From the Boathouse: We all live in a Virginia submarine

Ahoy after returning from the Big Apple!

My show manager, Brenda Barnes, and I had a great time visiting New York City to attend the radio industry's Talkers New York 2014, held at the India House Club. The gathering was well attended, since the fall event in L.A. is canceled this year.

We did have a slight change of plans when we switched hotels in the Financial District from the Wall Street Inn, which has dated colonial décor, to the chic Gild Hall. The Gild is very customer-oriented, and it has a restaurant with a bar on the main level. I highly recommend it.

Last Saturday was my birthday as well as the first day of summer, and I was surprised with tickets to the Blue Man Group. The show was great, and I saw longtime friend Kevin Hull there with his son. We were only a little more than 2,500 miles away from home — as Kevin lives in Lake Forest.

The weekend only got better as Brenda's son, James Barnes, invited both of us to tour his office in Groton, Conn. We boarded an Amtrak train at Penn Station on Sunday and headed north via rail to his office, which is usually under the sea. James gave us a private tour of USS Missouri (SSN-780), a Virginia-class submarine home. Groton is its home port.

I probably shouldn't talk about most of the stuff that we saw, but I was unsuccessful in trying to launch a torpedo while onboard.

During the tour, I was reminded of a couple of local former submariners: Mark Silvey and Richard Lee. We need to stop and thank those who keep our country safe, especially as the Fourth of July approaches.

Tip of the week harkens back to my Daily Pilot column on July 22, 2005. The idea of introducing water taxis in Newport Harbor is nothing new, but the issues inhibiting any serious plan have remained the same.

An excerpt from my column in 2005: "I find it interesting that planners spend a tremendous amount of time and effort on automobile parking with on-street parking spaces and building parking structures.

"Yet where is this concern for the thousands of boats in our harbor?

"Realistically, the waterways should be included in the regional traffic plans because they can provide another means of regular transportation around Newport.

"We have Seymour Beek's auto ferries and the Catalina Flyer to and from Santa Catalina Island, but where are the harbor taxis and public docking spaces?

"Other cities, such as Long Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and New York, include water taxis in their transportation funding, just like the bus system.

"It can work, but only with planning and cooperation between private enterprise and all the public entities."

Back to this weekend and the weather.

Our summer weather conditions are normal for this time of year with the morning June gloom and sunny afternoons along the coast. The daytime air temperatures will remain comfortable in the low 70s, with the nighttime temperatures dipping into the low 60s. Boaters, expect patchy fog starting in the early hours.

The seas will continue with the mixed set of a 3-foot west swell and a 2-foot south to south-southwest swell. The confused seas might be a little bumpy for your guests aboard, so please keep an eye on them if you are cruising in the ocean.

The afternoon winds will blow only to 10 knots, creating 1- to 2-foot wind waves in the afternoons. The winds will shift from a southerly direction to a westerly and vice versa to make sailing a little more of a challenge.

Boaters rounding Point Conception need to watch out for small craft advisories and winds gusting up to 35 knots and kicking up 6-foot wind waves. Seas will be 4 to 6 feet from the west with a 2-foot south-southwest with very steep faces from the winds.

I would not plan to head uphill (northbound) around the point in most vessels, and you will need to determine if the conditions are safe for anyone to head downhill (southbound). There will always be another day to round the point when the conditions are better.

As always, just keep an eye to the weather for any changes. Please be boat smart and boat safe. Lastly, please boat responsibly and look behind you before you turn the wheel at the helm.

Tune in to the No. 1 boating radio talk show in the nation, "Boathouse Radio Show," broadcasting live coast-to-coast. See times at, and

Safe voyages!

MIKE WHITEHEAD is a boating columnist for the Daily Pilot. Send marine-related thoughts and story suggestions to or go to

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