Whitehead: Capt. Mike's back at the helm

June 14, 2012|By Mike Whitehead


I am pleased to be arriving back to my home berth with my column after a couple years' absence from the Daily Pilot while I was writing for a neighboring newspaper.

The year was 2001 when I began writing my nautical column for the Daily Pilot newspaper, and it will be nice again to reach those who live in Costa Mesa again. In addition, my column has expanded into the Huntington Beach Independent and the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot newspapers where numerous boaters live who use our local harbors and the Pacific Ocean.


Those who may not be familiar with my column, let me start by saying welcome aboard, and keep in mind that this is not a sports column. I would classify it more of a nautical life style with boating as the main theme. I will be mentioning local events, legislative issues, water quality, safety, and anything related to boating, which is America's No. 1 family recreational activity.

While on the topic of local events, the American Legion Post 291 Yacht Club's annual Old Glory Boat Parade is just over the horizon, scheduled for the Fourth of July. The parade begins at 1 p.m. This year's theme is "It Stands for Freedom," and the parade cruises Newport Harbor with nearly 100 decorated boats.

So, boat owners wanting to sign-up for the parade or anyone seeking more information can go to the Legion's website at

Tip of the week is my annual Flag Day reminder explaining the proper etiquette for displaying the American or the U.S. Ensign flags aboard a boat.

Remember that aboard a vessel, one refers to the "Old Glory" as the U.S. Ensign, and the popular U.S. boating flag you see with the 13 stars encircling the fouled anchor is called the U.S. Yacht Ensign.

The U.S. Ensign is the flag that all U.S. boats, yachts and ships can display, and the Yacht Ensign can be displayed in lieu of the U.S. Ensign on yachts only while in U.S. waters. However, members of the United States Power Squadron do have a choice of hoisting their USPS Ensign in lieu of either flag.

Now, here comes the most important part of this column for you to remember. Proper etiquette dictates that "colors are made" at 0800 (8 a.m.) and flown only until sunset. However, you can fly colors after dark or before sunrise if you are entering or leaving port.

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