Sunday, January 31, 2016
Hello, Newport Harbor! What are you doing today?
At noon on Friday, an aloha celebration of life for Dr. Nina Ann Nielsen will take place at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, 720 W. Bay Ave., Newport Beach. Cancel your afternoon appointments, call your spouse and tell him or her to bring your best Sponner and meet you at the club, because you will not be going back to work today. You will be drinking Mai Tais and telling sea stories.
This one's going to hurt, so I need to find my darkest pair of sunglasses. On Jan. 15, Nina died of a pulmonary embolism at her home in Newport Beach. She was 56. Her passing really put a hole in my boat.
I found myself looking up into the sky and saying, "Really?! You're kidding me, right? What, you got a toothache or something?"
I first met Nina, a dentist, at the college sailing parties in the late 1980s. As a competitive sailor, you remember who can beat you and, as a male, you always remember the women who beat you.
"Who is that chick? She kicked my butt today!" I asked Nick Scandone and John Pinckney, who were at that party.
They replied: "Dude, that's Nina. She taught us how to sail. She just got back from Princeton, where she sailed varsity for four years."
"Oh," I said. "That explains it."
As the years passed, I would race Etchells against Nina and Tommy "Smity" Smith, her husband of 26 years. I never really got used to being beaten by a woman, but I was starting to get used to it. Nina went on to be inducted in 1994 into the Intercollegiate Sailing Hall of Fame.
A few more years went by and, while watching my son sail sabots, he returned to the dock and I said, "Hey, good race. You got 2nd."
To which he replied: "Yeah, but that girl keeps beating me."
At that moment I looked up. Nina was helping her daughter Carolyn onto the dock.
"Yeah, son," I said. "You better start getting used to that. She can sail with the best of them."
While watching Nina help Carolyn with her sailing, or just help her on to the swim step of their boat in Catalina, there was a glowing pride of fulfillment that reached out and just grabbed you.
One of the things that I take from Nina is how she touched everyone. When she came up to you and asked you if you needed any help with something, she meant it. If you were to describe Nina in two words they would be" most generous."
Nina's father, Svend Nielsen, is 91. Her brother Jack and sister Pia will be at Nina's aloha celebration, along with anyone who ever raced in Newport Harbor and attended school with her. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 1441 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach.
Nina's ashes will be spread out over the ocean where she said her goodbyes to her mother last year. Something tells me that the same group of dolphins, which swam by during her mother's ceremony, will be by to pick up Nina for her new journey. We will all miss you, Nina.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.
Quite frankly Windward Passage should be placed in the Smithsonian Institution as a work of art. When entering the engine room one feels as if they passed through the pearly gates.
This is what I learned:
This is what I learned:
Dave “Halfdeck” Johnson is one of the best skippers I have ever met.
The boat is 73’ long, 12’ Draft, 19.6 beam, Perkins Diesel 195 HP 3,200 hours, 8Knots cruising speed, 9 knot max, 3 bladed max prop. 12 KW Northern Lights gen set.
Two years ago the boat went though a major refit. A new Alan Andrews keel and rudder was placed on the boat reducing the wetted surface by 70%. The keel was moved forward and the boat returned to her original lines after she had 18,000 thousand pounds removed. One of the major weight loses areas was in batteries when AGM’s replaced the old batteries. 1,800 pounds was saved. The cabin sole is all foam cored.
The rig was replaced by Hall Spars, the rig and standing rigging is carbon, the carbon rigging is guaranteed for the life of the mast. The mast is polished every three months with Der Shiney Stuff.
All stanchions are custom tapered with their own base. Every pad eye, snatch block, and 6’ at the bow is covered when sailing. All the halyard shackles are soft. There is not one carter pin on the boat, all the clevis pins are custom stainless nuts and set screws. The coffee grinders have rose wood handles.
The boat has crews quarters forward, just aft are two guest stateroom. The salon in in the middle of the boat, and continuing aft down the port side is the galley, that leads into the navigation station and owners stateroom.
Quotes from the skipper, “The boat was originally built as a race boat not a cruising boat”. “Its a big surf board, theres not allot in the water.
Kim Harting has done all the custom fabrication, Alan Sanders hand painted the interior in white Algrip, Jeff McKenzie has done most of the wood work on the boat, Garry Miltimore has done most of the custom painting.
The boat exterior gets wiped, after a soft water rinse, almost every day. The interior, bilge and up, receives a wipe down every two weeks.
|Half Models old and new keel|
|Windward Passage sailing downwind with skipper David "half deck" Johnson at the helm. (Courtesy John Fuller and Team Wi / Daily Pilot / November 7, 2013)|
By Len Bose
November 7, 2013 | 8:48 p.m.
