Friday, March 29, 2019

Huntington Harbor: HB Harbor Commission report # 1

Coral Cay one of Huntington Harbors many treasurers.

March 28, 2019, Huntington Beach Civic Center at 5:00 PM room B7 in a dark dungeons cave below city hall the city of Huntington Beach gave birth to the long-awaited Harbor Commission for Huntington Harbor. 

City council members Erik Peterson and Lyn Semeta were present for greetings, introductions and a quick review of the recently added Municipal Code 2.65. IE: Duties and Responsibilities
Municipal Code 2.65.  The Harbor Commission shall act in an advisory capacity to the City Council in all matters pertaining to the Huntington Beach Harbor, its beaches, facilities, and parks. The primary role of the Harbor Commission is to advise City Council concerning Waterway Safety, General Infrastructure (e.g. seawalls, pier headlines, bulkheads, etc.), Water Quality and Municipal Code Amendments. The Harbor Commission shall cooperate with other governmental agencies and civic groups in the advancement of the Huntington Harbor and recreational planning under the direction of the City Council. Harbor Commissioners may study, report and interpret the needs of the public to the City Council and may assist in securing financial support from the community for the Huntington Harbor, its beaches, parks and recreational needs. The Harbor Commission may review the annual budget as presented to the City Council and advise them on the current operational needs and long-range plans for capital improvement. In addition, the Harbor Commission shall advise the City Council on any other matters concerning the Huntington Harbor when so requested by the Council. The Harbor Commission may hold hearings on any matter concerning the commercial and recreational development of the Huntington Harbor; advise the City Council on proposed Huntington Harbor related improvements; make recommendations to City Council for adoption of regulations and programs necessary for the ongoing implementation of the goals, objectives, and policies of the Huntington Harbor; advise the City Council on implementation of dredging priorities; advise to City Council in all matters pertaining to the use, control, operation, promotion, and regulation of vessels and watercraft within the Huntington Harbor; finally, make recommendations to City Council concerning the acquisition, disposition, or repair of equipment, facilities, materials, and supplies relating the Huntington Harbor.

Your Harbor Commissioners are Interim Chairman Bill Larkin and Vice Chair Michael VanVoorhis who was elected as the commission’s first action item by the commission of Alfred Balitzer, Craig Schauppner, John Achs, Kimberley Milligan and Renee Hunter. The chairs are interim at this time to get into the city cycle of changing chairs for the different city commissions. City staff consisted of Community Services manager Chris Slama and Administrative Assistant Carrie Gonzales. In my opinion, the City Council and Staff selected the commission by life achievements all doing very well in the business world and living on the harbor’s waterfront. To me, it is the best place to start while the commissioners legacy will be earned by the tasks completed during their tenure.

My analogy of the first Huntington Beaches Harbor Commission meeting was like watching a basket full of one-month old puppies energetically jumping around and getting a feel for their new surroundings. The hard work of potty training and patience will be rubbed into their faces until they have earned the trust of today’s city council members or get elected onto the council themselves.

Two observations from the meeting chaff me the wrong way: One is that the meetings start at 5:00 PM in a small little dungeness room, which is very convenient for staff because their day ends at 5:00 and there is no lag time between the end of the day and the start of the meeting. My other objection is that the public is left feeling very out of place in this format of only being able to speak at the start of the meeting on only topics that are not on the agenda during Public Comment. To obtain better public interaction consideration should be given to changing the starting time to 6:30 PM and allowing public comment at the start of the meeting and at the end of every agenda topic before voting or receiving and filing an item. My ears did perk up when I heard, I think it was Kim Milligan, request an item be placed on further agendas which were adding lights to the channel markers around the harbor. Now that’s an indication of an active harbor user making strong observations which is very encouraging. 

