Summer Sailstice News & Stories
Did you catch the news item about the “pet” stingray that entertains visitors to a marina in New Zealand? These days, Brutus attracts almost as many stingray lovers as berthers to Gulf Harbor Marina, on the North Island. One of a group of rays that have cruised the harbor for years, it's only in the last year in a half that Brutus has realized that being really friendly has it perks.
Wondering what to do for the upcoming Summer Sailstice? In the next few months, we'll feature some fun stuff other people have done in the past that may give you ideas for this year. First up, one of the best-kept secrets in sailing – Bulgaria.
We had some good entries for our Winter Solstice GoPro Prize contest and the winner is Dana from Seattle!
She shares her tale:
Dark and Stormy Sail
And Therein Lies the Confusion The language of sailing is confusing enough to newbies, but there were times when it was confusing to longtime sailor men, too. Consider exhibits A and B: starboard and port.
Many people new to Summer Sailstice ask the same question: “What exactly do I do?” Our answer is simple: “Go sailing.” That's it. On June 20 – the longest day of the year (aka the Summer Solstice), just cast off the docklines and go. It doesn't matter where or for how long. If you sign up on the website here, you become eligible to win some cool prizes.
Among the early sign-ups for Summer Sailstice 2015 is The Sailing Club, Inc., homeported - sort of - in Morristown, New Jersey. (More on that in a minute.) This will be TSC's second year with Sailstice, and the 2014 plan worked so well, they're going to do the exact same thing this year: On Saturday, June 20, Depart Rock Hall, MD, in chartered boats, head to the Miles River on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay, and pick a good creek for a raft-up.
Raft-ups are one of the most popular ways to celebrate Summer Sailstice. Tying a bunch of often-dissimilar boats together in rows – or the ever-popular circle - takes a bit of finesse, but the social and photographic aspects are worth it, even if a bit of gelcoat gets chipped here and there. If you celebrate that way this summer, use lots of fenders and please send photos.
One of the best things about Summer Sailstice is connecting with all the people and organizations who are introducing new people to sailing. The Midwest Women's Sailing Conference is one of those great organzations and the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center is one of the great facilities.
If you're aware enough of Summer Sailstice to have visited this site, or participated in past Sailstices, you're aware of the simple concept: get as many people as possible out sailing on the weekend nearest the Summer Solstice, which takes place June 20-21 in the northern hemisphere.
When the founders of Summer Sailstice conceived the idea back in 2001 of getting as many people as possible sailing on the first day of summer - aka the Solstice – they never specified it had to be on water. While the vast majority of participants do partake in boats, last year a group of fun-loving speed freaks folded the Sailstice into their annual Roundup racing series, sailing on a “lake” that hasn't seen significant water since mammoths waded in for a drink.
Ratty, the resident boat expert in Wind In the Willows, said it best: “There is absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simple messing around in boats.”
So how do sailors mess around in boats when they're not sailing? Well, one way for upwards of 150 folks in and around the San Francisco Bay Area is joining the volunteer crew building the tallship Matthew Turner, currently under construction in Sausalito.
We're always happy to see positive and inspiring news of sailing in the major media. So, it was terrific to find on the New York Times home page today, November 21, 2014, a feature, 17 minute video of the New York-Barcelona IMOCA Ocean Masters race from reporter, Chris Museler, who was 'embedded' aboard Hugo Boss with American sailor Ryan Breymaier and solo sailor Pepe Ribes - who both teamed up for the double-handed race.
One of the best opportunities for new people to get into sailing is to visit 'Craig's List' and restore a boat that's been languishing in a field. Yes, it might require some parts, some work and some elbow grease but many of today's sailors started when 'do-it-yourself' was the only way go.
The longest day of the summer brought a mixing of finishes in the Sunfish fleet today. For the first time in almost a year, the Laser fleet showed up just to make things interesting. There were extreme wind shifts. There was carnage at the starting line as boats were starting and finishing at the same time. There were number scores and letter scores, a disqualification, and almost everyone who showed up took a first.
September 23 is the fall Equinox and, for many, the 2014 sailing season is winding down. Read our fall newsletter with a look ahead to planning your weekend of June 20, 2015 Summer Sailstice sailing.
Otherwise we hope you're out sailing today for Bart's Bash or have some other great reason to be on the water this weekend.
