|The Turning Basin on Labor Day|
By Len Bose
June 5, 2015 | 4:38 p.m.
This week I wanted to update you on some of the news concerning our harbor so I placed some calls into my reliable harbor sources for the most opinionated and up-to-date information.
The Newport Beach City Council is expected to approve an agreement with the Orange County Sheriff's Department at its June 9 meeting for six months of mooring management services.
This is a gimme and no one could ever do a better job than Deputy Sean Scoles, but rather than just hand over a check for $158,050 to the county why don't the powers-that-be request closer attention to our harbor codes? I am not going to go into detail on which harbor codes need more attention, I am just suggesting that council members call up their favorite harbor commissioners and get their opinion on harbor code enforcement.
Speaking of the Harbor Commission, there is one seat vacant with two nominees, incumbent Brad Avery and John Drayton. Avery has just completed his first term and is doing a very good job staying on task and communicating with the public. I hope he keeps his seat, nothing against Drayton. He will be a good harbor commissioner in the near future.
In June, the City Council will vote on mooring fees. I would think this would be another gimme but I am not going to write anything on this topic. After the decision to allow jet packs in the turning basin, I am starting to feel like the Harbor Commission. We put in the time, listen to the public, make our recommendation and the council votes in the other direction. I am going to close my eyes and just hope it's not going to be a loud, expensive crash.
Speaking of loud, expensive crashes, the Balboa Island seawalls have been under discussion by the Tide Lands Management Committee for the last couple of years but I missed the last Tidelands meeting and am not sure what the committee of Selich, Dixon and Petros have recommended.
After the last meeting I attended, I was starting to feel like the best idea would be to immediately repair the northwest side of Balboa Island, not a new wall. A new wall will take two years to get started and is very complicated, maybe we should just repair the wall as soon as we can? The council needs to hear your opinion. You can find more information by googling Balboa Island Seawalls Rehabilitation.
Many of my sources were asking the question, why does our beach funding coming from the Tidelands budget? I have heard this question many times over the years. There was one comment that grabbed my attention and that is to give the beaches back to the state like Huntington Beach has done. At first glance it seems like a good outsourcing opportunity and a way for the city to spend more money on the harbor. I am in way over my head on this one but it would be interesting to hear more discussion on this topic.
Next week the Harbor Commission plans to discuss adding temporary anchorages. We already know that the turning basin — or as most of you know it, the area in front of Lido Village — will be the first area to be considered.
Let's just hope that when they open this temporary anchorage, they don't bring in a mega yacht at the same time as jet packs are flying. Things would get rather bunched up with the beach rentals and charter boats already there. I have proposed a day-mooring anchorage in front of Big Corona beach, which I feel would be a great way to increase boating activity in our area.
It comes expectedly every season, the sea lions have returned into the harbor and they appear to be in great force. There are good ways and ugly ways to deter the sea lions from camping on your property, vigilance is the best way to start.
Before I go this week I have to give a big shout out to the Robert Bents family aboard their boat Reel T. They have broken all the records for bringing in the most Mylar balloons out of our local waters this season. If you notice the Luhrs 32 Reel T on the harbor this weekend please give them a big "well done" and thank you for picking up all those balloons.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.