sea ya

On the Harbor: Checking out the sights by bike

Our “Horizon” Team took first in our division and second overall in the Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Cabo Race
I woke up my bicycle from its winter hibernation this week to make myself feel better and to make some first-hand observations from around the harbor.
My route was the same, starting at Newport Harbor Shipyard, to take a look at the new slips being built on the south side of the shipyard property. Bellingham Marine is the contractor and the project appears to be state of the art with no expenses spared. I counted seven new 77-foot slips and 15 50-foot slips, which can provide storage for boats up to 97 feet and 65 feet, respectively, with our harbor’s current overhang codes. While riding around the harbor, my mind had time to reflect on today’s current events, and I kept thinking that the shipyard must have hired Jussie Smollett’s attorney, Kim Foxx, to move this project through the Coastal Commission. Please don’t read this’s the shipyard’s property and the larger slips are certainly the best use of the property, but how is our harbor expected to absorb 21 larger yachts? This is only one marina operator out of four other locations in our harbor that are planning on adding larger slips. Harbor Operations should start making plans to open a vessel traffic center soon.
Speaking of Harbor Operations, there has been an obvious migration of vessels moving out of the harbor and into the Cabrillo Ways Marina in San Pedro, because of the increased temporary mooring cost in the harbor. Slip costs in Cabrillo are half of what it is to keep a boat on a mooring in Newport Beach now. I also noticed that Marina Park slips were not being used, yet that was mid-week and spring has only just started. Only one thing to do...pedal downwind and hope for the best. Which somehow reminded me that my health care now costs more per month than my house mortgage?
Next stop was the public dock at 15th Street to find a person that is a mooring permit holder and is on their boat a lot. Fortunately, I found the right person who is in the marine industry and was on their way to work. Let’s call this person “Tony,” and when I asked how things were going out on the mooring, he replied quickly, “Things are much better since the city has cleaned things up out there.” Tony made mention of how the improvement of code enforcement has moved away many of the people that were living on boats without the owner’s knowledge or permission. We then talked about the public pier and the continuous need for code enforcement at the piers. Time zones and boat sizes are constantly being violated which make it more difficult for mooring permit holders. Tony had the idea of mooring permit holders having stickers on their dinghies identifying their boats to their mooring permits. The bike racks were full and according to Tony, most of the bikes never move and are locked into place. When asked if people preferred the Harbor Department over the Sheriff’s, Tony replied: “It’s all the same, no real difference.” Yet, I thought it interesting when Tony said that a couple of buddies are working at the Harbor Department and when he had a concern, it was easy to talk to them mostly because of its location.

I then headed to the 19th Street public pier where it seems much quieter than at 15th Street. The docks were full of dinghies, many appearing to have been in the same location longer than the posted time limits. So, to be the continuing antagonist, I took some photos and will swing back by this weekend and take a few more photos to get a better feeling about the code enforcement on the two busiest public docks in the harbor.
Next stop was Central Avenue public dock in Lido Village. It’s still new and very clean with no use on my cruise by. At this time, one of my good friends, who is a Harbor Patrol employee, stopped and said hello. I asked how the winter had treated them. He replied, “Other than being really wet, it’s been a rather non-eventful winter. I’ve pulled a lot of big trees out of the water.”
Last stop was Basin Shipyard where everyone was working hard and not a spot was open. Opening day must be approaching everywhere I went on this day, as I could hear the whine of the buffers hard at work getting everyone’s boat ready for the season.
Wanted to thank all my readers for the good wishes. We did well in the Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Cabo Race placing first in our division and second overall. 
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

