Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Flashback: The Harbor Report: Looking back at the top fleets FLASH BACK from 2016

This week I thought it would be interesting to go back some 50 years and recall who brought home the pickle dishes back in the 1940-1960’s. I placed a phone call to Seymour Beek and Dave Ullman and asked them what where the most active fleets, names to look for and where to look.  I then headed over to The Newport Harbor Yacht Club and The Balboa Yacht Clubs 
library’s and started my research. I focused in on what I thought was the most active fleets from that time frame and came up with Snowbird, Rhodes 33, Star and Snipe fleets to report on.

The Snowbird was best known for “The Flight of the Snowbirds” now known as the “Flight of The Lasers”. The first year of the race was in 1936 with 32 entries and Dick McKibben was the winner. By the time the 50’s rocked in the entries had grown to 163 boats on the starting line. Names to look for where Ronnie Miracle, Steve Titus, Barton Beek, Janet Power, Tom Frost, Dan Thompson, Jeff Allen, Dick Deaver and Henry Sprague III. The list did not stop there with people who won the right to fly the Gold S on their sail. Joe Beek donated the  Perpetual Trophy known as the “Gold S” and first awarded in 1949. I looked for the trophy at the NHYC and did not find it, but I understand the other names you would find on it would be Clark King, Bob White, Bill Lawharon, Fred Schenck. The boat was used in the 1932 Olympics and then became a popular for junior sailors in our harbor. She was about 12 feet long with five feet of beam. She weighed in at 275 pounds

The Rhodes 33 was built with the intention of sailing in and around Newport Harbor. They are 33’ long, 6.8 at the beam and weigh in at 5,800 pounds. The CR on the sail dates back to their original name the Coast Rhodes. The big pickle dish is named the Lester C and the fleet competed for the Lowe and Mark Healy Perpetuals High point series. Past Champions of the fleet where Connie Wurdemann aboard “Midship”, Hook Beardslee’s sailed “Seebee”, Bill Joyce’s “Crispin II”, Tommy Thomas with “Nimbus”, Bob Collins with his boat “Josephine VI”, Strat Enright in “Witch”, Marianne and John Pearcy with “Whim”, Hallett Throne in “Manana”, Phelps Merickel in “Marlan, Bill Taylor sailed “Mistress” and Bud Edgar with “Madness”. As I researched the fleet one name always came to the top of the list Harlan (Hook) Beardslee sailing the #8 boat “Seebee” . I found this quote in the NHYC History book “ The Rhodes class always showed up with a sizable fleet, but the race was usually for second when Hook was sailing”. Other names I found in past results where Jack Hillman, George Fleitz, W.G. Durant and Tom Myers.

It seemed that after you grew out of the Snowbird you then sailed a Snipe. The Snipe is 15.5 Feet, 5’ beam and the hull weighs 381 pounds. The class goes back to the early 40’s in Newport Harbor. In 1946 Bob White and his twin sister Betty ( now Mrs Alan Andrews, the same person I comment on sailing her Ranger 33 “Antares” to Catalina most weekends.) won the Snipe World Championships that year in Chicago and got 2nd in junior championships. That same year Ken & Bob Davis won the Snipe Internationals. In 1953 & 1954 Tom Frost and Fred Schenck won the Snipe Class National Championships. In 1950 & 1956 Clark King won the Championships, blend this all together, can you imagine how strong the Balboa Snipe fleet was at that time. Look over our harbors top sailors and its like reading a who’s who in sailing. Other top Snipe sailors from this time frame where Dan Elliott, Don Ayres, Max King, Jim Lewis, Dick Deaver, Ted Wells, Smyth and Greene. Can you imagine sailing Snipes in our Harbor back then in our summers series and on the starting line you have all those national champions?

The Star boats came to Newport Harbor when Bill Ficker and Mark Yorston won the World Championships in 1958. The Star boat is 22.7 feet long with a beam of 5.8, she weighs 1,480 pounds. The fleet was most active between 1958 through 1968 with other big names from our harbor winning the world championships. In 1964 Don & Kent Elder won the worlds and brought the race back to NHYC in 1965. The Newport Fleet was one of the most competitive fleets in the world with such names as Rollins, Saint Cecero, Metcalf, Sandy McKay, Bill Boland, Dick Hahn and Erwin deMocskonyi.

There is so much sailing history in our harbor it just makes me want to try that much harder.  

Man I love this place.


