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December 8, 2023

Looking for the Unique Ketch ‘Arpege/La Creuse’

I’m not really sure who to contact at Latitude 38 to ask this question, but in a nutshell, I am trying to find the fellow who bought my dad’s last boat, a unique ketch, a long time ago in San Diego. I know — this is totally and insanely ridiculous. There are countless boats in the world and it’s completely nuts to think I could actually find a single and specific one, but this is a special boat.

I know, everyone says their boat is special.

The lovely ketch Arpege eventually found her way to the West Coast, and was later renamed La Creuse.
© 2023 Courtesy Dominique Filloux

It is/was a unique 42-ft ketch for its time that my dad — Jean Filloux — designed himself with a naval architect friend at Sparkman & Stephens to be built with a first-of-its-kind manufacturing method that my dad had come up with. He and my mom then built the boat themselves from 1953-56 with help from a large group of sponsors that included the Rothschild Foundation, Dow Plastics (donated the fiberglass), American Cyanamid (epoxy resin), Mercedes-Benz (engine), and a fellow Frenchman who ran a perfume company. (Seriously … the boat was originally named Arpege after the perfume with which it was christened, but is unrelated to Michel Dufour’s Arpege boats from the ’60s/’70s). My dad also made a movie of the construction process, which you can see at Birth of the Arpege, on Vimeo.

The manufacturing method to lay up the hull was revolutionary for the time and garnered considerable attention in sailboat construction circles; Arpege was shown at the New York Boat Show in 1956. I learned bigger-boat sailing (and maintenance!) on that boat, and spent some of my happiest sailing days on it.

Above: Arpege at an unknown location. Below: Arpege was on display in the 1956 New York Boat Show. (Sorry about the blurriness.)
© 2023 Courtesy Arpege

Anyway, fast forward to San Diego in 1989 or so when my dad finally sold the boat, in a rather sad state of disrepair, to a guy in the Marines who lived in Ventura. Despite my pleas, my dad had (kindly) refused to give it to me knowing how much work it was going to take to bring it back to life.

A cinematographer in New York is making a documentary on my dad; he was both a pretty accomplished oceanographer/geophysicist and adventurer/cinematographer in his day. You can also see him in La Croisiere du Copula on Vimeo. My dad asked me if there was any way to find out what happened to his boat, Arpege (later re-named La Creuse). I have been trying to find it for the [past] couple of years, but really have no clue how to go about it. As I was reading the latest Latitude 38, I thought maybe someone might have some idea how to go about such a search.

Anyway, if you have any ideas or suggestions on how I might go about trying to find her, I’d be most grateful. — Dominique Filloux.

Dominique: Our best suggestion is to put the question to Latitude Nation!

Wosser Trophies Are Trophies We Don’t Deserve

The close of the 2023 racing season means the close for entries for the recently created Wosser Perpetual trophies. Applications are easy and due by December 15 (that’s one week from today!). As with many new initiatives, the number of applicants is small, meaning the chances of winning are big. Much better than the lottery.

John Arens J/109 Reverie
John Arens and his J/109 Reverie would be deserving of a Wosser Trophy since he and crew did a lot of racing and a lot winning. The crew is pictured picking up trophies at the YRA trophy pick-up party at the Richmond Yacht Club.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

With this in mind we decided to apply for the Ruth Wosser and Susie Wosser trophies even though we didn’t race that many times, and didn’t take too many different crew members. Tallying it up, we only raced 21 times (mostly Friday night beer can races), and we only took 16 different crew members with us across all those races. Surely, many boats did more racing and took many more people sailing. Despite that, we could be winners, but only because we’ve applied. If you raced more and/or took more people sailing, make sure you apply today or at least before the December 15 deadline.

Like yacht racing, the contest relies on the honor system. If you hit a mark and nobody sees it, do you do your circle? Of course you do. It’s the same with the Wosser trophies. If you say you raced both days of the Vallejo Race, BAMA’s Doublehanded Farallones, and every single Richmond Yacht Club Wednesday night race, we’re going to believe you. Though just as with that mark, somebody whom you didn’t see may be watching and speak up.

Mike Martin and Adam Lowry
By winning the 5O5 Worlds on San Francisco Bay, Mike Martin and Adam Lowry are the winners of the 2023 Jake Wosser Trophy.
© 2023 Bryon MacDonald

If you raced more races than we did this year, or took more people racing, you should apply for the Wosser trophies. Doing so gives you an excellent chance to look back at your racing year and all the fabulous crew who helped you around the race course.

