I'd thought that this week I would do one of my tours around the harbor and talk about my thoughts and observations.
Earlier in the week, I was watching a boat wash-down crew and noticed the amount of fresh water they were using, and I began to wonder how much longer we could use water like this. My mind pondered whether we could wash our boats in a water-recycling system similar to the ones we have at our shipyards. Is there a way to create a type of car wash for boats?
The simple answer is to ask your wash-down crews or, if you wash your own boat like I do, to make a conscious effort to use a quarter of the water you used to.
I set out to get some opinions on water conservation, and my first stop was the Newport Harbor Shipyard where I talked to owner Jesse Salem.
"We recycled 22,000 gallons of water from our dry storage area over the last six weeks," he said. I offered my thought about boat washes, and Salem didn't have any ideas on how such a system might work, but he expressed his concerns that something has to be done soon.
My mind continued to run down the boat-wash path, and I wondered if our only launch ramp and RV camping area at Newport Dunes has a water recycling system. I called the Dunes but after three loops on the phone returning back to the same person I gave up and will have to go down and look for myself.
I wondered if this idea might work into the Castaways Park plan or if the city should look into a recycling system at Marina Park. Let's just hope it rains this winter and keeps boating from getting that much more expensive.
As I made my way around the harbor, I noticed we have about the same amount of large charter boats as last year; I counted 15. For the first time, I noticed the vessel Eternity. This baby is three decks high and a monster. I understand this fleet provides a ton of jobs and introduces our harbor to thousands of people, but when do we reach "enough is enough?" This vessel is a floating skyscraper and, in my opinion, just does not fit in our harbor.
If you feel this topic should be discussed further and the charter fleet is taking too much of our shared harbor, contact our harbor commissioners and express your concerns. I am not just writing this because Eternity sat perfectly in my wind last weekend during the Harbor 20 Midsummer Regatta and sent me back into the pack. I am feeling overwhelmed by the space this fleet is taking in our harbor.
Speaking of racing, has anyone noticed how fast the tug is pushing the scow through the bay? The tug and scow are working the Marina Park site and I am pretty good at guessing how fast a vessel is traveling through the water, and these folks had the pedal to the metal.
In fact, one was transferring the scow from a side tie position to towing or pulling the scow from behind the tug at the No. 6 marker and honked at us to increase our speed, to about nine knots, to stay out of his way as he was overtaking us on our way out the harbor.
Good news for our local Performance Handicap Racing Fleet for the purchase of the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. Team Bolt just purchased the Trans Pack 52 Cazador, and I happen to notice a J/122 in town by the name of Day Dream. Let's hope these new boats stir up the participation levels.
While I was talking to Derek New at Basin Marine, I asked if he had seen any new boats in town.
"You have to go over and check out the 1947 25-foot Red & White Chris Craft," he said with enthusiasm in his voice.
I then proceeded over to the boat and had a chance to talk to the owner, Jim Busby. Busby is well known around town for restoring wooden boats, and this vessel should be placed in the Smithsonian some day. He was quick to explain that this vessel was referred to as an express cruiser and used by police, fire departments and the military.
The boat arrived a week ago and is something to behold. Her name is Chief, and you can read more about her in this year's Newport Beach 20 Most Interesting Boats column.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.