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

Friday, October 25, 2019

On the Harbor: Getting to know OC Sheriff’s Harbormaster Lt. Chris Corn

OC Sheriff’s Department Harbormaster Lt. Chris Corn and his wife, Donna
It always makes you feel kind of good inside when you notice a local kid “doing good,” and that is exactly how I felt after interviewing Lt. Chris Corn from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Corn is tasked with the county’s Harbormaster role in Dana Point, Huntington Harbour and Newport Beach.
Corn was born in Santa Maria and moved to Huntington Harbour at a young age where he grew up exploring the Harbour. After graduating from Marina High School, he joined the Navy and served in Desert Storm. He became an electronics technician stationed at Miramar and Long Beach, then after seven years in the service, he joined the Sheriff’s Academy. One of his many different assignments was as a deputy patrolman on Newport Harbor for eight and a half years. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Donna, for 31 years and lives in Costa Mesa. Many of you might recognize Donna, who had worked at West Marine for several years, and can actually answer your boating questions.
One of my first questions to Corn was how the role of the Sheriff’s Department has changed since the city has taken over the management of the moorings and when the should public call the Harbor Department with their concerns or complaints. “Our roll has not changed that much. We don’t manage the moorings any longer, however, we still enforce all the same laws and all the same municipal codes throughout the harbor. We are still enforcing laws and saving lives, fighting fires...that’s all the same. If a citizen has a complaint, by all means, please give us a call,” Corn shared.
When asked about the different training the harbor deputies take part in, Corn replied: “Everyday our guys are training, from boat handling, boat fires, towing, homeland security, the list is quite extensive. We tow anything from small boats to helping the Catalina Flyer get back into their slip. We routinely do large mock emergency drills with the city’s fire department.” I was also glad to hear the Sheriff’s Department also received a California State grant and received two spill trailers with one being stationed in Newport Beach and the other in Huntington Harbour.
Lt Corn recognizing Deputy Terry Smith 52 years of service

The Sheriff’s Harbor Department is also responsible for managing the moorings in front of Bay Shores, 23 navigational buoys and most of the Back Bay. When asked which emergencies keep you up at night Corn quickly replied, “Boat fires are my biggest concern. It’s dangerous for the boater and our personnel. It’s a fine line between putting out the fire and not sinking the boat.”
Then I inquired as to what boaters should keep in mind, now that we are approaching the winter season. “Remember your boat maintenance and safety equipment schedule. We get a lot of calls in the springtime when boaters return to their boats when fuel filters get plugged and wire connections have gone bad to lights and pumps. It’s also a good time to check your mooring and dock lines. The Santa Ana winds are always due to blow through this time of year and we can get those monster clearing westerlies after a winter’s storm has passed over us in December, January and February.”
So what is Corn concerned about with the harbor over the next 10 years? “The harbor is not getting any larger, yet it seems we are adding more and more vessels each year. Vessel traffic and boater safety are my concerns for the future,” he said. We went on to talk about how many more marina operators are updating their marinas with larger slips which we both felt impact harbor traffic.
What about upcoming public outreach programs scheduled for next year? “We plan on doing something similar to ‘Coffee with a Cop’ and we plan on calling it ‘Day on the Dock,’ where the public will be invited to the Sheriff’s Harbor Department for a tour of the facility and meet the different staff members to get a better idea of our tasks and challenges for the upcoming year,” he said.
Corn has been on the job as the OC Harbormaster for two years and if I was to guess, the Sheriff will be promoting him up the ladder soon.
“This has been my dream job since I was hired on some 25 years ago, hoping to spend at least two more years here. It’s always at the will of the Sheriff,” Corn said.
Over my 12 years as a harbor reporter, I have interviewed six Harbormasters, and Corn is becoming one of the best among them, along with the same ranks as Long and Alsobrook. Corn is approachable, and he attends most harbor meetings from Huntington to Dana Point. I tease him about the nine different yacht club opening days he attends in the hot sun and in full dress uniform each year. He’s a good one, and if we are lucky enough to keep him for the next two years, our harbors will most certainly benefit.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Harbor Report: New harbormaster has plenty on his plate. Flashback

Middle of the dock in Green is our new Harbormaster Lt Mark Alsobrook, surrounded by his team of deputies and professional staff.
 By Len Bose
September 26, 2015

I left off on my last column with informing everyone that we have a new Harbormaster Lt. Mark Alsobrook and I liked what I saw. This week I was able to interview Alsobrook over the phone.

The new harbormaster grew up in the Bay Area and obtained most of his boating experience on his family's boat fishing in Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. He has been a resident of Orange County for the last 20 years and before the family came along he had his own 30-foot sport fisher.

While attending Cal State Fresno he took criminology courses and in 1997 began serving in the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Like all deputy sheriff's he started working in the jails and worked his way to a watch commander position at the Intake Release Center in Santa Ana. In 2011 he made sergeant and worked at community programs and services where he oversaw county-wide drug education efforts.

