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:
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

01-LEAD_Alex_Irwin

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Competition

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition once again captures the excitement that is sailing from around the world An impressive 109 photographers from 25 countries took part in last year’s Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2018 competition. And while Portuguese photographer Ricarado ...read more

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more