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January 31, 2024

Unknown Mariner Found Floating Near East Brother Island

Yesterday we received a message from Andy Schwenk, saying a body had been pulled from the Bay off East Brother Island and taken to Richmond Yacht Club. Apart from describing what the mariner was wearing — “foulie jacket, khaki shorts and Topsiders,” no one knew the person’s identity. This set us off on a search to find out what had happened.

This morning we were able to reach the US Coast Guard District 11’s Public Affairs spokesperson, Chief Petty Officer Levi Read. Read told us that at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 27, the USCG received a call from the ferry Pyxis, in transit from Vallejo to San Francisco. They reported an unmanned liferaft drifting in the vicinity of East Brother Island. The raft was reported to have no motor, only a pair of oars. Read says no owner was found for the liferaft.

At 4:04 that same afternoon, Coast Guard Station San Francisco responded to a call about a body afloat in the water. It was about 100 yards from where the liferaft had been reported. The USCG response vessel retrieved the body and took it to shore at Richmond Yacht Club, where the Richmond Fire Department took custody and began resuscitation attempts.

Read says he is unable to verify the person’s identity, or whether they survived the ordeal. He did say it was an adult male, 40–50 years old. He added that there was no report of anyone missing, and was unwilling to confirm a correlation between the unmanned raft and the missing person.

Asia S., “Stew,” a veteran USCG boatswain’s mate, was flying his drone in the East Bay on that afternoon and caught the scene at the Richmond YC dock. He says he’s been flying his drone as a Citizen Drone Responder, an idea that he feels may be helpful in the future to first responders in their search and rescue efforts.

Video credit: Asia S. “Stew”

Video credit: Asia S. “Stew”

Good Jibes #127: Stephen Wolf on an Unplanned Circumnavigation

This week’s host, John Arndt, is joined by Stephen Wolf to chat about his 10-year, 40,000-mile circumnavigation on the 24-ft trimaran No Name, back in the ’70s. The adventure started in Gashouse Cove and hit every part of the world — without being a planned circumnavigation.

Trimaran 'No Name'
No Name in Gashouse Cove prior to the start of her global adventures.
© 2024 Stephen Wolf

Hear how cruising teaches you to be patient, how one can learn to navigate, about the times Stephen and his wife Margo were the most afraid, how to re-enter the “real world” after a long voyage, and the beauty of being totally self-sufficient on the water.

This episode covers everything from trimarans to the doldrums.

ALERT – Have you seen this boat? Can you help find No Name? Guest, Stephen Wolf, would be very interested in finding his former trimaran. He last heard it was in San Diego a couple of decades ago. If you happen to know of a 24′ plywood Piver trimaran that may be or have been No Name you could contact Stephen here

Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • What kind of sailing did Stephen do before No Name?
  • How did he find No Name?
  • Did Margo have any sailing experience?
  • How much food should you bring on a long voyage?
  • What storms did Stephen run into?
  • How did he stay in touch with his family?
  • Has he done any sailing since?
  • Short Tacks: How did he cook on the water?

Read more about Stephen’s incredible adventure in the April 2023 issue of Latitude 38.

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!

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Good Reasons To Sail South, Without Going to Mexico

Sailors have always dreamed of sailing south to warmer climes, though you don’t have to go all the way to Mexico to have a sailing-south experience. For many sailors in the North Bay, the far reaches of the South Bay remain an unexplored sailing destination. We attended the recent opening of Hurrica Restaurant, adjacent to Westpoint Marina, which will certainly add to the draw along with boat shows, regattas and the upcoming opening of The Club at Westpoint.

