Around this time of year, a number of boat owners move their boats to a different cruising area, and then return home after the end of summer. For example, if the boats are moved to the Pacific Northwest, owners want to start their trek back before winter weather begins.
There are yacht delivery companies that can move a boat either by truck or aboard a ship, and Yacht Path International was one of those companies. Yacht Path, was known locally for deliveries along the Pacific Coast and up to Seattle or Vancouver. The company was sold for a very low price of $250,000 to only one bidder, who is probably dancing on the water. I am interested to know if the purchaser plans to reestablish the yacht delivery business.
The yacht transport companies have opened up new cruising destinations that are typically located thousands of miles away from Southern California harbors.
Delivering a boat with a crew can require weeks of underway time, wear on the vessel, increased maintenance costs, crew costs, dealing with customs in many countries, transiting the Panama Canal and, potentially, pirates. However, delivering a yacht aboard a ship might be worth the costs for your next vacation.
I have utilized the services of Dockwise Yacht Transport when I needed to shift yachts between California and Florida, and the Caribbean. The yacht delivery ships will dock in Ensenada, Mexico, and then again in Vancouver, British Columbia to load and offload yachts. So, I continue to skipper yachts traveling northbound or southbound along the Pacific Coast to San Francisco or the Pacific Northwest just due to convenience and knowledge of the courses.
Once again, the tip of week is from an email, and this reader is asking about a missing offshore flashing light.
Julie M. writes, "Hi Mike, since you know so much about our harbor and parts thereabouts, do you know why the Santa Ana Buoy marker, we call it 'C' mark, is no longer blinking? I called the Coast Guard over on Bayside Drive and they didn't know and said they would look into it and phone me back…well…not yet they haven't, so I thought perhaps you would know. If so, could you tell me? It's only my curiosity but I just love seeing it at night blinking way off the Newport Pier.
"Enjoy your column in the Daily Pilot…one of the few articles we can count on being worthy."
I really appreciate your final sentence, and I did research the missing flashing light. A major source of information for boaters, especially professional captains, is the Coast Guard's weekly Local Notice to Mariners (LNM). This publication is available online only, but the LNM is in PDF format for printing pages pertinent to your areas of boating. The LNM is very useful if you are cruising in your boat to distance harbors.
You can find out if any navigational lights are not working properly in the LNM. They will be listed on your chart and chart plotter. Plus, you can read a synopsis of any dredging or construction that might be in your navigational path, and other useful information.
However, I digress, and to answer Julie's question, the most recent LNM states that the Coast Guard has discontinued four lighted buoys in our area. The San Pedro Channel Traffic Lane Lighted Buoy S (LLNR 115), San Pedro Precautionary Area Lighted Buoy A (LLNR 122), San Pedro Precautionary Area Lighted Buoy B (LLNR 132) and the light in question, the Santa Ana Lighted Bell Buoy 4SA (LLNR 95), were to be discontinued by the end of July.
So, I am sad you will lose your nighttime flashing light, as I too enjoy seeing navigational lights located in the distance. If anyone has any questions, then you can contact Lt. Melissa Smith at (510) 437-5984 or Melissa.A.Smith@uscg.mil.
The LNM had another important news item concerning the distress watchkeeping on the 2 MHz radio. As of Aug. 1, the Coast Guard will not be monitoring the international, voice distress, safety and calling frequency 2182 kHz.
Additionally, the 2187.5 kHz for international digital selective calling distress and safety frequency is terminated along with the end of the weather broadcasts on 2670 kHz at the same time.
Please be boat smart and boat safe. Lastly, please boat responsively and look behind you before you turn the wheel at the helm.
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MIKE WHITEHEAD is a boating columnist for the Daily Pilot. Send marine-related thoughts and story suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.boathousetv.com.