Friday, September 30, 2011

Newport’s Beach’s Best Car Service Agent.

This weekends “Silly Idea”. Yesterday, I needed to replace the tires on my Yukon and before just heading up to where I have gone in the past I called my good friend Bob Blake.
I wanted to know if I needed to replace all four tires and find out if Bob had a recommendation on where I should take my business. Before arriving at Bob place I went online and did some homework. The cost of the tires I wanted was $ 1000.00 at the Firestone store, $750 at Costco and Bob found me the same set for $ 660.00 out the door.
You add it up! He has done this type of service for me forever and has helped all my friends. Over the last three years Bob Blake has become Newport Beach’s Best Car Service Agent.
Anything to do with Cars call Bob ANYTHING! Buy, Sell, dent removal, wiring, upholstery, lights ANYTHING. Make your appointment, he will pick up the car, take care of your problems, and return it PROBLEMS SOLVED!
You can Reach Bob at (949) 933-3899.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Harbor Report: Several silly ideas to ponder this week

I have been working on several of my "Silly Ideas," and I wanted to share them with you.
This year I have written a couple of columns about Newport Harbor's PHRF Hi-Point Championships, a series awarded by the Assn. Of Orange Coast Yacht Clubs (AOCYC).
The races include the ALYC Midwinter's, BYC 66 Series No. 1, Ahmanson Cup Regatta, Angleman Series No. 1 and the Argosy Regatta. I had a custom burgee made by Nikki's Flags for this event and asked the Balboa Yacht Club to help cover some of the cost for placing the burgee under glass and making it into a new trophy.
Now, I just need to attend this weekend's AOCYC meeting at BYC
and try to talk them into allowing the different Newport Beach yacht clubs to recognize the winner at their annual awards banquets this year. I feel this is the best way to gain more recognition of this great event and try to promote PHRF sailing in Newport Harbor.
My next "Silly Idea" came to me at one of the Harbor Commission meetings I attended this year. While in Dana Point Harbor, I noticed two marine recycling centers. These are where boaters can dispose of waste oil, absorbent pads, oil filters, batteries, transmission fluid and engine coolant free of charge without having to drive to the Rainbow disposal site in northern Huntington Beach .

Now the devil will be in the details on this idea but I am going to give it my best effort. I am sure most of my readers already know that Island Marine Fuel Dock and Hill Fuel Dock will take your used absorbent pads and, if you ask nicely, your waste oil. Just give Dave or Gary a call and they will give you the details.
My last idea this week is a recommendation. Take a second and go to iTunes and look up the song from The Wolverines, "What A Bloody Great Day To Go Sailing." It's perfect for the boat.

The Harbor 20 Championships is this weekend at Newport Harbor Yacht Club. I promised Mary Bacon, the skipper of "Rascal II," that I will have all my superstitions in place before the start of the first race.
In A fleet this coming weekend, its anyone's race. I just hope that fellow BYC members Karen and Gary Thorne are not superstitious about winning A Fleet in the Schock Fall Regatta last weekend. It's bad luck to win the event before the main event!
Save these dates! We have a couple of very important events coming up fast on us.
The first is the American Legion Yacht Club's "Sail for the Visually Impaired" on Oct. 15. The group is looking for boat owners to take some people out sailing that day. For more information about this event, please go to the American Legion website. I need to give a shout out to all the Harbor 20 and PHRF boat owners to check into this event and volunteer.
Next we have the Hoag Cup on Oct. 22-23, presented by BYC and NHYC. Fundraising for Hoag Hospital will be created through entry fees, and contributions from various yacht club members who wish to support Hoag.
This is always one of our harbor's premier events to raise money for our local hospital, while racing top Southern California sailboats. The racing will include the Fast 40 fleet, TP52 and the 70's fleet.
Look for Sunday's race on Oct. 23 to sail past our local piers. Check with BYC and NHYC for more details on how you can participate. If you would like to read more of my "Silly Ideas," remember to go to my blog site at
Sea ya!
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

Here is my Rhine Channel weekly update for September 19 – 23.

