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Squid Pro Quo

Early last week, Michael Moradzadeh of Tiburon had been considering entering his Santa Cruz 50 Oaxaca in the Three Bridge Fiasco. His plans for Saturday changed, but still involved getting the boat out.

“I had the squid from a 2008 or ’09 Opening Day on the Bay, and had been itching for another chance to use her. I made the squid myself from a surplus Chinese parachute and some spinnaker cloth donated by Pineapple Sails. The Quid Pro Quo / Squid Pro Quo pun occurred to me, and I reached out to the Trump Chicken people to see if we could team up. They took it from there, and we met on the boat to get out for a day on the Bay.”

Oaxaca leaving CYC
Oaxaca, the chicken and Squid Pro Quo depart CYC.
© 2020 Charles Moehle / @CDEL3133

The inflatable squid is 60 feet long. The 33-ft inflated chicken topped with a golden pompadour has made previous appearances on the Bay, including stints around Alcatraz wearing a prison shirt on the past two President’s Days.

Oaxaca’s crew and the “Chicken people” gathered that morning in heavy fog. “Don’t worry,” Moradzadeh chirped. “It will burn off.”

They inflated and hoisted the chicken and squid and headed out from Oaxaca’s slip at Corinthian Yacht Club. In the fog, Moradzadeh got off course. “I found myself on the coast of Sausalito before we turned left to head over to Blackaller Buoy and run down the Cityfront. A shotgun salute from the race deck greeted us as we passed Golden Gate YC.” Volunteers from the Singlehanded Sailing Society were starting the Three Bridge Fiasco off the GGYC race deck.

GGYC race deck
Waves from the SSS race committee at GGYC.
© 2020 Charles Moehle / @CDEL3133

“Wherever we went, we got smiles and thumbs up. Except that one guy at Pier 39 who thought it important to flip us his own bird. I offered back to him the observation that perhaps he was not setting the best example for his child.”

Oaxaca along the Cityfront
Motoring up the Cityfront.
© 2020 Charles Moehle / @CDEL3133

“We carried on to the Ferry Building, doing a couple of beauty turns there before turning north again, passing Alcatraz and then heading home as our generator ran out of gas and the deflation process kicked in. It was a most satisfying day, and perhaps less frustrating than the drift I had been contemplating earlier that week.”

Oaxaca passes the Golden Gate Bridge
Passing the Golden Gate Bridge on the way back to Marin. Seen through the fog in the distance, passing the South Tower, is the Extreme 40 catamaran Shadow, which eventually won the Doublehanded Multihull Division of the 3BF.
© 2020 Charles Moehle / @CDEL3133

Saturday evening, while we were driving home from our own unfinished Three Bridge Fiasco, we heard Moradzadeh interviewed on KCBS radio. The stunt also made it into the San Francisco Examiner.


  1. Michael Staudt 4 years ago

    Since Latitude was started I have been a loyal reader, catching up when my travels prevented me from acquiring the current issue. Relief came with the introduction of the “‘lectric latitude”, no more missed issues. Latitude has always done its best to avoid politics, unless it affected Bay activities or access. You have disappointed me by becoming another media outlet pushing a political agenda. Please cancel my “‘lectric latitude” subscription.

    • Kim Paternoster 4 years ago

      Michael: This is not a “political agenda”. This is a sailboat that had the chicken hoisted on it, during the Three Bridge Fiasco. It’s too bad that you can’t see that this is a sailboat story. Had it had Bernie Sanders hoisted on it, I’m sure you would have been just fine with the story.

    • Michael D Moradzadeh 4 years ago

      Latitude reports on what’s happening on the water. Sometimes they have drifted into political shoals (often, under prior management, on the “wrong side” by my lights). Their coverage of my boat was not political on their part, just reporting. It WAS, however, political on my part, as I believe that examination of crime by the president is important.

  2. Maryann Hinden 4 years ago

    Good on ya, Michael!

  3. Robert Barter 4 years ago

    I have to agree with Mr. Staudt. ‘Lectronic does itself a disservice publicizing anyone’s political opinion. Who knows who Mr. Moradzadeh is other than someone who appears to mindlessly follow the herd? His disrespect for the office of the presidency outweighs in my mind the use of the ubiquitous bird, something seen more more often at anti-Trump rallies than at pro-Trump ones. Can’t sailing the beautiful Bay be one place that we can get away from politics?

  4. kevin 4 years ago

    keep your politics to yourself.
    as a long time reader, the quality of the mag has dropped, like an anchor.
    too much racing crap on boats nobody in the world could ever afford to step on or own.
    how about more cruising stories.

  5. Rochellehamblin 4 years ago

    Not everyone shares your views so don’t bash them or give YOUR opinion on child raising.

  6. Kirk (No I'm not a Republican) Denebeim 4 years ago

    TDS is ubiquitous in this region. It is merciless and non-discriminating, claiming victims of every type- both the super-smart (which Michael definitely is) and the not-so-smart; it obviously has infected Latitude 38. No way is this appropriate for a “sailing” publication. It is blatant political partisanship and while not surprising given this is Ground Zero for TDS like Wuhan is for the corona-virus, it is disappointing.

  7. CR 4 years ago

    People are so touchy these days. It’is hard to say anything without someone getting offended. Relax people!

  8. Memo Gidley 4 years ago

    Sailing and being on the SF Bay is something that I really enjoy! It is too bad that Oaxaca and their crew decided to use this area as a place to show their political opinion to other sailors. A similar experience…I belong to a fantastic gym, the JCC in Marin. They decided a year or so ago to take off all news channels off of their TV stations to keep politics(which resulted in arguing) out of an area where people go to work out. Latitude 38 should do the same. Don’t allow those that want to hurt my experience on the water by publicizing their political views PLEASE!

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