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SIGHTINGS prepare to pounce

kill switch — cont'd

As always, at both events we'll give a detailed multimedia presentation on doing the Puddle Jump and cruising French Polynesia. Each crew will receive an official Pacific Puddle Jump burgee, and will be interviewed for mini-profiles that will appear in the magazine in April and May. And of course, there'll be free drinks and snacks at both events. At the other end of this 3,000-mile passage, fleet members are invited to attend the three-day Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, July 4-6. Its schedule of events includes a six-person outrigger canoe race, music and dance presentations and more. See the website for more: — andy

to Spicher's leg. Although we don't yet have all the details, Spicher was reportedly medevaced to the UC San Diego trauma center that same afternoon. Needless to say, the whole bloody incident could have been avoided if the dinghy driver had been traveling at a more reasonable speed — and even more importantly, had been wearing a simple plastic kill switch lanyard around his wrist. If you don't have one, get one. See 'Lectonic Latitude for updates on Spicher's condition and the fundraising efforts begun to assist him. — andy

this ain’t no ladies’ social club



Not long after WWII a group of ladies who dubbed themselves ‘Sea Gals’ began meeting regularly to sail on San Francisco Bay, and they’re still going strong today. As Sea Gal Sally Taylor explains, "Two groups of ladies, one in Marin and one in the East Bay, had been sailing as crew on their husbands’ boats. Eventually they decided that they wanted to learn to sail the boats themselves — without all the yelling. They would take the boats out once a week, together, while the husbands were working. Eventually the two groups merged." "Actually, the original name of the Sea Gals was the Sea Wenches," adds Shirley Bates. "I liked it because it went with ‘winch.’ Some members objected to the name, but I preferred it because Sea Gals seemed to relate to sea gulls, which fly above the water and bombard those below in a dastardly manner." The main requirement for new recruits was that they had access to a sailboat. "And, no yelling was allowed," says Sally. "Those are still the only rules — besides no cell phones!" The Sea Gals’ membership has waned in recent years as members have passed away, or in some cases moved. What is so remarkable is that many have sailed into their 90s and "Several have been San Francisco YC’s Yachtswomen of the Year," says Sally. Recently one Gal passed away while sailing with her family, on This vintage Sea Gals portrait was taken in the midher son’s new boat — and 1970s on a cruise up the Petaluma River to celebrate they were unable to revive the group's 28th anniversary. her. "Do you know any sailor who wouldn’t want to go out like that?" asks Sally. The problem for the Sea Gals, and perhaps other sailing groups, is the need for more members. Society has changed a lot since World War II and women are more likely than ever to be working midweek and unable to go sailing. But the Gals want to get the word out that they are looking for new friends. (Write Sea Gal Jocelyn Swanson at "This isn’t a ladies’ social club," notes Sally. "We sail together every Wednesday and that is all we do, except for three lunches a year, and a Christmas dinner where we bring along the ‘Sea Pals’." The Sea Gals aren't the only group of Bay Area sailors who have a longtime tradition of meeting regularly to enjoy sailing on the Bay — although the Gals have probably been at it longer. Next month we'll report on two men's groups, the Old Phartz and the Geritolers. — ross March, 2014 •

Latitude 38

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Profile for Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Latitude 38 March 2014  

The March 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 March 2014  

The March 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.