Hi everyone,

Here is my Rhine Channel weekly update for September 19 – 23.

·        Please see the attached figure that shows the progress to date. 

·        Dredging activities are still proceeding as planned.  You’ll notice the blue “dredging complete” and the red “active dredging zone” areas have slightly enlarged, therefore marking steady progress.

·        This last week, Dutra had to retrace their footsteps and dig a little deeper in the wide channel in Phase II.  This was because the sediment chemistry told us that their initial targeted depth did not take us down to “clean” material, so another pass was necessary. As of Friday afternoon, Dutra had finished this second pass so we’ll go back and re-test to confirm that we’ve hit clean material.

·        Phase II pile driving activities are also nearly complete with just a little more work on the Lido Peninsula side of the larger channel.  The pile work is going smoothly with very little complications.

·        Phase III dredging begins on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00 AM.  The Phase III marinas must have their vessels removed by then, and there will not be a grace period like in Phase I.  The good news is that Phase III is anticipated to be much shorter than originally planned because of Dutra’s efficiency with the project.  I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted, but I’m hopeful Phase III will last just a few short weeks.

·         As you can probably tell today, there is no work planned for this weekend, so we all get to enjoy a couple days off.

·        On Monday, the pile driving barge will be back at the Rhine Wharf to unload the old piles, then load up the last batch of Phase II piles. 

·        Interesting fact No. 8:  The pile driving barge has 2 large “spuds” that are dropped into the sediment to keep the barge steady when it’s busy working.  These spuds are about 80’ long, therefore enabling the barge to spud down in channels that are 60’ deep – much deeper than the Rhine Channel!

Thanks everyone! 

Chris Miller
Harbor Resources Manager
(949) 644-3043  *

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chris Miller weekly update for September 12 – 16.

Hi everyone!

This is my weekly update for September 12 – 16.

·        Please see the attached figure that shows the progress to date.  You’ll notice that the blue area has been enlarged which means that more dredging is complete.  We’re nearly done dredging the smaller part of the channel which therefore frees things up from a navigation standpoint.

·        Dutra is still dredging the larger part of the channel in Phase II.  They’ve made their first pass to design depth, but our sediment chemistry is indicating that we’ll need to dig deeper.  Therefore on Monday, they’ll return back to the bend of the channel and work their way through that section again. 

·        The pile driving effort has gone smoothly these past few days in Phase II.  Dutra has installed all of the piles along the Lido Peninsula side of the channel (before rounding the corner), and they’ve now started on the peninsula side and working down towards the Balboa Boat Yard.  You can see the yellow boxes on the attached figure that show their progress.  After they get to the Balboa Boat Yard, they’ll shift back to the Lido Peninsula side and drive more piles there.

·        On Saturday, there will be no dredging or pile driving work.  Dutra’s crew will be enjoying their weekend…as I’m sure you will too.

·        Dutra is doing a great job of coordinating with the various restaurants and shipyards so as to minimally disrupt their business operations.  We’ll continue to focus on this outreach during the last part of Phase II and III.  If you have any specific questions, please give me a call and I’d be happy discuss the project with you.

·        Phase III is fast approaching, and our plan is to officially start that area with vessel relocations on September 27.  As you look at the attached figure, you’ll notice that most of the main channel has already been dredged which means that the Phase III boaters should be minimally impacted.  We’ll have a better idea as the next couple weeks unfold.

·        Remember, the City is offering free moorings to those boaters that need to vacate their slip.  Please call the Harbor Patrol (949-723-1002) for arrangements, and identify yourself as a Rhine Channel displaced boater. 

·        Interesting fact No. 7:  The pile driving hammer weighs about 16,000 pounds, with the inner slug weighing about 10,000 – 12,000 pounds.  The driving force of the hammer is about 55,000 foot pounds.

