From the Sun Harbor Marina
Welcome to the November edition of the Sun Harbor Marina newsletter. In this month's issue, we have interesting articles about an important reminder from the U.S. Coast Guard that some mariners are still using outdated and unmonitored radio frequencies to call for help.
In other articles, we have a potpourri of useful boating tips about the care of new sails, minimizing seasickness, rules of the road, preparing your boat for heavy weather, 10 Simple Solutions for the Most Common Boating Breakdowns, and How to Navigate the Mobile Minefield (Part 2). Lastly, for those of you who have thought about getting your Captain's License but never acted on it, here's some encouragement to pursue the dream.
Special Dates in November
Manatee Awareness Month
The manatee is officially endangered no more. And just imagine the challenges the manatee faced with the Hurricanes. We hear a lot in the news about how many were impacted. It is not just people and property but all life. A good time to be thankful for the storms being over and lives getting back to normal. Increases in manatee populations and improvements in their habitats led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service to downgrade protections for the species from "endangered" to "threatened."
But not everyone is happy with the seemingly good news. The Center for Biological Diversity noted 2016 was the deadliest year to date for manatees. "Manatees are still in danger. With ongoing threats posed by boat strikes and habitat loss, we don't support reducing protections," said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director for the center said. Here is a link to read more about the manatee
November 3rd - Jelly Fish Day
November 5th - Daylight Savings Time ends
November 11th - Veterans Day
November 11th 3pm - Docksgiving is Thanksgiving celebration at the marina!
Friends come together to share turkey and all the fixings and an afternoon of gratitude and fun. Watch for an event posted on Facebook where you can post what you are bringing. You know...so we don't have 50 gallons of mashed potatoes! If you don't have a Facebook account, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give the office a call and we will post for you.
November 12th - Pizza with the Works. Support
Pizza Nova, order one!
November 12th - 19th - The San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival
Immerse yourself in new events, the best wines from around the world and some of today's biggest celebrity chefs and culinary personalities. Join over 150 wineries, breweries and spirit purveyors, 60 of San Diego's best restaurants, and 10,000 wine and food aficionados from across the nation. For more information Click Here
November 19th - Mother Goose Parade - Link
November 22nd - 26th - Dixieland Jazz Festival - Link
November 23rd - Thanksgiving
November 23rd - 24th - Sun Harbor Marina Office Closed
November 1st - 23rd - CUBAR - Link
2017 San Diego Parade of Lights
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is one of our region's most cherished holiday traditions. Each year the parade is coordinated by a committee of volunteers who host the annual boat procession on San Diego Bay. The 46th annual parade will take place the evenings of Sunday, December 10th and 17th. The 2017 parade is expected to once again feature up to 100 boats, cleverly decorated according to this year's theme, "Arrrgh! A Pirates Christmas". More than 150,000 San Diegans and visitors are expected to view the processions. Whether you plan to be a spectator or a participant it is a fun evening for all. If you are entering the event let us know so we can spread the word to your dock neighbors for the proper amount of loud cheering.
This is a great time to decorate your boat with even a single strand to make the docks look festive throughout the holiday season. There are spare lights in the marina office starting Nov 25th get a few while the supply last.
Positive Thoughts Create More to be Thankful For
- By Laura Brownwood
Boater's reason to be thankful . . . you find out the guy at the marina re-tied your lines after really big winds, and saved your boat from getting too close to your neighbor.
You come down to your boat, after a heavy rain, and see that your dinghy is fine, what the heck? Just as you are wondering about it, the neighbor tells you the new gal a few boats down, used a bucket to bail the water. Nice . . . it feels good to be thankful.
In the boating community there is much more connection than in most regular neighborhoods. Over the ten years I lived aboard, I saw so many kind deeds, that my appreciation of dock life has extremely fond memories of people helping each other. Every time I would come down the channel there was always someone to help me on the docks as I brought my 38' trawler into my slip.
Sure there are aspects of boating life that are trying, BUT where are you focusing? Deal with what needs to be taken care of, and then let it go. As far as appreciating boating life . . . THAT IS WHERE YOU SHOULD PUT YOUR ATTENTION, and I can assure you, you will feel better in doing so.
