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An Equinox for Lunatics

Today is the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, and, for most, the start of the peak sailing season. It’s the day the sun crosses the equator from the Southern Hemisphere to the North just as members of the Pacific Puddle Jump fleet are doing the opposite — they are heading north to south toward the Marquesas.

For lunatics it’s also the third month in a row in which we’ve had a supermoon. The oversize moon passed close by the Earth on January 21, February 19, and today, March 20. The moon is full this evening at 6:43 p.m. PDT and will be about 223,000 miles from the Earth, closer than its average 240,000. Since it’s cloudy here, folks in the Bay Area can watch the moon on a virtual telescope in Rome here. The next full moon on the equinox will be in 2030, though it won’t be a supermoon.

Full Moon Sail
Tonight may not be the best night for a full moon sail in the Bay Area, but evening sailing is only getting better.
© 2019 Priscilla Parker

We’ve also just moved into Daylight Saving Time, and, with the equinox, the daylight hours will begin to exceed the hours of darkness, allowing for extended sailing time. 
It also means that Summer Sailstice is now three months away. Clubs, classes and individuals are now posting their June 22 Summer Sailstice sailing plans here.

Charles Braffet of the Hans Christian 38T Seagate from the Pierpont Bay Yacht Club in Ventura is signed up as he heads west on his circumnavigation. He expects to be somewhere in Southeast Asia in June. The Rose City Yacht Club in Portland, OR, has signed up to participate with their Jack Gainer Memorial Medium Distance Race. In Alameda, Snipe Fleet 12 is planning to race at Encinal YC. SFYC has posted a club race, the Independence Cup. Corinthian YC in Tiburon will be hosting a Friday night race and the Master Mariners Wooden Boat Show. SailtimeSF will host a raft-up in Clipper Cove. The YRA will sending racers off to Redwood City in the Westpoint Regatta. You can post your club, class or individual sailing plans at San Francisco Bay events here.

If you haven’t started already, it’s time to get spring maintenance underway. Run the engine, change the oil, remove mold, mildew and moisture after a very rainy winter, and, if needed, schedule a spring haulout. Help make sure that when the June 22 Summer Sailstice arrives, you’ll be ready to join the Delta Doo Dah, cruise to Half Moon Bay, or take your friends out on a daysail. You don’t want your boat to be one of those sitting at the dock on the solstice weekend.

Flaked sail
One of the best ways to improve sail shape is to hoist them. Make sure yours are ready for summer sailing, and then hoist them on June 22.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

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