We’re making great progress and are ahead of schedule.  Thank you for everyone’s patience and cooperation!   

Chris Miller
Harbor Resources Manager
(949) 644-3043  *

Thursday, September 15, 2011

9-14-11 Harbor Commission Meeting

I attended the 9-14-11 Harbor Commission meeting and it kind of felt like going to Costco, filling up your cart and when you get to the check out line you find out your debit card has expired?

The meeting started out with Council Member Nancy Gardner, Council Liaison to the Harbor Commission interrupting Chairman Rodheim “again” and informed the Commission that she needed to leave early. She then said that the agenda appeared to be light and that the Commission did not need to meet every month. The expression on each of the commissioner’s face’s looked like their debit card had expired! Not that Nancy met anything bad by her comment in fact the opposite is true. The relationship between the City Council and the Harbor Commissioners is like any relationship. You are going to have your ups and downs and if you want to keep the relationship going you are going to have to bite your tongue from time to time.

Once Council Member Gardner left the Commissioners seemed to gather their composer and the meeting moved along. In fact it was one of the most productive meeting I have attended.

Chairman Roheim reviewed each Commissioners task list and asked each of them to report next month with an update on when and how their tasks will be completed. Let me try to recall what each Harbor Commissioner is tasked with. I did not take any notes on this so.

Doug West is working on the Harbor Guide, Changing the City Ordnance to allow permitted events to exceed the speed limit and is the Tideland Management Committee Liaison.

Duncan McIntosh is tasked with review of code enforcement and Changing the City Ordnance to allow permitted events to exceeded the speed limit.

Brad Avery is looking into Charter Boat Standards and review of code enforcement.

Marshall Duffield is working on Mooring alignment, and Charter Boat Standards

Vincent Valdes is working on The Vision of the Harbor and overhang policys.

Karen Rhyne is working as a Liaison with the many State committees.

After the commissioners task review Chairman Rodheim appraised the “Topics for the future Agendas”.  I in fact was able to help with this because one of the future topics was ways to dispose of toxic materials which I brought up some time ago. More on this at a later date.

Sidenote: Did you know there is a public dock next to Schock boats??

Thanks for reading my report and you are always welcome to send your questions to or call me at (714) 916-0200. Follow me on Twitter at @boseyachts

Sea ya

Len Bose

Interview with our Tug Captain and an Explanation on what happened at the end of The Balboa Peninsula

( I had about another 360 words to complete this story and The Pilot keeps me at 600)

I never knew that the crew on the tug stayed aboard for most of the month. “This job we are running with a Double Crew Boat” the captain informed me. This means that there are 4 people on the boat, split into two watches  completing 12 hour tricks, each watch has its own Captain and deckhand. I did not ask how you get the 6:00 to 18:00 watch? Each crew is working for six days straight and taking Sundays off. The crew can work for a month and then must take a month off.  The deckhands are responsible for maintaining winches, hourly engine room inspections, updating the log books and adjusting the tow lines. “The most difficult thing on a double crewed boat is that each watch likes certain things in different places. This can be very frustrating” the Captain told me.
We talked a little about where he, The Captain, gets his weather information. “ I don’t overdue the weather, I can talk myself out of A run, very easily, when I spend too much time looking at the weather” the captain said. I use the NOAA weather reports and spend a little time online. My best source of information is still the barometer, I was able to pick up on that strange weather we had last week by watching the cloud formation and keeping my eyes on the barometer.
While out at sea the boat sets up its towing bridle and pulls the barge at 6 knots which  makes for 4 hour runs to Long Beach. We enter into Long Beach Harbor at the east entry, Alamitos Bay entry, and continue our route into the West Basin Slip 1 Long Beach Harbor. At night the tug has three white lights on their mast, which indicates a tow of 600 + feet. The barge has a red and green on the bow and white on the stern.
I also asked what is the best way to reach the tug should you notice a problem for them. “We keep a close eye out for what’s in front of us. If something happens and you need to get our attention pick up a life jacket and start waving it.” The captain told me.


