Alameda Wildlife & Grand Marina

You never know what you’ll find on the docks in Alameda — maybe even a nest of house finches in the main sail of a boat docked at Grand Marina.

The nest was spotted a few weeks ago by an Alameda-based sailor, and this photo of the finch eggs was taken by local birder Cindy Margulis about 10 days ago.

And over the past couple of days, the eggs have hatched, and the baby birds are hungry. Once they get well nourished and are able to fly on their own, during the next week or two, they should move off the boat and onto dry land.  

Many thanks to Bay Farm Nature Connection (BFNC) for helping out with the birds — and for suggesting that the boat not head out for a summer sail until the young finches have abandoned ship.

Hopefully, the Alameda group will be scheduling a bird walk later this summer.


More Details on J World Rescue

The latest issue of Latitude 38 sailing magazine shares the story of the October 28 events surrounding a J World sailboat and the rescue of its Alameda-based captain and other crew.

The boat was participating in the Baja Ha-Ha rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, when it literally ran into a pod of whales and sank about 200 miles southwest of San Diego.

Captain Eugenie Russell of Alameda and Barry Demak, the general manager of the J World sailing school in Alameda, and three students were on board. (The school’s office is in Marina Village at 1070 Marina Village Parkway.)

The rescue effort by the U.S. Coast Guard included flight mechanic Jeremy Treichel (see above photo, from left), rescue swimmer Scott Mochkatel, commander Jonathon Ralston and co-pilot William Burwell.


Boat Movement Restricted Due to Bay Oil Spill; News of Sunken Sailboat during Baja Ha-Ha

This week has been as colorful for the Bay as the sunset picture taken at Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda today at 6:48 p.m.

The birds were feeding nicely, and no oil had appeared, fortunately.

Exactly 12 hours earlier, the U.S. Coast Guard got news that the tanker Dubai Star had suffered a rupture in a fuel lines and released an unknown amount of fuel into San Francisco Bay about 2.5 miles south of the Bay Bridge.

Some 11,000 feet of boom was deployed to contain the spill more than three hours later. And the Coast Guard says that the no more fuel is leaking into the Bay.

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) activated the Oiled Wildlife Care Network to conduct wildlife search and reconnaissance operations. So far, there have been no reports of oiled wildlife, and volunteers have not been called into action yet.

Alameda residents active in the Bay Farm Nature Connection plan to volunteer as the need arises.

The public is asked to not attempt to rescue oiled wildlife, the Coast Guard says, as this may cause injury to both the individual and the animal. Instead the public should report sightings of oiled wildlife to 1-877-823-6926.

However, according to the Coast Guard, “Oil trajectory models predict potential shoreline impacts tonight starting this evening at North Alameda Island, Bay Farm Island, Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island.”

Also, the Coast Guard is limiting the movement of boats in the Oakland Estuary, the Oakland Bar Channel and within the spill area.

We will continue to monitor this situation.

And in news about 700 miles south of the Bay, a boat owned by the J/World Sailing School is reported to have sunk after leaving San Diego and encountering a pod of whales.

J/World, which has facilities in Marina Village, participated in this year’s Baja Ha-Ha rally. The annual event includes about 200 sailboats this year – many from Alameda — traveling from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas from October 26-November 6.

On Tuesday, the San Diego Union Tribune reported that five people in a life raft had been rescued. And the sailing monthly Latitude 38 , which organizes the Baja Ha-Ha, says skipper Eugenie Russell and four crew members may have had only five minutes to get into the raft.

J/World opened its office in Alameda in 2002.