Summer Sailstice participant, Esta Lee Albright, sailed his Ranger 26 'Valkyrie' out of Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club to enjoy some summer sailing after the Sailstice. There was much more to enjoy than just sailing:
Burgas Bay, Pomorie, Bulgaria – “Hobie Island Club Bulgaria!”
“Even after a deadly storm in Varna the night before our sailing plans- we firmly decided to sail from Sunny Beach to Pomorie for the annual regatta and take part in Summer Sailstice 2014.
Every year in June our club, Oceanside Yacht Club, schedules a cruise/race to Dana Point, California which is 21 miles north of our harbor. As luck would have it, the 2014 edition of this event fell on the Summer Sailstice weekend. When the club received the notice announcing this year’s Sailstice, one of our members entered the club’s cruise/race on the event website and we signed up, n
LOCATION: Gilligan’s Island, Puerto Rico
“Summer Sailing Get-a-way!”
Captain Gilberto “Tuto” Rivera said, "We Sailed out to a well-known, offshore area called Gilligan’s Island.
It's been amazing being part of a worldwide event such as Summer Sailstice. Coming from such a small island on the Caribbean, makes us feel proud of doing what we love."
Summer Sailstice mission is to showcase the full spectrum of sailing which, for just about all participants, is a form a recreation. It's a race, a cruise, an adventure or challenge but as a foundation to it all is satisfaction, enjoyment, pleasure. Summer Sailstice booster, Liz Chandler, passed on a notice of race she received from the Pacific Northwest which goes for the fun first.
Sailors are the same everywhere and so incredibly different. In a social environment you discover most sailors participate with passion they want to share – often with endless stories at the bar or more often by introducing friends, family and others to sailing. Yet, once they get to the dock, how they sail – race, cruise, tall ship or dinghy tends to splinter them into minute factions with narrow interests to promote. How are they the same?
Mia won the piece of Nautical Jewellery and is the editor of the Sailing Club Newsletter (www.thesailingclub.org ). She shares the story from trip leader Mary Ann below:
As the 2014 summer sailing season closes we have completed the prize drawing, sent award notices and have received many great stories back! Here's a sampling from few happy winners:
Eat, Sail, Love - the wedding of Annie Gardner and Eric White:
Long-term Summer Sailstice supporter, Offshore Sailing School, is celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a Celebrity Pro-Am Regatta, January 8-10, 2015 on Ft. Myers Beach, Florida, to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
CALIFORNIA – Southwind Hobie Island Sailors, Newport Beach, CA.
Hobie Dealer: Southwind Kayak Center
Dave is the winner of the Harken Gear Bag and shared some pictures of sailing in Nebraska with us!
'June 21 was a all club raft up, food was passed, friends we're made, and a sunset like no other was seen. The Summersailstice is always on our list, and the club makes plans for it. look on facebook for Branched Oak Yacht Club.'
We had some great entries to the photo contest this year! The conditions ranged from foggy to windless to sunny and 15kts! People celebrated in group and by themselves It was hard to pick just one so we added some runner up prizes!!!
Cruising Compass Editor Andrew Cross recalls Summer Sailstice 2013 as he looked forward to 2014:
Cass Gidley Marina, a Sausalito community sailing center used Summer Sailstice as an opportunity to raise funds to support boating access on the historic Sausalito, California waterfront. Sausalito has a long and storied sailing heritage but, like so many once busy waterfronts, many local residents don't have easy access or know how to get from the land out on to the water. Cass Gidley is a new community sailing center helping change that so more people can get out on the water.
We thank Joe Coleman for sending in the story from the East Coast Sailing Association.
Sailing Eduation Adventures has been teaching sailing to Bay area youth for over 30 years. Their mission statement, 'Sailing Education Adventures (SEA) is a non-profit community organization dedicated to promoting sailing through affordable instruction and related on the water activities,' has been fulfilled many times over with many alumnae continuing to sail for a lifetime.
Mark Bewley signed up for the first time to help inspire his family to join him for the sailing celebration. When he signed up Mark said, 'Sail a Hobie Tandem Island with my wife and 3 kids. Never boated before but now I'm hooked. Always looking for new areas to explore along coastal Virginia and NC.' It worked and Mark has now added another Hobie to his fleet by winning the Hobie i12s sailing kayak!