While cruising the harbor this week, I was looking around for Newport Harbor's 10 most interesting boats of 2013. As most of you have noticed, I have quite an attraction to Windward Passage. That's when I picked up the phone and gave her skipper, David "Halfdeck" Johnson, a call and asked for a interview.
"Sure, Len, why don't you meet me at the boat at 2 tomorrow?" David said over the phone. Hearing this, I became rather excited that I would finally be able to go aboard one of my all-time favorite yachts.
I met David about 10 minutes early in the marina's parking lot where the boat is berthed, and we walked down to the boat. You can't help stopping in your tracks when you first see Windward Passage and take in all her beauty.
David is one of three sons of Cooper Johnson, who was a very prominent member of the Balboa Yacht Club for many years. David's brothers are Dougall and Gordo Johnson, who both work in the marine industry in Newport Harbor.
David started sailing sabots as a kid and then moved up to some of the more active classes in our harbor. Some of David's past sailing instructors were Andy Rose and Tom Purcell. "I was also fortunate to sail with Bill Taylor aboard his Rhodes 33 Mistress for many years," David said.
From there, David started sailing with Morrie Kirk aboard his two-toner Hurricane Deck in many of the Mexico races and always skippered the boat back. While sailing on Hurricane Deck, he met Dick Deaver and teamed up with him. "Dick would always invite me on the different racing programs if I would deliver the boat back," David said.
One day, David started to restore a Rhodes 33 and decided to strip the boat down and protect the wood with a West System epoxy resin. "Most of the local Rhodes owners told me I had ruined the boat," David explained. Today, most wooden boats have the West System epoxy on them.
About this time, David started painting boats and became U.S. Paint's West Coast tech rep for about 10 years. When that job ended he went to work at Basin Marine shipyard. While working there, he quoted a job to paint Windward Passage, which had just been purchased by a local resident who was planning on bringing the boat to Newport Harbor.
Once the boat had arrived in town, he went to work on painting her interior. "That year, a rather large winter storm came in, and the docks we were berthed at seemed to be falling apart. I called the owner, who was out of town, and later that day moved the boat to where it is now. I've been here for 22 years now," David explained with great pride in his voice.
During this time, the boat has had two owners and David has become part of the boat. He has captained it for 22 years and the boat is now 46 years old. Most days, the boat gets a soft water rinse and then gets dried. "L.P. paints prefer not to be waxed, and keeping the boat clean is the best way to make the paint last longer," David said. "One of my secrets is to use 'Der Shiney Stuff.' It's a super gloss sealant glaze that we use every three months on the boat's hull." Other daily maintenance routines include running the boat's systems, checking the bilge and following the scheduled maintenance list.
I then asked about some of the most memorable sails he has had on the boat. "When I did Transpac, we were surfing down the Molokai Channel in 40 knots of wind and doing over 25 knots of boat speed," David explained enthusiastically. "Recently, after the boat's last refit, we were sailing into Long Point, Catalina, in about 20 knots of wind with the jib reefed in, doing about 11 knots of boat speed upwind."
After a good two hours on the boat, I walked away in utter amazement at its condition and David's attention to detail. In my 30 years as a yacht broker, I have never seen a boat in this type of Bristol condition. There have been many times over the years when David and I could not agree on who had inside overlap at a mark while racing. But I have to give it to him this time — no one knows how to take better care of a vessel than David "Halfdeck" Johnson.
If you would like to see the interior of Windward Passage and learn more about the boat, go to my blog at lenboseyachts.blogspot.com.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.
From my favorite red chair
In 1956, President Eisenhower initiated the "People to People Program" as a conduit for "Greater International Understanding" through "direct, close and abiding communication between cities." If you where to take the word “international” out of the City of Newport Beach description of sister city’s and play along with me here. I would like to recommend two places as sister city’s. They are Balboa Yacht Clubs “Whites Landing”, Catalina and Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs “Moonstone”, Catalina. Both places have their own mayors and caretakers/staff. Each city has to pay raising permit fees and deal with most all of the same types of problems as any other small city’s.
Ranger 33 ANTARES
While visiting Whites Landing this year I asked the caretaker Mike Lonfield if anyone has ever called him god before because this has to be heaven? He replied “ No Len, no one has ever said that before” followed by his calming chuckle. As I sit in my favorite red chair, at the entrance of the city, looking across the cove from Whites towards Moonstone my eye is always looking at all the different boats. Last weekend there was the Ranger 33 ANTARES with cockpit cover out and flopper stopper deployed. There was a rather large south swell running this weekend and the beach landings where being scored like an Olympic diving competition. The ladies off of ANTARES received perfect scores for not tipping over in the large swell and accomplishing this by rowing in rather than coming in with speed with an outboard.
