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On the Harbor: 2023 end-of-the-year wrap-up

By LEN BOSE

The customers ask me how long have I been selling boats. My reply this year has been, “Longer than I care to admit,” which is similar to telling someone how old you are. Well, I’m thinking the same thing when I count back how many end-of-the-year wrap-ups I have written. Some years, I referred to these stories as the “The good, the bad & the ugly,” “My 10 best stories,” “Looking back at this year’s highlights” and “Counting down my favorite 10 stories.” So, I am not going to tell you how long I have been writing these year-end stories. Let’s just get this party started.

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Photo Len Bose

Jennifer and Len Bose

Each year we must ring eight bells – “End of the Watch” – or when a sailor has passed away. This year was “Remembering Douglas M. West.” Go here to read it. For me, it was West’s personal touch, on topics he knew I had a personal interest in. He would meet with me for breakfast or lunch at his request. He was an extremely easy person to approach while sincerely considering many of my silly ideas. At the same time, I recall a couple of Harbor Commission meetings when he would firmly remind people when they were out of order.

I spent some time this year with Harbormaster Paul Blank. Go here to read Touring Newport Harbor with Harbormaster Paul Blank Part 1 and go here for Part 2.

In the first interview, Blank and I discussed moorings, pump-out stations, public docks, liveaboards, Caulerpa algae and so much more. At the end of this year, I felt I should check back in with him. Read “Catching up with Harbormaster Paul Blank Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

This second time around the harbor, we reviewed harbor objectives, harbor code enforcement, reviewing all that had happened in the harbor this past year and dredging, and more. I ended the interview with “I should get Harbormaster Blank to sail with me on my Harbor 20; I’d never miss a wind shift again!”

One of my favorite stories this year was “Getting to know Carolyn Smith, the new BCYC sailing director,” which you can read here.

“When I received the phone call, it felt super nice to be thought of for this position. This is a passion for me, so accepting this position was a no-brainer,” said Smith. As I was leaving the interview, Smith came up with the quote of the year. After I had told her this story would be running in Stu News’ Friday edition, she said with a huge smile, “Stu News, that’s where I get all my Newport news.”

I stopped by to see one of my many old friends around the harbor this year. Catching up with Eberisto “Abe” Parra, owner of Larson’s Shipyard. Go here to read it.

The real reason I stopped by to say hello to Parra that week was I had heard a rumor that he was retiring and closing up shop. When I asked him about this, he laughed and said, “I have been here 43 years and plan on being around another 43 years.” This was good to hear, because the last thing we need is to lose another shipyard from our harbor.

Mooring Issues and changes are always a hot topic each year. Now to the elephant in the room – a proposed pilot program to change the mooring system within our harbor. The history of the mooring system is lengthy, so let’s dive into the murky sand below the surface. Harbor Commissioner Ira Beer has been tasked with providing the Harbor Commission with a recommendation that can be presented to the City Council. You can read about that column here.

Meeting Harbor Commissioner Steve Scully reminded me to stay more active within the harbor. I was able to contact Harbor Commissioner Chairman Scully for an interview, and after I leaned back in my chair realizing just how much I missed this summer by not attending the meetings. The good news to report is that the Harbor Commission has been busy, and taking their tasks to hand by completing their objectives. You can read the column on Scully here.

This is the perfect segue to Harbor Commission goals and objectives, which you can read here. I wanted to take the time to update you on what the Harbor Commission has been tasked with in the upcoming year by reviewing its objectives and goals, along with any observations I made from the commission’s meetings.

Finishing the year on a good note, let’s go back to my column, “Recognizing our annual sailing winners,” which you can read here.

The top-shelf award at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club is the Jon Pinckney Perpetual, which is awarded to junior sailors with the most outstanding racing record this year. This year’s recipients were Zarrin Harvey and Kingston Keyoung. I have never seen juniors more excited about receiving an award than these two deserving awardees.

The time sure goes by much faster when you are having fun, so let’s go sailing!

Sea ya next year.

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

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