In 2013 Alsobrook was promoted to lieutenant and has been our new harbormaster for the last three months.

Since we recently had a tsunami advisory I thought I would start there and ask what he had learned.
Lt. Mark Alsobrook
"We have a very detailed tsunami response plan," he said. "Any time we can put a plan in action gives us an opportunity to improve.
"Our action plan was implemented in all three harbors, Newport Beach, Dana Point and Huntington Harbor, and everything went smoothly. We have done a self evaluation along with sending the details to the county."

I first noticed Alsobrook at last months Harbor Commission meeting when he commented to the group that he would like to report back next month on Harbor Patrol activity, so I asked what type of topics will he be covering.
"We should be working hand in hand with the Harbor Commission," he said. "We both have the same overriding goals to create and environment so the harbor can be enjoyed by as many people as possible in a safe manner that is ecologically responsible."
I took the opportunity to request more information on noise complaints and code enforcement response.
"The best changes and ideas will be coming from the operators, users, residents and businesses. They have to be heard," he said. "There has to be open communication, sometimes the better ideas come are the grassroots ideas that develop from the community."

I asked what the responsibilities of The Orange County Harbormaster are and what might be his biggest task for the rest of 2015 and 2016. Alsobrook took a rather deep sigh, not sure where to start.
"The short answer is my primary task is to make sure that the deputies and professional staff have the training and equipment they need to do their jobs safely and effectively," he said.
As for his biggest task in 2015-16, he brought up El Niño and the effects of the expected downpour.
"Boaters should check on their bilge pumps, mooring lines and dock lines," he said. "We all understand that the amount of debris has been building up inland and when the rains hit we are sure to get the big flush. This is going to be a rodeo."

My next question was how can boaters help the harbor department.
"With amount of traffic, boaters need to understand their own capabilities. Not everyone knows the rules of the road — boaters should consider being defensive drivers. Also, personal responsibilities should be kept in mind, for example: personal flotation devices; drinking water; communications; being prepared for breakdowns. These things should be thought of before shoving off," said Alsobrook said.

Our last few harbormasters have been very good, unfortunately three out of four of them retired and one was promoted after only two years into the job. I asked Alsobrook, how long he was planning to stay around?
"I plan on staying as long as they let me stay — I am 10 years from retirement. The harbor has always been a goal of mine. I am just grateful that I can fulfill my dream of working in the harbor department," he said.
Photo taken from "The Log"

I joked with him for a little bit suggesting he will be promoted within the next two years. I asked my contacts around town, how they felt about our new harbormaster, they all said he is a good one.
When I said, "Hello, this is Len Bose," to start our interview, he said, "Hello, Len," with such a positive voice inflection that I felt like I was talking with one of my best friends. Make sure you say hello to our new Harbormaster Lt. Mark Alsobrook before he is promoted.
Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

The Harbor Report: Checking in with a harbor checker. Flashback

Deputy Sean Scoles from Newport Beach Harbor Patrol. (Len Bose / January 24, 2014)

By Len Bose
January 24, 2014 | 4:48 p.m.

