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Don’t Forget All the Sunny Winter Days

Although it’s a sunny day today, it does feel as if it’s been an endlessly miserable, wet (or snowy) winter. Sugar Bowl has received 605 inches of snow! The headline news of California weather would suggest nobody has had any good days of sailing this winter. But the photos we’ve received for Sailagram at [email protected] say that ain’t so.

Valerie Bucholtz sent in the photo below of her varnished 1957 Schock Thistle #1075 drying out the spinnaker while the sun sets, after a day of racing at the Thistle Midwinters West at Mission Bay, San Diego — a sunny day.

Valerie Bucholtz captures a dry, sunny evening in San Diego.
© 2023 Valerie Bucholtz

We asked Valerie about her sailing and she replied, “I’m a bit of a gypsy and live in Sandpoint, Idaho, the Bay Area and Puerto Vallarta, depending on the sailing season. I have a boat in each location (Thistle, J/24 and Beneteau First 36.7); however, they are all registered in Idaho due to the fact that I own a home there, thus being the most permanent address. The picture is my 1957 Schock Thistle named Sugar Sugar, hull #1075. She’s a beautiful woody and I’m doing my best to maintain her pristine condition and continue to race her, as she was built to be raced.

“I raced the Richmond Yacht Club small boat winter series and finished in first place overall! I towed her to Mission Bay in February and competed in the Thistle Midwinters West, where the competition was stiff and the conditions are challenging. It was a great opportunity to learn and grow my Thistle sailing skills. I will compete April 1–2 in the Pacific Coast Championships and Nor Cal Districts held at Richmond Yacht Club before beginning [my] journey to Flathead Lake, Montana, in July for the Nationals. I will compete in Eugene, OR, and Vancouver Lake along the way. So as you can see, she is a bit of a gypsy like me. Her name is based on my nickname Sugar, from my father. He calls me Sugar Sue, and my daughter ‘Lil Sug. Thanks for your interest and sorry if I’ve overshared! Feel free to ask for more info if you like. I’m hugely enthusiastic in getting women sailing, and particularly at the helm.”

We don’t think anyone can oversail or overshare. Even though they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” there’s usually a lot more to a picture than meets the eye. It is Women’s History Month and we’re happy to have so many stories to tell of women for whom sailing is a passion, including sharing it with other women.

It was really sunny on Friday, March 3. This photo of smiling crew on Pegasus is proof it hasn’t rained every day this winter.
© 2023 David P. Green

Speaking of sharing sailing, Mark Caplan sent in the photo above of the crew of Pegasus taking school kids from Rosa Parks Elementary School out for a sail on March 3. The Pegasus Project’s goal is “No Child Left Ashore.” They’ve now taken over 20,000 kids sailing aboard their Maine-built Alden center-cockpit ketch. The smiles come out rain or shine.

A Hobie Island and 29er cross paths in a sunny Belvedere Cove.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Elsewhere throughout this “rainy” winter we’ve captured other sunny shots of sailing on the Bay.

February sailing on a Shields out of Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club.
© 2023 Marty Gingras

After some sunny sailing in February, Marty Gingras wrote in about the photo above to say, “Hi, to my favorite magazine. Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club did a team racing clinic in February. We used Shields and the emphasis was on new and young sailors. The attached picture that includes a junior boy is from that clinic.

“The other attached picture (below) is also from a Shields out of MPYC sailing in February. We were exercising the boat and crew.”

Exercising the crew is tough work.
© 2023 Marty Gingras

“As an aside: Waaaay back in 1988, you guys sent me an advertising media kit so I could do an assignment for a communications class at community college. I recently retired after 30 years in fisheries biology. Thanks for the help!”

On a sunny Saturday in January, the gaff sloop Black Witch crosses a sparkling Bay.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

We do have another stormy, wet stretch ahead, but as these photos show, there’s plenty of sunshine to sail in between the storms.

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