I thought it time to take a cruise around the harbor to see what's going on now and what might be going on within the next few months.
We have all read about the loss of the William B, a 76-foot tug boat, this last Saturday morning when she was overcome by fire and sank to the bottom of the bay in the mooring field just off of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
At 8 a.m. that morning, with the first feeling of fall in the air and the light southerly breeze blowing, I was informed of the news. I was shown a photo of her and thought of the great loss to the boat's owners, the Hills, then pictured an old soldier finally taking a knee after a great battle.
I am not about to pick up the phone and ask Gary Hill how his family feels after their loss. Her time had come and I cannot think of a better resting place for the old girl. We can only hope that the yacht club memorializes the mooring ball with her name placed on it in perpetuity.
Pump-out station use
It's become quite obvious that many boaters are not using our pump-out stations properly.
These waste pump-out stations are only for human waste and are not designed for disposing of toxic materials that have entered your bilge.
These toxic materials are burning through hoses, pumps and holding tanks. Other than asking boaters to stop this practice, there is not much that can be done. On second thought, we can always ask the city what happened to the idea of a marine recycling center. This would be another option for a boater to dispose of toxic waste.
Keep an eye out for El Niño
I have never been referred to as a niño but that is the word I keep hearing while walking around the harbor.
El Niño is coming and what are you doing to get ready for it? I know it's our harbor master Lt. Mark Alsobrook's biggest concern as winter approaches.
My good friend at the Newport Shipyard, who prefers to remain anonymous, reminded me that boaters need to check their bilge pumps. Not just that they are working — that's only half of it — but they also need to make sure that the float switch does not get stuck in the up position, works the pump dry and drains your batteries.
Over at Basin Marine, Dave New explained that boat owners really need to replace their mooring lines. He went on to tell me that they went out and purchased a couple of rather large pumps should anyone get in trouble and need to get water out of their boats quickly.
"We are here to help if we can," New said.
Our first king tide is due in on the 24th through 26th of this month. The highest tide of 6.7 feet will arrive at 7:49 a.m. Nov. 25. Should we blend in a low pressure weather system at that time you will need to make sure you know where your boots are.
Yacht Club speakers
The Newport Harbor Yacht Club has asked this niño to speak at its yachtsmen luncheon on Dec. 9. I believe my fellow columnist Mike Whitehead is scheduled for the 2nd and on the 16th Harbor Master Lt. Mark Alsobrook will speak.
Maybe this will be a good time for me to unveil this year's 20 most interesting boats of Newport Beach. I would assume that Whitehead will update us on the boat house news, tips and his annual holiday poem.
Nothing against Whitehead and I, but the real interesting speaker will be harbor master. I have not seen a harbor master reach out to the public so well since Lt. Mark Long. Something tells me he will be the first harbor master that connects the City Council, Harbor Resources and Harbor Department, getting them reading from the same book.
I see a lot of good things happening around the harbor since Alsobrook has been assigned as our harbor master.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.