It's been close to a year since I last checked in with Deputy Sean Scoles of the Newport Beach division of the Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol.
For those of you who have forgotten Scoles' duties, they include monitoring the mooring fields, keeping the moorings' maintenance schedule and waiting list, contacting derelict boat owners, and handling anything else mooring-related.
My first question was, "What's new in the mooring fields this season?" Scoles talked about the realignment of mooring fields D, C and A, which is almost complete. He explained that the fields have become more user-friendly because of their realignment — it's much easier to notice the cut-through lanes and maneuver around the moorings.
We discussed mooring maintenance topics, such as making annual checks to your mooring lines and ensuring that the sun, salt and chafe have not rotted them, as well as the importance of bird and sea lion repellent.
"Once the sea lions have marked your boat, they will keep coming back," Scoles said.
He explained the importance of checking your boat once in a while to make sure it's clean and that the batteries can operate the boat's bilge pumps. It's important to note that mooring permit holders do not have to keep a boat on its moorings.
One of Scoles' duties is to keep an eye open for derelict boats, whether on an offshore or a shore mooring. Recently, he and harbor resources supervisor Shannon Levin inspected the offshore moorings and plan to review the shore moorings the first part of February.
I didn't hear it in Scoles' voice, but he must be frustrated considering how long it takes government agencies to go from point A to B. Don't take me wrong. When discussing the state's Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP), Scoles' voice inflects nothing other than progress.
Just to review the timeline, the state awarded a $5,000 grant last July in the form of the VTIP program to Orange County.
The county received the funds this month, and now they must be allocated by the Orange County Board of Supervisors at its end-of-February meeting. No telling how long before $5,000 gets split among three harbors. Scoles said this is the first time the county Harbor Patrol has applied for and received this type of grant, and he remains positive that the process has started.
I then asked about the most common accidents on the harbor. Scoles explained that most are caused by skippers not paying attention.
"Issen glass, boats' plastic windows, can steam up, or your interior lights will produce a type of glare that reduces visibility," he said.
Should you get in an accident as a skipper, you should provide assistance, exchange information and, if you need a report, contact the Sheriff's Department. If you run over a mooring line or into a boat or dock, you need to take responsibility and contact the Sheriff's Department.
Scoles is on the water every day, and I wanted his take on the harbor after last year's dredging.
"The harbor has a much nicer flow of water," he said. "Everything seems so crystal clear lately. I have been down here for a while, and this is the longest the water has stayed so clear. Then again, we have not had any storms or runoff yet."
Scoles is a very easy person to approach and, in my opinion, the go-to guy in the Sheriff's Department. I have observed him to be a very good listener who presents himself as a friend of the harbor.
Saturday, I will be attending my good friend Peter Haynes' boat handling and sail trim seminar at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's open to anyone who wants to learn more about how a sailboat works.
Personally, I enjoy attending this seminar because it reminds me when to shift gears, no matter what boat I am sailing. Registration is $85 and includes lunch and an increase in your boat speed.
Sea ya.

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

The Harbor Report: Plenty to do in El Niño prep. Flashback

By Len Bose

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by our Harbormaster Lt. Mark Alsobrook and Harbor Resources Supervisor Shannon Levin to come up with a story to best prepare our harbor users for the upcoming El Niño.

Deputy Jason Middlekauff
We scheduled a meeting at the harbor department and I called some of the people from around town that could best inform me on this year's "mother of all El Niños" that is about to descend upon us. I talked to several people to gather the best tips, including dock masters, shipyard owners, insurance agents, a dock and pier builder, a mooring company, harbor commissioners and City Council members.

A meeting to discuss our concerns was attended by Alsobrook and Levin along with Sheriff's Deputy Jason Middlekauff, who has been working our harbor over the last 14 years, Newport Harbor Yacht Club Dock Master Anthony Palacios and Balboa Bay Club Dock Master Troy Heinemann.

The latest forecasts are calling for well above average precipitation throughout California in January through March, and the recent forecasts have shifted toward a wet December as well.

Notice mooring ball, thimble, swivel and wire seized shackle
As a group we came up with the following consensus of recommendations that we felt were important for the harbor user.

1. Make sure your dock and mooring lines are all in good shape. We recommend you purchase your line from New England Ropes rather than off the shelf. Three-strand nylon line works best, I like the black because it stays cleaner than the white line. This line is made for this purpose and will outlast a bargain brand line. On your mooring its best to splice in a thimble at the end of your line that attaches to the shackle and swivel, then onto the mooring ball. Make sure you place seizing wire through the end of the pin on the shackle. The recommended chafing gear for your lines is old fire hose. This works better than leather or nearly anything else you can come up with.
This is bad, notice the old ring, this line will break in the first blow

2. Make sure your bilge pumps work and that the float switches will not get stuck in the up position. Clean your bilge, fiberglass, absorbent pads, oil, engine coolant, old wires and nuts and bolts. If not cared for, these things can give you a headache when your bilge pump cycles on.

3. If you have not replaced your mooring ball to the ball buoy then it's time to do so. Chuck South, from South Mooring Company, told me that a new ball buoy will cost you $300 installed. The old ring buoys are over 20 years old and there is no way to inspect the rod that runs through them. The ball buoy's chain that runs from the ground gear and can be inspected. Ball buoys should be replaced every 10 years. Also, keep in mind if you recently purchased a mooring permit you should not assume that the mooring tackle is strong enough for your boat.

4. Do your due diligence this year and take that Genoa and main sails down and fold them, then place them in their bags below decks. Take the flybridge canvas down for three months. Loose canvas and sails will do more damage than you possibly can imagine.

5. Sea lion and bird deterrence will need to be secured to the boat with extra care.

6. Your boat's insurance policy should be up to date. The city plans on following up to make sure all mooring permit holders have insurance.

7. Inspect the cleats on your boats. Not all boat manufacturers place backing plates under the primary mooring cleats. These cleats can get worn down over time. A good friend of mine's boat broke free during a storm when the primary mooring cleats bent.
West Newport piling issue, the dock got stuck
 on a low piling at high tide. 

