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From the Boathouse: Rainy-weather reporting leaves many high and dry

February 28, 2014|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

Our first storm of the year has arrived, and the TV weather reporters finally have something to report. What do the weather reporters do the other times of the year?

I am sure their adenine levels must be high as they wait for the problems likely to be caused by the rainstorm. You can image the usual camera shots. The reporter, wearing a yellow rain suit, will be standing in the rain or positioned next to a gutter flowing with water.

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We do have a slow-moving low-pressure system moving inland from the Pacific Ocean this weekend, and the rain will vary from light precipitation to possible thunderstorms. Winds over the seas are expected to reach gusts of over 35 knots, with seas building six to seven feet from the west. Of course, the heavy winds will kick up wind waves of three to four feet.

I am not recommending recreational boaters try to go whale-watching this weekend, or go boating in general. We have had good boating weather this winter, and the past weekend I was boating in Discovery Bay on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta with warm daytime air temperatures.

Unfortunately, I find that the regular TV weather reports sorely lack information for boaters, surfers and most other outdoor enthusiasts. It is good reporting to mention a storm system is approaching with the chance of rain, but it is poor reporting to say the sky is falling at the first sign on the Doppler Radar.

For many people, the weekends mean recreational activities or outdoor work, since we live in an area that offers year-round pursuits, nautical and otherwise. Reporters should not speculate on the worst-case scenario but present the weather predicted for various locations in our vast region.

Remember to always check the sea and weather conditions before your untie your dock lines.

Tip of the week is that the Newport Sea Base is seeking a lead sailing instructor as well as part-time seasonal instructors. The Newport Sea Base is located next to the Orange Coast College sailing base on Pacific Coast Highway. The facility and programs are operated by the Orange County Council of Boy Scouts, yet the programs are open to the general public.

Did you know that the Newport Sea Base dates back to 1937?

The base is looking to hire a lead instructor who will manage the sailing programs. The person must be at least 21 years old and have a US Sailing Small Boat Level 1 Instructor certificate and US Sailing Small Boat Level 2 Coach certificate.

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