Here are some suggestions of things you could focus on . . .
- The joy of sitting on the bow on a nice sunny day
- Being rocked to sleep at night
- The feeling of freedom as you head across the bay or out to sea
- Having visitors enjoy a cruise, or even just sitting at the dock
- For some, racing
- Feeling the wind on your skin
Please take a moment and add at least one other thing to appreciate about your boat.
In addition to our "marine thankfulness," look for other areas of your life that are working. So often we get caught up on problems, yet worrying will not fix them, whereas appreciation can lift your spirits and help you deal with problems. Use this Thanksgiving holiday to spend more time being thankful, and less stressing or worrying. You have a choice, worry and feel that negative vibe OR look for good feeling thoughts. I promise you, you will feel better if you do the later. So much of what consumes us is malleable and is in our control.
The BeachHouse Team 619-994-4999
Holiday Gift Ideas From Your Marina Neighbors
Happy Holidays from Captain Keith! Give me a call for private sailing and docking instruction on your own boat or mine. If you would like you can make it a group event inviting family or friends. Thanks and enjoy the fall and winter season! Link
Yachting San Diego
We offer private Fishing and Pleasure Yacht Charters, as well as yacht management, lessons, Captain for Hire on your own boat, delivery and sales. For our fishing trips that would make a great gift for that angler in the family, check out our 48 Egg Harbor that can accommodate up to 6 passengers, for half day, ¾ day, full day, and up to two day trips!, Or, choose our 30 ft. May-Craft Center Console for a day trip of your choice. She has a range of 300 NM for up to 4 guests, at an average speed of about 25 KN, to get you to the fish! For larger groups that just want to spend a day on the water, check out our pleasure yachts that range from 40 ft to 114 ft.! You can find us at www.yachtingsandiego.com . Mention this ad and receive a 10% discount on any one of our charters!!
Little Thai Massage
Traditional Thai Massage gift certificates for one or two of their services would make great stocking stuffers! Link
OEX Point Loma
The week after Thanksgiving Marina Tenants only can get 15% off OEX Pt Loma storewide. (Including most paddle boards.) If you purchase a board and are worried about the recipient finding the surprise OEX can hold it until Christmas.
Benchmark Custom Welding
It's the holidays splurge a little on your boat. Is it time to add a new bow pulpit or stern pushpit? Thinking of going off grid with a set of solar panels and need a frame to hold them? Will Catalina be more fun with a nice set of boarding steps. Benchmark Custom Welding is offering 10% off on orders for new business placed now until Dec 1st by Marina Tenants. So drop by the shop to place that order for a new shiny addition to the boat for you, your partner or heck maybe just the boat.
Sailors have always been a superstitious lot with many beliefs and Myths, some well known and others not so much. For example, today's fashion for tattoos is not really new and in the days of windjammers it was common to tattoo a rooster and a pig onto sailors' feet. They believed these animals would prevent the sailors from drowning by showing them the way to shore.
10 Simple Solutions for the Most Common Boating Breakdowns
You've seen the bumper sticker: A bad day of boating is better than a good day at work. Cute, but would you really feel that way if you were adrift 10 miles from the ramp, with a boatload of tired, cranky passengers and an engine that won't start? At that point, you don't need a slogan, you need a plan.
Sometimes, your only option might be to ask for help - either from a professional towing company or a fellow boater. But in most instances a well-prepared skipper can make the necessary repairs to get the boat back to port without assistance. We surveyed a group of respected boat mechanics to come up with the 10 most common reasons boats break down, and then compiled a consensus on what it would take to save the day - and how to prevent future outings from premature endings.
Boaters Can Load Up Their Mobile Devices With Helpful Apps (part 2 of 5)
Boaters have an app called MarineTraffic to assist with navigating congested waterways. "I find the MarineTraffic app really helpful when visibility is poor or when there's a lot of shipping traffic," Marie stated. "I came up to (Los Angeles) from Newport in zero visibility and scanning between the radar, chart plotter, and MarineTraffic on my iPad gave us all the info we needed."