I got the scope on the little miss hap on the end of the Peninsula with the barge and the 80' Ocean Alexander. It all happened before our local dredging operators  “Dultra” received the scows. I was told that “Dultra” is chartering a couple of scows from another company out of San Diego. This company delivered the scows to Newport Harbor and while proceeding into the harbor they had one scow under tow and pushing the other. With the scows being empty something tells me the water was going out of the bay and when the tug tried to make the turn up the harbor they lost control.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Harbor Report: Meet the tugboat skipper "Unedited"

This week I had a chance to talk to Captain Peter Paget of the tug “Terri L Brusco” and no pun intended what a boatload of information I received. Now the challenge is with all this information “sloshing” around my head lets see if I can put a story together.
The “Terri L Brusco” is the tugboat you see in the harbor moving the barges from Newport to the Port of Long Beach and back. Captain Peter Paget has just completed a month of work and now must take a month off. He started his career some 30 years ago in Alaska and has kept his hand firmly on the helm every since. “ As a kid I sailed in Portland Oregon and became fascinated with the Tugs. The only way I could find work was move to Alaska and work 7 days a week for 6 months. After a couple of seasons, I had the experience to look other jobs” Capt Paget explained.
The purpose of this story is to give the Newport Harbor users a better idea on what the Tug Captains have to deal with and get a better understanding on how to give the Tugs enough room. I am going to assume my readers are not the Harbor Users that take their electric boats along side the barges, while they are under way, or the paddle boarders that paddle through the tugs wash or even the High Speed power boat that was outside last week following the Dolphins and crossing between the barge and the tug? So for your own interest lets review some of the information Captain Paget reviewed with me. While the barge is being pushed the Tug and barge become one and the barge is maneuvered “Basically like a large vessel” the captain told me. “ When we are maneuvering at the 5 point mooring, the turning basin, things can be a little tricky. When the barge is empty and if the wind is up past 10 knots, along with an out going tide we have to approach our mooring at a 90 degree angle and make adjustments for whatever else confronts us” Capt. Paget said. I then asked the Captain what are some sound signals we should listen for? “5 short blasts, Danger, Danger. We try not to use sound signals in Newport Harbor, I don’t think the residents would want to hear ever sound signal at 3 AM everyday as if this was a comical harbor” The Captain explained.
Other items I learned while talking to Captain Peter Paget. If at night, while in the harbor, you notice two white lights on the forward mast of the tug and a red and green light coming toward you that’s your first indication that its the Tug pushing the barge towards you. If you want to contact the Tug you can hail them on VHF Channel 16 or Channel 13. “If there was one thing I would like your readers to remember VHF Channel 13 is it” the Capt. told me. Most of the commercial information is passed along this channel, you should also write down Channel 14 for Vessel Traffic Service San Pedro (VTS) and Channel 74 Long Beach Pilot. Also keep in mind, while at sea, the barge is traveling about 6 knots and is roughly 900 feet behind the Tug, in rough weather it can be double that. The Tug will not be towing in heavy fog or big seas over 8 feet. “If the cargo starts sloshing around because of high seas and winds we will not be able to complete our run” Captain Pete told me. After talking to the Captain I felt like I was talking to a long time friends at the Yacht Club. He is a sailor at heart and loves being on the ocean. As a seat of the pants sailor myself, I felt lucky that we have Captain Peter Paget at the helm.
This weekend feels like the end of summer blow out sail. We have the Wooden Boat Festival at the American Legion, The last race of the Newport High Point Series with the “Argosy Race” to Catalina and the “Roy Woolsey” Lido 14 and Laser race at Lido Isle. For more information about what going on this weekend and Tugs boat Captains please go to my blog at
Sea ya

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This is my weekly update for September 5 – 10.

Hi everyone!

This is my weekly update for September 5 – 10.

