The Harbor Report: Should we call it 'Boatmaggedon'?

Three quotations come to mind this week: "They're here," "You want to put what where?" and "It's only going to hurt for a little while."

I am referring to the Lower Bay dredging project in Newport Beach's Rhine Channel, which just started. This project is to go on until the end of the year — and I thought the X Games were exciting to watch.

Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller has been doing a stellar job keeping the lines of communication open among all the different harbor users. Before the scows start their route out of the harbor, the Brusco Tug captains announce a security alert over VHF Channel 16.

On one day the wind was up, and more than 12 sabots capsized. If the scow came through at that time, it would have been scary!

You can find information about the Rhine Channel project on the city of Newport Beach website.

Let me now point out the obvious. Stay away from dredging equipment, be it in the Turning Basin or in the Rhine. In the Turning Basin, around the larger "pile driving" barge, the Brusco Tug is kept in gear and is moving a lot of water around.

In the Rhine Channel there is just no room for safe passage. Even if you are on a paddleboard, duffy or Lido 14, make sure you go in the other direction.

Don't be the person who falls in the water after a winter storm! Maybe we should call it Boatmageddon?

The dredging will take place Monday through Saturday during working hours. Boaters need to keep in mind that the tugs can still move a scow out of the harbor at any time of the day.

Keep in mind that "objects in mirror may be closer than they appear," and a tug could be returning an empty scow at any time. It would be just my luck to get trapped in the upper end of the Rhine Channel overnight.

I also need to note that after each phase, the larger "pile driving" barge — the one that's in the turning basin now, minus the two scows attached — has to go up the channel and replace the pilings.

Like I said, "You want to put what where?"

If you absolutely, positively have to enter Boatmageddon, remember you can use the guest docks at 15th and 19th streets and walk to your destination from there. Remind your guests to keep their voices down when you leave and return to the boat.

Also, keep in mind if you have to go to the local shipyards before the end of the year, you better get up there before Sept. 8.

Should you want to read my stories weekly — I like to call it "Len Bose un-edited" — visit

Sea ya!

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

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