Hurrica at the dock.
Hurrica Restaurant lies adjacent to her 100-year-old namesake yacht Hurrica V.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

As advocates of waterfront access, Latitude 38 always appreciates businesses that attract newcomers to the Bay. It’s very easy for all those wedged between 101 and 280 in Silicon Valley to be unaware that they live next door to one of the oldest seaports on San Francisco Bay. The Port of Redwood City is one of five working port districts in the Bay Area, which includes Oakland, San Francisco, Stockton and Sacramento. The views from Hurrica’s outside dining overlooking the marina and surrounding sloughs will remind guests they are living in a waterfront city. These ports were the original gateways to California and remain one of each waterfront municipality’s best assets.

Today the area is known for chips, not ships. Though it wasn’t always that way. The first chips in Redwood City were wood chips from sawmills, and from the many shipyards along Redwood Creek that built ships for transporting redwood from the hills above to build the city of San Francisco. While the shipbuilding has stopped, this is still an active shipping port, and Westpoint Marina has added to the active South Bay sailing scene over the past couple of decades.

Hurrica Restaurant founder MeeSue Boice was aboard Hurrica V for the Rolex Big Boat Series.
© 2024 Rolex / Sharon Green

We liked Sharon Green’s shot of Hurrica V, above, from last fall’s Rolex Big Boat Series, and thought it would be a great cover for our November issue. Little did we know the woman waving, MeeSun Boice (sitting with Hurrica crewmember Jason Chan), was one of the partners in the new Hurrica Restaurant. The restaurant opening will be quickly followed by the opening of the newest yacht club on the Bay, The Club at Westpoint. The Club will occupy the second floor, above the restaurant. Hurrica Restaurant owners MeeSun Boice and chef Parke Ulrich are also owners of Mersea on Treasure Island. Ulrich is also Executive Chef/Partner at Waterbar and Epic Steak. Helming Hurrica kitchen is Executive Chef is Justin Baade, the former chef de cuisine at Waterbar.

Robin Driscoll Commodore of The Club at Westpoint.
Robin Driscoll, president of The Club at Westpoint, shows off their new facility on the second floor, above Hurrica Restaurant.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The South Bay boasts warm, flat-water sailing, and is also home to several other marinas, Molly O’Bryan’s very active Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation, and Sequoia Yacht Club, along with rowing, paddling and other water sports. The beauty of having a dining destination overlooking all this activity is that numerous people walking the shoreline and visiting for dinner can discover a world that would likely otherwise be hidden behind the 101 corridor.

Hurrica's wine rack.
The great thing about cruising your boat there is you don’t have to drive home after dinner.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC /

Westpoint Marina will also be home to its second annual Pacific Sail and Power Boat Show, which this year will be held May 16-19. This show was held in Richmond prior to the pandemic, but now returns in the South Bay.

Hurrica Restaurant opening
The Club at Westpoint President Robin Driscoll, Westpoint Marina founder Mark Sanders, Redwood City Mayor Jeff Gee (clapping), and Hurrica partners MeeSun Boice and Executive Chef Parke Ulrich.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

This year’s destination Westpoint Regatta will be held on Summer Sailstice weekend of June 22, so if you’re planning to race, make your reservations early. It is one of four races in the 2024 YRA Destination Regatta Series that also includes the Great Vallejo Race, the Half Moon Bay Race and the Encinal Regatta. Signing up for the series will also help you join a fleet of other racers exploring beyond the Central Bay. Treasure Island Yacht Club starts the race on the Bay and racers then head south finishing with celebrations at Westpoint Marina.

Hurrica is now open for business.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The local estuary is an incredible commercial and recreational resource located far from the perceived center of San Francisco Bay sailing. Mark Sanders’ perseverance at creating a first-class marina, along with the growth of the Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation’s youth classes and Sequoia Yacht Club’s busy summer Wednesday night racing and midwinter series, are all helping energize the South Bay sailing scene.

When we visited for the restaurant opening a week ago, The Club at Westpoint, located upstairs, was not yet open. Final permits will have it opening soon for its already large roster of 200 members. The combination of a new restaurant, a growing boat show, and a destination regatta will help Redwood City Mayor Jeff Gee reconnect the city to its roots as a seaport town.