TollyCraft 57 "SONRISA
Most every summer weekend, anchored in the south east corner of White Landing is the Tollycraft 57 “ SONRISA” and “TONINA” a DeFever design built by Lindwall Boat works out of Santa Barbara. These two family’s know how to have fun in Catalina with each of them having pristine Bertram 20’s as runabouts. When I have a client that wants to do Catalina the right way and not make mistakes with anchoring, and gear placement? I tell them to look over at these two boats and copy their routine. Both of these owners are very approachable and happy to answer your boating questions.
San Juan 48 "SALUTE"
Another boat I first noticed this year, when she was about 3 miles out, was the dark blue San Juan 48 “SALUTE”. What a good looking boat, kind of like seeing a supermodel walking through the grocery store and you tell yourself you have to get one of those someday.
Another boat you can’t help but notice most every weekend is the Costa Mesa built Ditmar Donaldson “LAURA”. She anchors most weekends between the two coves and appears to be a perfect platform for the island.
52 DeFever "GALATEA"
Over in front of Moonstone I can find most of Newport’s most interesting boats with last years # 2 power boat GALATEA which is another 52’ DeFever design built by Lindwall resting peacefully at anchorage.
1924 Edson B. Schock design “COLNETT”
A little east from her, just sitting there shining in the mourning sun, was Ray Hunts 52’ design “FOLLOWING SEA”, surrounded by the 1924 Edson B. Schock design “COLNETT” and the 77’ tug the “WILLIAM B”. Anchored furthest out was the 72’ “JUNO” with the whole family enjoying breakfast together in the cockpit as the sun began to warm up the cove. As I looked back towards Moonstone I could not help but notice two of my favorite newport boats. Almost side by side was the 73’ “WINDWARD PASSAGE” with its skipper shamming the morning due off her and the 78’ “SHANAKEE” standing tall with the owners grandkids aggressively fishing around the side decks of the boat. As the day warmed up and most everyone was swimming in the 72 degree water I noticed another boat that was truly enjoying themselves. It was the Santa Cruz 50’ “ROCKET” and I could hear the laughter coming from the boat a whole city away.
It was another perfect summer weekend in our sister City's of Whites Landing and Moonstone. In fact it was so perfect that I am going back this weekend for BYC/NHYC Long Point Race Week which will lead me to next weeks story. Go to my blog site at lenboseyachts.blogspot.com for photos of all boats I talked about.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Gray clouds and rain over Newport Harbor. (Len Bose)
By Len Bose:
Winter time in Newport Harbor, frost on the shingles of the homes and a crisp breeze in your face in the morning. I have picked up a couple of shifts as dock master in a new marina in town, and I normally start my day by walking the docks and looking out over the harbor.
From this part of the harbor, I can see who is going to the shipyards for their annual maintenance, the fishing fleet heading out to sea with the lone deck hand just starting to warm up by getting to task and removing the chill from his bones. I am also surprised to see about 10 people shuttling to and from the public docks to their moored boats. These early-morning harbor commuters always seem to have wool beanies on their heads, with their knees tucked into their chests. To me, it appears these boaters, especially the people rowing, can never make the crossing fast enough to escape the morning cold.
This time of year does feel good, but I am ready for spring and the start of sailboat racing season. With the sun turned down this time of year, we only have one or two races a month and everyone seems to make it out to the race course. Last week at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club Winter Series, we had 34 boats on the water sailing our Harbor 20s, and the wind was light to nada.
This year's leaders in the NHYC Winter Series, sailing in A fleet, are Bob Yates and Patrick Kincaid sailing Jubilee, followed by Anne and Kurt Wiese aboard Ping and Mark Conzelman and Phil Thompson sailing Shana's Secret. In B fleet, we have a close series between the Geissmans, Whitneys and Corketts, all within six points of each other. I am sure all three of these teams will be wondering if Porter and Chris Killian will show up the last day of the series in February. In C fleet, team Haynes, sailing Spirit with Debra at the tiller, is holding a commanding lead over Emile Pikafidis aboard Party Globe and Katy and Patrick Scruggs sailing Summerwind. No pressure on Debra Haynes; I just noticed Spirit headed up the street for a new paint job this week.
Over at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, we have had the Hot Rum Series going on this winter with 19 PHRF big boats in attendance. It appears that Russel Grant, aboard his new boat Wild Thing, a Farr 40, is outpacing the rest of the fleet. Bob Wine, aboard his Harbor 25, Carioca, is in second, followed by the old harbormaster himself, John Szalay and his Peterson 34, Pussycat.
Speaking of BCYC, they have a couple of sailing events coming up soon that I highly recommend for your consideration. On Jan. 28, Fleet Captain Paul Decapua will be holding an "Introduction to Sailboat Racing" seminar. This seminar is perfect for the boat owner who is looking for new crew this season and for the novice looking for a chance to get on the water.
On Feb. 27, BCYC will also host a "Coastal Safety at Sea" seminar. These seminars are always good to attend, and each time I complete one of these safety programs, I bring something new back to the boat. It also leads to more conversation with your boating friends on how to better prepare for your day on the water.
