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March 2020 - Marina eNewsletter
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Blue Moon Yacht Services

Sun Harbor Marina
5000 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92106



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Greetings Sun Harbor Mariners
Welcome to the March 2020 edition of the Sun Harbor Marina eNewsletter. In this month's issue, we have exciting articles: Good Maintenance for Boat Health, our Clean Marina Minute featuring an article on Boat Hull Cleaning and Invasive Species Management, and our marvelous March recipe for French Onion Soup with Porcini Mushrooms.

Marina News
February 24th - Parking Lot Maintenance. The parking lot will be closed for maintenance from 9:00pm on Sunday February 23rd through 5:00pm on the 24th. Parking is available adjacent to the marina parking lot in the 72-hour lot and across the street at the Westy's 72 hour lot. Please have your car out of the lot no later than 9:00pm on Sunday February 23rd so that we can seal and stripe the lot to keep it looking great!

March 28th Dockwalker Information and Potluck: Come and join your SHM community for a potluck and to learn about Dockwalker training. The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, the California Coastal Commission and The Bay Foundation are offering a course at the Silvergate Yacht Club from 10:00am to 12:45pm on April 25th. Training is FREE and Dockwalking is a fantastic way to interact with boaters to help keep California's marinas, waterways, and ocean clean and healthy. The training provides an overview of environmentally-sound boating practices, information about how to conduct Dockwalking, and educational materials that Dockwalkers will distribute including the 2019 Boater Kits. You can sign up with us during the potluck or go online using this link to join us!

Special Dates in March
March 2nd   Read Across America Day
March 3rd    World Wildlife Day
March 6th    Employee Appreciation Day
March 8th    Daylight Savings Time
March 8th    Proofreading Day
March 9th    Crab meat Day
March 14th  Pi Day

March 17th  St Patricks Day
March 20th  Ravioli Day
March 24th  Marina Permitted Parking Lot
                      (closed for maintenance)
March 25th  Manatee Appreciation Day
March 29th  Neighbor Day

Clean Marina Minute - Boat Hull Cleaning & Managing Aquatic Invasive Species
- By: Kristen Page
Invasive aquatic species are organisms that are not native to a particular environment and can pose many risks to local ecosystems. These imported organisms can threaten native species by competing for the same resources and alter the balance of the food web of the local system. Many of these marine invasive species, including some fish, mussels, invertebrates, and even plants are accidentally transported via boat. Although there are many ways organisms can be accidentally transported in/on a marine vessel, this article will mainly focus on boats that are not usually trailered from marina to marina. Boat hulls and any water containment unit are the prime method of transportation for boats such as the ones here in Sun Harbor Marina. Boat holds as well as any water containment compartment onboard your vessel - such as bilges, bait wells, and seawater systems can be the perfect host site for many types of marine organisms, including invasive ones. Even mud can carry different types of plants and animals that may be able to thrive in their new environment.

The introduction and spreading of invasive species are harmful to environments on a worldwide basis. Sadly, the problem is increasing in frequency, and amplitude. Aquatic Invasive Species (also known as AIS) are defined by "non-indigenous invertebrate, fish, and/or plant species which are introduced, become established and cause significant damage to coastal and freshwater ecosystems, as well as to the economies that depend upon them."

Read More

Random Acts of Kindness Benefits Your Health!
- By Laura Brownwood

A fond memory of my ten years living on the docks, is neighbors that would bail out a dinghy if it rained and the owners weren't there. Better yet, is when coming down the channel heading to your slip, and the wind picks up, most people walking down the docks come to help guide the boat and catch tie down lines. Much of the time they are complete strangers!!

After years of finding joy in doing random acts of kindness, I started to look at the research done on the subject. It actually is healthful to extend kindness to others, and it adds to your own sense of happiness. Over the years I have lectured on the subject and continue to find positive research. It validates my feeling that in addition to making others happy, IT MAKES ME HAPPY. Often, I find myself complimenting a senior e.g. a little lady in her 80's who has a nice blouse on. It brings me GREAT pleasure to compliment her, and 100% of the time, her eyes light up and I can feel true joy in her appreciative response.

