Greetings Sun Harbor Mariners
Welcome Sun Harbor Mariners. In this issue of our marina eNewsletter we have interesting articles: Start Your Engines!; A Wonderful Suggestion for Stress; Care for Your Bilge; and our August recipe for Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho. We also cover the salute the 80th birthday of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and their long and colorful history of service. Also, with summer coming we have important safety information about rip currents for swimmers and a profile of a new product for safely trailering a boat.
Lastly, we remind boaters to register their EPIRB devices to avoid possible fines. Topping it off, Kells gives a "chiiling" report about ice in your refrigerator.
• We hope you will be able to join us for our upcoming Sun Harbor Marina Potluck on Friday, August 23rd. Bring a dish to share and enjoy refreshments with other goodies on the upper deck from 5:00pm - 8:00pm.
• Congratulations to the contest winners from our celebration of National Marina Day! Congrats to Nick Cimadon for "Best Decorated Boat" and to Bradley Wilcox with "Best Maintained Support Vessel"
• Well done to our honorable mentions for "Best Decorated" -- Ron Burns and Sam Merten -- and a job well done to our honorable mention for "Best Maintained Support Vessel" Puifais Santisalkultram.
• Thank you to all our boaters who came out to celebrate National Marina Day this year! We credit our successful event to our wonderful community of tenants and boaters. Below are some pictures from the event.
• Starting in September, we will begin our Fall Hours. Open Monday-Saturday 8:30am - 5:00pm. We will be closed on Sundays during our fall hours.
• The marina office will be CLOSED on Monday, September 2nd, 2019 in observance of Labor Day.
• Shoutout to Captain Keith McGarry who volunteered his boats to be cast in an important video for the "That's My Bay" campaign of San Diego. We look forward to seeing the debut.
Special Dates in August
August 2nd Ice Cream Sandwich Day
August 3rd Sand Castle Day
August 7th Lighthouse Day
August 9th Melon Day
August 16th Means Grooming Day
August 17th World Honey Bee Day
August 19th Potato Day
August 23rd Sun Harbor Friday Potluck
August 23rd Cuban Sandwich Day
August 24th Pluto Demoted Day
August 27th International Bat Night
August 30th International Whale Shark Day
And looking ahead, Sun Harbor Marina Activities for 2019
August 23rd Sun Harbor Friday Potluck
September 21st Coastal Clean-up Day
October 12th Annual Chili Cook-off
Start Your Engines! Appropriate Engine Maintenance
To keep your vessel running as smoothly as possible, you need to take proper care of your engine. Things like changing the oil in your engine or changing fuel filters may be time consuming, but it should never be messy! Follow these tips to keep your engine running smoothly and keep risk to the environment at bay.
Changing Engine Oil and Other Fluids
• Use a self-contained spill-proof oil extractor to remove fluids. Manual and electric pumps can be found at most marine retail supply stores.
• Temporarily disable your bilge pump so that it does not cycle on in the case of a spill. Use an oil-only absorbent pad under the engine and in the bilge to absorb spills. Place a plastic bag around the filter before removing to catch drips.
• Top off your fluids, wipe up any spills, and reconnect your bilge pump. Recycle your filter and used oil at a recycling location and dispose of used absorbent pads and rags properly.
• For more information on changing engine oil, click here.
Care for your Bilge
Is your bilge putting you at risk for petroleum spills? Fines? Is it just plain gross? Your bilge deserves care, and it is important you're not putting the environment--and your wallet--at risk due to accumulating petroleum products.
Any oil in the bilge puts you at risk for an overboard discharge. Petroleum products discharged from the bilge are no different than spills at the fuel dock. Any spill that creates a sheen on the water can bring hefty fines. Here are some tips to prevent petroleum products from mixing with bilge water:
Marina Recipe: Tomato & Watermelon Gazpacho
4 28oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes ()
2 2/3 cups seeded and diced watermelon
6 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 slices (3 1/2 ounces) french bread, cubed
2/3 cup canned tomato puree
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Scant 1 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices french bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
Start by preparing the soup. Working in batches if needed, place tomatoes, watermelon, celery, onion, garlic, bread, tomato puree, basil, 1 teaspoon salt and several turns of black pepper in a blender, and blend just until smooth. With the blender going, stream in the vinegar and olive oil. Transfer to a large bowl, and store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
To make the croutons, preheat and oven to 400°F. Add bread to a medium bowl, and toss with olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Transfer to a baking sheet, and cook, tossing occasionally, until crispy and golden (about 15 minutes). Let cool completely.
