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Base for nautical pursuits

March 17, 2006|By Lauren Vane

There's something for everyone at the Newport Sea Base this spring as the center's latest session of classes and programs kicks off Saturday.

With more than 100 boats and a harbor-side location, the sea base is a spot where water enthusiasts of all ages and abilities can take classes and get some hands-on boating experience.

"What they get from this is an opportunity to develop and find out what their interests are," said sea base program director Berkeley Green.

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The sea base, on Mariner's Mile, will hold its first spring session Saturday through April 8; other sessions run May 6 to 13 and June 3 to 10.

Participants have their pick of classes; topics include canoeing, motorboating and environmental science. And, of course, there are sailing classes that cater to skippers of any level, from beginner through advanced.

"We get them out there [on the water] the first day," Green said.

Sea base classes are fun and educational, Green said.

Though it's officially a Boy Scouts facility, all are welcome at the sea base.

"We are an all-access community facility," Green said.

At the sea base, students can learn not only boating techniques but also life skills, such as responsibility and teamwork.

"Sailing is particularly good at teaching you to use your judgment," Green said.

A group of young boys spent Wednesday afternoon participating in the sea base's newest class, aviation and radio control airplanes, two subjects more closely related than they may at first seem.

Aviators and sailors must be proficient in aerodynamics and physics ? an airplane wing is like a horizontal sail, said class instructor Fred Hesse.

Hesse, a volunteer and member of the Harbor Soaring Society, spent the afternoon teaching the kids about radio systems in planes.

And so far, the kids have been interested in the subject matter, Hesse said.

"I like flying," said class participant Matt Dollet-Hemphill, 12, who has already been in several programs at the sea base.

"I'm just here for the fun of it, really," said Jonathan Steele, 13, also a returner to sea base programs. dpt.17-onthewater-jf-CPhotoInfoJU1P1Q2S20060317iw91r4knJAMIE FLANAGAN / DAILY PILOT(LA)On a field trip to the Newport Sea Base, Jordan Lagaret, left, and Shane Mahoney ? third-graders from Nohl Canyon Elementary School in Anaheim ? identify sea birds during an afternoon boat ride on Newport Harbor.

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