So what's new around the harbor this week? I leaned that there is a public work dock for morning permit holders at the Basin Marine on C dock. You will need to call ahead to Basin Marine and ask for some dock space. You can stay for two hours, and the space can hold anything up to 40 feet.
There will be a new public dock coming this year at the end of Central Avenue, located next to the Elks Lounge and the 55 bridge. The use for this pier will be for 30-foot-and-under boats, dinghies, and the ability to tie up for three hours and head over to any of the shops in Lido Village or West Marine.
Harbor Resources has a new product to sell for people who have a slip and have been waiting for the RGP 54 and the Newport Beach Eelgrass Mitigation Plan. Please keep in mind that the Harbor Resources department has moved its office to City Hall; the phone number is still the same, (949) 644-3034.
Remember, this coming week, there is a King Tide; that means there is a lot of water coming in and out of the harbor. Also, if you and any of your friends need a slip in town for a month or less, this will be perfect for the people coming in for the Ensenada Race. Please keep me in mind at email@example.com.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.
Saturday, January 02, 2016
|The old and new channel markers|
It's a little cold on the harbor this time of year and it seems to take me a little more effort to get down to the water before 7 a.m. in order feel the sunrise and watch our harbor wake up.
I have described the waking of the harbor before with the chatter of the sea birds breaking the silence of the new day and the lonely sea lion showing its head from below the water's surface while looking for its morning meal. Taking all this in on this crisp morning makes me ponder what's to come in 2016.
My sea birds have told me that the Army Corps of Engineers has signed off on our regional general permit 54 and the Newport Beach Eelgrass Mitigation Plan. We now have all the permits needed to implement our plan concerning dredging and eelgrass issues. The time has come to raise a glass of your favorite beverage and say "yeeeeaaahhhh" in your deepest voice.
What this means is that we can dredge our slips and commercial marinas more effectively and efficiently for a lot less money.
This has been in the works for so long I am having a difficult time recalling when this project started. I am laughing to myself thinking it came into concept about the same time Marina Park did. At this point I am still unclear what the next step is to activate the RGP 54 and the Newport Beach Eelgrass Mitigation Plan.
The birds around the harbor tell me we will be ready to go by April. Every harbor user should go up to Harbor Commissioner Doug West and Harbor Resource Manager Chris Miller and give them a "well done" for their efforts to get this moving.
Let's head back out to mooring fields and talk about where we left off with our mooring permits. In June, the Newport Beach City Council unanimously voted to change the city code to again allow the transfer of mooring permits and adjust the cost of the annual permits to $35 a foot.
At the same time, a letter was received by the California Lands Commission requesting that the group review these changes with the city and to date nothing has been done. My sources tell me that the City Council understands the sensitivity around this issue and plan on reviewing it in the first part of the new year before billing goes out for 2016.
My gut tells me we will need to keep our eyes on this and hope for the best.
While we are in the mooring fields we should take notice that on the upper end of J field there has been a sunken dredging scow in the harbor for close to two years. The company responsible for the scow is one of the most beloved marine business in our harbor and the powers to be have been very sympathetic and understanding about why the scow sunk and the cost involved in removing it.
But two years is a long time and something needs to be done this year to remove it from our harbor. How and when has been the most recent topic, let's hope this gets resolved with the least amount of pain for all of us in 2016.
Speaking of pain, I noticed in the first part of December that channel marker No. 11, next to Bay Island, got in the way of one of our harbor's larger charter boats and was broken in half with the green light on top of it now flashing under water. Why the Coast Guard still has these horrible channel markers in our harbor is a topic for further discussion in 2016.
A lot of you might recall all the hard work Newport Beach resident Carter Ford did about three to four years ago to change the fixed pole channel marker No. 8 to a floating buoy marker after another vessel ran into it. Obviously it takes a lot of displacement to damage these markers, what we don't always recognize is how often smaller vessels run into them.
You can tell how often vessels run into them just by taking a look. Some are bent over and leaning to one side while others have protective cages around the light beacons. I cannot even begin to estimate the cost of the damage to vessels over the years.
Because of all the different government agencies involved in replacing the markers the process is tedious. Thank goodness Ford is back on the job. Ford is again pointing out how and why floating channel markers work better in our harbor. The floating markers cost $5,000 to replace while the old fixed markers are estimated at $50,000 to replace.
The floating markers are easier to find at night because they float at sea level and don't get lost in the background lights as easily. If you mistakenly bump into one you will only need a little bit of acetone to wipe off the mark on the side of your boat.
I am hoping that changing the fixed markers to floating markers will be a no-brainer for the different agencies and that the City Council will try to be proactive in replacing them rather than waiting for the next one be taken down by some unfortunate mariner.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.