Westpoint Harbor Marina faces BCDC fines

Westpoint Harbor (WPH), in development over the past 20 years, is the San Francisco Bay’s newest marina but it is now facing severe fines and punitive actions by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) that jeopardize the marina’s continued ability to operate and support the public’s access to the Bay. The WPH website is linked to here and if you don’t know the marina or its owner, Mark Sanders, you may read this 2015 article about both marina and owner.  We first met the owner of WPH in 2012 and when we re-visited the Bay area in 2016 we decided to stay at this safe marina largely because we appreciated the friendly owners who happened to also have a penchant for preserving traditional wooden boats and soundly conserving the Bay environment.

This Thursday, November 16, 2017, WPH will appear for a public hearing in front of the BCDC Enforcement Committee. Public input and oversight of the enforcement process can help assure the BCDC actions are appropriate to the situation and in the best interests of the public and the environment. Your help is needed to that end.

The hearing is taking place because BCDC staff brought an enforcement action against WPH, alleging the marina violated a number of its BCDC permit conditions. Disputes between the marina and BCDC have escalated for over a decade. As part of this current enforcement action, BCDC staff seeks to require major changes at the harbor, issue a cease and desist order against the marina, and pay a penalty of more than half a million dollars. The marina owner is vigorously contesting BCDC staff’s claims and maintains that the allegations are false. The marina owner is not a big faceless corporation, but just a regular boater who, in retirement, wanted to improve Bay boating and create an environmentally sound marina environment for other boaters to enjoy.  This is another story of the small guy and the public interest getting buried in the red tape of big government agendas.

Westpoint Harbor’s “statement of defense” was submitted to BCDC last month and can be downloaded from BCDC’s website here. The BCDC staff allegations and the proposed “cease and desist and civil penalty order” are available  here.

Letters from concerned boaters and all members of the public can prompt the government agency to act on behalf of the public, thoughtfully, rather than rubber-stamping fines punitively against the marina owner and ultimately to the harm of both the general public and the boating community.

Our own assessment of the situation is that the Westpoint Harbor owners and employees have consistently taken actions to protect and improve the Bay environment, foster and encourage Bay access by pedestrians and boaters alike, protect the personal and boating safety of boaters in the harbor, and encourage safe boating in the San Francisco Bay. The information linked to in the hearing documents above presents as a series of arbitrary and capricious actions on the part of the BCDC that simultaneously harm public access to the Bay while purposefully seeking to undermine the success of a privately owned marina. It presents as government at its worst.

We can’t stand by and let such unjust actions take place. Input to BCDC from the public is needed, now. David and I are writing a letter requesting the BCDC staff stop the nonsense and work with the marina to the benefit of the public and the environment. You can do the same. If you are in the area, you can attend the enforcement hearing.

What can you do?

1. Email

If you wish to show your support for Westpoint Harbor, you can comment on the proceeding by sending an email addressed to the “Enforcement Committee Members” and the “BCDC Commissioners.” The email can be sent to BCDC’s legal counsel, Marc Zeppetello, at marc.zeppetello@bcdc.ca.gov with a copy to info@bcdc.ca.gov. You can include “Westpoint Harbor Proposed Order No. CDO 2017.04” to easily identify what your comments are about.

2. Attend the hearing

If you would like to attend the Enforcement Committee hearing, it is open to members of the public. It will be held on November 16, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. at 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Milton Mark Conference Center, Monterey Room, Basement Level, San Francisco, CA 94102.

3. Why do anything?

WHY take action? Because the only way to protect the rights of the public and the Bay environment is to speak up. Let the BCDC know that the WPH is important to us all.

If you are a member of the public who enjoys kayaking, SUP, boat launching, or other public access activities at the Westpoint Harbor, please send an email or letter of support to BCDC stating as such.

If you are a boater who has visited the harbor or who plans to do so some day, please provide an email or letter of support to the same.

If you are concerned about big government bullying private citizens and businesses, please send an email to BCDC asking those concerns to be addressed.

If you are concerned about government waste, fraud and abuse within BCDC, please send an email asking those concerns to be addressed.

Thanks so much!

Westpoint Harbor Marina BCDC fines

Sample Email–If you don’t know what to write, consider this a start:


To the BCDC Enforcement Committee:

In the matter of Westpoint Harbor Proposed Order No. CDO 2017.04, I am writing to express my support for the Westpoint Harbor (WPH) marina and request that BCDC carefully consider all options to work with the marina to achieve the public access and environmental goals of this privately funded marina.

I have accessed the Bay via the WPH walkways, boat launch, docks, or other facilities at WPH 1529 Seaport Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063.

