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:
Updated:
Original:
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

DSC_5337-2

Boat Review: X-Yachts X4⁶

The Danish builder X-Yachts does not simply stick taller or shorter rigs and keels on the same hulls to create boats for both cruisers and racers, as some mass-production builders do. Nor is it content to build two distinct lines of cruisers and racers. Instead, the company has ...read more

Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 1.18.36 PM

Harken Changes Hands, Stays in the Family

. In a video posted yesterday, Peter Harken cheerfully announced that his company, Harken Inc., the trusted hardware brand bearing his last name, which was formerly owned by founders and their families has changed hands. The owners have sold their shares to employees—"passing ...read more

OceanRace

Newport Hosts The Ocean Race Summit on Ocean Health

Hundreds of participants from around the world tuned in yesterday for the latest installment of The Ocean Race's (formerly the Volvo Ocean Race) Summit Series, which aims to bring the best of ocean racing—leadership, resilience, tenacity, collaboration—to solving the ocean’s ...read more

sp360_fs5-024crop (1)

Highfield SPORT 360

The new 2021 SPORT 360 is the next generation of Highfield boats. Highfield is celebrating its 10th year in the market this year and in this relatively short period of time has now delivered over 30,000 boats to happy customers in 38 countries. Highfield is already the ...read more

sp560_drone-028crop

Highfield SPORT 560

The new 2021 SPORT 560 is the next generation of Highfield boats. Highfield is celebrating its 10th year in the market this year and in this relatively short period of time has now delivered over 30,000 boats to happy customers in 38 countries. Highfield is already the ...read more

Three Props 1772x1181

EWOL Propellers

Ewol propellers make maneuvering easier, increase sailing speed and increase cruising speed under power. EWOL adjustable pitch propellers are made of stainless steel alloys that represent the highest technology in terms of marine corrosion and galvanic corrosion resistance, ...read more

leadership-forum-LGBTQ-email-graphic

Tonight: US Sailing’s LGBTQ+ Panel

Tune in to the latest installment in US Sailing’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Series tonight at 7pm EDT. This week Kimball Livingston will moderate a panel of LGBTQ+ sailors who will share their personal and professional experiences as well as strategies for improving ...read more