On the Harbor: Getting ready to set sail in the NHYC’s Cabo Race

For me and quite a few other people, it is all about the Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Cabo Race which started yesterday (Thursday) for the boats that are smaller or pushing a little more weight through the water. Today’s (Friday) start has the Santa Cruz 50+ division along with a mix of boats from 40 to 60 feet. Then the big boys hit the starting line on Saturday with the 70s raters, and then a mix of 52s to 100 feet plus two crazy multihull boats.
Our harbor has nine boats participating with Seth Hall’s J-124 Marisol in ORR 5 class which started on Thursday. ORR stands for Offshore Racing Rule which is a handicap system in which the participants compete in. Friday’s starters in ORR 4 class are John Shulze’s Santa Cruz 50 Horizon and ORR 3 John Raymont’s Andrews 40 Fast Exit and Dan Gribble’s Tripp 56 Brigadoon. On Saturday, it’s Dave Clark’s Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion, Jim Bailey’s Trans Pac 52 Destroyer, Cal Maritime’s Andrews 77 and Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell White 100 Rio, the largest boat in the fleet
Kind of a boring story so far, huh? Well, if you are participating, it is anything but boring, specifically from a boat manager’s point of few. Most of my readers have read before that I manage the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. The planning and preparation started back in October 2018 confirming the boat’s racing and maintenance schedules. New sails were ordered, crew recruiting started along with boatyard scheduling. At the start of the year, we haul the boat out and redo the boat bottom paint, inspect the mast, pull the rudder out and check the rudder bearings. Once the boat is back in the water, we have to go through the electrical and mechanical systems; this normally requires scheduling two technicians and one mechanic. All this leads to a growing task list.

There are also some logistics involved such as hotel rooms and air travel. Keep in mind that not all of your crew lives in town, so you have to fly a couple into town before the race starts. I almost forgot, there is also a delivery crew that needs flights to Mexico and rooms along with arrangements for the delivery gear to be transported to Mexico. Most teams also have crew gear such as team shirts and hats, sizes differ and the boat name is embroidered. Let’s not forget the safety gear, life rafts need to be repacked, flares need to be replaced and EPRIB (emergency location beacons) need to be re-registered. Mexican boat visas and insurance need to be forwarded to the Mexican authorities. Upholstery needs steam cleaning and sleeping bags need to be washed along with boat bilges needing to be scrubbed. Cooking utensils have to be accounted for, the stove detailed, and refrigeration and water maker exercised to encourage continued use. I don’t like it very much when my wife says, “FYI: Remember that with three females aboard, you will need more toilet paper than you normally do,”...and I thought I had this.
The last four days, I have had to go to the canvas person because we needed new covers – you guessed right – I didn’t get all the measurements correct on the first go around, as all the sail bags needed repair. Meals prepared and frozen, the weather forecast is calling for light winds that will add as much as two days which leads to more meals. Then, there is always something that breaks the last minute. For me this year, it was the boat’s bilge pump that needed repair. Oh, my mother just called and told me that her neighbor’s bathtub has overflowed, and she has a mold and asbestos problem she needs me to take care of today.
Cabo 1985

Wednesday night was the send-off party, where you have to have your good sportsmanship hat on and mingle with the competition, explain your mistakes in the previous Islands Race, and how you are still encouraged with your boat’s performance.
Now, I am down to the short strokes. My first task is to pick up our navigator at the train station at 10:30 a.m. and get her to the boat, then head to the fuel dock. Once back to the dock, it is time to provision, run two errands and try not to yell at the vendor that has been promising our wheel cover for the last three weeks. Next, I place the provisions onboard then head to a safety meeting at 5:30 p.m., with a team meeting at 7 p.m. After that, I pick up a crew member at the airport at 8:30 p.m. My mother just called to remind me of the dangers of mold in her drywall…I have to go. Wish us luck.
By the way, thanks for the good wishes for the Harbor 20 Championships. We beat our goals and finished 5th.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Monday, March 04, 2019

2019 Harbor 20 Class Championships

2019 Harbor 20 Class Championships Gold Fleet Start       Photo Courtesy of Don Logan
By: Len Bose

Newport Beach CA 03/01/2019 to 03/03/2019 Harbor 20 Class Championships. The weather forecast painted a picture of calm before and after the arrival of a weather train named Atmospheric River ( aka Pineapple Express) due in early Saturday morning.

