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May 29, 2024

‘Briar Rose’ and the Brown Pelican — A True Story

While the headline rings like a fairy tale, this story is true. Jack Sloane and his crew Richard vonEhrenkrook were sailing from Bodega Bay to San Francisco Bay last Friday for the Master Mariners Regatta, when they were visited by a large brown pelican. This bird didn’t just drop in, it hitched a ride aboard Jack’s classic Tahiti Ketch Briar Rose.

The pelican makes a safe landing aboard Briar Rose.
© 2024 Jack Sloane

“As we left Point Reyes to port, the nonchalant avian almost set down right on Richard’s head, startling us both as it brushed its wings against the mizzen and alighted on our stern, less than a foot away from where we were sitting in disbelief,” Jack writes.

Clearly this bird knew what it was doing.
© 2024 Jack Sloane

“For more than an hour she calmly perched there, joining us on a starboard tack toward the Farralones. As we rolled wildly in the heavy seas, the pelican expertly compensated, swaying back and forth on webbed feet. After a slightly tumultuous jibe, ‘Peli’ (as Richard dubbed her) decided to move on and flapped off toward the islands.”

This video shows the bird to be an experienced sailor.

“We decided the visit was a good omen,” Jack continues, “especially after we went on to place second in the hard-fought Gaff II Division race on Saturday! We were also recognized for having traveled the farthest in order to participate.”

Briar Rose gets her rail wet on her way to second place in the Master Mariners Regatta.
© 2024 Jack Sloane
The spoils of victory.
© 2024 Jack Sloane

Jack and Richard finished their weekend with a 13-hour beat back home to Bodega Bay — sans pelican.

Good Jibes #144: Blaine Pedlow on Supporting US Sailing

This week’s host, John Arndt, is joined by Blaine Pedlow to chat about fundraising and growing all aspects of sailing. Blaine is Senior Vice President, Development, for US Sailing, and is a lifelong sailor with many years as a sailing coach, volunteer, and manager of racing teams.

Blaine at the helm of Elusive.
© 2024 Blaine Pedlow

Hear about the role US Sailing plays in the sport, what their fundraising structure looks like, how we can keep sailing fun for all, the most rewarding aspects of sailing, and how the Olympics unites us as a country.

This episode covers everything from fundraising to the Olympics. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • When did Blaine start racing?
  • What was his sailing experience in college?
  • Where did the Rosebud project come from?
  • How does fundraising work for US Sailing?
  • Where does the US Olympic team fit within US Sailing?
  • Why is Blaine so passionate about sailing?
  • What is Spartan cruising?
  • Short Tacks: Where’s Blaine’s dream place to sail?

Learn more at and in Latitude 38‘s December, 2022 issue.

The Art and Beauty of Sailing on Display at Emery Cove Marina

Most of the art and beauty of sailing happen out of sight of the average person. It happens “out there” and away from the general public. This is one of the reasons we love it when the the beauty of sailing is brought ashore in the form of public art, available to inspire all. On a recent trip to Emeryville we discovered a newly installed sculpture alongside Emery Cove Marina.

The new sculpture by the harbor.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

We reached out to harbormaster Diane Isley to find out what’s up. Diane replied with some background on the art.

Emery Cove Yacht Harbor recently renovated the entire marina, initiating a requirement for them to spend money on art. They chose to install a public sculpture. The “dockominium marina” formed an in-house architectural design committee and chose to commission a piece from artist Ilan Averbuch — Averbuch Rail Art LLC, Long Island City, New York. Diane said, “Our goals were consideration for open views, an interactive piece, maintenance friendly and natural materials. The granite is salvaged and the sails can be used as benches. [We] received a grant from EBMUD and worked through permitting along with BCDC to replace the grass with low-water plants and a decomposed-granite path. The process involved structural engineering, permitting and logistics from Long Island City, NY, to Emeryville, CA, where Ilan was on-site for hands-on installation. We hope that many can enjoy and appreciate the art.”

Artist Ilan Averbuch created the 15-foot-tall Wind and Stone out of salvaged granite, to sail by the Emery Cove shore.
© 2024 Diane isley

From artist Ilan Averbuch, “Wind and Stone activates the landscape; with water nearby on both the work’s port and starboard sides it suggests the peninsula is afloat within the Bay. The colossal weight of the stone contradicts the lightness of the form, creating a dialogue between symbols and materiality. The bow of the work points toward the Bay, acting as an entry point for the viewers’ imagination and suggesting an experiential journey. The negative space formed by the center of the sails creates two open windows onto the surrounding landscape — framing the Bay Bridge and the marina. As the view changes from different vantage points, so does the relationship between the two sails. The ever-changing perspective can be experienced both on land and on the water.”

Ilan Averbuch
Sailing on shore.
© 2024 Diane Isley

The City of Emeryville has supported public art since passing an ordinance in 1990 and forming the Art in Public Places program. Buildings costing more than $300,000 are required to spend 1% on art by either donating to the Emeryville Art in Public Places fund or installing public art on-site. The city sponsors an annual Emeryville Art Exhibition, which is now in its 38th year. The City of Emeryville covers 2.25 square miles and publishes an art-map walking guide with over 30 installations in addition to recent murals and open art studios. Sailors docking at or visiting the harbor can enjoy access to many of the public art sculptures throughout the city and along the Bay Trail.

It’s too easy for folks in our densely populated urban landscape to lose sight of the Bay and its maritime heritage. Jim DeWitt’s image on the new building on Cutting Boulevard and the art around the Port of San Diego are some of the terrific ways that waterfront communities are connecting people to the beauty that lies just offshore.

Emery Cove Marina is giving recognition to both the value of art and also to their prime waterfront location. Is there other public art hiding around our waterfront?

Festival del Viento Nayarit’s Kiting Spectacular Rips Up the Coast

What was reputed to be the largest kiteboarding event in North America took place May 16-19 on Banderas Bay, Nayarit. Over 300 kiters came out to rip it up along the coast. Charity Palmatier from the Vallarta Yacht Club sent a few shots of this year’s Festival del Viento Nayarit (Wind Festival).

The kites practically filled Banderas Bay.
© 2024 Charity Palmatier

While winging is in rapid growth mode, participation in kiting has declined or leveled off. That doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of passionate participants — as we head into the Summer Olympics, kiting is making its debut as a sailing discipline. The Bay Area’s Daniela Moroz will be carrying the flag for all of us in France this summer.

It looked as busy as Crissy Field, though without wetsuits.
© 2024 Charity Palmatier

As each new sailing discipline is created, it becomes tough for the Olympics or individual sailors to decide how they want to participate in sailing. Bay Area winger Henry Vare also keeps his tactical dinghy-racing skills up to speed racing FJs with the Redwood High School sailing team.

Catching some air at the Festival del Viento.
© 2024 Charity Palmatier

Even within each discipline there are multiple ways to play. The Festival del Viento includes a big-air competition, buoy racing and long-distance races. With a great variety of events, Banderas Bay remains one of the premier regatta destinations on the West Coast.

We welcome your contributions in the form of stories, photos and financial support to help us bring you “the world of sailing through the eyes of the West Coast sailor.” You can contribute here.