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On the Harbor: It’s opening up!

By LEN BOSE

It appears the harbor will be slowly opening up within the next couple of weeks if we stay on an even plane between now and the second week of June.

I talked to two of our harbor’s Yacht Club commodores on the phone. Commodore Ginny Lombardi of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club said, “We have been cautious and are excited to get started. This Memorial weekend the Compass Rose patio will be open to members with limited food and beverage services. The club is planning on running the Taco Tuesday summer twilight racing series starting on June 2, confidence is high yet not set in stone with state requirements changing day by day. Efforts are being made to have the pool patio open after Taco Tuesday racing along with looking into ways of providing food service. BCYC has hopes of opening the inside of the club for the 4th of July and after race activities inside. We will make it work.”

Over at the Balboa Yacht Club Commodore David Beek was proud to inform me that the Wednesday Twilight series has started on Wednesday nights for Harbor ‘20s and Lasers while efforts are being made to start Thursday night Beer-cans within the first two weeks of June. “We have been in contact with the city harbormaster Kurt Borsting for the permits needed to start Thursday nights and our Opening Day ceremonies,” Beek said. He was also excited about Opening Day tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 2. “We plan to have as close to a normal opening day as possible with half the number of boats on the main dock, traffic flow along the docks will be one-way and membership will have two guest tickets. We are encouraged and plan on moving slow and smart,” Beek said.

On the Harbor sailboats

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Bob Yates

Sailboats in a line during a regatta on Newport Harbor

Newport Harbor Yacht Club Commodore John Fuller was unavailable for comment. It appears that NHYC will be running their Thursday Night Twilight series starting on June 11 open to Harbor ‘20s and Lehman 12s. NHYC will be trying something new for the Harbor 20 fleet by including a “Bay Fleet” division which I assume is a random leg course around the bay. The Notice of Race indicates that skipper and crew must be from the same residence; otherwise, solo sailing is required. NHYC will not allow guests onto the club premises before racing. I am very pleased to see NHYC re-engaging with the usual strong competition and a well-organized race committee.

I also noticed that Duffy Boat Rentals will be reopening and as you would guess, all boats are booked throughout Memorial Day weekend. By the way, if you have a 2000, the newer Duffy that you have not been using and might be considering selling soon, the market demand has never been higher. I have more than eight people on a waiting list with slips looking to purchase them right now. It seems we have a rather captive audience at the moment, as the Duffy appears to be one of the easiest ways to navigate through troubled times.

I had a chance to talk to Dereck New this week, the owner of Basin Shipyard. He told me they have been extremely busy with boaters that want to catch back up on their maintenance while looking to get back on the water as soon as possible. New’s phone was ringing and people were waiting in line to ask him questions while I had a few minutes of his attention. Things are good over at Basin Shipyard and while walking through the boatyard it remains obvious why they are everyone’s first choice in shipyards in our harbor.

I reached out to Hornblower Cruise and Events, taking the chance to connect with someone locally as to when and how they will be re-engaging on the harbor. No luck yet, although I was promised a complete explanation within a week on just how and what they will be doing to get back to work.

So to reiterate what the BCYC Commodore shared, “We are excited to get started.”

Sea ya!

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Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.