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A New Latitude Tuesday

Tomorrow is the day we’ve all been waiting for, as the October issue of Latitude 38 will hit newsstands, Wi-Fi signals, and the synapses of a Nation. Please let us prepare you for a Latitude adjustment tomorrow:

What’s Next for Berkeley Marina?

Berkeley Marina is a vital, much-loved, and well-used park full of sailing schools, marine businesses, a boatyard, restaurants, and miles of trails and epic views — as well as aging infrastructure. Much of the Marina’s facilities, which were built between the mid-’60s and early ’80s, have reached the “end of their useful life,” according to a report from the city of Berkeley. The Marina’s budget is derived entirely from the Enterprise or Marina Fund, which is filled by revenue generated by taxes on Marina businesses, as well as slip fees. This year, the Enterprise Fund’s structural deficit, where spending exceeds revenues, will reach $1 million. There is nearly $106 million of unfunded capital, meaning that lots of infrastructure needs to be replaced and, at present, there’s no money to do it.

The view from Berkeley Marina is said to be “unrivaled.”
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

We often wonder, ‘What’s going to fail next and how is it going to affect operations?’ said Scott Ferris, the director of Berkeley’s Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department, which manages the Marina. “But the waterfront is a truly amazing facility; there’s a lot of amazing things down there and beautiful views. In order for the waterfront to be viable, we need to fix it.” The city of Berkeley has taken the first steps to inject cash into its waterfront and revitalize the Marina.

But a story about a city is not defined just by its politics or infrastructure. Most important are the people who use a place, and when it’s windy, you will find windsurfers sailing out of Berkeley Marina’s multiple launches, including the now-shuttered Hs Lordships. This month, we begin a series of stories asking what is next for one of the Bay’s bastions of sailing access, and we meet some of the longtime windsurfing devotees who make up the East Bay Crew.

A windsurfer returns to the Hs Lordships’ parking lot after a sweet evening session in September.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

Rolex Big Boat Series has No Wind Before it has Soooo Much Wind

The 55th St. Francis Yacht Club Big Boat Series on September 12-15 may wind up being remembered for a random late-summer heat wave that baked unacclimated San Franciscans in two days of T-shirt weather. The westerly did fill in, but quite late. Thus, no races started before 2 p.m. on Thursday or 3 p.m. on Friday, and those wound up being one-race — instead of the planned two-race — days. On Saturday, Karl the Fog crept in on very loud — thanks to the foghorns — cat feet, masking the big-ship traffic coming in the Gate. The on-cycle applied to the wind as well, with gusts up to 30 knots toppling three rigs. The fleet sailed Sunday’s single Bay Tour race in a more typical chilly San Francisco breeze.

Rigs were falling like so many autumn leaves when the breeze showed up for the RBBS.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

This year’s RBBS also saw five elegant yachts built before 1955 competing in a crowd-pleasing division. In the inaugural year, the 1924 gaff-rigged schooner Brigadoon won every race except the last one. “Today was difficult,” said skipper Lindsey Klaus about the final Bay Tour race on Sunday. “It was a long race. Three hours with three pretty significant upwind legs; it’s hard for a gaffer, and the flood, in the beginning . . . Yeah, it was tough.”

Lindsey and Terry Klaus of Brigadoon captured multiple bullets in the RBBS’s first-ever classic division of the regatta.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The Crew Conundrum

One common reason for shorthanded passagemaking is that many sailors who venture offshore relish the challenge of becoming independent and self-reliant. Also, many couples who’ve successfully doublehanded their boats for years in the strong winds and rough waters of San Francisco Bay, or elsewhere, may not understand why they’d need extra hands onboard to run downwind, down-current and down-swell to Mexico. It’s a complex conundrum, so in this month’s Sightings, we’ll take a look at some of the related issues, such as setting clear expectations for both captains and crews, finding the ideal candidates and sharing the load.

Roughly 500 to 600 sailors do the Baja Ha-Ha rally to Cabo San Lucas each year, and at least one-third of them sail as crew on “OPB” — other people’s boats. Ideally, taking more crew means more sleep for all and a safer ride.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Andy

And Much, Much More . . .

Also in this month’s Sightings, we’ll take a look at the many Pacific Northwest boats Passin’ Through San Francisco Bay on their way to San Diego for the start of the Baja Ha-Ha, share a conversation with recent record-setter Jeanne Socrates, and check in with Wil Spaul and his super-tiny boat Chubby Girl.

Greg and Laurie Yellenik sailed under the Gate aboard their Cooper Seabird 37 PH Galene in September.
© 2019 'Galene'

This month’s Max Ebb shares tips for small-boat cruising, the axiom for which is often incredibly obvious: “The key to cruising a very small boat is to know people cruising in much larger boats.” In this month’s Letters, our readers mourn with us over the tragic Conception fire. We’ll also wrap up the 11th Delta Doo Dah, and bring you part two of the Ha-Ha profiles.

It is finally starting to feel like fall in the Bay Area, and we can’t think of anything better than curling up with a pumpkin-spiced Latitude next to a fire. Here are some of the many places where you can pick up an issue tomorrow.

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