We also focused our attention on private, marina dock and pier permit holders.

1. Check your dock cleats by hitting them with a hammer and making sure the bolts and backing plates are in good condition.

2. Check the condition of your dock. You might not even have a boat on your dock but you should still check your pilings, gangways rollers and pins. One idea would be to give Swift Slips a call and pay them to inspect your dock. Pete Swift recommend people check the pile connection and overgrowth of mussels on pilings. Check on flotation — if the dock is low in the water now, it will get even worse with the additional weight of wet framing. It will also tend to collect debris like branches and trash and put more of a strain on the pilings. This is especially true in the back bay areas where in the past docks have been torn out and swept into the turning basin off Lido Island.

3. During king tides, be careful not to tie your boat to the dock too tight. When low tide arrives the dock lines might hold up the floating piers. "This past week we had a king tide which brought on many high tide issues, pilings being too short and gangway wheels being lifted into the air and electrical getting wet and shorting out," Swift said.

4. If it appears we have a large storm approaching you should consider disconnecting your shore power cord.

Bonus tips
1. Never stay on board during a storm.
2. It is a good idea to store your dingy on land this winter.
3. If you are in doubt, don't go out. You have to boat within your skill set.
4. Frequently visit your boat and inspect your dock.
5. Keep a heads-up for flotsam when boating both outside and inside the harbor after a storm.
6. Check out the city of Newport Beach's "El Niño" preparations at
You can check out my blog site at for photos of above recommendations.

Sea ya

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Friday, October 18, 2019

"My gut tells me he will move up the department ranks rather quickly." Flash Back

Deputy Kevin Webster
Last July I wrote a story about our new mooring administrator Deputy Kevin Webster and my last sentence was "My gut tells me he will move up the department ranks rather quickly. We are fortunate to have him on our team."

The good news for Deputy Webster is that he has been promoted to Sergeant, the bad news is he will be leaving the harbor department. Odds are pretty good we might see him back again as a the Lieutenant sometime in the near future.

So now my mind wonders, is it time to consider and discuss further the concept of outsourcing the mooring management to the public? One of my good friends tells me thats horrible idea, more and more of my harbor birds tell me it is time.

More news from around the harbor in my column this week.

Sea ya.

On the Harbor: Meet Lt. Chris Corn, OC Sheriff’s Harbormaster FLASH BACK 4-2018

Dana Point Recycling Center
I counted how long I have been writing my Harbor Column – 13 years – and I had to use three hands to count which gets much more confusing to me. I started counting the years because I was looking back on how many times I have written: “There is a new sheriff in town.”
While attending this month’s Harbor Commission meeting and reviewing the previous month’s minutes, I noticed that Lt. Mark Alsobrook had informed the commission that he was being replaced by Lt. Chris Corn. I was kind of bummed because Alsobrook left without even saying goodbye. I reached out by email to Alsobrook thanking him for his two and a half years of service to the harbor, and unfortunately never heard back from him. Over the last eight years, the harbor has been extremely fortunate to have had five harbormasters that have been very approachable and easy to talk to. Of the five, Alsobrook went the extra mile and attended most of the Harbor Commission meetings himself.
Lt. Corn

I will be reaching out to our new harbormaster Lt. Chris Corn over the next week for an interview. On my first attempt to contact Lt. Corn, I was placed on internal hold and never followed back up. My gut tells me it’s not going to be as easy for Corn with the change of mooring management and harbor services being transferred to the city. For example, is there one of two Harbormasters that we have now? The county’s website has him listed as the harbormaster, and as we approach the first anniversary of Harbor Services, the newlyweds are still unclear on who is tasked with what within our harbor.
That statement is a bit of an exaggeration although from my observations there are a few things that still need to be ironed out. For example, at the last Harbor Commission meeting, there was a resident complaining about the noise level at night. Seems that this resident has been kept up at night with people partying out on their boats located on moorings in front of their house. The resident has called Harbor Services but they close down at 17:00; the resident then calls the Sheriff’s Harbor Department that informs them they are no longer tasked with managing the moorings. At this point, my mind flashes back to the old TV show the “Newlywed Game" and I snicker at the thought of having the two harbormasters on a panel and asking them questions to write down answers on the back of a card. Anyway, back to the noise question and how to resolve it when you have some people parting too loud on the harbor in the early hours of the morning. I’m not sure if this is in effect yet, but city staff is looking into the idea of using the city lifeguards to respond to late night complaints. With the lifeguards on call 24/7 with access to boats and the ability to ticket, this was the simple answer. Have to wonder about the response time for the lifeguards, but steps, right?
Speaking of baby steps, it was 2008 when then Sheriff’s Harbormaster Deana Bergquist felt the need to strictly enforce the harbor speed limit of 5 knots. As you might recall, there was a bit of a community uproar, and policy on the harbor was quickly changed back to allow certain harbor users to exceed the speed limit. Now, because of the hard work of harbor commissioners Blank and Drayton, the concept of a permitting process for the harbor users to formalize the speed limit exception will now go before city council...and with its forwarded to the Department of Boating and Waterways. Confidence is high that this process will be accepted by the two agencies.
More good news was discovered at the Harbor Commission meeting when John Kappeler, a city senior engineer tasked with harbor water quality, grabbed my attention when he started talking about Marine Recycling Centers being placed around the harbor. I first noticed Marine Recycling Centers in Dana Point and Cabrillo Beach in 2011 and threw out the idea then of having them here in Newport Beach. The city came close one other time to having these centers but was stalled by the different agencies involved. It looks really positive at this time, that these centers will be open very soon.
I thought I’d give you all a little heads up – seems like the sea lions are returning, as I heard the loud barking from a couple of boats and docks this week. For all of you waterfront homeowners and boat owners – check on your sea lion deterrence. Have to wonder if the lifeguards will respond to sea lions barking in the middle of the night...
Sea ya

Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

"No two calls are alike" Blast from the Past 2-13- 2017

Harbor Departments Deputy Terry Smith
The storm that rolled through our harbor, the end of January 20,21 & 22nd, for three days did not break the record books for the most wind or damage but it did shake things up a bit.

In the past people have judged a storm strength by the amount of oranges that are floating out the harbor after a storm, today it is tennis balls and palm trees. This week I thought I would go a little deeper with you on the goings on around the harbor while the storm was passing overhead a couple of weekends ago.

My first call was into Deputy Terry Smith, of the Harbor Department, who was out on the harbor both Sunday and Monday of the three day storm. Out of a scale of 1-10, ten being the strongest, Deputy Smith felt this one was at a 6 or 7. Out of all the people that I have ever talked to about the harbor, Smith has been around longer than most. He has been working the harbor for 50 years now and was on duty in 1983 during the big one when it blew over 90 knots. “ I have seen docks floating down the harbor with boats still attached to them.” Smith said. Friday saw the wind reach 50 + knots while it rained the hardest on Sunday.

While pumping out boats that were filled with water and reattaching vessels that had broken free of their moorings the harbor patrol had their hands full this weekend. With their spare time they dragged large pieces of flotsam, large logs and tree stumps, back to their docks. Most of the flotsam is found just next to the ferry crossing and anywhere in the five point area.

As a racing sailor I wondered who does what on the sheriffs boat during extreme weather conditions, what type of gear do the deputy’s wear in storm conditions? I asked Deputy Smith, like on a race boat, do you send the kids up to the bow when the defecation hits the rotary oscillator? Does one crew member stay on the helm, how big is your crew, who does what?

Smith kind of chuckled “ No two calls are alike and we are all crossed trained todo any job. Our crew works well with three people aboard one of the fireboats. One person stays on the helm at all times while the other two crew secure the lines and make sure the props stay clear of lines.” Smith said. I laughed, while thinking to myself, knowing that I am one of the first to take the helm and ask the youth to go forward.

It was interesting to learn that 9 times out of 10 mooring lines break on the bow. Because of the tight quarters within the mooring fields “ It’s real important to secure the work boat to the mooring can, that way you will not go anywhere.” Smith said. My understanding is that the deputies will then either manually pull in or tow the vessel to reattach it to it’s mooring. There are times when the moorings will drag out of place and the vessel will need to be relocated. When the wind is up and the vessel has a lot of windage those are the ones the deputies refer to as whiteknuckler’s. 

As for the deputies crew wear it is import for them to protect their hands from the nylon mooring lines, and gloves are warn. Pant fouleys, rain gear, are always warn along with float jackets. Similar to situations at sea it stays a lot warmer when you do not work up a sweat under all the gear. In this job I don't know how they can do that.
BYC Dockmaster Matt Stanly

I made two more stops with the dock masters at the Balboa Yacht Club with Mat Stanley and Anthony Palacios at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. These guys are the best at what they do and are a wealth of information.
Both BYC and NHYC boatsmen are extremely vigilant in maintaining their mooring gear and run constant inspections before and during storm conditions. All service boats have a crew of two and lifejackets are worn. Dockmaster Matt Stanley noticed 55 knots of wind on Sunday and had nothing unusual to report. “We got lucky this time, there was the usual flybridge covers that broke free, the rain came down rather hard this last round other than that we came through it pretty well.” Stanley said. 

