Editor’s Letter: Spring Has Sprung!

If you hear someone described as, “you know, he’s the guy who wears boat shoes on land” — what comes to mind? For me it was a fun way to describe the yacht club types I grew up with in Newport Beach, California, especially if they were from the East Coast. If I mentioned I was from Newport during a college sailing regatta, eyes widened with approval (since Newport RI is a mecca in the sailing world), but as soon as I said “beach” brows furrowed (since the Newport Beach on the West Coast is often frowned upon by the East Coast cognoscenti) — despite our world class competitors.

It never bothered me that this type of hierarchy exists in life, it was the ’80s, The Official Preppy Handbook was trending and Newport Rhode Island was the epicenter of Top-Siders (boat shoes) on land. I digress. My reason for bringing this up is I tried to add this phrase into the feature Wind-Powered, which was inspired by our recent record breaking winds. Luckily, I know of a talented and prolific photographer (@sailing314) who often tags us on Instagram, so we had the photos, but I needed a bit of help with the words. I enlisted two women deeply immersed in the sailing community, Stephanie Martin and Michelle Slade, who are both also very good with words. Each had an immediate and gut reaction to my outdated depiction.

Thankfully, they also brought relevant and inspiring words to the piece, which we hope will motivate you to get out on the bay via boat or board.

My favorite job (besides this one) was teaching windsurfing at Cal Adventures in the Berkeley Marina — I wasn’t much better than my students, but watching the smiles and fist pumps from their initial success on the water, while stuffed in ill-fitting borrowed wetsuits, kept me coming back for years. There was a constant flow of weekend warriors from San Francisco’s Financial District interested in windsurfing who I’d set at ease with my initial question to them before class, “Does the wind suck or does it blow?”

This feature fits in perfectly with our sustainability issue, in which our resident Queen of Green, Anne-Christine — shares her research on electric vs. gas stoves and the latest in sustainable takeout options. Lawyer by day, Mark Chavez penned a fascinating read about electric trains of our past, and we kick off our EV road trips in the Wine Country.

Paula Phommounivong and Grace Towle

Editorial assistant Paula Phommounivong put together a list of Earth Day activities on page 90 and gathered helpful tips on how and where to donate, reuse and recycle clothes. She also teamed up with our Hawaii correspondent Grace Towle to qualify us to be part of San Rafael’s CleanMarin, and now we can put a Clean Marin decal on our door.

As a county we’ve endured nearly 10 atmospheric rivers in the past few months (filling up reservoirs) and fingers-crossed, will be setting our clocks forward for the last time (why is this even an issue?). In other words, the sun shines later, the hills are green, spring is here! Let’s take care of Mother Earth! Does your favorite restaurant have sustainable takeout packaging? Tag us @marinmagazine in your photos of the goods — we’d love to see.

Mimi Towle, Editor