As I carefully tuck away my prized collection of (27) Christmas Reyn Spooner’s and thank the man above that the holiday commercials have stopped. I thought it was a good time to head down to the harbor and take a look around.
When I started out, January 2 from 1:00-4:00 PM, I thought to myself that harbor would be quite this time of year. My first stop was the Lido Peninsula and I was surprised to see how many big boats are still in town. Pervious years a number of owners would do there best not to be around January 1st in an effort to avoid property tax. With this in mind, I going to leave out the names of the boats and just describe them the best I can. Two of my favorite race boats are getting new bottom paint and rudder repairs at Newport Shipyard along with one of my favorite performance cruising boats. Its always fun to pretend what type of boat you would buy if you won the lottery and kind of discouraging to find out that winning the State lottery would not be enough to purchase the Mega Yacht in front of the shipyard. On my way off the peninsula, I stopped at the lido bridge and counted 16 large charter boats are in town. That’s one more than last year and my mind wondered to the Christmas boat parade. I had heard reports that as many as 10 large charter boats came into town and load and unload passengers? In my simple mind that is 25 large charter boats and almost half of them are guests. Did our guest’s receive their Marine Activates Permits, do they use there holding tanks, etc? I placed a couple of calls to find the answers to these questions and have not received a return call at the time of writing. I then drove down Mariners Mile, which has been no simple task this last month. It’s taken me over a half hour to drive the mile, now blend in holiday stress and bicycle rider’s, it’s become a lot easier to notice my car in town with the boat fenders hanging down the side.
There was not much to report at the repo yard or at Larsen & Basin shipyards. Although I did notice people working on their boats themselves and had to kind of laugh at one person who had been working on a fiberglass project. This poor guy came up from his aft lazarette completely covered in fiberglass dust with no shirt on. I am talking Casper! Ya think he is still inching?
I was looking for more entertainment so I headed over to boat ramp at the dunes. On my way over I remembered that the new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) has taken effect Jan 1st. Now everyone that knows me understands I am not a fisherman and I do not look like one. So when I approached people, pulling their boats out, an enquired if they had seen any Fish and Game Wardens. The response was not very friendly until I noticed some local’s who know me. “ I was in Catalina all weekend Len and fishing next to what I understand is the boundaries. We did not notice any Fish & Game anywhere”. Another person told me “ ya see that person over there, he is a retired warden and he told me earlier that he was going to fish wherever the heck he wanted”. Don’t get me wrong, I am not challenging our local wardens to get on the water more or to fix their two broken down boats on shell island. Most of the people I talked to told me that if the wardens really wanted to get something done they should ride a bike around the back bay and hang out at the launch ramp. “That’s where you are going to find the people that do the most damage to our marine life” one old salt told me.
I wrote my column a week early because I am helping my good friends Carole & Bill Craig deliver their Grand Banks –Europa 42 “La Sirena” to Mazatlan Mexico. This boat is perfect just ask Derek & Dave New at Basin Marine they did all the work. This will be my 30th time past the cape 1st time power. Weather looks good and just checked the boat for bananas it’s all good!
Note: Bananas are bad luck to have on the boat.