"People who engage in kind acts become happier over time," says Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, a professor of psychology at UC Riverside, who has studied happiness for over 20 years. "When you are kind to others, you feel good as a person -- more moral, optimistic, and positive." According to Dr David R Hamilton, acts of kindness create an emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin which causes the release of a chemical, called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a "cardioprotective" hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.
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Marina Rules Reminder:
Have you overlooked any of these marina rules?

  • Please keep hoses on hose racks on the electric pedestals and not laying on the docks or around pedestals.
  • Please keep extra electrical cord on your boat, not on the dock or wrapped around pedestals or pump out hydrants. You can also wrap it around one of the hose racks if this works for you.
  • Nothing should be stored or sitting on the docks, e.g. dinghies, kayaks, hose containers, buckets, shoes (store these in/under dock steps), mats, or anything else except dock steps.
  • No wooden dock steps are allowed, only the plastic/polyethylene kind.
  • No sanding to be done without a vacuum attachment and nothing is to enter the water.
  • No major work is allowed in the marina and the docks are absolutely off limits to perform any major work like sawing, painting, etc.
  • Please keep all chemicals, fuel, oil, soap etc. off the docks and onboard your boat.
  • Your boat must be kept in good condition to remain in the marina per your Wharfage Agreement. Please address any unsightly conditions immediately.
  • No smoking (on marina property). And absolutely no smoking in restrooms, laundry room or recroom. The ashtrays and butt dispensers are there for your convenience to dispose of butts. (Here is a butt collection site that is provided by the Surfrider Foundation and supported and maintained by Celia Condit of Searcher Sportfishing and Natural History Tours)
  • Pets are not allowed in the restrooms, laundry room or rec room (the exception is if your pet is a legitimate service dog with vest on). If your pet urinates or leaves any waste on marina property, please clean it up immediately. (pet rules and fines are posted on the bulletin board on the promenade)

Help keep the marina clean and safe. It keeps your neighbors happy too!

Captain John's Skipper Tips - Use the Magic of Feathering for Emergency Docking
Just as you enter the marina, your engine coughs and dies. You still have just a bit of momentum. But will it be enough to make the turn into an empty slip just ahead to starboard? Use these three sailing tips to learn how to "feather" your boat in an emergency!

To feather with a tiller, shove the tiller hard away from the direction of turn. This is a super-fast thrust; no more than half of a second. Then bring the tiller back to amidships (center) in a smooth motion. Right away, do it again; hard thrust, then ease it back to amidships.

To feather with a wheel, turn the wheel hard in the direction of the turn; then ease it back to amidships. Take care not to turn the wheel all the way to the stops (the maximum 'throw' of the rudder where it will turn no further). This could damage the rudder. Keep your hands on the wheel at all times to maintain good control.

Why ease the helm back to the center? Note that after each hard thrust, we ease the tiller or wheel back to the centerline. You want to avoid stalling the boat while she turns. Use a fast, smooth motion to return to the center. Then a super-fast thrust away to feather; then a fast smooth motion to return to center.

Continue the sequence described above with the helm (tiller or wheel) until you complete the turn. With practice, you can turn a boat by feathering with the smallest amount of forward momentum.

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Marina Recipe -
French Onion Soup with Porcini

1 stick butter
4 large onion, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 to 1/3 cup dry sherry
1 cup white wine
1 small bundle made with fresh flat-leaf parsley, a few sprigs fresh sage and fresh bay leaves
2 quarts beef stock
8 (1/2-inch) thick slices baguette
1 large clove garlic, peeled and halved
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 6 tablespoons of the butter and let it melt. Stir in the onions and the thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions caramelize, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the mushrooms in a small pot and cover with a couple of cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer to reconstitute the mushrooms.
  3. Add the sherry to the pot with the onions, to deglaze the pan, then stir in the wine. Remove the mushrooms from their broth with a slotted spoon to a cutting board. Chop them, and add them to the onions. Add all but the last 1/2 cup of the mushroom liquid to the soup, about 1 cup. Add herb bundle and the beef stock to the pot and simmer the soup for 30 to 45 minutes. Cool and refrigerate for a make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium heat, covered, and prepare the croutons when ready to serve.
  4. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toast the bread on a rack over a baking sheet, until deep golden brown. Butter the bread, using the 2 tablespoons of remaining butter and liberally rub them with the cut garlic. Top the toasts with the cheeses and return them to the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Toasts may be arranged on top of crocks of soup, put on baking sheet, then topped with cheese and baked to brown, for a more dramatic presentation.
  5. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve with the cheese toasts.

