The Harbor Report: The good, the bad and the ugly

It's that time of the year again, for the good, the bad and the ugly of 2012. This year I wrote 39 stories; each year, I review my column and itemize my stories and observations into the following categories:

The good

For the second year in a row, dredging the harbor has been on the top of the list. The Newport Beach City Council and Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller are down to the last few scoops of dredging the entire harbor. So much good was derived from this process, including increased water quality and marine life, the need for continuous dredging and — my favorite — how the harbor looks without moorings. My story, "Dredging may be a drag," ran June 29.

The stimulation of the Newport High Point Series continued, with Roy Jones aboard his J 133 Tango winning the High Point Series Trophy for being the best-sailed PHRF boat in our harbor. The High Point Scoreboard ran in March, August and twice in November.

This year, we were granted eight interviews with our harbor's movers and shakers. Starting in February with Miller, we moved on in April to Mike Howarth and Henry Mohrschladt, the original owners of Pacific Seacraft and Cabo Yachts. Then it was boating icon Marshal "Duffy" Duffield from Duffy Electric Boats in May, followed by Jim Tyler of Island Marine Fuel in July, Eberisto "Abe" Parra from Larson's Shipyard, and Mandy McDonnell, the founder of Paddle for Privates, in October. We closed out the year by visiting with Balboa Yacht Club assistant dock master Ray Dasilva and the Harbor 20 dream team, John Cazier and Richard Blatterman. I would like to thank you all again for sitting down with me this last year.

The bad

In May, I wrote a story, "My take on the Aegean tragedy," which brought more than 800 hits to my blog site. This was my take on how the four sailors lost their lives in this year's Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race.

I continue to explain to our City Council, through our Harbor Commission and Water Quality board, the need for marine recycling centers. We're going on year four now with everyone telling me it's a great idea, yet nothing gets done.

In my Nov. 1 story, "Why is business so slow?" I asked why the marine industry was so flat in the best harbor in the world. At the end of the story, I made reference to my efforts to obtain eight parking permits for the winners of the Newport High Point Series.

The ugly

What will come of all the increases placed on tidelands permits this year? I wrote on this issue more than six times this year.

The proposed boycott of this month's Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade by the Stop The Dock Tax group was found in my Nov. 1 column. To me, "poop happens," but this boycott smells worse than the sewage spill when the dredging vessel broke the main sewage line off Little Balboa Island this year.

This observation was made during my interview with John Cazier when John said, "This place would be a different world if we took all these moored boats and placed them onto a floating marina. Floating docks are a big change to try to institute. Every square foot of water out there is worth a lot of money, and we are using it very badly." The more I think about this issue, the more I agree with John. The moorings are ugly, and we are not using the space correctly.

The Balboa Island seawall restoration consulting fees coming from the tidelands fund? Stay turned and get involved in 2013 harbor issues. Should you wish to reread any of the above stories, go to the Daily Pilot's web page, then plug "Len Bose" into the search bar; all my stories will appear. For photos of this year's good, bad and ugly, or suggestions for the last-minute Yachtsman's Christmas gift, please go to my blog site at

Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

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