Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Harbor Report: The man who monitors the moorings

Deputy Sean Scoles of the Newport Beach Harbor Patrol

By Len Bose
February 13, 2015 | 4:17 p.m.

This week, I had a chance to catch up with Deputy Sean Scoles of the Newport Beach Harbor Patrol. Scoles' duties included monitoring the mooring fields, keeping the moorings' maintenance schedule, contacting derelict boat owners, maintaining a mooring waiting list and anything mooring-related.
This has been the third year that Scoles has given me time to interview him, and we started again with the definition of a derelict boat. He reminded me that boats that are not operational, take on water and are in disrepair all fit into the Harbor Patrol's definition of a derelict boat.
"Just because a boat is ugly does not mean it is derelict," Scoles said. He indicated that there are about five to 10 derelict boats, on offshore moorings, in the harbor at this time. "We are doing our best to contact these owners and working with them to solve the problem," Scoles explained.
Please take note that mooring permit holders no longer have to keep a boat on their moorings. This can be part of the reason we see so many open moorings in the harbor at this time. If you do happen to own a boat that is in danger of becoming a derelict, your best option is to bite the bullet and pay a salvage company to dispose of your vessel.
You should also note that the city of Newport Beach has been awarded a grant from the state referred to as the Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP). This could be one of your best options to solve your problem. Stay tuned for more details on this very important topic.
We then reviewed our mooring waiting list policy. The last time I checked, there were 250 people on the list. Every two years, the people on the list have to respond to a letter that they still have interest in obtaining a mooring. If they do not respond, they are off the list. It is the responsibility of everyone on the waiting list to update his or her phone number or home address.
Next, we talked about guest slips and guest moorings. "Just come to the dock with your boat and bring a photo ID, CF registration and/or Coast Guard documentation with you up to the office, and we will collect the fees and you are on your way," Scoles said.
If you would like to anchor in the designated anchorage area, you just need to drop anchor and can stay for five days in a 30-day period. If you would like to raft up with two or more vessels, you can obtain a marine event application online on the harbor department's website.
Scoles went on to tell me that the best way for the public to help the Harbor Patrol is to contact it at (949) 723-1002 should you see anything out of the ordinary or have a noise complaint. "It's a big harbor, and the more eyes we have, the better," he said.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that 50 people attended this month's Harbor Commission meeting. On the agenda was the Mooring Review/Ad Hoc Committee Formation to examine the current administration of the moorings and to make recommendations to the Harbor Commission, which would then forward those recommendations to the City Council for consideration.
The good news is that Councilman Duffy Duffield was in attendance and spoke to the audience. "We can make this thing work." he explained. He reminded the crowd that now is the time to take part in the system, attend the public meeting over the next couple of months and bring forward a recommendation that the council can pass.
That's the good news; the bad news is that most of the Harbor Commission had to recuse themselves because they are mooring permit holders, belong to a yacht club with moorings or have a possible conflict of interest.
This left Commissioners David Girling, Duncan McIntosh and Joe Stapleton with the whole kit and caboodle. Who really knows what caboodle means, but there was a whole bunch of it dropped on their laps. To make a quorum, the subcommittee needed another commissioner, and by a draw of cards, Brad Avery was selected to vote on the subcommittee recommendation only and not to take part in the subcommittee meetings.
Most everyone attending the meeting who replied to public comments requested the ability to transfer their permits again rather than surrender them back to the city, which is due to take effect in the near future. This will be a huge topic of interest that I will report on over the next couple of months.
Sea ya.

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

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Invictus due into Newport Beach Friday the 13th

The 216-foot mega-yacht Invictus
Invictus is due into town on Friday the 13th between 2 & 3 PM.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

MOORING? Tonights Harbor Commission Agenda Meeting starts at 6:30.



1.Mooring Review – Ad Hoc Committee Formation
At the January 27, 2015 City Council Study Session, staff presented a recap of the recent changes to the City’s administration of the moorings, as well as the residential and commercial piers in the harbor. As a result, the City Council directed the Harbor Commission to study the moorings, and to return to the City Council with a recommended path forward.


