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October 7, 2022

USCG Alerts Mariners to Fleet Week Safety Zone

It’s Fleet Week time! In case anyone hadn’t noticed, the Bay is hosting an array of Navy ships, bands, onshore displays, and of course, the much-anticipated Blue Angels air show. This year, as in the past, the USCG has increased its presence on the water and has shared a map showing the safety zone that has been set in place until the end of the activities on Sunday, October 9.

“We look forward to a safe and secure San Francisco Fleet Week 2022 and hope everyone enjoys their time on the water celebrating our military and first-responder public servants,” said Capt. Taylor Lam, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco commander.

Coast Guard units participating in this year’s events and providing safety and security coverage include crews from Coast Guard cutters Terrell Horne, Elm, Tern, Hawksbill and Sockeye; stations San Francisco, Rio Vista, Vallejo, Golden Gate and Monterey; air stations San Francisco and Sacramento; Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team West; Pacific Strike Team; and Maritime Safety and Security Teams San Francisco, Los Angeles/Long Beach, and Seattle.

In other words, be safe and observe the boundaries. Every year, there’s that one boat that insists it can sneak through — “I’ll nip along the edge here. They won’t even notice.” And every year we watch as two or three patrol boats bear down on the misguided mariner. Don’t be that person this year.

The safety zone is scheduled to be enforced from approximately 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, during the Navy Blue Angels air show. The following map has been offered to help skippers identify the zone.

Fleet week safety zone
Tips for mariners to stay safe on the water during Fleet Week can be found at
© 2022 USCG

Mariners should monitor VHF-FM channel 16 for up-to-date information regarding regulated areas for safety and security. And for more information on this year’s events, you can contact the San Francisco Fleet Week Association at [email protected], or visit for a complete list of events.

Additional information about the protective zones and areas to watch from the water is posted at

Puddle Jumpers Benefit From South Pacific’s Welcome to International Visitors

Latitude 38 editor-at-large Andy Turpin has been keeping an eye on the cruising situation in the South Pacific. This week he wrote to share some very good news. The Kingdom of Tonga has lifted almost all government restrictions that had been put in place at the onset of the COVID pandemic, and international visitors, including cruisers, are once again welcome.

Cruisers aged 12 and older are still required to provide proof of COVID vaccination, but there is a possibility of obtaining medical exemptions, if details are submitted to the Ministry of Health prior to travel.

Tahiti is set to benefit from the lifted regulations. Many foreign-flagged yachts dropped anchor there in 2020 and have been in limbo ever since. If they are now free to move, it will create more space for cruisers wanting to visit the popular anchorages of Tahiti and Moorea this season.

This comes as perfect timing, as the 2023 Pacific Puddle Jump rally to French Polynesia has just been announced.

Pacific Puddle Jump
Start planning now; registrations open on October 26.
© 2022 Pacific Puddle Jump

This announcement is now posted on the PPJ website:

Building on a 25-year tradition, the Pacific Puddle Jump rally to French Polynesia will take place again in 2023. As with its previous editions, PPJ 2023 will be a loosely structured event that imposes a minimum of rules and requirements on participants, while focusing on fleet safety and camaraderie through free satellite tracking and optional status reporting.

As previously mentioned, PPJ boats will begin their westward passages individually from a variety of ports along the west coast of the Americas, any time between February and July, with the two most popular jumping-off points being Panama City, Panama, and Banderas Bay, Mexico. Based on previous years, the greatest concentration of boats will probably depart from Panama in February and March, and from Banderas Bay in April.

In addition to our annual pre-Baja Ha-Ha seminar in San Diego (5:00 p.m. Oct 29 at West Marine), we will hold at least two pre-departure events in Panama and Mexico (dates TBA soon), presented in partnership with the South Pacific Sailing Network. We will also be presenting several highly informative online seminars in the coming months, which will hopefully extend the reach of our local knowledge to any and all interested fleet members.

PPJ 2023’s participation fee is kept low ($125 per boat) to encourage a wide range of participants from many countries, as is typical. Check back here for event dates, sponsor offers, and seminar details.

Most sailors who make the Puddle Jump passage to French Polynesia consider the trip to be one of the greatest adventures of their lives. But crossing 3,000 to 4,000 miles of open water is also a strenuous test of both crew and equipment. So, while being part of the PPJ fleet offers extra measures of safety and intra-fleet camaraderie, every skipper must ultimately decide for him- or herself whether their boat and crew are appropriately prepared. (We DO NOT do boat inspections.)

Thanks for your interest! Online registration begins here on October 26, 2022.

For more about the news on Tonga, see here.

Channel Islands to MDR: A Sailor’s Dream

On September 24, Channel Islands Yacht Club and Del Rey YC jointly ran the Channel Islands to Marina del Rey Race. The yachts left Channel Islands Marina starting at 11 a.m. and raced downhill (southeast) after rounding oil platform Gina off the Ventura coast.

This was the second (of the hopefully annual) Channel Islands to Marina del Rey Race. The race was nothing like the 2021 event that saw multiple cruisers drop out due to light-to-no winds. This one had all the ingredients: warm temps, blazing sunshine and winds ranging from 12 to 18 knots that held throughout the afternoon. Winds off Point Dume were recorded near 20. The seas were fairly devoid of the usual Pacific swells, and the boats romped.