Final Thanks
A big shout out to the entire Sun Harbor Marina community for being a neighborhood full of helpful boaters. It is so great for us to see everyone lending a helping hand when a neighboring boater is in need. We just want to take a moment and thank all of you.

REMINDERS – King tides are in full swing. That means high tides up to 7' and low tides down to more than negative 1.5'. Stay watchful and check the tides when taking your boat out during this time.

That's it for Us! To follow our daily updates, please visit our Facebook Page. We also welcome your Comments on Yelp.

Best Regards,
Lisa Rustin and the Sun Harbor Marina Staff

NOAA Goes Off The Charts
- By Bob Simons
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced that they plan to cease providing the raster nautical chart (RNC) files that are currently used by NOAA and third party suppliers to produce and print traditional paper nautical charts for U.S. waters.

Since paper charts are an essential component of safe navigation on most vessels, NOAA's announcement raised many concerns that paper charts will no longer be available one day and that's definitely not true, so we thought we'd take a minute to give you the straight skinny on what's really going on.

NOAA's decision doesn't mean that paper charts are going away, it just means that NOAA eventually won't be providing them directly. When will that happen? Probably not until 5 years or so from now.

In place of the raster files, NOAA is transitioning to a new system called the "NOAA Custom Chart" (NCC) program which can be used to produce paper chart files using data from NOAA's Electronic Nautical Chart (ENC) database. The program is a prototype at this point, and NOAA indicates they plan to have it fully developed before they start cancelling existing raster chart files.

So what does this all mean? Well - it's a sign of the times. For one thing, if paper charts eventually are printed from NOAA's real time database, the currency and accuracy of paper charts will be better in the long run - reflecting the status of things as of minutes and hours ago instead of month or years.

For another thing, third party providers are already gearing up to use NOAA's new files to produce traditional paper charts.

Being realistic, it's also a harbinger of where on-board chart plotters and navigation electronics are headed in the future.

In any event, it is the ending of a 200 year tradition - never a thing to be taken lightly. But in the meantime, continue enjoying your paper charts, relax and enjoy watching the transition evolve.

Bob Simons Image
Bob Simons has been in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for over thirty years. He teaches classes in Boating Safety & Seamanship as well as Basic and Advanced Coastal Navigation. Bob is also the co-developer of the Sirius Signal S-O-S light and co-owner of Seabreeze Books and Charts

A "Fuel" and His Money are Soon Parted!
- By Commodore Vincent Pica
Now, I'm the first to say, "You've got a $50,000 boat tied to the dock and you're fretting about $200 in fuel? Wassup, doc!?" But, with that said, "Waste not, want not!", and this column is about that.

Some Basics: Would it be any surprise to know that the heavier the boat, the more fuel you need to move through the water? So, why lug along stuff you don't need?

Go through all your lockers, lazarettes and compartments and just get rid of the gear that is sitting around gathering mildew. We all have it –- get rid of it. Store in it the garage, in a dock-side locker or just the garbage heap.

Do you have an on-board water tank? I had a 25' Chris-Craft once that had a 40 gallon water tank – which I kept full whether I was going out for the afternoon or an over-nighter. At +8 pounds per gallon, this was like having a lineman from the NY Giants sitting on my boat –- in his uniform and gear!

Some of the bigger boats have 100 gallon tanks for showers – 3 linemen! Fill up the water tank where and when you are going to use it!
Read More

Christian Marine Surveyors

Some Thoughts About Websites
- By Gus Giobbi, BlueSkyNews
Before you start reading this, let me confess that this article is part advertisement and part industry observation.