Letting the people close to you know where you are planning to go in your vessel and your timeline of your departure, arrival and return is always a good plan. In case of an emergency, rescuers will have an easier time finding you, especially if you are alone. Float Plan EZ! is an app to help you keep your loved ones informed of where you are, when you have arrived at your destination and when you have departed to head home.
Similar apps, such as BoatSafe Free and Skipper, also allow you to log your course as well as share your cruising or sailing route with others.
Another app called iNavXp not only can log your route but also provides marine charts.
You can plan your route and save your favorite locations on Embark. This app also provides nautical charts as well as the ability to search for marinas, anchorages, fuel pumps and beaches.
Cold Water Boating
With temperatures in the 60s, many people have taken to the lake early. Although the weather is nice and the sun is out, the lake temperature is still cold. On Monday, Feb. 20th, the temperature of Lake Erie in our area was 34 degrees.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources have issued the following regarding the potential of a cold water boating accident.
When preparing for a boating trip, the easiest but most dangerous thing to overlook is maintaining your body's temperature. Water cooler than the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees can cause heat loss. Cold water will cool a body 25 times faster than cold air of the same temperature.
Falling into cold water triggers the body's cold water immersion responses, beginning with an uncontrollable gasping reflex. A well-fitted lifejacket will keep the airway out of the water -- which is most important when the gasping reflex begins. Heart rate and blood pressure increase dramatically, increasing the risk for cardiac arrest. The victim may hyperventilate and find it difficult to get air into the lungs.
Any water less than 59 degrees will trigger the physical response to cold water, but some studies suggest that the water can be as warm as 68 degrees. The colder the water, the more severe the response. Total immersion in cold water is very painful and the disoriented victim can quickly panic. With these combined reactions, the victim may drown quickly. The best prevention for this danger is to wear a lifejacket… For more information Click Here.
Clean Marina Minute
- By Bradley Wright
Fish Waste Management: As we know San Diego is very popular for fishing. Throughout the fun day of fishing the question might arise, where can I properly dispose of all of my fish waste? Our goal is to inform how to clean the fish and properly dispose of any waste.
Currently at Sun Harbor Marina we do not have an onsite fish cleaning station. There is one close by at the Shelter Island fishing pier. At Sun Harbor Marina it is not allowed to clean or fillet while your boat is docked. Below are some tips so you will not ever have to fillet your fish in slip again. Save your deck from the birds.
First: After your beautiful day of fishing, be sure to process your fish while the vessel is still out at sea. This can make it much easier when you return to the dock - much less clean up. The local marine life would likely appreciate your food donation too.
Second: Dispose of all unwanted bait while at sea as well.
Fisherman's Processing is a good alternative if you don't feel like cleaning it yourself. They are located at 2837 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106. Phone (619) 255-3128
That's it for Us! Be sure to sign up for the Chili Cook off on Saturday, October 28th.
Your Sun Harbor Marina Team
Sea Sickness Part 2 - Controlling the Body
- By Kells Christian
When the eyes perceive a different movement than the inner ear experiences, the result can be sea sickness for a boater.
While this is the common belief, the actual cause of sea sickness is not agreed upon by the medical community. Approximately 30% of the population is relatively immune to sea sickness while another 30% gets very little relief from common medications.
The research supports my personal experiences with sea sickness. While I have been sea sick, and understand the feeling, it is rare for me but three of our family of five are prone to it. Research suggests anxiety about sea sickness contributes to its frequency and rest and hydration help prevent it.
Eating lightly, including snacks such as ginger snaps and pretzels is preferred to not eating or to eating greasy or acidic foods. Wind across your face and staring at the horizon are proven to reduce discomfort and avoid others who are sick. Driving the vessel (and driving the car) is also helpful. Your senses tend to agree when you are in control of the boat and watching the seas. The back of smaller boats and amidships near the water line in ships generally has less movement. Staring at the horizon on deck is preferred to confusing your senses down below. An easy rule to remember is back of the boat and front of the plane.