A Sneak Peek at Regattas in February

In the San Francisco Bay Area

Some of the 2023-2024 midwinter series will see their finales in February. Berkeley Yacht Club’s Saturday and Sunday series will sail their final regular races on February 10-11, followed by by a Champion of Champions race on Sunday, February 25.

The last races in the RegattaPRO Winter One Design Series will be held on February 10, with two races scheduled.

The Singlehanded Sailing Society will follow up the Three Bridge Fiasco with the Corinthian Race, another Bay tour. Registration should open soon on Jibeset.

Corinthian start with Golden Gate Bridge
The start of the 2022 SSS Corinthian Race, off Golden Gate Yacht Club. Looks a little like the start of the Three Bridge Fiasco, right? But note that the multihulls and Express 27s have already started, ahead of the Moore 24s, in a more traditional starting sequence.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Some Southern California Regattas in February

San Diego YC and Newport Harbor YC will co-host the Islands Race. The 142-mile course will take sailors around Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands on February 9-10, 2024. See

SDYC’s Women’s Winter Invitational Regatta will return to La Playa on February 16-18. This all-woman competition won the US Sailing One Design Regatta Award. SDYC expects more than 80 sailors in 24 teams.

Racing in J/22s in San Diego
The Women’s Winter Invitational Regatta makes use of SDYC’s J/22s.
© 2024 San Diego Yacht Club

The California Dreamin’ match racing series will make its second of four stops at a new venue, Balboa YC in Corona del Mar, on February 17-18.

The SCYA Midwinters will take over many SoCal venues, plus Ensenada, on February 17-18 and February 24-25.

To Mexico We Go

San Diego YC will run the 37th Puerto Vallarta Race, a biennial international offshore yacht race, on February 22-March 1. The race, which dates back to 1953, features a 1,000-mile course from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta.

Club Judge Seminar

A US Sailing Club Judge Seminar at San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere on Saturday, February 17, is designed for sailors who have little or no experience with protest hearings as well as those who have served on protest committees in the past and want a refresh. The seminar is open to all. Its primary purpose is to increase the pool of judges who can serve on protest committees for the regattas held each year on the Bay. Its secondary purpose is to educate sailors about the rules and about how a protest hearing is conducted. The course format is a “reverse lecture,” starting with online instruction on Canvas, followed by a day of in-person mock protest hearings and discussions.

Register at The fee of $40 primarily covers the cost of Canvas. Lunch will be ordered from a nearby supermarket and provided at cost (typically under $10). If these costs are prohibitive for anyone interested in attending, please contact the organizers to make alternate arrangements.

John Christman will lead the seminar, assisted by Rob Overton. John is a US Sailing Certified National Judge and Judge Seminar Instructor, a member of the San Francisco Bay Appeals Committee, and an expert on the racing rules. Rob is a certified International Umpire, National Judge and Club Judge Seminar Instructor. He has served on the US Racing Rules Committee for more than 30 years and is a past chairman of the RRC. He’s also a member of the S.F. Bay Appeals Committee. For more info, contact Rob at [email protected] or (954) 240-3666.

Latitude 38’s February Issue Docks Today

We’re ending January with the February issue — couldn’t wait until tomorrow to share the next month’s stories and photos of sailors doing what they love. Sailing! Put the coffee on hold and go grab your copy to read with a steaming cup of your favorite winter brew. Or, if you have to, sneak it onto your desk and have a read while you wait for all those downloads/uploads to finish.

Here’s a preview:

Debunking the Myths and Rumors of Cruising in French Polynesia

If you’ve ever dreamed of sailing away to the South Seas and exploring all of the magical islands of French Polynesia, but put your plans on pause because of horror stories on the internet of boats being vandalized or robbed, or tales of dinghies being stolen and locals being hostile to cruisers, I want to set the record straight. Here’s my firsthand experience with explanations of how some of those situations can be easily avoided.

