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From the Boathouse: Heed Coast Guard's advice on frequency

March 14, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

The weather is looking good for this weekend with afternoon sunshine breaking through the clouds. We will have patchy fog in the mornings that should burn off before noontime. The daytime air temperature will remain mild with the highs reaching only the low 70s, and nighttime temperatures dipping to the low 50s creating a 20-degree temperature swing.

The seas will increase a foot by the weekend to three feet from the west-northwest with lazy one-foot swells from the south that should not create a washing machine for those cruising in the ocean. On Friday, the winds might reach 10 knots in the afternoon, blowing from the northwesterly direction. However, the winds will clock around to a southerly direction on Saturday and maybe into Sunday. The five- to 10-knot breeze will push only one- to two-foot wind waves throughout the weekend. Just remember that the water temperature is a chilly 57 degrees, so dress warmly and bring aboard extra jackets and blankets for your guests.

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On another note for boaters cruising offshore, the U.S. Coast Guard released this week a special local notice to mariners concerning the single sideband's medium frequency distress channels. The Coast Guard is warning boaters that the international distress frequency of 2182 kHz and the DSC frequency of 2187.5 kHz should not be used in an emergency, as the calls may not be heard by their communication centers.

Boaters are being advised to use 4125, 6215, 8291 or 12290 kHz frequencies in lieu of 2182 kHz. Additionally, boaters should use 4207.5, 6312, 8414.5 or 12577 kHz in lieu of DSC 2187.5 kHz. The Coast Guard's website has a list of the medium and high frequencies for the distress and working channels when using a single sideband radio. You can go to http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=cgcommsCall and print out the list to keep aboard your boat.

News of the week is that the California Coastal Commission approved the proposed faux lighthouse for the Marina Park project. The commission was questioning the designed height of over 70 feet for this structure, which is over double the height limit of the 35 feet in that area. What is really in question is the additional cost to build the lighthouse taller in the first place.

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