The dream of cruising the South Pacific is high on the ‘must-do-someday’ list of sailors all over the world. And for well over two decades the annual Pacific Puddle Jump rally has helped fulfill those dreams by ushering fleets of international sailors to the fabled isles of French Polynesia every spring.
The Puddle Jump is unique among international cruising rallies. Its participants leave from a variety of ports along the west coast of the Americas any time between late February and late May. Depending on where they begin, the trade-wind passage is roughly 3,000 to 4,000 miles with no possible pit stops along the way.
Want to learn more about it? If you’re in the San Diego area this weekend, check out the free informational seminar Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Point Loma West Marine store (1250 Rosecrans).
Registration for this season’s rally begins today, November 1, at www.pacificpuddlejump.com. The entry fee is $75 per boat (or $65 if the owner’s age or the length of his boat is 35 or less). Entrants’ info is included in a master safety database. They are invited to participate in daily check-ins and the fleet’s tracking sites (viewable by folks back home). They receive substantial discounts from a variety of sponsors and supporters, including the services of a Tahitian yacht agent that gets them a 40% discount on fuel throughout French Polynesia; plus an official PPJ burgee and other swag; and invitations to several special PPJ events and seminars.
If you’re itching for a major adventure, doing the Pacific Puddle Jump could definitely fill the bill.