February issue feature story
“My biggest concerns were stories about cruisers’ ground tackle being cut and physical threats toward sailors visiting the Society Islands.”
© 2024 James Frederick

The Maritime Motion of Ocean

Ocean Romeo Macedo didn’t dream of working in the marine trades as a young man. Instead, he wanted to become a professional surfer — and he was well on his way.

Growing up in Lahaina, Maui, Ocean already had multiple sponsors by the time he was in sixth grade, and was surfing in “quite possibly the most competitive age bracket to ever grace the contest scene, Hawaii’s under 12 division,” Freesurf magazine wrote about 10 years ago. “It goes without saying that Hawaii has no shortage of youthful endowment, but this talented up-and-comer is a step above the rest.”

But when the pandemic hit, the global surfing contest circuit shut down. Macedo — who is now 21 years old — was able to dig into his hobbies, and his community on Lahaina, to find other interests. That led him to Spaulding Marine Center’s Boatworks 101 Apprenticeship.

Ocean made the move from tropical Maui to the cold, foggy Bay to pursue his interest in the marine industry.
© 2024 Ocean Macedo

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: Boxing Day Packs a Punch

It was controlled mayhem as 103 yachts of all sizes, shapes and descriptions jockeyed for positions at the start of the 78th Sydney to Hobart ocean race on Boxing Day, December 26. Hundreds of spectator and press boats clogged the harbor while drones and helicopters hovered overhead. The narrow passageway out of the harbor, guarded by the towering cliffs of the North and South Heads, was a sea of froth as boats attempted to claim rights as they hurtled out to the Tasman Sea.

Among the fleet was the only American boat in the race, the newly commissioned Beneteau First 44 Lenny, skippered by California ocean racer and boat dealer Charles Devanneaux.

Lenny’s crew with owner/skipper Charles Devanneaux front and center.
© 2024 Charles Devanneaux

Plus, we bring you all your favorite monthly columns:

  • Letters: How Many Days a Year Do You Sail the Bay?; The Pier Was Not a Factor; New Equipment Requirements for YRA and SSS Offshore Races; Red Rock, the Least-Famous Island in San Francisco Bay, Has a $25 Million Price Tag; and many more Letters to the Editor.
  • Sightings: Judge Says “No Right” to Anchor in Richardson Bay; Good Trouble Brings Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to Sailing; My First Sail On My New Boat; US Sailing Sues AmericaOne Inc. and Paul Cayard; and other stories.
  • Max Ebb: Winging It.
  • Racing Sheet: The Midwinter season is at its height. Here we check in with Golden Gate (complete with capsize, rescue and recovery) and Jack Frost, then head down the coast to Monterey and Marina del Rey — all in one day! Then it’s back up to the Estuary and Berkeley. We end with the Corinthian Midwinters.
  • World of Charter: This month we hear from Dennis Maggard, who shares his Moorings charter experience of spending a family holiday in the British Virgin Islands.
  • Changes in Latitudes: With reports this month on Wayfinder’s almost-empty-nest adventure; Appa’s young owners making good their escape; and Convergence’s first (can you believe it?) Baja Ha-Ha. We also catch up with a few more 2023 contributors in our annual “Where Are They Now?” feature, and check in with a few other folks in Cruise Notes.
  •  Loose Lips: We share January’s Caption Contest(!) winners.
  • The sailboat owners and buyers’ bible, Classy Classifieds.

If you’re a subscriber, your magazine is on its way. Or you can go to your own favorite or nearest outlet. Here’s a map of where to find Latitude 38 magazine.

By the way, if you enjoy stopping in at yacht clubs, chandleries, marina offices and other places and having a chat with the folks there, we could have the best opportunity for you! We’re looking for a new driver for the East Bay route – Point Richmond to Oakland Marina. It’s a one-day-a-month commitment. Oh, and we will pay you! More information here.

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