The Harbor Report: Where are the 'Guest Docks'?

Have you ever stepped onto a Laser or Lido 14 without having the daggerboard or centerboard down?

If you don't step in the right place and move fast, you're going to get all wet. Now blend that together with when you used to play sponge tag in your sabot as a kid. That's how I feel about California Recreation/Irvine Co. and a promise to provide "Guest Docks" behind the restaurants 3-Thirty-3 and SOL Cocina on Coast Highway and Bayside Drive.

Now let me step into my Lido without getting all wet.

According to the Irvine Co., a guest can register with the California Recreation Marina Office and obtain a guest key or contact one of the restaurants managers to get in and out of the marina gates.

I would also like to remind everyone that back in January 2008, Irvine Co. donated "The Castaways" area in the northwest corner of the Coast Highway bridge to the city of Newport Beach, and in 1987 the company donated $10.5 million to the Newport Harbor Art Museum.

I am also sure there have been many times when the Irvine Co. has been more then generous to us little boat sailors.

Like any other sailor around town, I do enjoy a good game of sponge tag each summer.

For those of you not familiar with sponge tag, like the name implies, we get a wet sponge and throw it as hard as we can at each other while sailing our boats close together.

When the Irvine Co. put in its new docks behind 3-Thirty-3 and SOL Cocina, they promised the city of Newport Beach "Guest Docks." The idea was to give residents and visitors a place to dock their boats for a short time and cross over to West Marine, dine at the restaurants, walk down to the grocery store and obtain access to the northeast side of the harbor.

Dan Miller, a spokesman for Irvine Co., said Thursday that the docks were never intended as public docks.

It has now been well over a year since the completion of this project and there is still no way to get past the locked gates to access these slips.

If you arrive by water, you will need a harbor pilot to find these guest slips because the signs are located inside the slips and are very small.

My point being is that you folks at Irvine Co. made a promise. So keep your promise, and now that I threw the wet sponge at you, you're "it."

Did you see the final round of the 2010 Governor's Cup on Sunday? Oh my gosh! That was some of the best racing I have seen in years, and did you happen to notice that I picked the two finalists two days before the event started?

I really wanted the local Newport Harbor Yacht Club team of Segerblom, Bathen and Chung to pound sand into those flightless birds, the Kiwis. It was another fantastic event. A well done must be given to the winning Team of Tiller, Thurston and Mason from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. This event is a must-see next year!

The "Flight of the Lasers" also was sailed Sunday. Winds were light and 50 boats were on the starting line. Tufts All-American sailor Adam Deermount won the event, followed closely by a couple of people out of my class, Nick Madigan and Philip Thompson. I was racing "Two Around Catalina" on "Problem Child." Dan Rossen and I won our class and had an outstanding run down the backside of Catalina under a full moon and 18 knots of breeze.

This weekend I am getting back aboard Amante with the Richleys for the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race.

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