If one of the crew is sick, exercise caution if they are heaving over the side of the boat. Sea sickness is bad but a person overboard, particularly in heavy weather, is worse.
There are both homeopathic and "western medical" means for prevention and acute treatment of motion sickness. Homeopathic treatments generally have little to no side effects. Research indicates that some treatments are extremely effective on some people, thus trying various treatments is suggested. Unfortunately there are so many variables and unknowns in motion sickness, your personal research may take a long period of time and accurate record keeping to be effective.
A common homeopathic treatment is acupressure or electro acupuncture on the T6 pressure point. This is the pressure point approximately two fingers up the forearm from the wrist. There are a multitude of wristbands and bracelets which apply pressure to this pressure point. There are electric wrist bands with variable intensity settings and both of these methods are effective on some.
There is an extensive amount of medication available for sea sickness. Primarily anticholinergics and antihistamines are used. Scopolamine is usually applied as a patch behind the ear and it works as both prevention and treatment for sea sickness. Antihistamines such as Dramamine and Bonine are most effective as preventative medicines and need to be ingested one to two hours prior to departure. The common side effects include drowsiness and dry mouth.
A non FDA approved medicine Cinnarizine (brand name Sturgeon) is mentioned in several studies and may be the most effective antihistamine with fewest side effects.
NASA and the U.S. Navy use conditioning and de-sensitization to reduce motion sickness in astronauts and pilots. So get out there, boat more often, and stop worrying about getting sick.
Kells Christian has been an accredited Marine Surveyor since 1990. His expertise extends to both recreational and commercial vessels. You can e-mail your marine surveyor questions to email@example.com or Click Here to visit his web site.
Getting New Sails For Your Boat? Here's How to Make Sure They Last a Long Time
By Brad Poulos
As sailors, we are acutely aware of the cost of sails as part of the total investment in owning and operating a sailboat. Experience has also shown that the treatment of new sails after they are delivered can greatly extend or shorten their useful life.
Naturally, one of the main determinants of a sail's life span is the quality of the materials used and the workmanship of the sailmaker. Regarding proper treatment of sails to promote a long useful life, there are many steps that can and should be taken. These can be divided these into three main areas:
- Preparation of the boat and rig
- Proper treatment of the sails on board
- Care and maintenance.
In this article we will look at how to prepare your boat and the rigging:
--Tape all cotter pins, sharp corners and other points that can tear or chafe sails. Give particular attention to the pulpit area. Make sure you tape off the turnbuckles where the lifelines attach.
- Place boots or tubes over turnbuckles, both to prevent chafe and to keep grease and oil off sails.
- Be sure the lifelines are clean and free of meat hooks. Give particular attention to the stanchion tops. Acetone is a good cleaner for vinyl-coated lifelines.
- Install rollers or padded boots on spreader tips.
- Be sure wire halyards have no meat hooks or open wire on the shackles which might chafe or snag the sails.
- Position guards to close off any "V's" in the rigging that may catch the sails when they are being hoisted or lowered.
- Wash the deck before each weekend of sailing, and polish the spars periodically so that sails don't pick up any of the aluminum oxidation.
- Dry out your sails before leaving them on the boat for any period of time. One way of doing this is to simply spread the sails around the main cabin and forepeak so that the air can circulate and dry them between outings.
- Avoid the practice of drying sails by hoisting them to flog in the breeze.
- Finally, minimize exposure to direct sunlight when drying your sails.
Taking these steps will ensure and extend the life and strength of your sails allowing you to get the most out of them in terms of speed and appearance.
In Trouble on the High Seas? Use the Wrong Communication System and Your Call for Help May Not Be Heard!
In August, the U.S. Coast Guard reminded all mariners to be sure to know your high seas comms equipment and how to use them because it just might save your own life if you get in trouble offshore!
In a Marine Safety Alert, they explained that Coast Guard Marine Inspectors indicate that a large number of vessel operators and ship masters are continuing to rely on outdated high seas communications frequencies that are no longer effective when trying to communicate with the Coast Guard.
