The Maritime Report: Social Happenings

The Maritime Report: Social Happenings

Dave Bloch

Late October begins the fall party season, and the maritime world of Alameda was been alive with social events last week!

The fun started last Wednesday with an 80th birthday party for Jim Jessie. Although officially retired from his latest career as one of California's best-known marine surveyors, Jim will never strike you as being retired from anything! (A marine surveyor is a certified inspector of boats; their services are called for mainly when boats are sold or have to be insured.) Jim cruised the world with his wife, Diana who passed away last year.

The party at Oakland Yacht Club in Alameda included a gentle "roast" of Jim, with many of the guests telling stories of on-the-water experiences with him. Jim is well-known for having an opinion about anything and everything, and had some wonderful stories of his own before handing it back to Commodore Brian Cooley so the event could continue. All the women in the packed OYC dining room came together for a fine rendition of "We Love You Jimmy" (modified from the original in musical "Bye Bye Birdie") and all enjoyed a really good time.

Friday marked a special event, the "Thank You Alameda" party at the Alameda Point home of America's Cup Challenger Artemis Racing. Lots of business and community leaders, including Mayor Marie Gilmore, were there. But there were also many families with their kids; a mix of community folks and families of the Artemis team members themselves. Artemis CEO Paul Cayard, a decades-long sailor well known in Alameda, gave a brief welcome to all the guests, but the evening was mainly one of relaxed conversation with fine wine and hors d'ouevres (and an outside bounce house for the kids).

A high point of the party was the chance to view the Artemis AC72. The wing is lying flat in the hangar, with the boat next to it. We could only enter one corner of the huge room, and look at the wing from the bottom end, with the top of it off in the distance. The wing is 131 feet long, which makes it as high as a 13-story building. Its surface area is 2,800 square feet, which would cover a doubles tennis court. Because of the proprietary engineering going into the boat, no photography was permitted anywhere at the party, so I'm sorry I can not show this to you. But fear not - the Artemis AC72 should be out on the water before long.

Saturday night was a big Halloween party night all over the country, and yacht clubs in Alameda combined that opportunity with the chance for sailors and friends to come together to watch the Giants play the Detroit Tigers in World Series Game 3. There were parties (that I'm aware of) at Ballena Bay, Alameda and Island yacht clubs, each reflecting the unique character of the club and its members.

Although this weekend's weather was a surprising treat for anyone who could get out on the water, the sailing season is slowing down, with far fewer races and on-water events than during the summer. This Maritime Report may miss a few weeks during the winter, but if we catch anything exciting, you'll be sure to see it here!

In the meantime, please also follow my blog postings at; there may be some "short takes" that turn up over the fall and winter.