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The Harbor Report: Our heavenly sister cities

August 23, 2012|By Len Bose

"In 1956, President Eisenhower initiated the 'People to People Program' as a conduit for 'Greater International Understanding' through 'direct, close and abiding communication between cities,'" says the Newport Beach Sister Cities Assn. website.

If you were to take "international" out of that description, I would recommend two more sister cities: Balboa Yacht Club's Whites Landing and Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Moonstone, both of which are on Catalina.

They have their own mayors, caretakers and staff. Each has to pay rising permit fees and deal with most of the same problems as any other small cities.

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While visiting Whites Landing this year I asked caretaker Mike Lonfield if anyone has ever called him God because this has to be heaven.

"No, Len, no one has ever said that before," he said with a calming chuckle.

As I sit in my favorite red chair, at the entrance of the city, looking across the cove from Whites toward Moonstone, I'm always checking out all the different boats.

Last weekend there was the Ranger 33 Antares with cockpit cover out and flopper stopper deployed.

A rather large south swell ran this weekend and the beach landings were being scored like an Olympic diving competition. The ladies on Antares received perfect scores for not tipping over in the large swell, accomplished by rowing in rather than coming in with speed from an outboard.

Most every summer weekend, anchored in the southeast corner of Whites is the Tollycraft 57 Sonrisa and Tonina, a DeFever design built by Lindwall Boat Works out of Santa Barbara. These two families know how to have fun in Catalina with each having pristine Bertram 20s as runabouts.

When I have a client who wants to do Catalina the right way and not make mistakes with anchoring and gear placement, I tell them to follow Sonrisa and Tonina's routines. Both owners are approachable and happy to answer boating questions.

Another boat I first noticed this year, when it was about three miles out, was the dark blue San Juan 48 Salute. This boat is a so beautiful it could be a supermodel.

Another boat you can't help but notice is the Costa Mesa built Ditmar Donaldson Laura. She anchors most weekends between Whites and Moonstone and appears to be a perfect platform for the island.

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