Pacific Puddle Jump
From the Americas to French Polynesia

Crew List


  • It's Peak Season for Puddle Jumpers
    This month, in anchorages from San Diego to Panama, dozens of cruisers are making final preparations for the 'jump' to French Polynesia — thePacific Puddle Jump.
    This month we caught up with more than 100 boatloads of international voyagers at three festive events: the Mexico Pacific Puddle Jump Sendoff Party at Mexico's Vallarta Yacht Club (March 5), and the South Pacific Bon Voyage events in Panama at the Balboa Yacht Club (March 8) and at the Shelter Island Marina (March 10).
    Who are these sailors? As always, their backgrounds are highly diverse, as are the boats they sail on. We met young adventurers in their twenties and thirties, as well as senior sailors who are on their second or third circumnavigation, plus wide-eyed kids as young as three or four years old. The overarching goal of every crew, of course, is to ride the easterly trades west to the storied isles of Tahiti and beyond, and soak in the tranquil beauty of their tropical lagoons.
    From Mexico — Banderas Bay is the primary departure point for West Coast sailors — it's roughly 3,000 miles to the first possible landfall in the Marquesas (the easternmost of French Poly's five archipelagos). From Panama, it's more like 4,000 miles, which is why many Panama Puddle Jumpers stop at the Galapagos Islands en route.
    In the April issue of Latitude 38 magazine we'll introduce you to a variety of fleet members. Look for a recap of the fleet's crossing experiences sometime this summer. We wish them all safe and exhilarating passages.
    The most important piece of business today is to make you aware that all non-EU passport holders must post a "repatriation bond" upon entry in French Polynesia, which is equal to an air ticket home for each crew member -- UNLESS: 1) you can show a homeward air ticket, or 2) you get a bond exemption through a licensed yacht agent. (Last year some long-stay visa holders were exempted, but we have been told by French authorities that this is no longer the policy.)
    For the past few years we have been working with Tahiti Crew Agency for the purpose of obtaining bond exemptions. Please see their offering and rates attached to the email you should have received from the PPJ Committee after registering, which includes clearance in and out, bond exemptions, and a duty free fuel certificate (retrievable in the Marquesas). PLEASE NOTE: You are under no obligation to use these services. They are simply offered for your convenience.
    Latitude 38 staff and our Tahitian partners will again co-host the following three-day event in French Polynesia:
  • June 22-24 — The Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendez-vous serves the dual purpose of celebrating the fleet's safe arrival in the islands while introducing several hundred international sailors to time-honored cultural traditions in music, dance, cuisine and sport — including outrigger canoe races where you will be invited to participate. Detailed info to follow.
    In our next fleet email, in a week or two, we'll discuss Panama Events and Radio Nets for the crossing.
    Thanks, PPJ Rally Committee
  • What is the Pacific Puddle Jump? Find out here.
  • How you can obtain a 'bond exemption'.
  • Important information on getting a Long Stay Visa.
  • Be sure to check out this year's PPJ sponsors. We encourage you to support them, as we greatly value their partnership in administering the Puddle Jump.

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Photo strip
This site was last updated on March 19, 2018.

This is the official homepage for the annual Pacific Puddle Jump rally. It is not to be confused with the PPJ group hosted by Yahoo. Although that group is not directly affiliated with Latitude 38 or this site, the group members share useful tips and info about Puddle Jump-related topics. All would-be South Pacific cruisers are welcome to join it.

Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendez-vous
Tahiti-Moorea Sailing
Rendezvous brochure

TMS Poster2017 Rendezvous Poster

French Polynesia Guide
2016 Yellow Flag Guide to French Polynesia
PDF Download (19.4 MB)
New Caledonia Guide
PDF Download (19.8 MB)


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