Read the Hampton Yacht Club newsletter below for the full account of a adventuruous Chesapeake gathering. The Hampton Yacht Club encountered hail, 60 knots of wind, rain and other potential obstacles to a good time. Did that stop them? Not a chance. Sailing celebrations often require some patience, perserverance and optimism. And that's what makes it worth it. Read the tale:
We lacked wind for sailing but luckily we had a open grill and party scheduled at sunset. We sailed into or floated into summer at 6:51 a.m. and scheduled a dinner at 7:30 pm with a progressive dinner. pitch in open grill. Every one who attended had a great time. We had music and food and our boats in sight. We planned to do a night sail the wind did not oblige us. The next day on Sunday we all were able to get out and the wind was wonderful.
'Eight of us plus one small dog made our way up Indian Arm outside of Vancouver Canada aboard my 45' Hunter cc, SV Club Paradise. Weather was great and good fun was had by all.'
Just a note to let you know how much we enjoyed this year's Summer Sailstice event at Encinal Yacht Club. It was a treat being able to spend the night at the docks and sail home at our leisure on Sunday morning; it was a 7-hour, 29.05 nm sail back to Vallejo!
The 2014 Scotch Bonnet Island Race won't be remembered as one of the windiest but surely the photos are classic. More wind makes for better sailing but somehow it looks so stunning you'd like to be out there enjoying this Summer Sailstice weekend anyway. More from Mark Blaakman:
'The vessel in the distance is Flicker, owned by Bill Thompson from Genesee Yacht Club.
South central Alaska ( Kenai Fjords area - Seward, Alaska)
Hobie Island salors joined Summer Sailstice from Vancouver Adventure Island Club and Puget Sound Adventure Island Club Sailstice - Run for the Border!
Just a few cell phone shots from the "run for the border" Sailstice, at White Rock, BC, Canada.
A beautiful day, in beautiful British Columbia, with a lot of beautiful people.
Adults Race at Newport Harbor Yacht Club
Bill Campbel, an intrepid sailor from Vallejo, CA made the 30 mile voyage across San Pablo and San Francisco Bay singlehanded aboard his Newport 23 to meet his family at Encinal Yacht Club and wrote in with some notes and photos on his trip:
Once again Encinal Yacht Club outdid themselves gathering sailors from across San Francisco Bay to cruise-in, race-in or to drive in. Veteran sailors reunited while new sailors tried their first time under sail. On the water a Vanguard 15 fleet battled it out in comfortable, warm breezs and flat water.
In Kemah, TX the Sailing Angels gathered 14 boats to give sailing sailing experienced to local, disadvantaged youth. There's a great write up by Jennifer Summer in The Kingswood Observer:
‘Summer Sailstice:’ Sailing Angels provides local families the chance to hit the water
By JENNIFER SUMMER | Posted 3 weeks ago
Here are our Before and After photos from the Wilmette Dolphin Fleet's Sailstice 2014 event.... We persevered with our pot luck dinner through a severe thunderstorm only to be rewarded out on Lake Michigan with the last bits of an incredible sunset. Rainbow included! It was really cool to know that there were sailors all over the world joining us on this day. Thank you putting together a wonderful website and event for the sailing community.
Hogans Beach was the Summer Sailstice destination for the Windrider 'Double Ought'. From Philippe Park safety harbor, sail across Tampa Bay to the eastern end of Courtney Campbell causeway to Hogans. Located in the North corner of Tampa Bay, Hogan's Beach is an ideal Sailstice destination for beach cats, and others looking to take advantage of the warm waters and fresh breezes in Tampa.
What makes it all work? This seemed to do it:
Muskegon Summer Sailstice free sailboat rides. Torresen Marine hosted the event.
By Tony Wittkowski | Reporter | MLive – Muskegon Chronicle
8 Wetas to a Sailstice Weta Weekend in Ventura, CA. Below are: 1. Beach picnic 2. Capsize drills 3. Wake surfing Weta style
The story, by Weta Sailor Bruce Fleming, appeared on the Weta website:
In Chicago, recently a contender to host the America's Cup, also had the Northwest Sailing Association hosting a "fogstice" sail for Summer Sailstice. It's not ideal weather for the America's Cup or for Summer Sailstice but it is ideal weather for getting together with other sailing friends. This, of course, is why the Northwest Sailing Associtation exists.
More from the Commodore of the NWSA:
Now this looks like fun! Windseekers in the Neveda Desert. Strong breezes, flat 'seas', hot sun, big fleet and no lifejacket needed. Helmuts and goggles recommended. Summer Sailstice is for anyone and anything that sails. Glad to be joined in celebration with some Nevada desert sailors.