It's part advertisement because we here at BlueSkyNews modernize websites for the marine industry and I'd like people to know that; and part industry observation because I have noticed a huge shift in how people use websites and what does and doesn't work anymore.

Before the advent of the smart phone, the desktop sized screen was the device from which all websites were accessed.

Then around the year 2000, the first tablet PCs arrived on the scene. The arrival of the tablet PC didn't require any conceptual changes to website design because the display size of the tablet nicely accommodated the same information displayed on the standard desktop even though somewhat smaller.

But the invention of the smart phone in 2007 changed all that and foreshadowed the day that all websites would have to be compatible with smart phones.

That's where we are today. If you have a business that is relying solely on your desktop website for sales leads, you're now missing out on probably the majority of sales inquiries, even if that smart phone user was searching for exactly what you are offering.

Here's why. Your legacy desktop website has a number of separate and distinct pages. Probably the obligatory Home Page, About Us, Our Services/Products, and Contact Us pages. If your website designer was overly ambitious, you might also have several other pages such as "Testimonials", "News", "Events" or the all time useless "Helpful Links" Page. (I never have understood why a business would offer a website visitor several ways to leave their website).

Anyway, the point is, people don't want to leaf through all those pages any more. Especially on a smart phone. If they were searching for someone who does "Boat Washing and Detailing in San Diego" and they found you because that's what you do, the last thing they are willing to do is jump from page to page on your website - even if there's a menu, they want to browse through it all in one continuous "sound bite" type stream.

So here's the tip. If you are planning to give your outdated website a face lift and make it compatible with smart phones, don't just replicate a bunch of distinct web pages unless your business model requires it. Combine as many pages into one as possible.

Here's a website we're finishing up for Attention to Detail that illustrates the point. It won't work for everybody, but give it some thought. Ironically, it's also considerably less expensive to makeover a website this way.

A Sticky Situation
- By Bob Simons
35 years old or younger? You probably know it's the law that you now must have and carry a California Boating Card to operate any type of motorized vessel on California waterways, including even such things as powered sailboats and paddlecraft.

You may have ignored that, but now the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is putting some new teeth into the law.

Specifically, the Coast Guard Auxiliary has just directed that if you are in this age group, they will not issue a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) sticker to vessels covered under the law where the Skipper does not have a California Boating Card.

There is a potential fine for anyone caught violating the Boater Card law, but this development can be an especially huge deal to boaters that are on moorings or in marinas that require boats to have current VSCs.

The good news - You can easily remedy the situation by going to the California Boater Card official website and taking the exam. It costs only $35 and you can print out a temporary California Boating Card on the spot while you wait for the official card to arrive in the mail.

Editor's Note: There are a few exceptions to the law, but since there is a potential fine for the boater not complying (and his/her parents or guardian), we highly recommend visiting the California Boater Card official website to review the specific requirements

Grounded in Silence
- By Kells Christian
A recent grounding incident was the motivation for this article. Here's how it went down.

The potential buyers were friends of the owner and had been granted permission to operate the boat for the survey and sea trial. We operated the Morgan Out Island 41 sailboat from Fiddler's Cove Marina in Coronado, CA to Shelter Island for the haul out portion of the pre-purchase survey.

We were headed back South to Fiddler's Cove under sail. It was the afternoon of January 10, 2020, the wind was light and the sun was bright. It was a beautiful San Diego winter day and I was enjoying the job of a marine surveyor.

The potential owner was at the helm. Somewhere near the aircraft carrier piers we discussed being able to sail all the way down the bay, albeit near the Coronado side of the Coronado Bridge.

The way a boat stops in heavy mud is unmistakable. It is unlike a mechanical/engine problem or losing the wind. It is not catastrophic but it is definitive. The boat slowed rapidly and curtsied. In this case, it skipped a few times, bounced a bit more soundly once or twice and then stopped.

Although I was born in San Diego and have lived here for 27 years, I cut my boating teeth in Florida, a land of shallow water. I grounded many times in the soft bottoms of the Intra-Coastal Waterway of my youth. I grounded in San Diego about a decade ago while surveying the interior of another sailboat that failed to make the first channel turn while heading north from Chula Vista. I knew we were aground.