Thirty-four competitors entered the regatta yet thirty decided to confront the forecasted weather conditions and showed up on the starting line for Fridays qualification day. The first day of the Class Championships the participants were seated and split into four divisions then sailed in six races to determine who would sail in Gold and Silver Fleets. The brightness and warmth of sun kept the participant's foul weather jackets below deck and sunglasses on throughout the day. The wind stayed consistently out of the west at about 7-9 knots with a good ebb tide flowing most of the day. The seated favorites all won their divisions Team Menninger, Team Wiese, Team Bissell, and Team Buckingham. Please note that the top three teams where all couples which is something that the Harbor 20 fleet encourages and promotes. A number of teams took a quantum leap forward by sailing better than normal. I would think that everyone would agree that Team Bose sailing “Only Child”, Father-son team Cole & Karl Pomeroy aboard “A Salt & Battery”, McDonald seated in “ 12” and Scruggs sailing “Summer Wind” were all sailing consistently better than our norm.

The race course was managed expectedly well with emphasis given to sail 20+ minute races with no blending of the divisions on the course. This added to more lag time between races yet I found it much more pleasurable on the course with the chances of fewer entanglements with other competitors. Confrontations between competitors where solved by getting clear of all other boats and completing one full 360 circle, which is one tack and one gybe. Unfortunately there is always that one competitor that wants that pickle dish more than sailing to the Corinthian spirit and yet “What are you going to do?” The fleet as a whole has made leaps and bounds to understanding the rules better and clearing any infractions. Which has lead to a much more enjoyable experience in one-design short course sailing. 

As expected the Pineapple Express showed up on time and delivered, as expected, a constant downpour and wind gusts touching 25 knots. Add in the ebbing tide and the location of the starting line, next to Harbor Island, lead to all of us getting bounced around quite a bit. Like I wrote above the class takes pride in the number of couples that sail together. Yet as I looked over the race course I thought do I really need to put my wife in such uncomfortable circumstances with such extreme conditions? By the end of race one three teams had enough and called it a day, many more teams questioned why should we do this to ourselves with many other teams rotating out crew members to meet the conditions before the day even started. I questioned was this good for the class? Team Bose did come very close to throwing in the towel on Saturday before leaving the dock. I kept thinking, I had achieved my first goal of qualifying for A fleet, do we really need to punish our selves in these conditions? We pushed on and at the end of the day we both were glad we did. In hindsight, I am glad we sailed, yet the class should note that these boats and competitors were at their limits. 

That night, at the Dinner Party, the quotes kept pouring in, no pun. “ I have not sailed in the rain since the ’90s and now I remember why.” “ Oh, my skipper owes me, owes me big.”,  “ We don’t get to sail in these conditions very often, I’m glad we did.” The unique part of the event was the participants from Annapolis, Santa Barbara, and South Carolina attending. Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs new clubhouse is absolutely perfect with a blend of tradition and modernization. Good times as always, with my friends and I capped off the evening by stepping outside and ordering our Ubers at the same time and having a $ 20 bet on which driver would arrive first.

From Annapolis Margaret Podlich (Left) & Madeleine Carty

Sunday the clouds lifted and we had a southwesterly breeze of 8-11 knots, I don’t recall taking my jacket off and on so many times during the day. In Silver fleet Jay Swigart sailing “Holy Sheet” held on to his lead from Saturday with Brad Dwan aboard “Joint Venture” placing 3rd and Kathryn Reed sailing “Wood in it be Nice” finishing in 2nd place. In A fleet to no one's surprise it came down to the last two races between Perry & Brain Bissel aboard “Bluebird” and Bill Menninger/Peter Stemler sailing “Dart”. Team Menninger placed their names on the trophy with everyone feeling the effects of sailing in a three-day regatta with as many as 16 races.

Don Logan goes the extra mile for the sport and the fleet by taking his time and money to produce the Ariel coverage of the Harbor 20 Class Championships. His final edited draft will be spectacular as always. I will have more photos posted soon. 