NHYC Dockmaster Anthony Palacios

Over at NHYC Dock master Anthony Palacios had a micro burst of wind role over the club and noticed 61 knots of wind on Friday the first day of the storm. A neighbors roof peeled free and roofing shingles were seen floating by. Palacios also reported that one of the boats in the dry storage area was thrown from its cradle. “ About every three hours we were pumping water out of the Harbor 20’s, checking mooring lines, collecting all the kayaks and dinghies that floated into the mooring field. We had all hands on deck, during one of the rain squalls I could not see further than two hundred feet in front of me.” Palacios said.

BYC Stanley getting ready for for this weekends weather
Both of these dock masters are always concerned about mooring gear chafing and Stanley mentioned to me that West Marine rigging department has a new chafe guard called DC Guard whole core jacket. This jacket slides over the top of your mooring lines and protects the line from chafing. I went over to West Marine and talked to Kevin Morris in the rigging department and learned he can set you up with all your mooring lines needs from shackles to splicing tumbles. General Manager of West Marine Matt Jessner has agreed, through the rest of the month of February, to offer a 15% discount, for purchase’s on new mooring gear, to readers that mention The Daily Pilot Harbor Column.

Boat name of the month: Toyon

Sea ya

As you all know by now The Daily Pilot gave me the boot last week and will no longer run boating columns. Please return for your Harbor news!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Harbor Report: Deputy Webster joins harbor team Flash Back 03/2016

Deputy Kevin Webster.
 (Courtesy OC Sheriff's Department)

By Len Bose:

I would like to introduce everyone to our new mooring administrator, Deputy Kevin Webster of the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Department.
Webster is not new to the county or the department.
"I am an Orange County kid, born and raised," he said.
He has 16 years on the job, six of them with the Newport Beach Harbor Department. He's a married father of a 19-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter.
I met Webster when he and our outgoing mooring administrator, Sean Scoles, were out doing introductions around the harbor.
The mooring administrator is responsible for the alignment of the moorings, permit holders' maintenance records, fees and insurance requirements. These tasks include mooring extensions and harbor permit requests. They also monitor the anchorages and guest slips and receive and respond to accident reports.
Fortunately, the Harbor Department has Sally Cooper to help with administrative work the department and the city require to manage the moorings. Cooper provides the continuity within the harbor department's mooring administration during every personnel change.
Other tasks Webster is assigned to monitor are the city's Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP) and Abandoned Water Craft state grants. Over the last two years, these programs have removed 30 boats from our harbor. There is quite a bit of time needed to manage these programs and to obtain these state grants.
"As long as the state provides the grants, we will continue the program," Webster said.
This always leads me into asking — what is a derelict boat?
"There are a whole lot of interpretations of what a derelict boat is," Webster explained. "The boat has to be operable and in seaworthy condition. A derelict will have excessive debris that will be concern of a fire hazard.
"It is a vessel that is uncared for, unsafe and poorly maintained. Other visible signs are excessive bird droppings, broken windows or extreme marine growth attached to the hull of the vessel. Those are all signs of poorly maintained vessels and I would define as derelict."
We discussed other important topics. Mooring permit holders are not required to keep a vessel on their moorings. People can rent a mooring for $27 a night and can request a mooring's location anywhere in the harbor. Two or more boats tied together are considered a raft-up and require a permit that can be found on the city or harbor department websites.
Accidents that require more than $500 in repair must be reported to the Harbor Department. Should you spill fuel, someone get injured, swamped, sinking or run aground, you are required to contact the Harbor Department. And you should not leave the seen of the accident.
Over the last eight years we have been fortunate to have deputies assigned to our Harbor Department. From what I have seen from Webster, while on patrol and when attending Harbor Commission meetings, he is one of the good ones. He is easily approachable. He listens to your concerns. And while talking to him, one feels that he really cares.
My gut tells me he will move up the department ranks rather quickly. We are fortunate to have him on our team.
Boat name of the week: "Wish you were here"
Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

