Boating Adventures on Labor Day Weekend

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Wow! What a Labor Day weekend. I can’t ever recall seeing and avoiding so many boats and yachts cruising Newport Harbor.

From whale watching off-shore to people watching on-shore, Newport was filled with friends, families, vacationers, tourists, and inlanders, all enjoying the paradise surroundings of our world class community.

“Sundance,” owned by Primary Color and the Hirt brothers, cruised out of the harbor Sunday to celebrate a birthday and anchor in Emerald Bay with yours truly at the helm.

My expectation that Emerald Bay would be full of Newport and Dana Point yachts was fulfilled. There were probably more boats anchored there than the Newport Turning Basin, which was at full capacity.

From 17-foot Boston Whalers to an 80-foot classic sailing cutter rig, there were go fasts, cruisers, sloops, and even the 70-foot “Royal Buzzard” wave piercing power catamaran. Children and adults swimming, wave running, paddling, kayaking, water skiing, wake boarding, sunbathing, eating and drinking were the rule of the cove. America’s holiday boating at its’ finest!

A 55-foot Sea Ray cruiser went by us while at anchor. Something struck me as out of the ordinary, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. The following morning television news reported this same yacht slipped anchor in the fog and struck the Balboa Pier, which closed the pier for Labor Day.

Our Newport lifeguards rescued the life-jacketed passengers as they abandoned ship into the ocean and helped them ashore. For many years the Newport guards have been the leaders that set the pace for the best of the best worldwide. Kudos guys!

Upon reaching the end of the Rhine Channel, the 80-foot classic power yacht “Mariah” was dead in the water and the captain appeared overwhelmed. The bow flew the Newport Harbor Yacht Club burgee, and the vessel was full of drunken, unruly young adults totally out of control.

As we circled the tight quarters, an over-steroided young man on the other yacht shouted obscenities and threw his cocktail at us. He was outraged that we had the audacity to go around the yacht that was hogging the end of the channel.

I hope the occupants grow up before they become senior citizens. Newport deserves better. I’m surprised the good members of N.H.Y.C. would allow a large group of do-nothings into their world class organization.

Several Duffy’s and other rental boats, including a Marina Sailing Harbor 20, continued to tack in front of us without looking, which is an accident waiting to happen.

A safety training program is highly recommended prior to renters leaving the dock.

 Sea Ya,

Skipper Steve


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