Just before serving, season gazpacho to taste with additional salt and pepper. To serve, ladle soup into bowls, then top with croutons, basil leaves, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.
Seven Sail Care Tips to Save You Money!
- By Captain John
Veteran world cruising couple Lin and Larry Pardey write that they had to learn the hard way about the #1 killer of sails--flogging! Your sails wear along their edges, corners, and anywhere that you have sail hardware--like battens, slugs, slides, or hanks. Follow these seven sail-saving tips this sailing season.
1. Keep Leech Flutter under Control.
Tension leech lines just enough to put leech flutter to sleep. When reaching or running, use a boom vang or preventer to tame the leech. This protects your sail's most vulnerable edge.
2. Use Soft-Hand Sail Cloth for Cruising.
Heavy resin coated sails might hold shape longer around the race course, but softer, more pliable sail cloth lasts longer under all cruising conditions. You will find it easier to handle when wet and more durable and forgiving for distance cruising.
3. Consider the Batten-less Mainsail.
Full length battens cause much more chafe than short traditional battens. But some cruisers choose to eliminate battens all together. Have your sailmaker insert a leech-line to control flutter. A batten-less mainsail with a hollowed leech could help your mainsail last 50% longer!
It's better to practice prevention than pay for cure.
- Larry Pardey
How to Scan for "Stop Your Boat" Emergency Landing Strips
- By Captain John
Imagine that you enter a marina channel after a perfect sailing day. All of a sudden--your engine sputters, shudders and dies! You press the starter button. Nothing doing! And, there's no room to anchor and no room to turn around. What now, skipper?
You can bet that the best airplane pilots are always on the lookout for landing strips off the planned route. If they get into trouble, they may need to set her down. You can use this same strategy anytime you enter a marina, narrow channel, or waterway.
Look for an empty dock or slip space to slide into. Do this every time you enter or exit any marina--including your own home marina. Things seem to go wrong when we get too complacent. I've been there more than once.
Which brings me to the next point...
Prepare both sides of your boat for defensive docking--not just the intended docking side. In an emergency, you will not know which side you will need to dock on. So, put an extra fender or two and an extra line or two on the other side--just in case.
A Wonderful Suggestion for Stress
- By Laura Brownwood
Don't suppose you've ever heard someone yell at the person trying to help dock a boat? Stress causes many things to happen, many worse than being screamed at to "pull the starboard line in faster." Stress is active in all lives, ranging from minor annoyances to serious situations. No matter what the cause, your heart pounds, your breathing speeds up, your muscles tense, every cell in your body is affected. The "stress response" is a normal reaction to threatening situations. We can't avoid stress in our lives, but we can develop healthier ways of responding to them.
Unless your situation is in the category of running from a mountain lion, it is ALWAYS best to take a short break to get control. Here are two effective suggestions to try:
4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Breathing exercises are designed to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation in a short period of time. From the lungs outward, it can give your organs and tissues a much-needed oxygen boost. It can also help bring the body back into balance and regulate the fight-or-flight response, e.g. after being chased by that mountain lion, or more likely work related stress, an argument, family related stress and the list goes on and on . . . It's also worth trying if you experience sleeplessness due to anxiety about what happened today . . . or what might happen tomorrow.
This technique allows the mind and body to focus on counting your breath, rather than replaying worries when you lie down at night. It truly can soothe a racing heart and calm frazzled nerves. Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard trained medical doctor with a focus on holistic health, developed 4-7-8 and describes it as a "natural tranquilizer for the nervous system." Dr Weil explains "how to" on YouTube:
A Final Note of Thanks
Thank you to all our boaters who came out to celebrate National Marina Day this year, we credit our successful event to our wonderful community of tenants and boaters. A big thank you to not only all who participated, but to those who have returned lost clothing and other articles. And an earthly thank you for our returned reusable plastic platters and chip bowls.
REMINDERS New Trash Receptacle on A Dock: At the request of numerous boaters, we have placed a trash receptacle with a permeable liner on A dock next to the breaker box. This is specifically for any trash pulled out of the water. Please use the net (if needed) and help us keep the Marina clean. We appreciate your efforts!
That's it for Us! Hope everyone is having a great Spring so far. To follow our daily updates, please visit our Facebook Page. We also welcome your Comments on Yelp.
