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Short Sightings — News Pulled From the Dock Box

There’s more than mud on the bottom of the Bay. But there’s good news about boats that are stuck in that mud, and some creative projects and competitive races all transiting the West Coast sailing desk as we head into a sunny Opening Day weekend. Here’s some news from the week:

Dredging Up News in Alameda

Citizen activist Brock de Lappe reports more success on his mission to clean up and restore the waters of the Oakland Estuary and surrounding Alameda waterways. The cities of Alameda and Oakland have been stepping up to remove derelict boats and finding housing solutions for people unable to maintain and afford boats in legal, liveaboard berthing. He most recently reported about the City of Alameda’s organizing a cleanup of the sunken boats spread along the breakwater to the south and west side of Seaplane Lagoon and to Alameda Community Sailing Center. It’s a slow, expensive, one-boat-at-a time project, but they are making progress.

Amazing Missions of Sailors of the Bay Area

When people think of sailing in Croatia, they mostly think of summer island chartering. Not Jim Bender. The shop teacher from Redwood City has been spending his summers in his wife’s home country of Croatia for years. There he takes his woodworking and teaching skills on the water to help kids in challenged communities with personal growth through his Adriatic Maritime Institute (AMI). The program is dedicated to the preservation of maritime heritage through the use of traditional watercraft as a platform for youth development. They have all kinds of interesting boat restoration projects, and also a watermelon voyage where kids crew boats delivering produce grown on the Croatian islands. Another project is Building Bridges with Boats. On May 19 they’re doing a three-bridge sailing fundraiser aboard the Derek M. Baylis, which runs youth programs locally as part of its Richmond-based Ocean Explorers Program. These are both great programs to keep kids off their devices and connected to one another and the planet. You can learn more about James Bender in our Good Jibes podcast.

Call of the Sea Debuts Whale Sail at Tall Ship Festival

Call of the Sea’s brigantine Matthew Turner has a new look, unveiled this past weekend at the organization’s Tall Ship Festival fundraising event. The new whale sail expresses Call of the Sea’s commitment to the ocean and all its creatures.

Stay tuned for the story behind the whale sail.
© 2024 Call of the Sea

76th Annual Newport to Ensenada Race Border Crossing

Luckily there is no wall at sea preventing the 146 sailboats entered in this year’s Newport to Ensenada race from having an unimpeded path to the pleasures of Ensenada, Mexico. The first 125-mile Newport Ocean Sailing Association race was on April 23, 1948, and Ensenada was just a small fishing village. This year’s race starts today, Friday, April 26, and will include boats from 29- to 85-ft. The race’s history includes the blistering pace of a few record-setting boats, but is perhaps best known for the pleasurable, warm downwind sail and the legendary good times had by thousands of more relaxed racers who made the trek for the camaraderie and revelry in Ensenada. It used to attract many hundreds of boats, setting a record of 675 boats in 1983. The monohull speed record was set by Manouch Moshayedi’s custom RIO 100, which crossed the finish line with a time of 7:02:17, and the multihull record by Tom Siebel’s Orion, a MOD70 with an elapsed time of 5:17:26. Don’t let those numbers intimidate you. The record everyone would love to see broken is entries back up over 675. There’s no shortage of sailboats in Southern California, so it’s certainly possible. Entries are closed for this year; you can see the entry list here:

Train Alternative to the Panama Canal. Is It a Game Changer?

In 2021 we wrote about the Mexico Tehuantepec Isthmus rail corridor between the Atlantic and the Pacific. At the time, reader Mike Manchak commented, “That project would be a game-changer!” We’ll see. At the end of last year the first trains started running. We got a historical look at the digging of the Panama Canal and an update on the contstruction of the new train corridor on this YouTube video.

The Field Narrows in the Congressional Cup

Long Beach Yacht Club is in the midst of the Congressional Cup match-racing battle, with four teams remaining in the elimination after closing out the opening round-robin stage of the 59th Congressional Cup in Long Beach. The top four teams are Ian Williams/GBR, Jeppe Borch/DEN, Dave Hood/USA and Gavin Brady/USA, with each advancing to the quarter-final stage of the event. The remaining eight teams will compete in a repechage stage today, where the top four finishers will also join the quarter-finals. You can keep up with the action at the Long Beach Yacht Club site here.

1 Comment

  1. Dana Smith 2 months ago

    We happen to be bashing north back from La Paz. Arrived prior to the racing fleet. Can report good time had by all in rowdy seaway south from Newport. Cool this weekend for Ensenada but from what we can tell everyone had fun especially OHANA who grabbed the trophy best as non racer can tell

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