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Out Sailing on Memorial Day Weekend

San Francisco Bay

The Broderick grandsons, last seen ‘sailing’ Grandpa’s Voyager 14 in the driveway, took to the real water Memorial Day Sunday in Grandpa’s Wyliecat 30 Nancy. The whole family’s been living together since the Tubbs Fire in 2017, so met the ‘sailing household’ requirement. Pat Broderick’s son Larry and daughter-in-law Sameth joined his three grandsons Elljay, 12, Preston, 10, and Tyler, 7, and enjoyed a few hours on the Bay, escaping Santa Rosa’s heat in a real boat on real water.

Pat, Preston, Elljay, Tyler Broderick
Pat, Preston, Elljay and Tyler Broderick head down the Sausalito Channel to the waters of San Francisco Bay.
© 2020 Larry Broderick

Memorial Day Sunday was bright, with a moderate southwesterly wind with a moderate flood. Before leaving the berth, everyone voted for a sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. So, using a San Francisco Bay chart, the boys plotted a course from Sausalito across to Fort Point, then a tack along the South Tower and under the bridge. Crossing toward San Francisco close-hauled in mid-teen southwest wind made for an exciting ride, as Nancy’s bow dug into one of the tidal swirls and the flood pushed the bow away from the plotted Fort Point landfall.

Larry and Sameth Broderick
The middle generation: Larry and Sameth Broderick.
© 2020 Elljay Broderick

After Nancy dipped under the bridge, the southwesterly wind provided a nice broad reach down the San Francisco shoreline toward Fisherman’s Wharf. One point of interest on the to-do list was taking a look at Saturday’s Pier 45 fire and the Jeremiah O’Brien. “The boys had noticed a slight gray haze coming off the pier as we sailed across the Bay, and commented that the fire wasn’t completely out,” reports Pat. “As we passed the St. Francis Yacht Club, a large black smoke cloud suddenly blossomed up, obscuring the Fisherman’s Wharf area. The fire had rekindled at the end of the pier. The Jeremiah O’Brien disappeared into the blackness.”

(For our report on the Pier 45 fire, see today’s top story.)

The boys observed flames inside the warehouse windows and the San Francisco fireboat Francis approaching from Pier 39. The large red fireboat nosed up to the pier under the O’Brien’s stern and began hosing down the flareup. In short order the thick black smoke turned to white and the O’Brien re-appeared. The Memorial Sunday sail’s most exciting moments.

Pier 45 fire
Saturday morning’s fire at Pier 45 threatened the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, a WWII Liberty Ship that was at D-Day and is now a museum ship in Fisherman’s Wharf. Thanks to the efforts of the fireboat crew, this functioning artifact of history survived the flames threatening to engulf her. The photo shows a Sunday afternoon flare-up and response.
© 2020 Larry Broderick

“We jibed and sailed along the west side of Alcatraz Island on our way back to Sausalito, observing an orderly procession of sailboats tacking up alongside the island and heading for Angel Island before sailing back toward the East Bay. Some notable racing boats just happened to be part of the orderly procession, and it appeared most were being doublehanded.”

They saw 15-20 knots of breeze. It was Tyler’s (age 7) first “tippy” sail. “He’ll get used to it.”

Each grandson got a turn on the tiller and took a hand in trimming the sail. They saw harbor seals, California sea lions, sea gulls, pelicans, cormorants and one lone foiling kite sailor. And the fireboat. They agreed it had been a good sail, but that they were ready to sail home.

“We continued into Richardson Bay, dropped the sail, and found the berth. While Grandpa put the boat away, the boys and their parents made a run to the takeout at McDonald’s. By the time they got back, the sail cover was on and the boat was straightened up, ready for a late Big Mac lunch in the cockpit before heading back toward Santa Rosa on Highway 101 with the van’s air conditioner blowing salty hair.”

California Delta

Delta waters were super-busy on the weekend — some locations were reminiscent of a pre-COVID summer. But not all venues attracted crowds. Continuing her solo Delta ramble aboard the Cal 2-27 Dura Mater, Jackie Philpott found an idyllic anchorage in one of the lesser-known sloughs — and had it all to herself.

Delta bridge at sunrise
“What bridge is this?” we asked. “It’s a secret,” said Jackie.
© 2020 Jackie Philpott

Folsom Lake

Ramblin' Rose sailing on Folsom lake
Ramblin’ Rose takes a spin on Folsom Lake on Saturday afternoon. Noreen Moore took this shot when she and her husband Roy sailed past on Allegro, their Catalina 22.
© 2020 Noreen Moore

“Brother John and I had a great first day of sailing last Saturday on Folsom Lake,” writes Pat McIntosh of the West Wight Potter 19 Ramblin’ Rose. “We even got the Potter up to hull speed on a reach. The lake is still rising from runoff, so it looks like boats may still be in the water after the first of August.” (When the lake level gets too low, the boats must haul out.)


sailboats and watercraft on Whiskeytown lake
Whiskeytown Sailing Club canceled their Memorial Day Weekend Regatta, but these craft went out on Saturday.
© 2020 Craig Stewart

“We had a great Show ‘n’ Go Regatta at Whiskeytown Saturday and Sunday,” wrote Mike Strahle. The regatta had no registration, no race committee, no skippers’ meeting and no trophy ceremony. We’ll have more in Racing Sheet in the July issue of Latitude 38.


  1. Max 4 years ago

    The secret location that S/V Dura Mater photographed looks a lot like Ryer Island swing bridge on Miner Slough…

    • Ezekiel 2 years ago

      Preston is a old friend of mine but we’re in different school now

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