Lisa Rustin and the Sun Harbor Marina Staff
Rip Currents and Undertows - Experts Find Too Many Don't Know the Difference
- By Commodore Vincent Pica
Anybody that has ever been swimming at the beach has experienced undertow, but not enough people have been educated to recognize a rip current when they're getting caught in one.
Undertow is the backwash as gravity returns a breaking wave to the sea. All but small children can stand up against undertow, and its effect ends at the leading edge of the next breaking wave.
While an undertow might knock you down and "suck" you under, it won't pull you out to sea. Many parents don't know that because they often confuse undertows with rip currents.
The Anatomy of a Rip Current: Rip currents are by far the biggest killers of ocean swimmers. Rip currents form as waves disperse along the beach causing water to become trapped between the beach and a sandbar or other underwater feature. This water becomes the "feeder" that creates the deadly force of the rip current. The water converges into a narrow, river-like channel moving away from the shore at high speed.
Marine scientists define a rip current as having a "neck" (the river-like channel moving away from the shore) and a "head" that is often defined by an unusual disturbance or choppiness in the water and by murky discoloration caused by sand and debris.
As the water and swimmer reaches the "head", the velocity and strength of the rip current circulation begins to weaken considerably.
Can I See a Rip Current? Often, yes. As a result of the current's speed, sand is forced into suspension often causing a rip current to be associated with "dirty" water. It is characterized by a strong, localized current flowing seaward from the shore; visible as an agitated band of water, which is the return movement of water piled up on the shore by incoming waves.
Most Importantly, Can I Get Out of the Grip of a Rip Current? If you don't panic, and play the water's power to your advantage, yes. Don't try to swim back to shore against the rip current that is dragging you out. Most likely, you will tire beyond recovery and drowning, flatly put, will follow as surely as night follows day.
Swim with and across the rip current. Let it give you some speed as you "exit stage left!" (or right) but get out of the grip of the current and into "normal" water. Then, deal with the hand you've been dealt and swim back, or just tread water while waving your arms for help, or just float and rest. This is why swimming with a "buddy system" is so critical!
BTW, if you are interested in being part of USCG Forces, email me at JoinUSCGAux@aol.com or go direct to the D1SR Human Resources department, who are in charge of new members matters, at DSO-HR and we will help you "get in this thing"!
Commodore Pica is District Directorate Chief; Strategy & Innovation; First Coast Guard District, Southern Region USCGAux. He is also a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Master Captain.
Happy 80th Birthday U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary!
It all began on June 23, 1939 when Congress established something called the Coast Guard Reserve as a volunteer civilian organization.
The purpose of the Coast Guard Reserve then was "To promote recreational boating safety and to provide assistance to the operations of the Coast Guard".
Then on February 19, 1941 Congress did two things. First, they changed the name of the existing Coast Guard Reserve to the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Second, they created a military branch of the Coast Guard under which members were subject to military law and the Articles of War. This then became the current day Coast Guard Reserve.
In June of 1942 Congressional legislation allowed Auxiliarists to enroll as part-time members of the Coast Guard Reserve. Thousands of Auxiliarists enrolled themselves and their vessels in the Reserve.
Over fifty thousand Auxiliarists and temporary Reservists served during the World War II patrolling harbors, factories, bridges, and docks; fighting fires; providing emergency and disaster assistance; conducting search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare; training; giving blood; and selling war bonds.
In December 1942, temporary reservists were required to transfer to full-time active duty or serve on a volunteer basis or resign from service. The following month, Congressional legislation allowed women to enroll as temporary Reservists.
Since that time, the Coast Guard Auxiliary has had a long and honorable history of educating boaters and making our waterways safe. As stated in part by President Trump last month - "Since 1939, the dedicated men and women of the Coast Guard Auxiliary have served our nation with courage, honor and resolve, selflessly volunteering to help preserve the safety and security of our nation's waterways.
Moreover, they have been at the vanguard of recreational boating safety, educating the public in classrooms, in marine equipment retail outlets, and at boat ramps and marinas across the country."
Happy Birthday U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliarists! Thank you for your service!
Your Boat's Refrigerator is Icing Over - Should You Be Concerned?
- By Kells Christian
I apologize to all my customers who I have told that their refrigerators shouldn't ice over. In a case of repeating misinformation, I was told that early in my career (1990s) and believed it until researching for this article, that modern boat refrigerators should not ice over in normal use.
In reality the common boat DC refrigeration units do ice over in normal service.