John Arens
Reverie also won class in the Rolex Big Boat Series, so with all that winning, Melges 32 Kuai owner Daniel Thielman passed John Arens the Sailor of the Year award at the Corinthian Yacht Club.
© 2023 Kim Schafer

The nice thing about these trophies is they honor your dedication and commitment to racing, to learning, and to getting out on the water, regardless of your results. Winning these trophies and winning races is even better, but despite Vince Lombardi’s quote, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing,” getting out on the race course at all is its own reward. These trophies recognize those who do it often and those who invite more people sailing. It takes just a few minutes.

Apply for the Ruth Wosser Trophy for most races in a season here and the Susie Wosser Trophy for taking the most crew sailing here. (Crew under age 19 count double!) The YRA receives all the entries and will let us know the winners.

Plus, by entering you can save us the embarrassment of winning our own trophies and again writing about ourselves!

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Can Cruisers Anchor in the Port of Los Angeles?

A few weeks ago, we received a letter from a cruiser who was waiting for hurricane season to pass in Mexico and was more than a little unsatisfied with their visit to the Port of Long Beach, which sits within a breakwater that also includes the Port of Los Angeles.

“We ran into an issue with [a] marina supervisor in Long Beach three weeks before we departed south. They have apparently decided that they do not want any cruisers to drop anchor in the outer harbor, even if you are a cruiser just passing through. They are forcing everyone to pay for slips.”

The 7,500-acre, 43-mile-long Port of Los Angeles is the largest seaport in the United States, as well as home to 15 marinas with more than 3,700 recreational vessel slips and dry docks; the Port of L.A. abuts the Port of Long Beach, and needless to say, there’s lots of maritime traffic coming and going.

But is there room for sailors to drop the hook?

What’s been your experience, Latitude Nation? Does the boater politic expect there to be free anchorages along the coast? Please comment below.

There’s lots of protected water inside the breakwater in the Port of Los Angeles. But are there spots for small boats to drop the anchor?
© 2023 Port of Los Angeles

We sent an email to the City of Long Beach asking if there was — or had ever been — an anchorage area for transient cruisers. The city seemed to confirm what the letter said: A transient cruiser can’t just sail into the Port of Los Angeles and drop the hook, at least not without doing some paperwork first.

“The majority of anchorage in East San Pedro Bay is classified as commercial anchorage or special anchorage dedicated to Port of LB and Port of LA cargo traffic,” the City of Long Beach’s marine bureau manager told us in an email, adding that the “nearshore ocean area” is a general anchorage, but that Long Beach municipal code requires a permit to anchor there.

There are “public mooring docks across our Long Beach marinas system that allow a free three-hour mooring within a 24-hour day,” the marine manager told us. “We also accept transient or guest-stay reservations for slips, 15 days in a calendar month, to accommodate cruisers and other short-term visitors. The fee is $1.45 per foot per day.”

As we reported in the July issue, there’s more than just cargo in the Port of Los Angeles.
© 2023 Port of Los Angeles

Has the Port of L.A. seen an influx of unhoused people living aboard old boats, such as we see here in the Bay Area? Has this affected their general policy toward cruising sailors?

“Yes,” confirmed the marine manager. “Increase in derelict, unregistered, non-operational vessels over the past four years within East San Pedro Bay has required City of Long Beach to take measures to maintain navigable waterways, ensure the safety of our slip permittees, commercial partners, city residents and visitors and protect the marine habitat.”

The sailor who wrote us suggested sailing right past Long Beach. “I suggest cruisers avoid L.A. and just pass on by. You’re better off going out to Catalina if you need to wait out the weather, or, like us, hurricane season. There is plenty of good anchoring in White Bay and supplies in Avalon, a short two-mile dinghy ride away.”

This story has been updated. We originally said that the Port of Los Angeles was “also known as” the Port of Long Beach, rather than making it clear that the two are separately governed and geographic entities that sit within the same massive breakwater.

Caption Contest(!)

Welcome to December’s Caption Contest(!). This month’s photo was sent in by Candy from the Swan 44 Infidel. (Thanks for sharing, Candy!)

And while it’s not her original photo, it does make a good item for this month’s CC(!).

Caption contest Dec. 2023
“That sinking feeling.” What’s your caption?
© 2023 Candy - via Facebook

Leave your response in the comments below.

You’ll find last month’s winners and top ten in Latitude 38‘s December issue.

Trophy Season: PICYA Yachtsman of the Year

Who doesn’t appreciate recognition with a pat on the back or a beautiful silver trophy? As we wrote in the December issue, Latitude 38 publisher John Arndt got more than a pat on the back when Pacific Interclub Yachting Association (PICYA) board member Jim Haussener shared that John was being awarded the 2023 PICYA Yachtsman of the Year trophy for his efforts to promote sailing.

