Can you feel it? Can you hear it? Man, I can smell it and I cannot stand it any longer!
Yes, this dog can still hunt and it is time to come out of hibernation and go boating.
This year's 2012 Newport High Point Series is off the starting line, and if you did not race in the American Legion's Mid-Winter Regatta you have placed yourself in the second row. You better start looking for that first wind shift, which is Balboa Yacht Club's 66 Series on March 17.
Did I mention that I am chairing this event for BYC this year? Please take a look at balboayachtclub.com and check out all the boats that have won this event over the past 51 years. Also be sure to note that we are retuning to Catalina Island on Aug. 4 and 5. I also need to thank Nancy and Bob Kettenhofen, of Doyle Sails, for providing this year's daily trophies.
This year's Newport High Point Series leaders so far are Roy Jones' Tango in first. Tony Delfino's Violetta is in second, and in third place is Peter Bretscher's Adios. Now, throw in the rest of the fleet that will show up for the BYC 66 Series, and we are going to have an exciting High Point Series.
Marine recycling center coming
I am still trying to get eight annual parking passes from the city of Newport to be awarded to the winner of this year's series. I do need to thank Tara Finnigan, of the city manager's office, for helping me apply for these parking permits.
The process is much more complicated than going to a drawer and pulling out eight passes. She has really gone the extra mile for us, and I hope that the city officials see the advantages in supporting one of our harbor's sailing events.
The city is moving forward with a Marine Recycling Center at Basin Marina this year. This was my idea and it's very encouraging to know that you can make a difference by attending our Harbor Commission meetings.
Disposing of expired marine flares
Now that I am starting to learn how to talk the talk, I had better start walking the walk. Last weekend, I became a certified state dockwalker. As a dockwalker, I am tasked with informing boaters of how to properly dispose of used oil, absorbent pads, coolants, batteries and expired marine emergency flares.
I quickly came to learn that it is very difficult to properly dispose of expired marine flares because no one wants them. In fact, one of the manufacturers told me just to go out and burn them. Something tells me that is not a good idea. I know that the Coast Guard would fine me for burning any aerial flares in a non-emergency situation.
I have sent letters explaining the problem to our governor, state senator and Assembly member and still have not received any response. I am in touch with Vivian Matuk, the Department of Boating and Waterways' environmental coordinator, who is doing everything she can to work the process. But the solution appears to have stalled on someone's desk at the Department of Toxic Substance Control.
Rather than calling government agencies, I went to our local dump and asked the attendant if he would take the flares. He said he could take them. So, until his supervisor tells him to stop taking in the flares, I am willing to come by your boat and take your expired marine flares to the dump at no charge.
In return, I ask that you allow me to present my educational materials to you, take my survey and give you your free boater's kit. Yes, one of my business cards will be attached to the boater's kit.
To find out about which dump I went to or to see how you are doing in the Newport High Point Series, go to my blog at lenboseyachts.blogspot.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.