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Golden Ticket Winner Sails the ‘Green Flash’

Every once in a while, our dear readers of Latitude 38 find a special “Golden Ticket” in the center of their magazine — it entitles them to a free Latitude 38 hat! Our most recent winner is Mike Patterson, preceded by winners like Terry Jackson from last September’s issue, and David Littlejohn last June.

Latitude 38 and the Golden Ticket. Could you be the next winner?
© 2024 Mike Patterson

Mike learned to sail in his teens growing up in Newport, Oregon. “My father made a plywood dinghy using plans from Popular Mechanics. As a dad joke, he named the boat Ashore (as in, ‘Michael row your boat ashore…’).” After that, Mike took sailing in P.E. classes while attending college in Ashland, Oregon. However, he considers that his real training was at OCSC Sailing School out of Berkeley, where he completed ASA Basic Sailing 101 through Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering.

“We enjoyed OCSC-led flotillas in the Sea of Cortez and Turkey. Since then we have chartered in Croatia, Catalina Island and the BVI,” Mike says.

We asked Mike if he owned a boat, to which he replied, “Do I own ‘a’ boat? No, I have several.”

You might recognize his Islander 36 Green Flash, berthed in South Beach Harbor. “We waited 12 years on the list before we got in there. Before our name came up, we had the boat on the hard for a year at S.F. Boatworks, where she underwent a major retrofit.”

Sailboat, the Green Flash
Green Flash enjoying a sunny anchorage in the Delta.
© 2024 Mike Patterson

Mike and his wife Liz Munnelly retired from the Bay Area in 2018 and moved permanently to their floating home in Portland, Oregon, on the Columbia River. “We have a 24-ft Islander Bahama, Gypsy, which is great for exploring and sailing on the Columbia.”

Liz and Mike are active members of the Islander 36 Association. “Our membership recently joined PICYA,” Mike says, “and we enjoy visiting Bay Area yacht clubs when in town.

They are also members of the Tomahawk Island YC in their floating-home community of 71 residences. “Cruising is in our blood, and we love to overnight at various destinations around the Bay. We enjoyed a 10-day cruise out to the Delta in 2021 and had a great time!”

One of Mike’s most memorable sailing experiences was when he was 20 and a “cadet” on the Californian. Here he learned about life at sea on a 130-ft schooner while cruising from Sausalito to San Diego.

Back in the Latitude 38 archives from 1998, you’ll find “A Tale of Two Islanders,” which covers the original Islander 36 Green Flash, which was stolen and replaced with the current Green Flash. At that time, Liz owned Green Flash with her late husband Scott Majors, who passed away from cancer in 2004, soon after he fulfilled his dream of crewing on the Baja Ha-Ha. “A letter to the Latitude editor from the boat’s owner, Captain Ron, wrote about Scott’s story and reminded everyone to ‘just get out there and sail!'”

Thanks for sharing your story, Mike and Liz!

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  1. Ken Brinkley 5 months ago

    Best looking Islander on the West Coast!

  2. milly Biller 5 months ago

    Wow Mike ! I wonder if you were on the Californian when I was on her as First Mate? I wasn’t on her a lot for long trips as my ” other” full time job at Richmond Boat Works took up all of my time.
    Fun times on the Californian !

    • Mike Patterson 5 months ago

      Hi Milly, I think it was 1981. I remember one of the cadets was seasick as soon as we crossed under the Golden Gate Bridge and slept on the deck for the next three days. It was also the trip where reverse failed in the harbor at Dana Point and we t boned the dock in front of the yacht club. Does that bring back memories?

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March Racing Preview
"I wanted to share a new free event we're planning at Berkeley Yacht Club this year: a crew party for skippers and crew to connect ahead of our Friday night beer can series."