The past weekend must have been one of my best weekends on Newport Harbor.
It ranked right up there with sailing Hobie 16s in 1975 off 17th Street, getting a speeding ticket for my first "beer can" race in 1983 or winning a Harbor 20 race this summer with my wife Jennifer.
I had a cold beverage in hand, my feet were up on the cockpit rail of the "Golden Rivet," and I was sharing the company of two very good friends of mine: Amy and Chuck Simmons. We had tied the boat up, stern to, on a single mooring just off "M" Mark.
About five minutes later, Jill and David Willke pulled up with their boat, the Gemini, and side-tied next to us. Before we had them tied up securely, Melisa and Eric Bozza came by the boat in their whaler.
I cannot think of better company with whom to spend a warm "Indian Summer" day on Newport Harbor. I mean, just the term "Indian Summer" makes you feel like you are getting away with something.
But like my father always tells me, you don't get something for nothing. So, just about then, our kids started to sail past our flotilla of fun in their sabots for the start of the C3 class in the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club.
The setting was perfect: We were located about 25 yards down from the leeward mark, with good friends, warm weather and good times. Then the racing started and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde showed up.
The current was going out with a vengeance and the flag on top of the pavilion barely moved. It was the perfect ingredient for some real character-building moments. As my kid approached the first weather mark, I could not help but think of Adam Sandler in "Happy Gilmore," trying to learn how to putt. But he did finally get the ball into the hole and make it around the weather mark.
As my son Andrew approached the leeward mark, I could see he was trying his best and he really did not want to look at me. But I could not help myself and my mouth started moving.
"Sheet in! Put your bow down and lean in a little," I shouted over the water.
Not really the smart thing to say. Thank goodness one of the other parents started telling their kids what to do.
Next, the kids had to sail upwind into the current to the finish line and we all tried our best to bite our tongues. By the time the weekend was over, the kids were not looking over and waving any longer, the coaches would look the other way when they passed by, and we were getting better at holding our tongues.
There were some classic moments. For example, the kid who tried hard to sail into the current, yet never managed to sail past the starting line. There was also the parent who told another parent: "I was just asked to get off the race course. Is it OK if I join you?"
"I can't stand it anymore," said the other parent, who got a paddleboard to go help his little one.
And then there were the three kids who had finished their race and were interested in finding the big dead fish floating around. You just got to love that term "Indian Summer" in Newport Harbor.
Lots going on this week in the harbor, so read my blog at http://lenboseyachts.blogspot.com for updates on the Rhine Channel dredging, how I did at the Harbor Commission with the Marina Recycle Centers. This week you will be able to find me at Balboa Yacht Club, doing market set at the US Match Race Championships.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.