This Safety Alert instructs all mariners to use Single Side Band High Frequency (SSB-HF) radios when attempting to contact the Coast Guard outside the normal range of Very High Frequency-Modulation (VHF-FM) marine radios. It is important, however, to note that the Coast Guard discontinued monitoring the SSB-HF frequency of 2182 KHz over four years ago, nevertheless, many mariners continue to attempt to contact the Coast Guard using this frequency.
Also, many mariners attempt to contact the Coast Guard using their EPIRBs, cell phones, SAT phones, and even NOAA weather electronics. Each of these communications devices has its own limitations and specific functional capabilities.
SSB-HF communications offer a greater transmission range when other options are not available. SSB-HF radios equipped with digital selective calling (DSC) are capable of triggering an alert at Coast Guard Communications Command and are an especially reliable means for initiating communications with the Coast Guard during distress situations.
The Coast Guard keeps watch on the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) SSB-HF frequencies 4125, 6215, 8291 and 12,290 kHz in place of the old international radiotelephone distress frequency 2182 kHz. More detailed information on the SSB-HF and HF DSC frequencies on which the Coast Guard keeps watch for distress and safety purposes are listed at this website.
Questions or comments concerning Coast Guard HF distress, safety and broadcast services may be sent to the Coast Guard Communications Command at COM-DG-M-CWOWatchstanders@uscg.mil.
Severe Weather Coming? Preparing Your Boat for the Worst
- By Commodore Vincent Pica
We've all read about what you should do to prepare for hurricanes, "hurry-canes" (as I call these squalls that blow through at high speed and are gone in a "hurry") and just good stiff blows! They were largely about what you and your family should do (like never stay on the boat nor drive through running water.) What about the boat? Tis the season of heavy weather. This column is about that.
Let Me Say It Again!
Never stay out on the boat and try to weather it through. I know - There are old timers that swear by it. "I've saved my boat every time when others were lost." With absolute certainty, it is simply because the winds and seas never exceeded the operational capacity of your engines. But when they do, you will be lost with the boat. The boat is just money. You are someone. If you care about the people who care about you, read on and leave the boat behind while you take your loved ones to high ground.
The Spider Web of Lines...
If you can't get the boat out of the water and on to "the hard", then you are compelled to protect her in her natural element the water. But the sea presents forces magnified beyond the speed of the wind it is the momentum of the wind-driven seas and the tidal surge. The storm tide is added to the astronomical tides. And when those waves hit something solid, they generate force dozens of times more powerful than wind of the same speed. Sandy generated a storm surge of 14 feet. Andrew generated a storm tide of 17 feet. Camille in 1969? 24 feet.
While nothing will save the boat from that, the vast majority of storm-driven tidal surges are significant but really fractions of that. So, with a "spider web of lines", you can create a fighting chance that your beauty will ride out the storm.
What is common to all these configurations is lots of lines and long expanses of them. In three of them, you can also see that multiple anchors are used as well. The longer lines are there to address the tidal surge. The additional lines are there for back-up. Losing one line to stress doesn't completely undo everything you've done.
(Illustrations courtesy of BoatUS)
Without doubt, you will need chafe guards of some kind since the storm will put extreme stresses on the lines where they are wrapped around the cleats and chocks. Your ground tackle too will need additional chafe protection. Think of the storm as putting a summer's worth of stress on your lines for every hour of "blow." If you go through a set of lines every two summers, they will never withstand a half-day of a serious "blow." And that is assuming that they are new.
What to use?... The universal winner-take-all is old garden hose. Lay the line through a length of hose and lay that through the chock or along the toe rail where your line crosses the gunwale on its way to a cleat on the dock. In a pinch, duct tape (a TON of it) works really well. And it is more pliable than garden hose. For the aficionados, they will hate it because it looks like hell but it works. BTW, while you can (now!), be sure that the cleats on the boat and on the dock are through-bolted with a backing plate. If not, they will become high-speed guided missiles as they fly out of their bedding under strain. And the boat will be free. No garden hose? Improvise. Leather straps. Rags. Anything helps, just some things help more than others.
Cut Your Windage...
