February Ballena Bay Cruise Report

February 9-10 to Ballena Bay

At Berkeley Yacht Club we embrace this time of year not only for the very well-run and well attended
Chowder Races, great music nights, and fabulous dinner meetings, but because we also relish the
winter-month lake-like sailing conditions of The Bay, and take advantage of them to get out and visit
other yacht clubs through BYC's Cruiser programs.
Berkeley Cruisers enjoyed abundant sunshine and light to variable winds February 9th and 10 th, leading
to a stupendous event where fifty BYC'ers and 13 yachts, along with another fifty or so Oyster YC
and Sequoia YC members all sailed in to shoehorn themselves into The Ballena Bay Yacht Club for
their Mardi Gras party event and to sup a on kickin' chicken, shrimp, and sausage gumbo cooked
up by resident Cajun and BBYC Commodore Dan Watson. Dancing soon followed with Gordon and
Betty Towell of Walden leading all of us out onto the dance floor. Indeed, BYC members were well
represented displaying innovative dance moves. It was a classic case of four yacht clubs getting together
and reaching out to each other- the stories and whale tales traded were awesome. And the Ballena Bay
Yacht Club hospitality? Over the top, as were their Mardi Gras’ pirate rum-ridden Hurricane cocktails.
The staff in the Ballena Bay Al-Mar Marina bent over backwards to accommodate our large group of
cruisers and had all slips assigned to most of our group about a week prior to cruise out.
The following morning twelve of the BYC yachts with about 30 folks aboard motor sailed across
Ballena Bay and tied up at Nelson's dock (thanks Nelsons!) and walked over to the USS Hornet for
docent lead tours that were an incredible trip into history for everyone. We highly recommend it as a
cruiser destination in San Francisco Bay, and urge Bay Area Sailors to support the USS Hornet Museum
foundation as a Bay Area resource.
BYC vessels participating were: Cruise Lead The Chester P w/Chuck Bullett and Lisa Chapin; Windsong
w/ Will and Terry Hand; Walden w/ Gordon and Betty Towell; Pura Vida w/ Greg & Melissa Davids, plus
crew Trish Gilbert and Kevin and Renee Murray; Webb Site w/ Rick and Joan Webb; Sea Escape w/ Kip
and Carol Keiper; Knot Studying w/ Mike Dvorak and Lindsey Goosehurst; Pearl of Oakland w/ Sharon
Albert and Husband Tom and crew Vee Govender; Two Truths w/ Bob and Betsy Sharf; Blue Eyes w/
Patrick Harpole and Crew Nan; Destiny w/ Bob Crose and Family; Pearl w/ Karen Lile & Michael Hodson and a guest vessel La Dolce Vita; Terry
La Torre and Guests out of South Beach Harbor.
Our next BYC cruise event will be led by Sea Quest’s Kip and Carol Keiper in March. Details are posted
under “Cruising News” on the club bulletin board.