to nine liveaboards (per the BCDC).

Aeolian YC clubhouse and docks
Aeolian YC’s clubhouse, as seen from one of its docks.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The club includes rowers, paddlers, powerboaters, sailors, and Sea Scout Ship 9. The bar, upstairs, overlooks the harbor and includes a shuffleboard table. Downstairs, a pool table resides in a beautiful room of its own undergoing restoration. Potlucks, bingo games, bar nights and club races are regular activities. The initiation fee is $450, and quarterly dues are $137.81. Our tour guide, Kim Arrivee, called it “a working man’s yacht club.”

Aeolian YC pool room
The pool room renovation appears to be nearing completion.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

In order to get out to the South Bay, Aeolian YC sailors request a simultaneous opening of two bridges — the Bay Farm vehicle bridge and the San Leandro Bay Bike Bridge — then motor out a narrow but short channel. Turn the other way, and you’re on kayak-friendly San Leandro Bay.

Morning Star
On the Saturday morning when we visited, several boats, including Morning Star, were preparing to go out for a race. How would they get out to the Bay?
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Bridges opening.
By having these bridges opened.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Ballena Bay Yacht Club

Before crossing the island to Alameda’s northeast shore, we circled around to the west and Ballena Bay YC, situated in Safe Harbor Ballena Isle Marina on the South Bay. (If you are seeking a slip on San Francisco Bay, this marina appeared to have plenty of open berths.) The marina includes a community garden with artsy little nooks and a Sea Scout Ship. Neighboring businesses in the shoreside complex include a store, restaurants and Club Nautique.

Ballena Bay Yacht Club entrance
Ballena Bay Yacht Club leases a suite with a patio in the Ballena Isle Marina complex.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Founded in 1968 when the marina was brand new, BBYC has 60 members, with a goal of 90-100. About 25 are boat owners. The club interior has been beautifully updated, and the galley is currently undergoing renovation. They have a pool table and darts, and the bar is open Friday-Sunday, 5-9 p.m. Dues are $70-$80/month, plus a volunteer commitment.

BBYC bar
BBYC’s commodore, Michael Muetz, welcomes an open houe guest in the early afternoon.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Island Yacht Club

We drove across the island, parked the car at Grand Marina, visited Blue Pelican and Mosley’s Café, then walked to the remaining clubs. A short stroll to Alameda Marina past shiny new condos found Island YC set up in a pop-up tent and serving lunch in the parking lot. When Alameda Marina started their development project, they tore down the old IYC clubhouse, but the now-paper club is going strong, hosting racing, daysailing, socials and the long-running Women’s Sailing Seminar.

Island Yacht Club booth
Eileen Zedd, the commodore of IYC, welcomes guests to the club’s popup. Basil, the two-month-old puppy-in-a-pouch, charmed visitors.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The club, founded in 1970, has about 250 members. IYC is the best bargain on the Bay. With no clubhouse to pay for, they have no initiation fee and the dues are just $100. That’s not per month — that’s per year! They hold many of their shoreside activities and post-race gatherings at the Boathouse Tavern, across Clement Street from Alameda Marina, and some at Alameda YC.

Alameda Yacht Club

Speaking of Alameda YC, that was our next stop. Located in Fortman Marina next to the Marina Cove Waterfront Park, AYC has a big deck overlooking Fortman Basin. Members get a key to the clubhouse; it has an honor bar. They offer Wednesday and Friday dinners attended by up to 50 people each week. Founded in 1985, this all-volunteer club has 80 members and charges an initiation fee of $200 and monthly dues of $60.

Alameda Yacht Club
The Alameda YC clubhouse as seen from the Marina Cove Waterfront Park.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Alameda Yacht Club deck with Thuy Nguyen and Jeff Gear
At AYC, we chatted with Thuy Nguyen and the club’s vice commodore, Jeff Gear.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

We’ve taken up a lot of page space just visiting half of the clubs, so we’ll share Part 2 of this tour in ‘Lectronic Latitude next Monday.

