NEWPORT BEACH - Representatives from Sea Tow and Vessel Assist membership towing companies came together in a Dec. 5 meeting to discuss their concerns with the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol that boaters might be getting "free tows" in cases that are not emergencies. Key representatives who attended this meeting included Capt. Deana Bergquist, harbormaster in Newport Beach for the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol; Rob Butler of Vessel Assist San Diego and a board member of C-PORT; Dave La Montagne, CEO and founder of Vessel Assist; Rick Francis, deputy chief of staff for Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach; Chris McCarthy, president of Sea Tow Newport/LA; and other representatives from Sea Tow Southern California.
Non-emergency Assistance - Officials from Vessel Assist, the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol and Sea Tow met recently to discuss responses to non-rescue tows. More discussions are scheduled for early 2008.
SAN DIEGO - Members of the Joint Powers Authority - including representatives of the city of San Diego, Centre City Development Corp. and the Port of San Diego - were updated on developments in the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan during a Dec. 13 meeting. The goal is to create a signature waterfront "entrance" to the city of San Diego that will appeal to residents and visitors alike. The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan will be divided into 10 areas of the waterfront and will include proposals to create a welcoming and dramatic entry area for San Diego, including public gathering places, widened esplanades, landscaping and improved pedestrian access. The total project cost is estimated at approximately $228 million.
MARINA DEL REY - After months of offering topics of local boaters' concerns for inclusion in a letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the public had a last chance to offer input when the communication was finalized during a Los Angeles County Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting Dec. 12. Commissioners and the public discussed the letter for more than an hour, attempting to add and remove items from the three-page document. "We are going to get a letter to the board," said Commission Chairman Harley Searcy. "They need to know that people are upset."
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - In the aftermath of the oil spill that dumped 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel into San Francisco Bay on Nov. 7, the Coast Guard said it may consider restricting movement of ships in heavy fog - and some legislators are calling for granting the Coast Guard expanded powers in controlling the movement of ships. Several members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were in San Francisco Nov. 19 questioning Coast Guard officials about their response to the Bay's worst oil spill in nearly two decades. The House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation was meeting at the Presidio, and its chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, said his goals were to figure out how the spill happened and assess the Coast Guard's performance.
Back in 2000, the style of long-range tuna fishing took a radical turn. With the closure of the Revillagigedos Islands to close-by, anchored-style fishing, skippers and crews had to venture into open, deep water to fish. In the summer, this style of fishing is called "run and gun," because the boat pursues tuna until they bite or sound. The stops last only as long as fish are nearby and/or biting. Over the seasons since, many excellent catches have been made close to southern Baja, as well as off the islands with this method. The tuna may be spotted under bird schools, with porpoise herds, or appear only on the boat's sonar at first. What all this means to anglers is that the time, the "window of opportunity" for hooking big tuna, is limited. You've got to be ready to get a fresh bait into the water quickly when the tuna show up, and put it as close to the school as you can.
With fuel prices rising, it's no wonder that many boaters wish for a cheap and endless source of energy. Scientists say we may be floating on the answer: wave power. A Florida company, SRI International, is already working on capturing this relatively untapped alternative energy source, and initial results seem promising, according to Roy Kornbluh, senior research engineer. SRI International has harnessed the inertia of a buoy as it sways side-to-side, internally stretching what the company refers to as an artificial muscle. The small-scale research buoy has successfully generated enough power to sustain the buoy's external navigation light.