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October 18, 2023

Highlights From Lake Dillon’s “Relaxed” Beer Can Racing

We know this isn’t technically about California sailing, but the photos …! In July we shared pictures of a beautiful summer evening sail on Lake Dillon, CO. California sailor Bob Mimura, from Marina del Rey, was reminded of this story when he traveled across the country last month, and stopped in to get his own view of the lake sailors in action. He visited the Dillon Yacht Club and later sent us the following report, along with a few stunning photos that he’d taken from shore.

“During a trip through Colorado this month I visited the club when they had one of their regular Thursday beer can races. Speaking with a club member, I was told that the racing would be very relaxed and informal. There were only three rules, he said. ‘Don’t hit anybody; don’t protest; and don’t fall in.’

“The racing was relaxed all right … but only until the first preparatory flag.”

Lake Dillon race
Bob captured the race start in three consecutive images.
© 2023 Bob Mimura

“The start was surprisingly intense and a blast to watch as a mix of J/22s, J/24s, Etchells, and a bright-yellow Schock 40 fought for advantage.

“In addition to hosting numerous one-design national regattas, Dillon Yacht Club has a really active local racing calendar featuring both one-design classes (J/22, Etchells, J/24, Melges 24) and PHRF.

“Dillon Lake is a beautiful venue,” Bob writes, “and definitely worth a visit if you can time it with [a] racing event.”

Thanks Bob, for sharing your on-the-road story and beautiful photos!

Good Jibes #112: Krysia Pohl on Serving and Sailing

Welcome aboard for Good Jibes Episode 112! This week’s host, Moe Roddy, is joined by Krysia Pohl to chat about Krysia’s 23 years of service in the US Coast Guard, along with Olympic campaigns and sailing for fun. Krysia is chief, prevention at US Coast Guard Sector San Francisco and has worked directly with the past two commandants.

Hear about how Krysia shares her love of sailing with her kids.
© 2023 Krysia Pohl

Hear about how she fell in love with sailing and working in the maritime world, her success for the USCGA Sailing Team, her campaign for the 2004 Olympics, what brought her back to her hometown of Alameda, and the huge opportunity for young people to get into maritime jobs.

This episode covers everything from the Coast Guard to learning to race. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • Where are Krysia’s parents originally from?
  • What was it like growing up in Alameda?
  • When was the first time Krysia stepped onto a boat?
  • Why did she decide to go to a service academy?
  • Was it difficult to leave the Coast Guard?
  • What kind of boat was Krysia’s Olympic campaign on?
  • How did her rank change when she went back to the Coast Guard?
  • Short Tacks: What’s her best sailing advice?

Learn more about Krysia on LinkedIn, and about the US Coast Guard at

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!

A Sailor Shares His Tips on Entering Clipper Cove

The annual holiday season is approaching like a boat motoring too fast into the dock, but unlike driving a boat, there’s nothing we can do about the march of time. So with this in mind, we want to share a video that could be useful to sailors planning to do some Bay sailing during their free time in the coming months.

Jeffrey Berman, of the Tartan 4000 Maverick, had sent us a letter and a video with some tips about entering Clipper Cove. We shared Jeffrey’s letter, republished below, in July’s Latitude 38:

“Many of you are probably thinking about going to Clipper Cove, but aren’t sure how to do it safely. There’s lots of lore about how to get in and out.

“I took video using a Raymarine 3D RealVision sonar and current chart. It was taken at a +1.4 tide. The chart shows the survey depth vs. the sonar depth. [Clipper Cove] has silted up due to tug wash from the bridge construction. It’s soft bottom and can be pushed through; my boat lagged a bit as I hit the soft spot. The conclusion is about a plus-two-ft tide will get you in and out easily. Average draft of six feet is the number I am using for the +two-ft tide.

“Stick close to the pier; make the line from the point of the pier to the small-boat ramp and all will be fine. Avoid the space between there and the bridge. It gets thin there.

“Clipper Cove is named for the Pan Am Clipper seaplanes that used to fly in and out of the Bay. There is a museum in the building with the control tower. Some restaurants and hiking can be done for a nice afternoon. Beaching is easy: Take a long painter to tie off your dinghy. Zipping around in the dinghy and meeting neighbors is always fun. Grab a shot of the new Bay Bridge all lit up at night — quite pretty from the cove. Enjoy being looked at with envy by shorebirds (human type).”

But we couldn’t work out how to share the video in print. So here it is, online:

Thanks again to Jeffrey Berman for sharing.

Who’s Heading South in the Baja Ha-Ha? Part 4

As the 2023 Baja Ha-Ha kickoff draws nearer, we’re constantly fascinated by the variety of people who have signed up for this 29th cruising rally to Mexico. Here are some more sailors who will be among the fleet next month.

