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A Rare View of a Race From the Decks of a Bay Schooner

Standing on the decks of schooner Freda B for the Master Mariners Regatta gave a rare, insider’s view of the schooner at work. Or, rather, at play! Freda B normally runs charter trips on the Bay, but for the regatta, it was a playday for the captain and crew. With full sails set and full lunch provided, it was a full day of sailing, enjoyed by all.

Captain Paul Dines and his partner Marina O’Neill of San Francisco Bay Adventures were magnanimous hosts for the friends and family invited aboard for the race. Some esteemed sailors were onboard for the cruise, as Paul announced during our pre-departure talk. “Today is about gathering together to celebrate a rich history and community. Every one of you was invited by our team, and it is really special to have friends onboard.”

It was fascinating to watch the vessel navigate and sail more technically than the usual under-the-Golden-Gate-Bridge sail plan. Rounding marks, stealing wind from other boats, and getting first place in our class, as the only boat in our class, was lots of fun. We had a bag of potatoes on board to throw at the mark just in case we, as a schooner, could not successfully round the mark (a special allowance given to boats of our class). No potatoes had to be thrown, however, due to the expertise of Captain Reno at the helm and the veteran crew working to make it a smooth, fun day out on the water.

Marina reflected at the end of the trip that it was a very special day for herself and Paul, who have devoted so much time and care to growing both the charter business and a community of fast friendships and loyal supporters. She felt that the group gathered onboard was a moment worth noting for its multigenerational members. “Today, we have sailors who have gone before us, those who are doing the work now, and the ones coming up today. There just aren’t many communities like this in our world.”

*All photos taken by Heather Breaux.

1 Comment

  1. Alice Watts 11 months ago

    What a well- written article, Heather. You recapped the day with perfection. It was lovely having you sail with us on that great and windy day. Cheers – Alice Watts

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