I came on deck and noticed we were south of the Coronado Bridge and approximately in line with the #15 bridge pier. The fathometer registered 4.8 feet and we had just measured the boat's draft at 4.5 feet (I duly noted "fathometer is inaccurate"). We immediately doused the sails and tried to back out. We moved, stirred up mud and stopped. We discussed trying to row out an anchor and winch to it (no windlass). I suggested having my apprentice tie himself to a halyard and rowing out, man what a viral sensation that video would have been, but instead we called a friend in the boat towing business.

The tow boat operator looked at his chart and said we were in 6 feet of water, "We wish", I responded. He sent a boat and we agreed to contact him if we were able to free ourselves. The boat has a molded keel and we tried powering out a few times with the engine. We could move but could not escape, we were softly but certainly aground. When I checked the tide chart on my phone that vertical "time of day line" intersected with an extremely low tide. That was the bad news; the good news was the flood was coming soon.

While discussing various Roman/Greek like cures for our predicament, the boat pivoted toward the bridge. We immediately motored back into the channel leading into Glorietta Bay, bumping a bit on the way, turned right in the channel and didn't turn right again until we were in the shipping channel. We called the tow boat off, raised the sails and made it back to the dock just before sundown.

The lesson I re-learned was to present and alert. I know where the submerged "hard things" are in San Diego Bay and thought I knew the mud shoals, both ends of Shelter Island, south of the Sweetwater Channel cut and toward Coronado from where we were. Subsequently I looked at a chart and saw the Glorietta Bay shoal extended further than I thought, has it grown? How long has it been since I looked?

As a young professional skipper I looked often. If operating in strange waters, I talked to locals. I kept the chart (paper at that time) open and actively navigated with it. On January 10, 2020, I was complacent. Even though I was not driving, I was also not advising well. We were unscathed but that was partially luck. Zuniga Jetty or the submerged jetty across from Ballast Point would not have been so forgiving.

There are lots of ways to get in trouble and a gentle reminder sometimes helps us to stay out of it. How can I be a better boater today?

Kells Christian has been an accredited Marine Surveyor since 1990. His expertise extends to both recreational and commercial vessels. You can e-mail your marine surveyor questions to or Click Here to visit his web site.

Books . . Books . . . Books!!!
Winter will be over soon, and warm Santa Ana winds will have us getting mentally ready for that great Spring boating season In the meantime, here's some great diversions we found to ponder.

Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die
Landlubbers joke that sailors are always wanting to head off to the ends of the earth, but Chris Santella takes that life-changing desire very seriously. In this, the third installment in his immensely successful Fifty Places” series, Santella assembles a crew of the world's greatest championship racers and professional adventurers and persuades them to disclose their favorite destinations around the globe.

Twenty Affordable Sailboats to Take You Anywhere you will find in-depth reviews of twenty affordable, comfortable, and seaworthy sailboats. These boats range in size from 30-38 feet, an ideal size for the cruising couple, yet big enough to accommodate an occasional cruising hitchhiker or two. All of these boats were once prominent offerings, designed by some of the world s leading naval architects and produced by reputable manufacturers. These boats are still readily available in the used boat market.

Escape from the Ordinary
Come along with Glen and Julie as they sail around the world and discover that reality is even bigger than the Escape they imagined. This breathtakingly personal true story will thrill those wanting to sail off into the sunset or enjoy the wonders of the world from the comfort of home. Escape from the Ordinary reminds you of the unlimited possibilities in life and nudges the reader into thoughts of their own dreams. Not a technical book about sailing or storm tactics but vividly described, full-tilt adventures on foreign shores.

This Old Boat
Since it first appeared in 1991, Don Casey's This Old Boat has helped tens of thousands of sailors refurbish older fiberglass boats and has become a revered classic among boat reappears. This second edition is revised from first page to last with new information on electrical systems, diesel engines, refrigeration, resins, plumbing and more. Plus, more than 600 newly created illustrations enhance the book's beauty as well as its utility. I Like
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