Shoreline Lake Celebrates 40 Years on the Water

Forty years ago, the City of Mountain View embarked on a mission to create a recreational park within what came to be known as Silicon Valley. Their canvas was 544 acres of junkyard, hog farm, two substandard dumps, low-lying flood plains, and a sewage treatment plant. Fifteen years later, in 1983, the City’s plan came to fruition, resulting in Shoreline Regional Park. The park’s centerpiece was Shoreline Lake, a 50-acre saltwater lake that has become a playground for sailors, paddleboarders, kayakers, foiling craft, and pretty much everything one can do on or around the water.

Many have started at Shoreline and become life-long sailors. We recently ran the story of Adrian Maciuca who is now racing at Redwood City High School and has invented a new product for the sailing world. 

Shoreline lake 40-year anniversary
Shoreline Lake has an extensive sailing program. Predictable summer breezes and the snug, enclosed nature of the lake make it ideal for learning to sail or windsurf. Light winds in the morning are perfect for beginners, while the afternoon’s <25 mph breeze means playtime for the experienced.
© 2023 Shoreline Lake

This Sunday, October 15, the City of Mountain View is celebrating the 40-year milestone with a family-friendly Community Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Along with live music, food vendors, carnival games and many other activities covering the themes of “Future, Present and Past,” the day will feature Shoreline Lake’s new wing foiling class, skippered sailboat rides, a waterfront BBQ and much more.

Wing foiling is scheduled to join the program next spring.
© 2023 Shoreline Lake

There’ll even be an appearance by Shoreline Lake’s signature Burrowing Owl Cookies in support of Mountain View’s favorite bird.

Incredibly cute, and edible!
© 2023 Shoreline Lake

You can find full details of the day’s events, including location, parking and shuttle information here.

Get Ready for Tomorrow’s Annular Solar Eclipse

If you’re out for an early morning sail on the Bay or a stroll down the docks tomorrow, you may find yourself wondering if your clock was wrong and you got up too early. An annular solar eclipse will be visible from around 8 a.m. with the full “ring of fire” occurring at 9:19 a.m. PDT. NASA describes an annular eclipse as resulting “… when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, but when it is at or near its farthest point from Earth. Because the Moon is farther away from Earth, it appears smaller than the Sun and does not completely cover the Sun. As a result, the Moon appears as a dark disk on top of a larger, bright disk, creating what looks like a ring around the Moon.”

The Bay Area will see only a portion of the occultation, with the greater views occurring northward over Oregon as the path of annularity progresses through Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and onward. The eclipse is due for completion over Texas at 12:03 p.m. CDT. According to SFGate, the whole affair will last around three hours, and for optimal viewing of the highlight — the ring of fire, which lasts around five minutes — one needs to be within 125 miles of the path of annularity.

solar eclipse path across USA
It looks as if most of the continent will get some portion of the eclipse.
© 2023

Of course, the local view here in the Bay Area is dependent upon our skies being clear, which may or may not happen. Current weather reports suggest we’ll be starting our day under a cloudy sky, though we’ve all known forecasts to be wrong at times. Either way, the predicted 76.57% percent coverage of the sun will likely be enough to create a midmorning gloaming. A curious moment whenever it occurs. We can only imagine the surprise and fear experienced by those who witnessed eclipses before knowing what they were.

This video produced by Great American Eclipse shows the phenomenon’s path: “This animation simulates the view from a spacecraft chasing the annular solar eclipse from an altitude of 125 miles.”

If you intend to “look” at the eclipse, please be properly prepared. We’ve all been told before, but it’s good to be reminded. NASA writes, “Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.” They’ve got a whole page on Eclipse Safety; it’s worth checking out.

Happy weekend, sailors. And if you’re heading to the Sausalito Boat Show, drop in and say hi.

We’ll be there, with bells on!
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC /
The World Famous L38
Add your comment to this month's Caption Contest(!), and check out last month's winners in the October issue of 'Latitude 38.'