Monday, January 05, 2015

The Harbor Report: Capturing the king tide

By Len Bose
December 26, 2014 | 11:24 a.m.

Over the past year, we have discussed at great lengths the Balboa Islands seawall and global sea level rise. There was talk of raising the level of our harbor seawalls and creating a tidal gate at our harbor entrances.
The overall game plan is to verify predictions of a 3-inch sea level rise, during a king tide, by the year 2020. This would indicate being on track for a 55-inch rise in sea level by 2100.
So, just in case no one from the city remembered that we saw our first king tide of the season Dec. 21, 22 and 23, I thought that a sailor might take photos at high tide on the 22nd
I found a web page,, that allows people to display king tide photos collected from specific locations around the San Francisco Bay Area. I decided I could do the same here in Newport Beach.

My first step was to choose a location that might be a good spot for recording this information. I thought I could get near the northeast side of the Pacific Coast Highway bridge at Pearson's Port.
Looking across the channel, I then went over to the Castaways city lot on the west side of the bridge. My last location was on Balboa Island just off of Turquoise Avenue, looking at what I think is the No. 10 range marker.
My next step was to arrive at my locations early — researchers can only use images that are taken within 45 minutes of the high tide peak, so the total window of time is 1 1/2 hours.
I needed to mark down my latitude and longitude and time when I took my photos. Unfortunately for me, my handheld GPS no longer works, and I brought my wide-angle lens for my camera. Something tells me I did not do so well for those smart guys and gals who might use this information, but I kept trying and made sure I noted my orientation and land markers.

The last task was to share my information, which I guess I am doing here.
You will see me out again between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 20 taking more photos.
You are welcome to join in the fun. Go to a location of interest to you and forward your photos and comments to me. I will post everything on my blog site.
In hindsight, it felt good to be at the harbor that early in the morning — listening to the crew teams work out, hearing the echo of the different birds across the water and watching the fisherman setting their anchors. It will not be that difficult to start my day that early next month.
Sailboat Racing
Things are moving rather quickly at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club.
Make sure to mark your calendars for 6 p.m. Jan. 22 for the introduction to sailboat racing. It's free and given by club fleet Capt. Paul DeCapua. He will cover the basic rules and the "how-to" of starting, racing and finishing a sail boat race.
The club will also be hosting a safety-at-sea seminar from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 28. It will cover personal safety gear, what to do if someone falls overboard, emergency communications and search and rescue. This is time well spent.
Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

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