I have to think that those of you who care about America's Cup have been sitting on the edge of your seats most of this week, and for those of you who don't give a sheet — that's the line that controls the sail — are you wondering what else might be going on around the harbor?
Starting at the Balboa Angling Club, my good friend, secretary Amy Elliott, said the club hosted the 32nd Annual Master Angler Billfish Tournament in the waters within 90 miles of Newport Beach on Sept. 13 and 14.
She said, "A total of 17 marlin were caught and released by the anglers, who had 49 strikes with 31 hook-ups. The water conditions this year have been favorable, as for months large amounts of bait fish have been reported off the Southern California high spots, canyons and current breaks. Water temperatures have remained relatively warm, staying near the 70-degree mark. The table was set and the big game anglers were ready.
"The action started early on the morning of Friday the 13th, but the anglers had good luck despite the myth of it being an unlucky day. First-day totals were 10 hookups with six marlin caught and released. Day two was even better, with 21 hookups and 11 caught and released. Marlin weren't the only fish biting; dorado and yellowtail were caught as well. Even a few broadbill swordfish were tempted with bait."
For a full report on the event, go to http://www.balboaanglingclub.org.
Next stop was the Lido Village Shopping Center and the new West Marine flagship store opening up this Oct. 3. I contacted Laurie Fried from West Marine's public relations office and learned this will be the company's second-largest store. The company's largest store is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Laurie went on to explain that this store will have a huge selection of marine electronics and a spectacular fishing department. There will be a large sailboat hardware selection, with an on-site rigging shop and a fantastic selection of casual and technical apparel.
After talking to Laurie and reading through the store announcement, I leaned against the store wall and wondered if this is what a small town feels like when a Walmart moves in. As a taste, on Oct. 3, West Marine is promoting "Cruising for a Cause" to raise money for several local marine-based charities.
Contact the Orange Coast College Professional Mariner Program or UC Irvine Sailing Assn. for tickets. Attendees will enjoy food, drinks and live entertainment.
Continuing my cruise, I pulled into Newport Harbor Shipyard and checked in with a longtime friend to get a better feel of what's going on. "The boat show, West Marine, Newport marina project across from the shipyard, Marina Park starting soon — there is a lot going on, Len," he said.
While working my way to the other side of the harbor, I noticed the mooring fields looked better than usual, with few code violations. One boat was sticking out quite a ways from its slip on the peninsula side, but other than that, the harbor seemed abnormally quiet for this time of year.
Over at Basin Marine Shipyard, I stopped by to check in with Dave and Derek New. They had a couple of new boats being commissioned for the upcoming boat show.
One of my favorites, "Good News," was getting ready for the Baja Ha-Ha, which will be starting Oct. 28 out of San Diego. I also noticed for the first time a very elegant day sailor by the name of "Relentless," which had the lines of a meter boat, tied up to the dock.
During my harbor cruise, something was brought to my attention. How can the city make Marina Park pay for itself by adding things that bring in revenue? I had to put my phone down on this one because I almost ran over a mooring line while trying to grasp that concept. More to come on this topic.
I wrapped my harbor cruise up by attending this quarter's Tidelands Management Committee meeting. The big question on the table was how the city is ever going to pay for the Balboa Island seawall. It appears the city can go to school and watch how Alamitos Bay is dealing with it in the Naples area. It's not just about money but also how to deal with the different government agencies.
Next Wednesday, Sept. 25, please come visit me at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Yachtsmen's Luncheon. I have been asked to bring in my listing on Zapata II, a 1964 Calkins 50, to the main dock for a classic yacht discussion and presentation on "Classic Boats of the Northwest." A number of classic boat specialists will be on deck marking the presentation.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.