Advertisement

From the Boathouse: As boating season starts, is safety first?

May 22, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy, and welcome to Memorial Day weekend!

Memorial Day weekend signals the official start of the boating season across the nation, and literally millions of people will be on the water enjoying boating-related activities. Thousands of boaters will be cruising the harbors in Southern California, and many will venture into the Pacific Ocean. However, be aware of the weather and sea conditions as King Neptune and Mother Nature are mixing it up a little this weekend.

We will have a mixed set with the swells about two feet from the west-northwest and also from the south-southwest. The dual swell directions will create conditions that might make you and your guests uncomfortable especially if it's your first time on the water this season. So, if any of your guests are turning green, tuck back inside the line of demarcation for a nice harbor cruise.

Advertisement

The winds will be light in the mornings but jumping directions from southerly to westerly and back to the south. By Sunday, the winds will settle from the south in the mornings to our prevailing westerlies in the afternoon, and the wind speeds of 10 knots with gust maybe to 15 knots will be good for those wishing to hoist a sail.

The patchy morning fog will return this weekend, and remember, the navigation rules state that you must have your vessel under control and be able to identify, change course or stop to avoid a collision. Air temperatures will be chilly, with daytime highs in the 60s with partly sunny skies, and the nighttime lows will be in the low 60s, so not much of a temperature separation.

Friday is the end of National Safe Boating Week, which I mentioned in last week's column. Remember, this annual awareness campaign is held the week before Memorial Day with the major goal of increasing awareness for boaters to wear their lifejackets. Additionally, this is a good time to improve your overall boating knowledge and skills, and in return, you will not end up what I call "Goofy goes sailing" when you are on the water.

Did you know that Memorial Day was previously known as Decoration Day? Memorial Day is the time to remember those who gave their lives while serving this great nation and thank those who are serving now. Let's not forget the Merchant Marine as well.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|