The big news is these new docks will offer a lot more room for people trying to get out to their mooring or to the people who are harbor cruising and want a place to tie up for a short time.
It's starting to feel like summertime, so I am off to Catalina this weekend with my son Andrew and three of his closest friends. I also received word this week that the new No. 8 Channel marker is here to stay. Now I assume that everyone in town knows how to recognize the markings of our public docks? No, well the markers are in the shape of a pawn off a chessboard with blue trim; don't ask me why they are this shape.
On my way to Newport Shipyard for a survey recently I noticed that the public dock at 19th Street looked much larger. The dock has grown some 60 feet in the shape of an "L" and has all the appearance of a new dock. Gone are the old wooden docks with all the fishing pole burrows dug into them. Gone are the large wooden splinters and old cleats barely holding on.
After my survey I went over to the 19th Street dock, which appears large enough to hold a 60-foot boat on it, and I am just not sure of the draft there, I introduced myself to boater Patrick. When I asked Patrick what he thought of the new docks, he replied: "Well, they are OK. I like that they are all clean again. I just wish that the harbor department would enforce the time limits."
Patrick has been living aboard his boat, on a mooring, for more than 10 years.
"Those boats over there have been on the dock for over a week and have not moved," he said. "I just feel the whole place will fill up this summer unless the harbor department does something about it."
I asked Patrick about fishermen on the dock and if he has had any problems bringing his boat to the dock while people are fishing.
"No," he replied. "Fishermen are just fishermen. I have no problem with them. Well, maybe only a couple of times over 10 years I have had a problem."
Boater Patrick also had a concern on condition the public leaves the docks in and commented that there is no longer any fishing allowed on the 19th Street dock.