Sea ya

Friday, March 01, 2019

On the Harbor: Catching up this March

Photo courtesy of
To say I have sailed into a kelp bed is an understatement. As I back down to get the kelp free from my keel, I trim my sails back in and keep moving towards my next mark.
What I am referring to, is the start of the sailing season, commitments of support to the sailing community and to make sure I can support the family. Am I complaining? No, I am very fortunate to be able to make a living within the sport I love so dearly. This all just means that I have my plate full this month and have not found time to find some real harbor news or that interview of someone of interest within the harbor. Hence, the referral of being in the weeds and now my story on my recent thoughts, and what I have going on through mid-March.
On February 15, I woke up before the sun at the San Diego Yacht Club to one of the coldest mornings I have ever experienced in Southern California. My objective was to return the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon back to her slip in Cabrillo Beach. As I unplugged the electrical cord from the dock and moved across the foredeck of the boat, I barely kept my balance as I slipped on the ice that froze on the deck of the boat overnight. As I stepped back on to the dock to untie the dock lines, I let out a deep breath which resembled a vape cloud around my head. I looked up after untying the bowline, and glanced up to notice the super moon setting over Sunset Cliffs of San Diego. With little time to take in this surreal moment, I stepped aboard and started my journey home with four other boats that had competed in the Islands Race the previous weekend.
As I round the last navigational marker leaving San Diego Harbor, I plotted my course to Cabrillo Beach. This time, the cloud that formed around my head was more in the form of blasphemy, as I noticed the distance to my mark was 80 miles. Over the next 12 hours, I had plenty of time to take in the snow-capped mountains that stretched 180 degrees across the horizon. In an odd way, the beauty of the landscape gave a type of internal warmth, while the calm sea reflected the mountain range which added to the presentation of just how lucky we are living in this little piece of the world.
By the time the 12th reflective red mylar valentine balloon passed my range of sight, I got rather upset with myself by not being able to retrieve them out of the water. I was doing something rather stupid anyway, by doing this delivery myself and the thought of reaching over the side of the boat with a boat hook seemed unwise.
Catch and dispose

So, I did the next best thing and came up with one of my “silly ideas,” let’s call this silly idea the “Southern California Group Hug.” It would be a rally similar to the Baja Ha Ha format that would start in Newport Beach and finish in San Diego with a raft up in La Playa Anchorage. The participants would be assigned a starting point somewhere between Newport Beach and halfway to Catalina. The MC of the event would broadcast the start over the VHF and the boats would start their cruise to San Diego looking for every bit of plastic flotsam, mylar balloons, etc. along the route. The plan is to catch and dispose of all the plastic flotsam along the way then, of course, take a crew photo of your catch. We could then enjoy our favorite beverages together and talk about the ones that got away. The ideas are endless for this type of event, but it would be very weather restricted; best served at the end of February with all the valentine balloons in the ocean. If any of you like the idea and would like to get in on the ground floor of something that really might achieve something good, send me an email at
Next up this weekend is the Harbor 20 Championships. The entry list is 30 plus participants and any one of these teams can sail into the top five on their best day. The favorites are Teams Perry & Brian Bissel, Argyle Campbell, Diane and Bill Menninger, Philip Thompson, and Anne and Kurt Wiese. There will also be six teams from out of the area that we have never lined up with before. Teams from Santa Barbara to Annapolis will be attending, and the weather does not look all that great with light winds and rain due in during Saturday’s racing. The regatta starts on today (Friday) and runs through Sunday. My goal is to qualify for Gold fleet on Friday, then just let it flow through the weekend and hope for the best.

Cabo 1985 aboard AMANTE

The Cabo race starts on March 15 and as always, it’s a push to have the boat ready with all the logistics, which keeps me up between 4 and 5 a.m. on most nights. We have high hopes aboard Horizon this season and we will be ready.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.