Trinity — Spencer 1330 (W)

Sue and Gary Stephens
Bainbridge Island, WA (2003)

Baja Ha-Ha
Who’s who of the Greg, Gary, Suzanne and Sue crew?
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha

Sue is a retired legal assistant, while Gary, 69, is a retired diver. In addition to both doing the 2003 Ha-Ha, they “unofficially” did the 1993 “Some Like It Hot” rally, a loosely semi-organized precursor to the Ha-Ha.

The Stephens’ two crew will be friends Suzanne and Greg, 65, Fults, who did the 2003 Ha-Ha with their three kids aboard their Newport Beach-based Beneteau 444 Lemuria. After becoming fast friends with Sue, Suzanne and Greg are returning for another Ha-Ha, sans children, to help Sue and Gary sail south. Also along for the ride is Sammy, Gary and Sue’s two-year-old kitty.

Gary and Sue have lived aboard sailboats for the last 36 years. After buying their first fixer-upper, Niord, a Traveller 32, they promptly moved aboard to spend the next six years getting her ready to go cruising. They started with the 1993 “Some Like It Hot” rally and continued into a two-year Mexico and South Pacific cruise. Their second cruise was in 2003 aboard the Cheoy Lee Offshore 40 Pegasus, with 7-year-old daughter Amy. It started with the Ha-Ha and included time in the Marshall Islands and even Midway.

Sue and Gary plan to spend winters aboard in Mexico and summers RV-ing the western states. Gary is anxious to get back to warm-water diving, which is his passion. He’s always looking for diving companions, and notes he has a compressor aboard.

Trinity, launched in 1976, will be one of the older boats in the Ha-Ha. The Poobah is a big fan of properly maintained older boats. He wonders if the Stephens have read The Wrecker, by Robert Louis Stevenson. It takes place in Paris, Edinburgh, England, San Francisco, Sausalito, Sydney, Hawaii — and Midway, the atoll they’ve already visited. It’s not the easiest book to read, but it’s the Poobah’s all-time favorite.

Seabiscuit — Watson 48 PB

William Blumlein and Debbie Lyman
Yuma, AZ / Oregon (2019)

Debbie and Bill have great hats for the southbound cruising rally/
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha

William, 67, is a retired glazier, while spouse Debbie is a retired printer. Their crew will be Mike Levesque, 58, retired from construction, and Tiffany Levesque, an active flight attendant.

“I have been sailing and boatin’ for 40 years,” says William, “on four boats I’ve owned and on friends’ boats. Dan Brenny, Mike Levesque and I did the 2019 Ha-Ha aboard my Hylas 44 Scout. Debbie and I have owned Seabiscuit, our 2006 steel-hulled powerboat, for six months. The most unusual thing about her is that I haven’t been able to find her sails yet.

“My dream,” says William, “would be sailing off the Philippines and Thailand on a crewed sailing yacht with Fletcher Christian and Bob Seger, living on seven-layer chocolate raspberry cake and beer, hoping to bump into Jimmy B, and helping him go see the lizard. Life is awesome!”

William’s longest passage to date has been three days.

William and Debbie’s boat may or may not be named after the champion thoroughbred racehorse in the United States in the 1940s, when horse racing was the most popular sport in the country. Although Seabiscuit was small in stature, he beat the 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral by four lengths in a two-horse special at Pimlico. The unlikely champion was a symbol of hope to many Americans coming out of the Great Depression.

Grace — Catalina 36 (W)

David and Jennifer Lane
Oxnard / Tom’s Place

This is one very active family!
© 2023 Baja Ha-Ha

David, 51, is self-employed. Jennifer is an acupuncturist. Their son Kekoa, 15, is a left-handed student of life.

“Ours is a very active family as we’re into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, rock climbing, skiing, surfing, mountain biking, and skateboarding. David is a certified mountain guide and has a storied history of guiding technical rock climbing on El Cap and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Jen has won Jiu-Jitsu competitions against competition 25 years her junior! Kekoa is a competitive junior big-mountain freeskier.

“Our family has been sailing together for seven years,” the Lanes report. “The captain has a convoluted history of sailing and boating as a kid growing up on the Chesapeake Bay. He decided sailing would be a great family activity, so we are now on our fourth boat, having worked our way up from a 13-ft Capri on Crowley Lake in the eastern Sierra.

“We’ve had Grace for three years now. While we’ve never done a Ha-Ha, in 2017 David crewed on a boat from Ensenada to La Paz. After the Ha-Ha we plan on exploring a bit in the Sea and then heading over to La Cruz and Puerto Vallarta on the mainland for the winter.

“Our dream destination is the South Pacific, and in our dreams, we’d do it with something like a Kraken 50 or maybe a cat like an HH44.”

You want to know what the family’s favorite motto is? “You don’t know until you know.”

You can learn more about the 29th cruisers rally to Mexico here.

Boats Afloat
Cruising cats, multihulls, high-performance boats, innovative new products, old friends and new — the Annapolis Sailboat Show was everything a sailor could want, and more!