Sea of Cortez Flotilla – Provisioning Notes

Over the years leading multi-day sailing adventures, I have come to appreciate a great meal plan and a tight, yet flexible provisioning list as much or even more than good sail trim, adjusting to the weather, and picking just the right spot in the anchorage.


Have you seen these at Catalina or Santa Barbara Island? I first saw these creatures in November of 2014, on a three-day Catalina cruise. They are, uh, surprising…

Northern Channel Islands Passages: Fall Means Flexibility

We departed Long Beach the morning of October 30 for this year’s eighth sailing adventure in the Northern Channel Islands. Every week of every month in the NCI provides different challenges, and after 20 years of leading sailing trips there, these are my main takeaways…

Sail Trim Clinic sailing wing in wing

The Racing and Yelling Thing

I just want to say a few things about racing and yelling on sailboats.

When I did my first out of town Bareboat Charter in the San Juan Islands in 1993, in Friday Harbor, I noticed a sailing group called Womanship. Their banner said, “Nobody Yells.”  Back then I thought, “Huh?” Now I can see that this yelling thing has been a problem for many decades.

I’ve been at this a long time and over the years I’ve both yelled, and I’ve been yelled at.  As the receiver of the yelled epithet, it was not pleasant.  I quit racing in the year 2000 because I was tired of 1) the yelling, and 2) having to negotiate strategy and tactics with people who didn’t know what I knew but felt that yelling made them more correct.

Tonight, a friend I care deeply about cried on my shoulder about her treatment by captain and crew of an Olsen 30 during an evening race out of King Harbor in Redondo Beach, CA.  From her account, yelling was a big problem.  Lack of clear communication about responsibilities was a big problem.  Uncommunicated expectations about performance were a problem.  Lack of orientation to the responsibilities of the person in the pit and how to accomplish them were a problem.

It amazes me that one could make a post on the GoSailing App with an invitation to join, fail to train, and then demean the crew for not being able to do the thing that is being yelled about.

She’s not going racing anymore.  She’s not joining a yacht club.  She’s not joining your GoSailing thing.

Look, if you want crew to join you on your boats to race on a night like tonight, think about the proper orientation to the boat. Think about assessing your crew and assigning positions based on their capabilities; think about whether the fact that you are racing is more important than treating a crewmember as you would treat a friend, a companion.  Then, see how you do on the racecourse.  You might do better with training, orientation, support and respect.

None of us like yelling. Racing is a poor excuse for it.

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Valentine’s Day-After Balloon Roundup On The Water

You can help clean up the ocean and at the same time build awareness of a problem that needs solving. Round Up some Balloons after Valentine’s Day, and publicize it!!!

To participate with Santana Sailing on our boats, Sign Up Here!

My sailing friends and I have been picking up balloons from the ocean for years now, and always after Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, New Year’s Day, and so on.

This coming Valentine’s Day, I thought we might get a lot more done to raise awareness and solve the problem if other sailing organizations and sailors made it a special day for clean up. The Long Beach Grunion Gazette interviewed me about our Balloon Roundup plans, and here’s a link to the article.

Here’s the important part: post pictures and video of your own Balloon Roundup on Facebook, Instagram, and anywhere else that will have an impact, and you’ll raise awareness and start changing behavior.

As sailors, we are in the perfect position to do something about this! And here’s a non-profit I was just made aware of that wants to do the same thing:

Day-After Valentine’s Day Balloon Roundup February 15

  1. Get a boat

  2. Get out and pick up some balloons

  3. Post pictures and video of your balloon roundup on Facebook and Instagram

  4. Get together afterword to share results. In Long Beach, we’ll meet at Shenanigans Irish Pub at 5 PM

Click Here for a PDF of the flyer below that you can use or customize

Handing out this flyer today to Marina Sailing, Shoreline Yacht Club, and the Shoreline Marina office.

Handing out this flyer today to Marina Sailing, Shoreline Yacht Club, and the Shoreline Marina office.



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So, You Want To Work As Delivery Crew

I’ve been following my friend, Russ Fritsch, around the globe as he makes periodic FB posts from this or that exotic location. His latest message to me was via satellite while he was en route from Fiji to Honolulu. He wondered if I knew anyone interested in a spot as delivery crew for a Honolulu to Long Beach sailing voyage.

I asked Russ if he could write something up about his experience on the Delivery Crew circuit, because I thought a lot of you would be interested. Russ has put together some thoughts about how he does what he does, and what you might want to think about if you have similar aspirations. Follow the blue link below for a downloadable PDF of Russ’s guest blog. Here we go!

So, You Want To Work As Delivery Crew

By Russ Fritsch

Getting Started in this type of sailing life. In the fall of 2016, I was presented with an opportunity to retire early with a sweetener to help make the decision easier. I took the offer and left. After 46 years in telecommunications, I was now retired so what’s a guy to do? My son suggested I go sailing and told me there are a bunch of Crew Wanted pages out there on the internet. I jumped in with both feet.

Most American sailing however, is on the east coast of the United States. There are millions (no exaggeration) more boats on the Atlantic Seaboard than out here on the Pacific Coast. My first sail as delivery crew was in May of 2017 on SV Allora. She was a 2000 Passport, Royal Passport 43 and what a boat she was. I was hooked. As luck would have it, I was picked for crew because, at 5’9” I fit into the sea berth in the salon. If I were 6-feet tall, I might not have been doing this…

Read the Full Blog Post Here


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Getting Certified (SLC) – Lat 38 Letters

In the February 2019 issue of Latitude 38, page 28, the first entry is a letter from an experienced cruiser with questions about getting certified to charter in the Mediterranean.

This is all about the question of what credentials are needed to charter in the Med. It’s a real issue, and we can resolve it.

I had to respond. Here’s the letter.

Letters - SLC jpg.jpg

Here was my response.

Dear Editor,

Responding to Cary and Michele Hansen looking for the easiest way to get their Mediterranean sailing license, the NauticEd SLC route is the quickest, easiest, and least expensive in most cases.

Cary and Michele can do the practical on-the-water assessment for the SLC with me in one day in Long Beach.  I run Santana Sailing in Long Beach, and we’re a NauticEd school.  The one-day assessment is an extensive pass/fail evaluation of essential skills, including Med-mooring with an anchor off the bow.  And if they need some practice, a day of on-the-water training before the assessment will help knock the rust off.

There’s more to it including documenting sea time, completing on-line course requirements, and knowledge testing which will take some real time on the computer, but a sailor with the skills can knock out the practical portion for the SLC in a day.  With US Sailing or ASA on the other hand, if they don’t already have Bareboat Cruising or ASA 104, they do indeed have to start at the bottom with all the basic on-the-water courses. 

Here’s a link on NauticEd’s website on How to Gain Your SLC Mediterranean Sailing License:

Contact Grant Headifen of NauticEd for more:; +1 512-696-1070.  

Here’s a link to Santana Sailing’s International Sailing License page:

To me, it’s the grand unification theory in practice – you can use your skills to pass the practical assessment no matter where you got them, without having to start all over again at the bottom of some other system.  That’s a beautiful thing.


Marc HughstonMobile: 949-939-8123Subscribe to Santana Sailing News
Get 2 Free Sailing Courses HERE
Get your SLC Mediterranean Sailing License HERE

I hope they post it!