On the Harbor: From the HB Air Show to Harbor 20 Fleet races

H20 Fleet Champ   Photo by Tom Walker
                                                    By LEN BOSE
I am sure most of you have recognized that the sun is setting earlier and the cool breeze is in the air. The time has come again begrudgingly to let go of summer and prepare for the winter months on the harbor. This is also indicated by the thundering sound of military jets overhead, followed by car alarms bring activated down my street. On the harbor, it’s the armada of boats leaving the harbor in the late morning and returning in the late afternoon to view the airshow. All the while, the Harbor 20s fleet championships take place in the five points area and the sea lions return to mark their territory within the harbor.
The amount of boat traffic in the harbor is fantastic this time of year, with everyone and their brother headed out to Huntington Beach Pier to watch the airshow aboard everything from mega yachts to jet skis. Combine this with the same type of vessels headed down from Huntington Harbour, and just like that, I am flashing back to Cal Jam 1. I have never taken the time to watch the show from the water because I live right under the airshow, so I called my good friend Tim Richley, who owns the racing sailboat Amante for his viewpoint. “I went out Friday and Sunday and it was fun as always. This was the third year I have done it and the show is right on top of you. People are swimming and having a good time, with the Coast Guard Cutter, Homeland Security and the O.C. Sheriffs keeping an eye on everyone. We just idle around and try to stay in the same spot with over 300 boats out there from 14’ open-ended ski boats to ships over 150 feet. We sailed back both days, so most of the traffic powered back into the harbor before us. All in all, it was fun, and we returned to the slip by 6 p.m.,” Richley shared. 

Under the thunder of the airshow this past weekend, Harbor 20 Fleet One was creating a bit of a rumble themselves. While H20s don’t break the sound barrier, some of the mark roundings might have seemed like it, as the boat skippers discussed their boat rights while rounding the different marks of the race course. The weather could not have been better with sunshine and a light breeze out of the west. Twenty-five boats showed up, split up in three different divisions: A, B and C. On Saturday, the race committee and Matt Wiley did an outstanding job running the races, being able to run six races within three and a half hours. The current was coming in for most of the regatta and didn’t play a huge part in one’s tactics. Although with the light breeze, the wind oscillated throughout the day, which kept everyone sitting up straight wondering which side of the course would pay off. One of the many strengths of the H20 fleet is that out of the 25 participants, 10 are married couples along with four teams sailing with their kids. Saturday night’s dinner was again one of my favorites of the year with the NHYC outdoing themselves again. The camaraderie is overwhelming – blend in the views of the harbor at sunset from the NHYC and it just doesn’t get any better. Speaking of getting better, I need to work on my sailing skills on Sunday, because I just tanked it up again this year. I am going to point the finger at the Justin Cabernet that was served at dinner, yet that is something that I will have to figure out in the future. One person who did figure it out was Brian Bissel at the helm of team Bluebird with Charlie Boukather crewing. Results have not been posted yet, but I would be surprised if they did not stay in the top three finishers on Sunday’s races with Bissel winning his second fleet championships. Tad Springer and Park Eddy sailing Why Not seemed to keep control of B fleet both days, while Ruth and Paul Noring sailing Adrenaline had a tough battle winning C fleet.
Mike Kohl "Seal of the Day"

Here’s a couple of observations. It’s sea lion time of year and I noticed a large spike in the number of responses from the Harbor Department from 36 calls in July to 122 in September. It still appears that the Sealstop system is an acceptable deterrent, but my favorite is a sprinkler with a motion detector that showers down the sea lions when they jump on people’s docks. Figure that, sea lions preferring not to get wet, surprised me this weekend when I stepped on someone’s dock to adjust my jib halyard tension on my H20. My wife thought it was funny. My second observation came while attending the newly formed harbor commission meeting in Huntington Beach. As many have witnessed, it takes seemingly forever to make any progress in the harbor. As an example, placing the proper lighting on our channel markers, which I hear is very close to getting completed after close to four years. Seeing where the Huntington Harbour Commission is starting and remembering where the Newport Beach Harbor Commission started, we have come a long way. Looking back, it feels pretty good seeing what has been done over the years to improve our harbor.

• • •
Clarification: When I was five years old in 1965, my family was living in Hawaii and I enjoyed watching Batman on TV. If you recall the week you would see how Batman got in trouble and the following week you would see how he got out of trouble. At that time the weekly episodes would be flown over by airplane, and one time the local TV station received the episodes out of order. Before the show started, the announcer came on and explained what happened. “We received the wrong episode this week, so we will see how Batman gets out of trouble and next week we see how he got into it.” I still remember my mother’s laughter when she heard it.
Anyway, the point of the story is to explain that in my last column I mentioned that I should have contacted Lt. Chris Corn from the O.C. Sheriff’s Department first to confirm what I had heard and read. Like I had mentioned, Lt. Corn is very easy to talk to and he gave me a call when he read my column. So to “get it right” I need to eat some crow. 
The dinghy dock is now open from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and so is the beach access. There is a beach drop off zone and 10 parking spots, 21 spots on the weekend. I regret not picking up the phone in the first place. The good news is that I confirmed just how easy it is to contact Lt. Corn and get things right.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.