October 3 - San Francisco Bay
"On September 11, 2001, all Americans' lives changed in many ways. It could be the way we travel to the way we do everyday tasks. The American way of life has been jolted by the horrible attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Just like many things in everyday life, recreational boating is going to have significant changes. The often-carefree way we would conduct ourselves on the water must now be approached with more care and thought. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has a tremendous job ahead. Their resources are being stretched almost to the breaking point. The Coast Guard's primary task at hand is the patrol and defense of our nation's coast and harbors, maintaining those waters safe for shipping and free of any terrorist threats. They must maintain the flow of commercial shipping that is so vital to this nation's economy. So what can we do as good Americans and responsible boaters to help observe their guidelines while out on the water?
"The first and most important thing that we as recreational boaters can do is to observe the Naval Protection Zone that was implemented in response to the attacks, established effective from Sept. 14, 2001, to June 15, 2002. The zones will provide for the regulation of vessel traffic in the vicinity of U.S. naval vessels in the navigable waters of the United States. The Naval Protection Zone has the following requirements:
"OPERATE AT MINIMUM SPEED: All vessels within 500 yards of a U.S. naval vessel must operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course and proceed as directed by the official patrol.
"NOT ALLOWED WITHIN 100 YARDS: Recreational and commercial vessels are not allowed within 100 yards of a U.S. naval vessel, unless authorized by the official patrol.
"PUNISHMENT FOR VIOLATING: Mariners who violate a Naval Vessel Protection Zone are subject to arrest, prosecution, and if convicted, imprisonment for up to six years and a fine of up to $250,000.
"In addition, there is heightened security with regard to commercial vessels. The USCG asks that recreational vessels:
"OBEY RULE 9. Be sure you stay well clear of any large vessel whose movement is restricted by its size. Keep at least 500 yards (1/4 mile) from any commercial vessel. This is extremely important in crossing situations.
"NARROW CHANNELS: In narrow channels, keep as far to the side as possible when approaching or being approached by a commercial vessel. Do not make any abrupt course changes or other maneuvers that may concern the ship's pilot.
"Finally, the USCG asks that recreational vessels stay away from sensitive areas. These include, but are not restricted to, bridge towers, refinery docks, anchored vessels, and military installations such as Port Chicago. If you have any doubts about a particular spot being regarded as sensitive, assume that it is.
"Keep a minimum of a TWO-MILE DISTANCE away from airports and runways. Violators are subject to boarding and arrest.
"FLY YOUR CLUB BURGEE. This will help identify you and may reduce your exposure to being boarded."
Tropical Storm Lorena and More on Juliette Damage
October 3 -
Already reeling from the damage to Baja by Hurricane Juliette, mainland Mexico is now bracing to be hit by the 50 to 60-knot winds of Tropical Storm Lorena. The tropical storm is currently predicted to swing northeast toward Banderas Bay, and storm and hurricane warnings are up from Punta San Telmo north to Mazatlan.
Tropical Storm Lorena
More on Juliette damage in La Paz from Petrina Yeatts on Kiwi: "Fortunately, La Paz didn't suffer quite as badly from Juliette as Cabo. However, the cruisers did have many problems such as boats sinking, boats breaking up, boats dragging - some with moorings, some with anchors, and one that took a whole marina piling with it! Marina Santa Cruz lost their only slip, which broke into pontoons and caused damage to Marina de La Paz and other boats. There were many unsung heroes amongst the cruising fleet during and after the storm. The ones who most deserve a mention are Dave and Olga, the owners of the tienda known as El Faro (The Lighthouse) on the grounds of Marina de La Paz. They stayed open for two days and two nights, providing shelter and comfort for the cruisers. They also gave out hurricane reports on the VHF on a regular basis, which they accessed from their computer. The electricity was down for 48 hours, but they borrowed two generators to keep everything going. They made sandwiches for whoever wanted them, and theirs was the only place where you find hot coffee, as just about all restaurants were closed for two days. By the end of the third day, their shelves were very depleted, but we'd always been fed and watered."
Meanwhile, up in San Carlos: "We ended up having quite an adventure when Juliette turned NE toward Guaymas and San Carlos. She caught us as she was downgraded to a tropical storm, so she only hit us with winds up to 58 knots. We were on a mooring outside of the marina but inside the bay, so the water was relatively flat despite the wind. Then Juliette clocked around and roared through the entrance to the bay, giving us both wind and waves. Half of us were on our boats, but half the boats had been left months ago. The unoccupied boats were a bit of a problem. One trimaran chaffed through her lines and was headed right for us, then she turned toward our friend's boat. Back and forth. We stood there with fenders, hoping she wouldn't hit us. Finally, she headed up and sailed right between us! Biagio gave us the thumbs up from his boat, and we watched the tri drive herself right up on the beach. In the end, three boats hit the beach and a dive boat loaded with scuba divers heading north 'away from the storm' sank. All the divers were saved, although they were in the water a long time awaiting rescue. Biagio's boat broke all his lines and he ripped away from his mooring, but since he was aboard, he motored away from danger and a marina panga came out and helped him tie on to another mooring. No sleep and lots of excitement, but we never felt life-threatened. If the weather cooperates, we'll cross west to the Baja way up in the Bay of Los Angeles and Refugio where Rick and Lynn are safely tucked in. Our friends in the marinas in La Paz weathered the storm with no damage, but reported the streets were muddy, rushing rivers." - George and Sonia of the 2000 Ha-Ha. (We believe this is George and Sonia Kuperis of C'est Si Bon II, a F-P Fidji cat.)
We'll have more on Juliette's damage tomorrow, but are wondering if anyone in La Paz can come up with a list of boats that were damaged, their type, and how badly damaged they were. Folks up here would sure appreciate it.
Photo Tom Ireton
Melissa Hughes to Be Remembered
October 3 - San Francisco
October 3 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace
Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
October 3 - Pacific Ocean
San Francisco Bay Weather
To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out http://sfports.wr.usgs.gov/wind/.
California Coast Weather
Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.: www.ndbc.noaa.gov/stuff/southwest/swstmap.shtml.
Pacific Winds and Pressure
The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.
Pacific Sea State
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