Line honors went to Lonnie Jarvis’s Farr 400M Chronic, which finished the 44.5-mile course just before 3:30.

Here comes Chronic, the first boat to finish.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky

Most skippers interviewed said they sailed mostly rhumb line from Gina to the finish. All of the 33 competitors were in by 5:55.

Uhambo at the breakwater
Uhambo, a Fast 42, at the breakwater finish. The race offered two divisions: PHRF and Cruising. Four classes made up the PHRF Division.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky
Ryan Cox’s little J/70 D.J. won PHRF Class C.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky
Scarlet Fever with spinnaker
Paul Hofer’s Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 509 Scarlet Fever raced in the Cruising Division.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky
Hunter Legend and J/109
Here come two more Cruising Division boats: the Hunter Legend 375 Rascal and the J/109 Killer Bee.
© 2022 Andy Kopetzky

Find complete results at

Coronado 25: Just Sitting on Boats Not Rated Highly Enough

We received the following letter from Joe Svitek attesting to the joy of his Coronado 25. Not only does he find joy in sailing her, but also just sitting aboard. We saw his point and decided to repost his letter here, just in case anyone missed it in the October issue.

A love letter to my Coronado 25, and tapping back into a popular thread

I’ve been enjoying Latitude 38 forever, and it necessitates monthly visits to West Marine or Spinnaker Sailing to pick up a copy and a spare to pass around. It’s good for West Marine, as it is hard to walk in there without coming out with some new part, gizmo, or gadget.

I have had my good ole Coronado 25, Redwing, since 1978, and thought that it was an old boat back then; whew! I still love it! I like the design, though it could use another inch of headroom. On a broad reach, I can tie off the tiller and walk around, or sit on the bow pulpit, steering as needed by shifting my weight; good fun.

It has put in many good years and trips around the Bay and into the Delta, and I can attest to being able to accommodate up to seven, over a couple of nights. This included some extra-good friends from Marseille, sailing around the Bay from Oyster Point by night to Sausalito, and slightly out the Gate the next day. Home for Redwing is now at the Rusty Porthole at Bethel Island.

She also serves well for just “sitting on the water,” which I feel is not rated quite highly enough as a boating activity, so I started sailing her around the Bay from Oyster Point, and later to Jack London Square. I have stayed in the Delta after the second trip up there, taken in by the warm summer and fall — not to mention warm summer swimming.

I thought that somewhere in my stacks of old Latitudes, I had seen a bow-on photo of a Coronado 25 in Letters, with a caption saying that a yacht designer had used one for his personal daysailer. I am having trouble locating that particular issue, and wonder if anyone can help.

Ron Holland Coronado 25
Yes, you did. The bow-on shot of Ron Holland’s Coronado 25.
© 2022 Ron Holland

Thanks for many years and seasons of sailing and reading enjoyment.  — Joe Svitek, Redwing, Coronado 25, Redwood City.

Ron Holland Coronado 25
Ron Holland’s Coronado 25 Kia Aura sailing his home waters off Vancouver, BC.
© 2022 Ron Holland

Joe — We’re pretty sure you’re referring to the June 4, 2021, ‘Lectronic Latitude: Ron Holland Keeps Sailing Because He Keeps It Simple — the first letters from that story appeared in the July 2021 issue. We revisited Holland’s love for simplicity in an October 15, 2021, ‘Lectronic, and the letters from both threads have made appearances over the last year. This reminds us — many years ago we had an “Over 30 List” where we were keeping track of people who had owned the same boat for over 30 years. You crossed that mark over a decade ago! Congratulations. Anyone else?

You can read Joe’s and other letters in this month’s issue of Latitude 38.

A Question for Our Readers: What Schooner Is This?

We had a question from a reader last week, and we’re hoping the great Latitude 38 community minds can come up with the answer.

The photo below was recently posted on the Facebook group Schooner Bums — you may have heard of it, or might even be a member. It’s mostly East Coast-based and is pretty much exactly what it suggests, a group of people who are all about schooners. If you’ve ever worked aboard a schooner or even a tall ship, you probably have some friends who are schooner bums. It’s almost unavoidable among career sailors.

Anyway, the point we’re slowly coming to is that we were sent a photo by Latitude reader Marcia Hilmen from Downwind Marine in San Diego.

Marcia is hoping to find out what this schooner is, pictured sailing out the Gate. She found the photo on the Schooner Bums group, and at the time, no one had a good answer to the question.

Here’s the photo Marcia sent us.

unknown schooner from GG Bridge
Staysail schooner, mid-sized, black masts. Any ideas?
© 2022 Facebook/Schooner Bums

So far the most common response is, “She is not a real schooner,” which Marcia believes alludes to her staysail-schooner rig… “Did I mention this Group is hard-core…?”

Let us know what you think. Do you know the vessel in question? Do you know if she is in fact a schooner? Drop your comment below, or if you have some detailed info and other photos, email us at [email protected].

Sailing in Winning Company
John Clauser from Walnut Creek, known locally as an avid sailor aboard his 1D48 'Bodacious+,' has won a Nobel Prize for his work and experiments as a physicist.