I spoke with two San Diego refrigeration experts, Mr. Gary Flemming and Mr. Thomas Gillette. They educated me, finally, that the common AC / DC refrigeration units such as Norcold and Nova Kool will ice over in normal service. The interval between defrosting cycles is usually 1 2 months. They suggest defrosting when the ice reaches ¼" thickness.
AC refrigeration units such as Sub Zero or U-line have self-defrosting features. The AC electrical supply supports the heating element required for defrosting.
The most common contributing cause to icing over of refrigeration units is bad gaskets or other sources of warm air such as drain holes in built in refrigeration units. If your refrigerator is icing over faster than your neighbors, perhaps it needs a new gasket.
The proper way to defrost a refrigerator is to open the door and let the heat melt the ice or quicken the process with a hair dryer. Catch the water in a container and/or use a towel. Use of a knife or an ice pick is risky as puncturing refrigeration components is costly or potentially fatal to the refrigeration unit. Dry everything before you put it back in the refrigerator, this will reduce the moisture inside the unit and extend the time period until the next de-icing.
AC / DC refrigeration units are equipped with a DC compressor, and an electrical converter which converts the AC source to DC for the compressor. These units do not have AC and DC compressors. They will run on both power sources but will not self defrost.
Iced over refrigeration units lose their ability to cool and become warmer as the ice thickens. So check that refer unit, if it looks like one of these photos defrost it and make sure it is ready for the summer holidays.
Here's a link to a PDF from Norcold with some additional tips.
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 email@example.com or Click Here to visit his web site.
New Product Spotlight - "Boat Buckle" Makes Loading & Unloading Trailered Boats Easy
Anything that makes getting the boat on and off the trailer easier makes for a more enjoyable day on the water.
And "BoatBuckle's" gunwale tie-down straps do just that. These straps bolt to the side of your trailer and retract, so they are always there ready to secure or release the boat.
They are designed to keep constant tension on the strap and require minimal ratcheting to secure your load. Instead of always having to find and store tie-down straps that hook to the tie-down anchors on your boat, BoatBuckle's straps are always right where you need them. Just pull up on the hook and strap, attach the hook to the gunwale, and then operate the ratchet several times.
No more dealing with extra webbing or looking for the tie-down strap. And when unloading, simply push the release button on the ratchet, free the hook from the gunwale anchor and let the strap retract back down into the ratchet..
The tie-downs are simple to hook up, and they retract automatically, helping you to get on and off the water in a flash. Click Here to visit the company's website.
Have an Unregistered EPIRB? It Could Cost You Big Time!
- By Bob Simons
After responding to over 700 false alerts in 2018, the Coast Guard is urging anyone with an emergency position indicating radio beacon to properly register their device. (Source - U.S. Coast Guard Bulletin).
An EPIRB transmits a distress signal to a satellite system called Cospas-Sarsat. The satellites then relay the signal to a network of ground units and ultimately to the Coast Guard and other emergency responders.
Owners of commercial fishing vessels, uninspected passenger vessels that carry six or more people, and uninspected commercial vessels are legally required to carry an EPIRB. However, the Coast Guard recommends that every mariner who transits offshore or on long voyages should carry an EPIRB.
The Federal Communications Commission requires all EPIRB owners to register their beacons with NOAA and keep the registration information up-to-date.
If an unregistered beacon activates, the FCC can prosecute the owner based on evidence provided by the Coast Guard, and will issue warning letters or notices of apparent liability for fines up to $10,000.
Coast Guard personnel were only able to contact 163 of the more than 700 EPIRB owners to determine the cause of the false alerts. The other individuals had not registered their beacons, not updated their registration information, or had disposed of them improperly.
"We handle EPIRB alerts with a bias for action," said Lt. Daniel Dunn, a command duty officer in the Fifth Coast Guard District's command center. "We have to treat them as actual distress calls until we can prove otherwise."
When Coast Guard watchstanders receive an EPIRB alert and cannot trace it to the owner due to missing or outdated registration information, they launch aircraft and boat crews to search the area for signs of distress.
It costs approximately $15,000 per hour to fly an HC-130 Hercules airplane, $10,000 per hour to fly an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, and $5,000 per hour to operate a Coast Guard small boat.
"If people used this system appropriately, it would take a lot of the guesswork out of search and rescue," said Dunn. "Unregistered EPIRBs result in lost time, money, and the misuse of resources that could be used to save someone's life."
If you do have an unregistered EPIRB, Click Here to register it with NOAA.
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