LETTERS Our Experience Makes the Difference Official Sponsor
2015 BA JA HA-HA
you enter Canada by boat, you generally don't get stamped on entry or exit. Can't you claim your time in Canada as being in a foreign country? Then what if you just skip out of Mexico without getting an exit stamp? Or, if you lose your passport? Or, if you happen to have multiple citizenships and put some stamps on one passport and some on another? Enforcement of this is going to be a huge mess — unless you're guilty until proven innocent, and it's up to you to prove that you were actually in a foreign country. Mark Novak Betty Jane, Hans Christian 43 Ketch Santa Cruz ⇑⇓ HOW MUCH KELP? I was wondering if you could tell me how much kelp you had when sailing down the Pacific Coast of Baja in this year's Baja Ha-Ha? Shaun Mitchell Truckee
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• December, 2015
Shaun — We've been doing the same Baja route at the same time of year for more than two decades, and traditionally we have observed heavy to extremely heavy kelp around Cedros, Isla Natividad, and as far south as Turtle Bay. We've never seen any kelp as far south as Bahia Santa Maria, presumably because the water is too warm. When we passed through the Turtle Bay/Cedros area coming north in August this year, we noticed that there was very little kelp compared to in previous years. And when we passed the area in late October heading south, once again there was an unusually small amount of kelp. For what it's worth, in previous years we used to spend a lot of time on the hook atop Harbor Reef off Two Harbors, Catalina. The kelp forest was always very thick on the reef. But when we stopped there in early September this year, there was very little kelp. ⇑⇓ FLAG ETIQUETTE The accompanying photo was taken at a yacht club in one of the seven Bay Area counties on November 8, 2015. It shows the US flag not fully raised. It had been like this for a month or more, so it was mentioned to one of the members and one of the staff — yet it still didn't result in a correction. It seems to me that if you're motivated to fly the flag — and Ted asks, "What's wrong with you're not engaged in a protest — this picture?" you ought to fly it correctly. Perhaps Latitude 38 will help. If Latitude publishes this and it's not corrected within a week of the publication, I'll identify the club. Ted Keech Fayaway, Sigma 41 San Francisco
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Ted — We suppose that this would be a good opportunity to review flag etiquette. Let's start with the little-known fact that because the United States flag is the symbol of a living country, the flag itself is considered to be a living thing. Thus it needs to be displayed and cared for properly as per United States Flag Code. For example, you raise the flag briskly, but lower it ceremoniously. You never allow the flag to touch the ground or floor. You
The December 2015 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.