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November 1, 2023

Three Boats Burned at Oyster Cove Marina This Morning

Three boats have burned to the waterline at Oyster Cove Marina, South San Francisco, this morning. Latitude 38 readers Monika Williams and Rob Parrish of S/V Quicksilver were witness to the blaze and sent us photos. Monika wrote, “Rough morning outside Oyster Point Marina (the one recently shut down). Multiple boats on fire. These boats were anchored in the cove since the marina closed.”

Boats on fire
The three boats ablaze as seen from the shore.
© 2023 Monika Williams

“It struck me as peculiar that the boats were so far apart (not rafted together). Hard to imagine they had accidents simultaneously … Hoping that nobody was injured,” Monika added.

It was later learned that the three boats had been rafted together when the fire broke out.
© 2023 Monika Williams
SSF Fire Department tweeted, “Currently @SSFFire working multiple boat fires in the Oyster Point Marina, Multiple Fire Agencies on scene.”
© 2023

We spoke with South S.F. Deputy Fire Chief Matt Samson, who was still on the scene at 10:30 this morning. Samson told us the fires involved an anchored sailboat, a powerboat and a small skiff. The boats had been rafted together when the blaze broke out; as the flames took hold the boats became separated, resulting in three separate fires.

The San Francisco Standard reported this morning that “numerous people” had jumped from the burning boats. While Samson did not state the number of people involved, he did say that “all are accounted for” and confirmed that one person was admitted to a hospital with minor injuries.

The fires have now been extinguished, but all boats are completely burned out, with one being partially submerged in the shallow waters. Firefighters are deploying booms to minimize the contaminant spread in the water.

At this stage the cause of the fire has not been determined.

Oyster Cove Marina has been the subject of discussion in recent years, with around 110 boats being given eviction notices in mid-2022.

Good Jibes #114: Westsailors on Breaking Singlehanded Transpac Records

This week’s host, Chris Weaver, is joined by Bill Stange, Gary Burton, and Randy Leasure to chat about the 2023 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race (SHTP). All three sailors broke Westsail 32 records in the race. Hear their history with the race, their most dramatic sea stories, how they battled adversity, why they chose to race a Westsail 32, and their sailing plans for 2024.

Good Jibes #114
Listen in on this fun conversation.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Good Jibes Archives

This episode covers everything from high speeds to injuries on the water. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • What is Bill’s history with the Singlehanded Transpacific Race?
  • Why did he have to slow down?
  • How far behind Bill was Gary?
  • What were the final standings?
  • Why choose a Westsail 32 for a race?
  • What was Randy’s injury?
  • What are Randy, Bill, and Gary’s sailing plans for 2024?
  • Any final thoughts?

Learn more about the Westsailors 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!

Great Costumes at RYC’s Great Pumpkin Regatta

Great Pumpkin Regatta

Moore 24s with spinnakers
The Moore 24 fleet raced on the Olympic Circle course in the Great Pumpkin Regatta on Saturday.
© 2023 Ira Potekhina / White Raven Media

Richmond Yacht Club hosted yet another great Great Pumpkin Regatta last weekend. Sailors raced around the buoys in three areas (Southampton, Olympic Circle and Deep Water) on Saturday, followed by a pursuit race on Sunday. In between, they threw an epic Halloween party, with dancing to the tunes of Shark Sandwich and a costume contest.

Halloween costume contest
The fellow wearing the RYC inflatable mark won the costume contest — he reminded everyone of the dozen or so marks everyone saw so much of on the race courses that day. Events committee volunteers painted the monsters on salvaged cardboard for the backdrop.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Man dressed as construction worker with two hoists.
Can you tell that RYC’s commodore, Randall Rasicot, has been dealing with the rebuild of the club’s marginal wharf and two hoists?
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Cinde Lou Delmas, Milly Biller, the Fennell family
Left: Cinde Lou Delmas and Milly Biller first raced against each other at age 7; now they sail together on Cinde’s Alerion 38 Another Girl. Right: The Fennell family raced their Moore 24 Paramour — and won.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Kids in costume dancing
Creatures of all sorts packed the dance floor.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Although no one was able to finish the pursuit race in scary-light air and wicked-strong current, much fun was had nonetheless. Chase-boat crews tossed bags of candy to sailors ahead of the start, and racers fished for the 15 pumpkins dropped into the water. If one got bored in the calm drifting, there was always the trivia quiz for entertainment and educational value. We’ll have more on the quiz, complete with the answers, in a future ‘Lectronic Latitude post. We’ll report on the actual racing in the December issue of Latitude 38.

DRYC’s Halloween Regatta

In Marina del Rey, Del Rey YC held their Halloween pursuit race on October 21. All but one boat entered were able to finish. Neil Fraser’s 1D35 Mexican Divorce finished first in Class A, and Paul Hofer’s Jeanneau 50 Scarlet Fever finished first in Class CA. Sailors celebrated at the club — in costume, of course!