PICYA represents 100+ Northern California yacht clubs, and describes the award in their Yachting Yearbook: “… the Douglas Boswell Perpetual Yachtsman trophy recognizes a person for outstanding, distinguished service to yachting.”

What the heck? Me? I wondered why and was fortunate to find out during the PICYA awards banquet at Oakland Yacht Club in Alameda.

Larry Mayne, John Arndt and Bill Gargan
L-R: PICYA Commodore Larry Mayne, John Arndt, and Bill Gargan.
© 2023 Morris Lum

Bill Gargan, VP for RBOC (Recreational Boaters of California), explained that the honor was for efforts to promote sailing, with the annual, global Summer Sailstice. Of course, we also do this with Latitude 38 and remind you that with the approach of the winter solstice on December 21, the days will start getting longer as we begin the six-month countdown to the 24th annual Summer Sailstice, to be held the weekend of June 22.

When picking up the beautiful trophy, now sitting at the Corinthian Yacht Club, it was a shock to see my name added alongside some well-recognized Bay Area sailors including Larry Ellison, Tom Blackaller, Pam Healy, Linda Newland, Dick Loomis, Robert F. Keefe and many others awarded since 1977. How cool is that?

Summer Sailstice was created to celebrate sailing annually on the weekend closest to the summer solstice. It’s one day a year for all boats to hoist sails “together,” wherever they are, to connect us all in a collective tribute to sailing, while bringing positive publicity to the sailing lifestyle. How to celebrate? Race, cruise, teach your kids, go for a daysail, it all works. My out-of-balance enthusiasm for sailing continues to be a motivation in many ways as I try to share sailing with others. Though I’m far from the only one.

Many people were recognized and honored at the PICYA awards luncheon. Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer is an enthusiastic booster of sailing who has been on the front lines teaching sailing at the very successful Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation in Redwood City. For her accomplishments in growing youth sailing she was awarded the Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Perpetual Trophy for the exceptional work done in promoting youth sailing. Over the past 20 years, PYSF has grown from a small base in Redwood City to an outsanding youth training center with over 300 kids going through the program in 2023. An Olympic veteran, Vandemoer has been a steadfast leader at PYSF for decades.

Bill Gargan, Molly O'Bryan, John Arndt
Sausalito Yacht Club’s Bill Gargan with Nimitz winner Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer and her well-deserved big, silver trophy and myself with a trophy photo.
© 2023 Morris Lum

As they say, sailing isn’t life or death; it’s much more important than that. Genuinely, it seems the world would be a better place if more people sailed. It’s an amazing community of people, provides an unrivaled connection to Mother Nature, and is endlessly intriguing, challenging, and intellectually and spiritually rewarding. And it’s a ton of fun. Surely similar feelings motivate so many others who work hard daily to share sailing with others.

Debrenia Madison-Smith TIYC Bill Gargan SYC
Debrenia Madison-Smith of the the Treasure Island Yacht Club and Bill Gargan of the Sausalito Yacht Club held up a copy of their favorite magazine.
© 2023 Morris Lum

This enthusiam to share is obvious when you spend time with an organization like PICYA. There are over 100 Bay Area sailing clubs, each with a board of directors and a dedicated group of volunteers who want to help more people enjoy the magic of time on the water. Since 1896, when the PICYA was founded to help organize racing rules among an initial five yacht clubs, to today where they support boating with legislative action through the RBOC, to organizing the annual Lipton Cup, to supporting youth sailing, the PICYA has its own group of dedicated members who are trying to preserve and grow participation in and access to sailing.

If it’s Summer Sailstice, a weekend regatta, teaching youth sailing, or advocating to keep our waterways accessible and sailing affordable, it’s a good reminder to not take our sailing privilege for granted. Individuals, groups and organizations all make it possible. Summer Sailstice is here to help support them all by connecting the fun and making sailing visible to all those who live near the Bay, but have no idea what we’re all doing out there.

PIYCA Trophies
If you want your name on one of these trophies join a yacht club and help out. You’ll make more friends and do more for sailing.
© 2023 Morris Lum

We hope to see members of all 100+ yacht clubs signed up and sailing “together” on June 22, 2024. You can sign up now even if you have no idea exactly how you’ll be sailing that weekend. One option is to sign up for the June 22 Westpoint Regatta to be sailed from the Bay to Redwood City, the home of Westpoint Marina and Peninsula Youth Sailing.

Most importantly, thank you to the PICYA for the award and for all you do for sailing in Northern California.

Congratulations, John, on your well-deserved recognition.

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