Another year has rolled by like a clearing winter's westerly breeze. This is the fourth year I have been writing the harbor column, and I look forward to many more years to come. I would like to take the time to review 2013 with you.
This year, I was able to write 49 stories for the Daily Pilot, all with the help and patience of my editor, Michael Miller. Without Michael's help, these stories would never make it to print.
Out of these stories, 18 were interviews with local residents. Early this year, Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle tried to explain the tidelands budget. Harbor Commissioner Doug West took a lot of his time to explain what was going on within the harbor, and Deputy Sean Scoles reviewed our harbor department mooring polices. I have to say, though, I learned the most about our harbor when I stopped by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club one morning and sat down with the coffee klatch.
We had a couple of people retire or leave our harbor this year. Joyce Ibbetson was kind enough to talk to me before she retired after 34 years as the boating program director for UC Irvine. I was also able to catch up with Laura MacGregor Sharp and discuss her plans to continue building the boats that her mother and father started as MacGregor Yachts.
A couple of my favorite conversations this year were with Gerardo Martinez from the Duffy Electric Boat Company and the kids who worked on our harbor as a Duffy rental valet and bait barge attendant. These stories gave some insight into the types of work our harbor provides.
I always enjoy talking to our harbor's youth, and this year I had a chance to talk to Derek Pickell, the new sabot champion. I also caught up with Madeline Bubb, who overflowed with passion for sailing.
I was also very honored to talk to Phillip Ramser, Doug Campbell and Peter Haynes. These guys have done more for the sport of sailing than anyone I have ever met, and it just made me feel good that I had the opportunity to pick their brains about sailing and our harbor.
After reviewing this year's harbor topics, eel grass mitigation and the Castaways' future plans come to the top of the list to pay attention to in 2014.
The stories I enjoyed writing this year were about the Harbor 20 sailing fleet, the Newport Beach High Point Series and the Balboa Angling Club. This will come as no surprise to my regular readers, but if you have not heard about these groups and events, I hope you take the time to review my past stories.
Talking about my regular readers, I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the compliments I receive when I get the chance to meet you in person. These stories do not come easily to me, so please keep the comments coming.
I'd like to make one last shout-out to Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller, who sent me this email regarding a story about my father, "The importance of sailing stories": "Hi Len, Just wanted to say that your article today was one of your best! Although you said it was more about you, it really reminded the reader to enjoy life with the company of others to share in that experience. Valuable lesson indeed. Thanks for all that you do to better the harbor. Chris"
Well, Chris thank you and everyone whotakes the time to read my column.