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From the Boathouse: Three reasons to celebrate this weekend

June 21, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy, and summer officially begins next Friday!

The seasons will officially change to summer Friday, and also, this day is summer solstice, which is the longest day with daylight of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The only other region in the northern hemisphere with longer daylight is Santa's North Pole or polar regions, where the sun will not set this time of year.

But wait, there is more, because June 21 is also my birthday, so keep those presents coming. So now you have three reasons to celebrate this Sunday and go boating. Get out on the water with your family and friends with the seas only two feet from the west with a one-foot south, but watch for fog in the morning hours.

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I did receive a nice birthday present this week from the America's Cup media services team, who sent my letter of acceptance as media for the 2013 America's Cup challenge in San Francisco. This is going to be an exciting event this year, especially with the course planned inside San Francisco harbor, where spectators will be able to watch from the shoreline.

The media center will be located at America's Cup Park on Pier 27 inside the newly built cruise ship terminal, which is in the center of the action. The center will have conference rooms, interview rooms, lounge areas, workstations and a services team to help the media.

On another note, I have received a lot of feedback about my column last week. I mentioned that I am not surprised by drug smuggling or human trafficking by boat. Additionally, I mentioned for boaters to be very cautious approaching other boaters on the ocean, especially suspicious-looking vessels.

The day after I submitted last week's column to my editors at the Pilot, a boat loaded with 24 immigrants beached along the coast in Newport Beach. The people were trying to sneak into the country, something that is not uncommon in Southern California.

Furthermore, a few other yacht captains told me that they are worried about operating a vessel at night on the high seas. Nighttime operations have become more worrisome with the number of fast-running pangas on the ocean. The pangas run at night to avoid detection, and, of course, they do not display navigational lights. Additionally, the boats ride low in the water with little freeboard, which makes them difficult to see on radar or spot in the darkness.

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