1) Establish a Mooring Ad Hoc Committee to evaluate the City’s current administration of the moorings, and to make recommendations to the Harbor Commission who would then forward those recommendations to the Council for consideration. 
2.Harbor Commission Pairings with the City Council and Other Commissions, Boards and Committees
Each year, the Harbor Commission typically assigns individual Commissioners to pair with individual Council Members in an effort to promote awareness of the various issues that might affect both bodies, particularly harbor related items. In addition, the Harbor Commission may also consider assigning individual Commissioners as liaisons to other Commissions, Boards and Committees within the City.


1) Approve the Harbor Commission’s pairing assignments with the City Council; and

2) Approve the Harbor Commission’s pairing assignments with other City Commissions, Boards and Committees, if desired. 
3.Cheyenne 30-Day Update (February)
Per the Harbor Commission’s direction at the November 2014 meeting, the Commission will review the 30-day update for the vessel Cheyenne as submitted by Mr. Chris Welsh.


1) Receive and file 

Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Harbor Report: A solid score for this harbor supporter

                                              NHYC  Racing Director Jenn Lancaster

By Len Bose
February 6, 2015 | 2:39 p.m.

Twelve years ago, Jenn Lancaster left her teaching job, packed up her car and moved to California from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Fortunately for every sailor in Newport Beach, Lancaster became the Newport Harbor Yacht Club's racing director.
Lancaster was born in San Diego into a military family and moved around the country before settling in New Hampshire. One spring, her father allowed a team from the US Naval Academy to stay at their home during a sailing regatta. Lancaster noticed their sailing team's jackets and decided she wanted one.
She then followed the team members down to the dock, where she first noticed the University of New Hampshire sailing team.

"From that moment, I was hooked and never missed a practice," she said with great fondness. She started racing competitively at age 18, which led her to this job.
Today, Lancaster spends her days writing all the notices of races, sailing instructions and race results and doing all the logistics involved in running the different sailing events for the NHYC. When I asked her what her favorite part of her job is, she said scoring.
"People are always so eager to see how their hard work has translated to the results on a piece of paper, particularly the kids," Lancaster said.
That's when I reminded her that, most of the time, I am not that happy with my results. She quickly reminded me that not everyone has to win a trophy to be happy. Some people are happy to beat their rival or friends or just not come in last.
"I really do love the kids events," Lancaster went on to say. "I love their faces and to listen to them singing to themselves when sailing their sabots. That's when I really enjoy my job the most."
Then there are the days when she has talked on the phone with America's Cup winner Dennis Conner and other famous sailing personalities like Paul Cayard regarding the event NHYC is hosting that weekend. Or she has spoken with the sabot parent who wants to know when his or her kid will be off the water that day.
"Knowing every little aspect of the sport is pretty fun and pretty cool," she said with great pride in her work.
I asked about some of the recent changes over her tenure that have affected race management.
"The sport has become more complex, and people are spending a lot more money," she said. "Because they are spending more money, the participants are expecting better race management. We are stewards to people's recreation time, and we need to put in just as much effort as the participants. We are all out there to have a great day on the water."
She went on to explain how much time is saved with online race registration and entry fees.
The sailing season has already started for Lancaster. NHYC is hosting the Islands Race, which goes around Catalina and San Clemente islands and finishes in San Diego, and this year's Cabo race, both in March.
I had to ask what she does on her day off. "I like walking, reading, and I really enjoy cooking," she said. "In fact, I have been spending a lot of time learning vegetarian recipes recently."
We then discussed the communication line in our harbor among the different stakeholders — for example, the charter boat captains, Orange Coast College crew and Newport Aquatic Center.
"Chris Miller and, this last year, Chandler Bell with the Chamber of Commerce have done an outstanding job putting on the Sailing/Charter Coordination meeting each year, where all the harbor stakeholders have a chance to meet each other in person and make arrangements to talk on the VHF radio together the day of large events," she said.
I asked her how the race participants can help her with her job.
"Everyone has always been very kind to me," she said. "I have to dig deep for this. One way that participants can help would be not to press it too hard with the charter boats or the Duffy rentals." I laughed and told her that I needed that extra two feet when maneuvering around these boats to win the race. At the same time, I realized how wrong I have been for so many reasons over the years.
Lancaster is a good-hearted person who has become an integral part of this harbor's history. It's too bad that the Daily Pilot has not continued its Hall of Fame for our harbor, because Lancaster has earned a spot on the wall.
Sea ya.

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