The Best Of Times Page 5

Charter a boat, sail your own boat; stay near home or cross the country to sample the waters. Summer is a good time to do it“To every thing there is a season,” said the writer of Ecclesiastes. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a sailor, and you don’t need me to tell you that this statement should be needlepointed on a pillow in the saloon of every sailboat. Generally,
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
SAIP-080300FEchart-01

California

CHARTER BASES

Northern California: Sausalito, Alameda, Richmond, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Redwood City, San Francisco

Southern California: San Diego, Oxnard, Marina del Rey, Redondo Beach, Long Beach, Newport Beach

Being There: Channel Islands

Every cruising area provides a basket of colorful images and sensations to help you refresh and reboot your mind. Over the years I’ve sampled an extraordinary number of these offerings, and I’m pleased to report that one of the most flavorsome samplings occurred on a cruise among the northern set of Channel Islands off Santa Barbara, California.

Santa Barbara’s celebrity status, exquisite climate, and proximity to the Santa Ynez Mountains have always been an attraction. And that’s why the five Islands that lie on the south side of the Santa Barbara Channel are so special. Set aside by Congress in 1980 and now managed by the National Park Service and the Nature Conservancy, all the islands are uninhabited except for sea lions and land-bound animals, some 145 species of native plants, and any number of birds, including the elusive scrub jay. Many can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Throw in orcas and gray whales and you could call this Galapagos north.

I spent the better part of a week with some sailing friends exploring these islands aboard a shipshape 42-footer that’s part of the Santa Barbara Sailing Center fleet. Hiking the islands’ trails during the day and then, from a nearly deserted anchorage, looking across the Santa Barbara Channel and seeing the loom in the dark sky that’s been generated by millions of people is a sight that goes a long way toward getting one’s mind to refocus. It’s a moment where you are concurrently awed by what has come before and troubled by what might come very soon if we don’t become better stewards of our natural legacies. Charles Mason

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Southern California: I like to sail year round, but especially in winter just before or after a cold front passes through; that’s when the winds are stronger and there are fewer boats out. Our typical year-round wind strength is 8 to 12—maybe 15 knots on a good day—and no wind is unusual. There’s plenty to see on a daysail; if you have a couple of days, you can sail out to Santa Catalina or to the Coronado Islands. Jon Riksford, Shelter Island Sailing, San Diego

Northern California: Here’s a place where the winds moderate in the winter (to around 5 to 15 knots) from San Francisco Bay’s average 20 to 30. September and October are the two prettiest months, but summer is the best time for many because of the longer days, more sunshine, and brisk breezes. Summer’s microclimates mean that you can sail out of the fog and into the sunshine. It’s easy to find two days’ worth of sailing destinations inside the bay, or you can head north to the delta or south to Redwood City. Rich Ferrari, Spinnaker Sailing, Redwood City

Related

GG17-SAONA47-DX0796

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Saona 47

Here’s a riddle: What is less than 50ft long, has two hulls, three big cabins and four decks? Answer: The Fountaine Pajot Saona 47. In fact, it may even be five levels if you count the large engine rooms. This boat is a “space craft” in every sense of the word.DESIGN & ...read more

RichardBennettMIDNIGHT-RAMBLER3249x202

Storm Sails: Do you Need Them?

Many sailors embarking on ocean passages will take along the obligatory storm jib and trysail, with the vague idea that they may come in handy. Few sailors, however, have a real understanding of how and when to set them.It doesn’t help matters when we hear from seasoned sailors ...read more

IntheWater(1)

Boaters University Unveils Rescue Course

Boaters University has just announced its latest online course, Safety & Rescue at Sea, taught by Mario Vittone, whose name you might recognize from the pages of our sister publication, Soundings Magazine and his Lifelines blog.Mario Vittone is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue ...read more

IMG_20170920_132819

How to: Installing New Electronics

I had been sailing my Tayana 42, Eclipse, for a few years without any installed electronics on board. I’d gone pretty far up and down the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts with paper charts, the Navionics app on my Android phone, a hand-bearing compass and the ship’s compass. ...read more

02-Douglas-Adkins---Coriolis---Orcas-Island-KevinLightPhoto

A Phoenix-like Concordia

Cutting a fine wake on the cobalt-blue waters of West Sound on Orcas Island, Coriolis sparkles like a diamond. Her lovely silhouette is offset by emerald forests that frame the ocean, within spitting distance of the border with Canada. Seen up close, this Concordia yawl is a ...read more

IMG_1051

The Latest Boat Trends from Dusseldorf

The world’s biggest boat and watersports show, held in Düsseldorf on the banks of Germany’s Rhine River each January, is the place to scope out emerging trends in the boat design and building.What would be the new trends for 2018 and beyond? Hint—sophisticated electronics figure ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGood ConnectionsI wish I’d had a dollar for every time I’ve cobbled together an electrical fitting with a “that’s good enough” shrug. An old shipwright once taught me that “good enough is not good enough” ...read more

tides2

Gear Test: Tides Marine Sailtrack

Gravity is an important force at work on a sailboat. It keeps the boat upright, it makes the anchor drop to the bottom, and it makes the mainsail slide neatly down the mast to be flaked and put away at the end of the day… until it doesn’t.In the case of dropping the mainsail, the ...read more