Latitude 38 and the Puddle Jump
Ever since Latitude 38 editors coined the phrase 'Pacific Puddle Jump' 22 years ago, we’ve taken great pleasure in supporting, and reporting on, the annual migration of cruising sailors from the West Coast of the Americas to French Polynesia.
Boats from many nations register with the rally (currently free of charge), and they depart any time between late February and early June from various points along the West Coast, with the largest concentration of passage-makers jumping off from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Balboa, Panama.
There is no committee boat, nor are there mandatory daily radio check-ins, however, several radio nets always evolve, which are administered voluntarily by fleet members.
Latitude 38 helps to facilitate fleet coordination and information through our longtime relationships with various Tahitian partners and government agencies. We work with Tahitian partners to put on the three-day Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, scheduled for June 23-25 in 2017. In addition, we maintain a database of safety and identification info on all registered boats which is a great benefit to search and rescue organizations in the event of an emergency.
Although Puddle Jump sailors set sail independently, they share information on preparation, weather routing, and inter-island cruising via radio nets and electronic communications before, during and after their crossings. Their arrivals in French Polynesia can be anytime in April, May or June. And due to the broad-based nature of the fleet, many crews will meet for the first time when they arrive in the islands.
Those who don't have their own boats but are interested in crewing may find a ride via the cruising section of Latitude 38's free online Crew List. Within the Cruising section, check "Hawaii and/or South Pacific" and also check "Other" and write in "Pacific Puddle Jump."
Recap Article in Latitude 38
In June, after most boats have completed their crossings, we’ll be emailing you a questionnaire about your trip and a request for photos. We hope you’ll participate in this project, as your info will be of great interest to future passage-makers.
Latitude 38 web archives
If you’re interested in profiles of past fleets or recaps which touch on the highs and lows of past crossings, you can download our articles for free. You’ll probably find the table of crossing data that’s included in each recap article to be particularly interesting.