It appears that BCDC permit requirements, including those for unbounded public pedestrian access, at WPH were put in place to provide an enforcement trigger rather than to enhance the benefits of the public or environment.

I believe that WPH owners and employees have consistently taken actions to protect and improve the Bay environment, foster and encourage Bay access by pedestrians and boaters alike, protect the personal security and boating safety of boaters in the harbor, and encourage safe boating in the San Francisco Bay.

It greatly concerns me that the BCDC appears to have undertaken a series of arbitrary and capricious actions that simultaneously harm public access to the Bay while purposefully seeking to cause financial harm and undermine the success of a privately owned marina.

Please start the process of working WITH the WPH marina for successful Bay access and conservation rather than trying to shut down the excellent public access and environmental improvements to the Bay at the site of the WPH.


phone or email,

Memorial honoring Ted Pike in Port Townsend

Ted Pike

Tomorrow afternoon in Port Townsend, Washington, there will be a memorial service to honor the life of Ted Pike. He passed away on Monday August 24, 2015, unexpectedly after a short illness. He was 65. He touched many lives around the country–and around the world–and will be missed by all who knew him.  He enabled countless boatbuilders, DIY and professional alike, to follow their dreams to build and restore as well as to sail.

In our case, he helped us to bring Schooner Mahdee back to her former glory  by providing us with the important–and so hard to find–top quality wood for her planking, floors, frames, and deckbeams. During the project, he called to chat and check on things and he visited us in San Diego to check on the progress of our rebuild and gave us cheerful and enthusiastic praise–as well as advice–as we progressed with the large project.  Only towards the end of the rebuild as she was going back together did Ted exclaim–I KNOW this boat, it’s Privateer, and then told us a number of stories about Robert Goss and the days Privateer spent (in the 1970’s) in Port Townsend.  Ted thus became an important part of our gathering information about Mahdee’s history, too.  We’ve sent countless folks with an old boat in need of good lumber over to Edensaw Woods: knowing that Ted would help them along the way with just the right thing.

Anna Nasset wrote in Three Sheets Northwest Fair Winds To Our Captain Ted Pike

There are some lives that are impossible to sum up in words, and Ted’s is one of them. His reach was as vast as his love and zest for life. There is a giant “Ted” shaped hole in the hearts of thousands. I will try to honor our dear friend — the great ancient mariner, mentor, father, husband, friend and best hugger in the world — in all his glory.

read the full story here including details on the memorial service

We will be forever thankful that Ted Pike came into our lives, with a pile of wood, and will remember his boatbuilding and sailing stories.  He will be missed.

Schooner Mahdee Hats

Schooner Hat by Adams

Everyone needs a hat. Especially a schooner hat. In particular a Schooner Mahdee hat. Indeed it’s a nice thing. We’ve been thinking about custom boat hats for Mahdee for a while now — and here we have them for Schooner Mahdee friends and followers — or just about anyone who’d like to have a nice hat with a good looking schooner on it.

This low profile pigment dyed cap is perfect aboard the boat to keep the sun and salt spray out of your eyes and looks great for wearing around town, too. The 100% garment-washed cotton and cotton twill, 6-panel, unstructured, low-profile hat with bill, includes a nice tuck-away leather adjustable strap with antiqued brass buckle and grommet. Inside, it has a matching cotton sweat band and a Cool-Crown mesh lining.

Visit the Schooner Mahdee store in the Schooner Chandlery marketplace where you can select one of six colors from two nautical color paths–the first path includes bright Poppy red, Forest green, and Royal blue; the second more traditional color path includes Spruce green, Midnight blue, and Burgundy red. All hats are embroidered in antique white and golden brown threads with the Schooner Mahdee name and feature Mahdee under full sail.

Mahdee in the Sailfeed this week

Well, it’s a newsflash! It’s always a little fun when we get to talk about what we’re up to. We’re in the Sailfeed this week with Episode 87 of 59-North Podcast. Andy talked with Brenda on the phone about us, sailing, rebuilding Mahdee and life in general.

Synopsis: Andy speaks with Brenda of the schooner Mahdee, which is currently berthed in California. Brenda and her husband David got inspired to go sailing in their college years while on a cycling trip around Lake Superior. While perched on a rock high above the lake, they looked at a sailboat on the lake and thought, ‘that’s how we ought to travel!’

Years went by while they traveled and focused on shorter, land-based, adventures. In 2006, they bought and began the 2-1/2 year restoration of the classic 1931 schooner Mahdee and have cruised up and down the west coast between San Diego and Alaska.

Their latest project is Bootstrap Adventure (bootstrapadventure.com), where they’re creating a marketplace for outdoor adventurers to swap gear, knowledge, and share adventures.

Go check it out on 59-North.com

or at Sailfeed.

Google Analytics Alternative