February 27, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. The winter storms have finally arrived in Southern California, and this morning I'm in Ensenada, Mexico, loading a yacht onto a transport ship. I received a last-minute call this week to deliver a Carver 500 motor yacht from Newport Harbor to Ensenada. Unfortunately, this week is not a good time to be on the ocean with the storm systems, high swells and posted small craft advisories. However, a time clock is ticking, as the Dockwise Yacht Transport ship loads Friday morning, and if the yacht is not in Ensenada, then the owner forfeits the entire ship's transport fee. Joining me on this delivery is Capt.
February 20, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. Hurry up and get down to the Newport Harbor Department this morning so you don't miss Newport Beach's abandoned vessel auction, which will offer 16 abandoned vessels that you can view from 8 a.m. until the auction begins at 9 a.m. The vessels include aqua scan, paddle board, dinghies, kayaks and a 28-foot Carver. Vessels are sold as is, and you can only pay with cash. The Harbor Department will hold the state-registered vessels for a 10-day redemption period before releasing them to winning bidders.
April 2, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. When you drive along Mariner's Mile, do you notice anything different at 1931 W. Coast Highway? 1931 is the address of the Newport sea base that is finishing a major renovation to the tune of approximately $6 million. I am very impressed with the final appearances of this property and how well the area is improved from the old to the new sea base. I must confess that I am a member of the sea base committee and that I have seen this dream turn into reality.
April 9, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. Now, I normally do not poke fun at the headlines in this newspaper, but I cannot help myself this week with some tempting stories involving Newport Harbor and water quality. The reporter did a good job writing these stories; I am just poking fun at the headlines. Oh, the irony. Breaking news was the closure of the beaches along Mariner's Mile from the Harbor Marina that is located by the Newport Boulevard Bridge at Coast Highway to Riverside Drive.
January 2, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Southern California has good weather to go boating anytime of the year. The much anticipated midweek storm with the predicted gale force winds and over 6-foot-high seas had the courtesy of sliding past us leaving great weather. There is a cold front moving in over the coastal waters today that will bring a wind shift from the southeast and increase the swell heights but will include double digit intervals between swells. I do not predict much, if any, rain from this system based on weather reports, radar images and satellite images available on the Internet.
January 16, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. Whale watching has arrived, and so have the squid. As I write this column, Davey's Locker is advertising live squid for their fishing trips, just when I thought fishing had shut down for the season. However, it might be a little rough this weekend to venture out of the harbor for either activity. The swells are building, but I have been having some of my best whale-watching experiences inside Newport Harbor -- when a young gray whale decides to cruise through.
January 9, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. I received an interesting press release from Scott Croft, who is the media contact for the national boaters organization BoatUS. BoatUS has been in the news with a new retail store that opened on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach just months before West Marine acquired its retail operation. Boat US has also acquired Vessel Assist. However, what caught my eye in this press release was a call to boating community leaders to participate on area maritime security committees.
January 30, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. I'm off again on three yacht deliveries this week with the assistance of Capt. Chandler Bell, visiting Alamitos Bay, San Diego and Ensenada and finally returning to Newport Harbor on Saturday. One of the most exciting trips will be aboard a newly designed Marquis 59 from Bayport Yachts -- I understand this is one of only two Marquises on the West Coast. However, before I cut the dock lines loose this week, I was contacted by an acquaintance who was going to visit Newport Harbor for the first time in his new $1.5 million, 60-foot yacht.
January 23, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. California is No. 1 in the nation as reported by the National Marine Manufacturers Assn. No. 1 in what, you ask? Well, I am proud to say boating! California finally ranks first in the nation, with the highest number of boat registrations, a title that Michigan had held for years. In 2002, California reported a record number of 1,051,606 vessels when overall registrations in the United States increased by 154,000 to 13 million recreational boats, a 1.2% increase from 2001.
May 28, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. I always find it comforting when I cross over the international border back into U.S. waters when I am coming uphill aboard a yacht from Mexico. This week I have crossed the border twice out in the Pacific, once last Sunday and then again Wednesday. I traveled south of the border twice to deliver both of these yachts to Newport Harbor, and on both days I had a brief stop for U.S. Customs in San Diego. Sunday's cruise up the coast was a little rough below the Coronado Islands.