3 people at DRYC in costume
Left to right: Mary and Jeff of the Catalina 42 Starlight, with DRYC Hostess with the Mostest Kim Clark.
© 2023 Andy Kopetzky
Four aces and a king
The crew of the C&C 25 Mis Cue had the winning hand.
© 2023 Andy Kopetzky
Cat in the Hat with Things.
The crew of the J/111 Obsidian with skipper John Staff as the Cat in the Hat.
© 2023 Andy Kopetzky

The Ultimate Sailing Calendar Is Out Already

We admit to being jealous of the Ultimate Sailing calendar. Every year, we’re approaching the deadline for our next year’s sailing calendar when we get Sharon Green’s Ultimate Sailing calendar, and we think, “Dang, she’s already done!” We’re still collecting information from sailing schools, racing programs and one-design classes, plus new ads from advertisers. Our deadline is coming right up — on November 4 — but we still have lots to do.

Ultimate Sailing Calend
The magnificent Ultimate Sailing calendar is ready to welcome in the new year.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

It’s easier to look forward to a new year with inspiring photos of sailing. Or inspiring events like the 2024 Pacific Cup or the Three Bridge Fiasco or YRA In-the-Bay Series.

Latitude 38 November Issue Is Out Today

We hope you’ve been keeping up with your reading this year, as we now present 2023’s 11th issue of Latitude 38 — there’s only one more coming up before we launch into 2024! Whew! If you’ve missed any of the previous issues you can find them here. But moving on, we’ve compiled a great variety of stories about sailors and sailing from all perspectives for the November issue. Check it out:

Surviving the Lahaina Fire — A First-Hand Account

I was at Lahaina Harbor aboard my boat Stella Orion when I first saw the smoke. I tried to drive the one mile back down Front Street to my house, but traffic was at a standstill. At the last corner — where turning around was still possible — I turned the wheel and went the wrong way down a one-way street to get back to the harbor. If I hadn’t, I may have been stuck on Front Street in my vehicle like so many others.

Some made it. Some didn’t.

Lahaina’s waterfront on the night of August 8.
© 2023 US Coast Guard Hawaii

California Tops 5O5 World Championships

Before we give kudos to the winners of the 2023 5O5 Worlds, we have to salute the other 59 teams who dared to show up on San Francisco Bay to take them on. Many traveling 5O5 sailors have vivid memories of the last bruising 5O5 Worlds in San Francisco in 2009. That year on the Bay was just like almost every other year on the Bay — windy, with lots of current and overall challenging conditions for handling a refined, fast, high-performance two-person dinghy. Carnage was common. And just as in 2009, local 5O5 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Mike Martin won in 2023 with his “new” and co-Rolex- winning crew Adam Lowry. They’ve won three times together.

Mike Martin, left, and Adam Lowry are now three-time world champions in the ultra-competitive 5O5 class.
© 2023 Christophe Favreau

The Resourceful Sailor’s Whale Tales

Whales are incredible animals, but the caveat is they can be a bit big. I measure humpback whales by comparing them to Sampaguita‘s size: one-Sampaguita, one-and-a-half Sampaguita, and two-Sampaguita-and-up-sized whales. The bigger, the more worry. In addition to being big, they do what and go where they want, regardless of any wishes I have for them to stay far away. It’s not that I think they will attack my boat, but any random breach or tail flop coinciding with Sampaguita’s position will end poorly.

“I was brushing my teeth and rinsing overboard when I saw a glow underneath the boat — not a darting streak, but rather, a slow-moving blob.”
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Plus, we bring you all your favorite columns:

  • Letters: Don Lang Returns After Nearly a Year at Sea; Flare-Collecton Event a Whopping Success; The Capacity and Range of Electric Motors; Hokule’a in the Bay; What Would You Do With $8.6 million Available for Boating Access?; and many more.
  • Sightings: The Radical Uniqueness of Rosie G; Ronnie Simpson’s Global Solo Challenge; Sailing Therapy on Matthew Turner; and other stories.
  • Max Ebb: It’s all about the bugs this month.
  • Racing Sheet: South Beach YC’s Red Bra Regatta upsizes, the SSS Vallejo 1-2 sails uphill both ways, CYC hosts the Folkboat International Regatta, the Jessica Cup sails on a busy Bay, Jack and Jill sail in Santa Cruz, Vanguard 15 sailors win on two coasts, Wylie Wabbits, Express 27s and Express 37s compete for their Nationals and Mercurys for their PCCs, Cal Maritime Academy captures the Shields Trophy, and SoCal sailors race from Channel Islands Harbor to Marina del Rey. Box Scores and Race Notes plump up this action-packed issue.
  • World of Chartering: Recent Good Jibes guest Jan Pehrson of the Richmond Yacht Club shares the story of a sailing charter with three other accomplished sailing women, each of whom has an impressive sailing résumé. Anyone would sail anywhere with these women.
  • Changes in Latitudes: Magnum‘s return to the South Pacific; Zeppelin‘s PPJ with two new-to-sailing owners; Shindig‘s exploration of the little-visited Southern Lau group in Fiji; and some newsy Cruise Notes.
  • Loose Lips: Check October’s Caption Contest(!) winners.
  • The sailboat owners and buyers’ bible, Classy Classifieds.

If you’re a subscriber, your magazine is on its way. If not, and you’re heading out, be like Eddie, who grabbed a copy fresh off the stack when they landed at Nob Hill Foods in Alameda. Or you can go to your own favorite or nearest outlet. Here’s a map of where to find Latitude 38 magazine.

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