Do whatever you can to lower the boat's profile to the wind. Take down the bimini cover and lash it. If you can't, open the windows. Take down the antennas. Even that little bit of additional windage can tip the balance. A sailboat? I know I don't need to say that you must stow all the sails, even the furled ones, below or ashore. If the boat has dorades or cowls, seal them. Wind or wind-driven water getting below at high speed can't be good. Duct tape! And take in all the electronics and seal the boat's electrical leads with tape.
Fenders and Fender Boards...
Yes. As many as possible, put them out. I always suggest that they be secured to the boat, rather than the dock. If the boat does break free, at least she is taking some of her protection with her.
Make a check list now. If you need one, email me below and I will send you one. Do you want a copy of the BoatUS guide for boat and marina owners? Email me below and I'll send that too. And remember these words:
"The time for taking all measures for a ship's safety is while still able to do so. Nothing is more dangerous than for a seaman to be grudging in taking precautions lest they turn out to have been unnecessary. Safety at sea for a thousand years has depended on exactly the opposite philosophy." - Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
Commodore Pica is District Directorate Chief; Strategy & Innovation; First Coast Guard District, Southern Region USCGAux. He is also a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Master Captain.
Getting a Captain's License - An Achievement That Can Really Pay Off!
- By Captain H. R. "Rags" Laragione
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is "What can I do with a U.S. Coast Guard Captain's License?"
If you're like most boaters, you probably have thought about becoming a licensed captain, but for one reason or another have not pursued the idea.
The usual vision one has is that of sharing your passion and prestige with landlubbers by taking them on a sunset cruise; and getting paid for it to boot. But there are many other ways a captain's license can help fill your cruising kitty.
An immediate dividend is a break on your boat insurance. A captain's license by definition implies proven experience on the water and education in the classroom, which in turn translates into a safer and lower risk mariner.
An even greater benefit according to a study performed by the Long Beach U.S. Coast Guard Station is that licensed mariners have significantly fewer accidents and injuries than unlicensed mariners - maybe the biggest benefit of all.
On the revenue generating side, the possibilities are endless. In addition to those sunset cruises, a licensed captain can teach sailing classes, be a private yacht captain, ferry yachts from port to port, or even be a tugboat operator.
How Fast is Too Fast? Better Know U.S. Coast Guard Rule 6
If you operate a boat, you are subject to comply with the U.S. Coast Guard's "Navigation Rules of the Road".
There are a total of 38 rules in total, and they are applied differently in many cases depending on whether you are in Inalnd or International waterways, but they are all basically Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
In this month's issue, we review Rule #6 - Which is called "Safe Speed", and is one of those "Steering and Sailing" rules which is the same for both Inland and International waterways.
Here is the wording of Rule 6:
"Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account by all vessels:
- (i) the state of visibility;
- (ii) the traffic density including concentration of fishing vessels or any other vessels;
- (iii) the maneuverability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;
- (iv) at night, the presence of background light such as from shore lights or from back scatter of her own lights;
- (v) the state of wind, sea, and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards; and
- (vi) the draft in relation to the available depth of water.
Additionally, by vessels with operational radar:
- (i) the characteristics, efficiency and limitations of the radar equipment;
- (ii) any constraints imposed by the radar range scale in use;
- (iii) the effect on radar detection of the sea state, weather, and other sources of interference;
- (iv) the possibility that small vessels, ice and other floating objects may not be detected by radar at an adequate range;
- (v) the number, location, and movement of vessels detected by radar; and
- (vi) the more exact assessment of the visibility that may be possible when radar is used to determine the range of vessels or other objects in the vicinity."
Rule 6 is reminisce of the days as late as the early 1960s when many States including California had no speed limit. If you were involved in a collision, you could be cited if it was determined that you were "Driving Too Fast for Conditions" - So you could drive 110 miles an hour if you liked, but the outcome may not be in your favor if it was determined that you lacked judgement.
In that sense, it is worthwhile for any boater to take the time to read and think about Rule 6 and apply it while on the waterways.
Next month - We review Rules 7 & 8. Happy boating!