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Storm Again Takes a Toll on Richardson Bay Boats

Yesterday’s storm — also known as a ‘Bomb Cyclone’ — caused blackouts, falling trees, mudslides and the usual havoc associated with Northern California’s worst winter storms. Wind gusts on Mt. St. Helena and Mt. Diablo were recorded at 50-60 miles per hour, and the rainfall total on Mt. Tamalpais was recorded at over 13 inches, causing flooding in Marin. Unfortunately, the storm took its usual toll on boats anchored on Richardson Bay. As we drove down to check lines on our boat in the midst of Sunday’s storm, we passed by three boats and a jet ski that had lost their grip on the seafloor and came ashore in Tiburon.

Sailed up on shore
This boat looked as though it attempted to sail out of danger and landed with a neighboring Whaler
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Beached in Tiburon
It was high tide as this boat was driven high up onto the Tiburon shore.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
As in many Marin towns, all wasn’t well ashore either.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
A screenshot from Windy yesterday at around 10 a.m., as the North Pacific did a brief impression of a low-grade hurricane.
© 2021 Windy
A jet ski and gas can also washed up onto the beach.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Another larger ketch, visible in the background, washed up against the shoreline.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
All looked settled, but getting this boat back afloat may just not be possible.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The bomb cyclone is a type of storm known for its plunging atmospheric pressure, according to the New York Times. Yesterday’s storm drove an ‘atmospheric river’ — a concentrated plume of moisture that extends over the ocean — south of the core of the storm, which took its toll across Northern California. The storm has been categorized as the third-worst to hit the Bay Area. For some the storm has meant the loss of a boat, and for others the loss of a home. Coincidentally, our November issue, being delivered on Monday, November 1, includes a story by Tim Henry updating us on the evolving status of liveaboards and anchor-outs on Richardson Bay.

We can’t speak to the circumstances of each individual boat or boat owner and think it’s tragic for these owners, but also for whoever has to manage the burden of cleanup. Skilled mariners of registered, insured and well-found boats securely moored in Richardson Bay have been a rich part of Sausalito’s maritime culture. Though surely difficult to achieve, we think a well-managed mooring field, similar to what’s offered in San Diego, could provide a way to preserve this maritime heritage while lowering the risk to life and property.

We received a couple of other photos of Bay Area storm scenes.

Jib unfurled.
If you’re near your boat it’s good to drop your jib for these storms or at least wrap a spinnaker halyard around it. This one didn’t make it.
© 2021 Scott Jackson
Vanguard 15
Vanguard 15 fleet captain Sam Wheeler passed along some of the fleet carnage at the TISC dry storage area.
© 2021 Sam Wheeler
J120 Shenanigans
Mike Clarke and crew aboard the J/120 Shenanigans just beat the storm on their way south to the start of the Baja Ha-Ha.
© 2021 Predict Wind

If you have photos or stories from elsewhere in the Bay you can email them here.


  1. Jose Kanusee 2 years ago

    You left out one word in the sentence “Skilled mariners of registered, insured and well found boats, securely moored boats…” Curious about what word? Illegal!

    I’m all for a “well managed” mooring field. With FULL enforcement of holding tank use (like at Avalon and elsewhere) and prohibition against floating, non navigable garbage scows. But to approve such a solution before amending the RBRA statutes that prohibit long term anchoring or mooring, NFW!

    • Skip Johnson 2 years ago

      Well said

    • Jeremy 2 years ago

      You have a point. Yet, I don’t see anyone going out there trying to help or educate the anchor outs. Complaining has done nothing but put them on land in YOUR neighborhoods 24/7. Well done ?

  2. Chris Mercer 2 years ago

    “If you’re near your boat it’s good to drop your jib for these storms or at least wrap a spinnaker halyard around it. This one didn’t make it.” That’s a self furling jib shown in the photo which usually hold in the worst weather. Probably a freak malfunction. It’s the way it is. Negligence does not need to be attributed.

  3. Daniel Knight 2 years ago

    The white coranado 35′ sail boat has been rescued by it’s owners who also cleaned up debris from beach before they left.S&D Marine!

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