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Puddle Jump Bond Exemptions Approved!

Cruisers always get a warm welcome – especially during the Sailing Rendezvous. But this year they get a bond exemption too.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As reported recently, the annual migration from the west coast of the Americas to French Polynesia has begun, with a few boats now closing in on landfalls in the Marquesas. This year their arrivals will be even more joyful than in the past as we’ve just received word that registered members of the Pacific Puddle Jump rally have been given a ‘bond exemption’ by Tahiti’s High Commissioner.

This is a first, and it is a very big deal to westbound cruisers. Normally, every arriving yacht must put up roughly $1,700 USD in cash per person, as a sort of insurance policy — a substantial amount for, say, a family of four. The funds are held in trust by a bank, and are refunded to each skipper when he/she clears out to leave, but hundreds of dollars are typically lost during the currency exchange.

Kristen and Alan Spence (left) of the Napa-based Amel 53 Charisma won the canoe race at last year’s Rendezvous – with a little help from two locals.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The exemptions were facilitated by ‘our new best friend’ Michel Alcon, Director of the Tahiti YC, to whom we, and this year’s Jumpers, are deeply grateful. We plan to incorporate a visit to the club as part of our June 19-21 welcome-to-Tahiti event, the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous. Stay tuned for further news on this year’s fleet, and look for profiles of fleet participants in the April edition of Latitude 38.

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