·        Phase II is well underway with the dredging of the smaller channel nearly complete as of the time of this email.  They’ll be rounding the corner to the larger channel any day now, therefore freeing up access to and from the smaller channel.  Remember to hail Dutra on VHF Channel 82 if you need to pass.  It’s important that we stay safe!

·        Dutra will be dredging on Saturday this weekend to keep the project moving along.

·        A big “Thank You” to all of the Phase II marinas and boaters who relocated their vessels this week in time for the dredging activity.  This cooperative spirit is one of the major reasons why the project is proceeding smoothly.

·        Dredging of Phase II will last until approximately the end of next week, then the pile driving crane barge will return and do its work. 

·        Even though Phase II has just begun, we need to start thinking about Phase III boat relocations.  I say this because Dutra is ahead of schedule (much of the center channel has already been dredged), therefore they’ll be moving to Phase III sooner than later.   I should have more details by next week’s update, but the Phase III marinas/boaters need to start preparing for their moves possibly by the end of the month.

·        On that same note, however, Phase III will probably be shorter than expected.  Dutra’s dredging efficiency will shave days off of the back end of Phase III.

·        Please see the attached progress figure for this week.

·        Interesting fact No. 6:  As of this week, Dutra has delivered about 30,000 cubic yards of material from the Rhine Channel up to the Port of Long Beach via barge.

Thank you,

Chris Miller
Harbor Resources Manager
(949) 644-3043  *

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Rhine Update - Week 5

Hi everyone!

This is my weekly update for August 29 to September 2.

·        Major Milestone – Phase I is nearly complete!!
·        Please see the attached figure.  For the first time, you’ll see blue which denotes that dredging is complete in that area.  Also, most of the Phase I docks are now shaded green which means folks can move back in their slips.

·        This week’s main focus was driving the 16” piles along Lafayette.   It was a challenging week because not all of the piles cooperated as planned. Of course, this is to be expected as the soil conditions and underwater obstructions are unknown until you actually start driving piles. Once the pile hits a point of refusal, it will start to “wander” with each successive blow, causing bigger problems. Therefore, some piles were left taller than the desired +12’ MLLW elevation.

·        The taller piles will be cutoff next week.  We may need to juggle some boats around for the few hours that this takes place, but it shouldn’t be a problem and we’ll be in close contact with everyone affected.

·        The average length of the existing piles that we’re pulling out is about 30’, while the length of the piles that we’re installing is 56’…big difference.

·        There is still some minor dock work that has yet to be done, but that can occur while boats are in their slips.

·        The pile driving barge is now stationed to the east of the “H” mooring field in an approved location (between Lido Isle and the Peninsula).  We felt this location would localize the construction activity, as well as minimizing the impact to the harbor as a whole now that the busy summer sailing season is behind us.  The pile driving barge will return to the Rhine Wharf in about 2 weeks to load more pile, then resume its pile driving operations.

·        Dredging activities were still ongoing this week, and Dutra is making great progress with the center channel of Phases II & III.  Remember, every bit completed now means less time and impact at the end of the project.

·        Next Week:  Phase II dredging will begin in the smaller channel on Tuesday morning.  We’re hoping that it won’t take long for Dutra to round the corner and proceed into the larger channel.  When this happens, the boats in the small channel should be able to enter/exit the Rhine area with nominal inconvenience.

·        Important:  If you do need to get by the dredging operations in your boat, please radio Dutra on channel 82 and ask for permission to pass.  Safety is our number one concern, so please be respectful of the giant machinery and ‘slow to react’ tugs and barges.  Dutra and Anchor QEA are doing a great job of keeping in contact with the public and individually working with folks – well done to everyone involved on the team!

·        There will be no construction related activities from this afternoon until Tuesday morning.  The entire Rhine Channel will be open to all vessel traffic.

·        Interesting fact No. 5:  The crane capacity on the pile driving barge is 240 tons.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!  Thanks to everyone’s cooperation, Phase I was a huge success!

Chris Miller
Harbor Resources Manager
(949) 644-3043  *