Friday, December 21, 2018

On the Harbor: King tides and my favorite columns this year

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” so let’s kick off our sandals, put some socks on and wrap up the year on the harbor. Although, you might want to find your sea boots before you sit down in your favorite chair with your beverage of choice.
Starting on December 20 through the 25th, king tides will be pushing a lot of water through the harbor. Our highest tide will be on Sunday, Dec. 23 at 8:38 a.m. at 6.7 feet to a low tide of -1.4 at 6:02 p.m. According to my simple math, that’s more than eight feet for water rushing in an out of the harbor in about eight and a half hours. The good news is that the boat parade will not be affected all that much. If you do launch a boat for the parade, you’ll need to pay close attention to the tides, because the water will not cover the launch ramp in the Dunes at the peak low tides. With the high surf advisory for the weekend, Public Works might have to be on their toes this weekend.
The king tides will be returning on January 20 and 21. Just wondering, do any of you feel the harbor should have its own sea level indicator? Last time I asked, the city knew of one in L.A. Harbor. I’m not looking for anything fancy – maybe a stick with some notches in it from Home Depot. One last item: If any of the City Council or Harbor Commissioners are wondering what I want for Christmas while at Home Depot, will you pick up a few solar red and green lights for the channel markers in the Upper Bay? I still call it the Back Bay and have a hard time picking up those channel markers on dark nights.

Back to wrapping up the year. Thought I would refer back to my favorite stories this year, just in case you felt the year passed by too fast or you missed one of my columns. Click on the link to find the full story.

“Sailing down the coast during the Baja Ha Ha rally...magical”
My favorite story of the year...cruising down Baja. Spindler sells boating better than anyone I have ever met, and if you’ve never cruised Mexico, sign up for the Baja Ha Ha next year. Power and sailboats are welcome, and then you can say you did it. It’s a memory you will keep for as long as you live. Have fun, enjoy your boat and check out of the rat race. I strongly recommend it! Also, should this story make it to someone from the National Sailing Hall of Fame, I nominate Richard Spindler for the class of 2019. In my opinion, he has earned the recognition.

“We need more sailors like Emily Wolken”
This is one of my favorite stories from this year that still brings a smile to my face. By the third mark in the race, Wolken had worked her way back up to second place when she was side by side with the first place boat, when he tacked away and started sailing to the wrong mark. She kindly informed her competitor that he was sailing to the wrong mark, where he changed his course and stayed in first place to win the race. Wolken held on to her second position which was her best finish of the series. She finished 12th out of a fleet of 27 in the series. After hearing about this story, I called Wolken’s stepmom, Amy, the day after the championships and asked if it was okay to interview Emily. Emily is 10 years old and sails a Phoenix sabot; she explained the story and I should have asked why she just did not let her competitor sail in the wrong direction. After hearing the innocence in her voice, my gut tells me she would have answered: “Because it was the right thing to do

“Catching up with sailor Tom Corkett aka TC”
TC is the man, my mentor. Over the years, TC has taken home some of the most prestigious awards that can be given out on our harbor by winning the Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Burgee of Merit and the Don Vaughn Memorial Trophy. However, my favorite and maybe even TC’s, is the War Canoe he won for winning the Transpac overall in 1963. Today, you can find TC at the start of this year’s Pacific Cup aboard Runaway or racing a Harbor 20 with one of his 10 grandchildren. When I ended my interview, I thanked TC and he said, “I’ll sea ya on the water.

“Catching up with my good friend Mark Gaudio” 
Gaudio is a good friend and spends a lot of time giving back to the sport of sailing. My favorite quote from this story was when Gaudio recalled fond memories on the harbor now lost in time. “We used to sail our boat over to Shark Island, now Linda Isle, and play Army. From there we would walk over the Pacific Coast Highway bridge to Will Wright’s for ice cream. Summer days seemed to have the wind blowing 10 knots out of the west. We could pull our boats up onto a beach at the Fun Zone and goof around there, or we would sail up to the 19th Street beach and go to Tasty Freeze. Sometimes Phil Ramming and I would just fill our boats with water balloons and throw them at people on Balboa Island. You cannot do that now, but it sure was a lot of fun then.”

That’s a wrap!
Sea ya next year.
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

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