Maritime History

Remembering the Big Bang

This month marks the 75th anniversary of one of the most horrendous events of World War II, which occurred right here in the Bay Area. On July 17, 1944, a mishap at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine (site of present day Concord Naval Weapons Station on Suisun Bay) triggered a massive explosion that killed 320 sailors and civilians; injured another 390; destroyed two ships, an entire pier, a railway and a locomotive that was on it; shattered windows as far away as San Francisco: registered 3.5 on the Richter scale at UC Berkeley; and blew shrapnel so high into the air that a pilot flying over the area saw debris flying by at 9,000 feet. More »
Founders in front of SSC

The Founding of Stockton Sailing Club

Back in 1933, sixteen 16-year-old boys founded the club as the Ionic Sailing Club. The teenage founders included three sets of brothers: the Stephens brothers, the Colberg brothers, and Fred and Jim Van Dyke.
Wander Bird Collision

The Sinking of Wander Bird

We were shocked to receive the news that the German pilot schooner Elbe No. 5  — which several generations of Bay Area sailors will know best as 'our' lovely Wander Bird — sank on Saturday after a collision with a commercial ship on the Elbe River near Hamburg.
Bertie capsized

Bertie Lost off New Jersey

Peter Bailey’s lovely yawl Bertie was capsized by what he believes was a white squall 65 miles off Atlantic City, New Jersey, at about 8 p.m. on May 29. Bailey and his wife, Heidi Snyder — the only ones aboard at the time — managed to activate their EPIRB and were rescued about three hours after the capsize.

The Legend of Lowell North

Lowell Orton North, the founder of North Sails, Olympic gold medalist, and sailing icon of his time, passed away on Sunday. There will not likely be another sailor like Lowell North. He was 89 years old.
Brigadoon

Rolex Big Boat Series to Include Classics

St. Francis Yacht Club has announced that they will offer a Classics Class in this September's Rolex Big Boat Series. The class is open to any boat built before 1955 and measuring longer than 48 feet on deck.

I’ll take Maritime Miscellaneous, Alex

Like most sailors, our maritime interests extend beyond sailing. And that news cycle has been eclectic lately. Here are just a few of the odd things that we’ve read about in the last few weeks…
Californian and Bill of Rights

America’s Schooner Cup Preview

When the schooners expected for the America’s Schooner Cup cross the startline, they will represent centuries of sea time and a living snapshot of the West Coast’s sailing heritage.
Painting of SF in 1849

Why ‘Richardson’ Bay?

The trimaran that broke away and washed up on the east shore of Richardson Bay in Tiburon got me to wondering how many readers know Richardson Bay’s history. For instance, why 'Richardson?