October 2017 - Marina E-Newsletter
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Clean Marina Minute
In keeping with the large effort of the clean ups, Operation Clean Sweep and the International Coastal Clean up just completed, you might be interested in knowing about the location of No Discharge Zones.

The Law - Sewage regulations are some of the most misunderstood boating laws. To be clear, it is ILLEGAL to discharge UNTREATED sewage on inland waters and within 3 miles of shore. To legally dispose of sewage boaters must either have an on-board treatment device (Type I or Type II MSD) or a holding tank (Type III MSD) to hold the waste and have it pumped out ashore. A No Discharge Zone (NDZ) further prohibits the discharge of treated boat sewage.

Within NDZ boundaries, vessel operators are required to retain their sewage discharges on-board for disposal at sea (beyond three miles from shore) or onshore at a pumpout facility.

Vessel sewage discharge is regulated under the Clean Water Act. States can have all or portions of their waters designated as a No Discharge Zone for vessel sewage to:

  • Protect aquatic habitats where adequate and reasonably available pumpout or dump station facilities are available for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage

  • Protect special aquatic habitats or species

  • Safeguard human health by protecting drinking water intake zones

It is not a surprise to most of us, but ALL of San Diego Bay is a No Discharge Zone. The No Discharge Zones are clearly marked on NOAA charts. See illustration. You can also visit the EPA's list of No Discharge Zones.

General Tips:

  • When tied up to a dock, use onshore facilities. Encourage guests to take advantage of the onshore restrooms before you set out for a day trip.
  • Regularly maintain your MSD and the attached plumbing and install the best hose you can afford to reduce odors.
  • Don't be afraid to talk about the issue. Talk to the marina office staff, your friends and fellow boaters about how to pump out.
  • Obey the law – keep untreated sewage out of all coastal and inland waters.

A no discharge zone is one where no vessel may discharge anything into the water. This includes sewage, grey water (water from sinks) and bilge water. In these areas the bilge pumps should be taken out of the automatic mode so that there is no oily bilge water discharges.

Pumpkins, Occasionally Scary, Always Healthy
- By Laura Brownwood
Sure, pumpkins can seem spooky in their Jack-o-lantern state, but don't be fooled, they are loaded with antioxidants and disease-fighting vitamins. These gourds aren't just for carving, they are also very nutritious!!

Pumpkin varieties, over thirty of them, come in many different sizes, some less than 3 pounds, others that get up to 100 pounds or more. The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 pounds and was grown in Minnesota.

Pumpkins have 3 grams of fiber and 49 calories per one cup severing, which can keep you feeling full longer on fewer calories.

Pumpkins, along with sweet potatoes, boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention according to the National Cancer Institute. That nutrient, with it's brilliant orange coloring, is converted to Vitamin A and is essential for eye health and helps the retina absorb and process light. Pumpkins also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are thought to help prevent cataracts and may even slow the development of macular degeneration. Although it is good to supplement these two nutrients, it is excellent to get it fresh in your diet! In addition to Vitamin A it also contains Vitamin C, both of which are good for the immune system.

More on the Jack-o-lantern benefits, including diabetes . . . in scientific tests, it has been shown to reduce blood glucose level and improve glucose tolerance. More testing needs to be done before we can say for sure what pumpkin's benefits will be, but if you have diabetes, munching on pumpkin certainly won't hurt.

And now for the inside story . . . those little seeds are nutritional powerhouses that come in a small package. With a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc, they are impressive and contain a wide array of beneficial plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, which can give your health an added boost. As with the pumpkin itself, they also may benefit your heart, liver and immune system, help fight diabetes, and offer unique benefits for men's prostate health and women's relief of menopause symptoms as well.

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of both magnesium and tryptophan that are closely associated with sedation and soothing qualities that stimulate sleep. Tryptophan is used by the body to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in depression and anxiety.

As we come into pumpkin season, Halloween and Thanksgiving . . . let's do more than just carve them or decorate with them, let's enjoy the many health benefits and EAT THEM.

Laura Brownwood
The BeachHouse Team 619-994-4999

Day Shapes Source
- By Captain John at www.skippertips.com
Sail long enough and you can bet you will come across a vessel that shows a bunch of black geometric shapes hoisted in her rigging. These are called Day Shapes. Day shapes may be shaped like a ball, a diamond, a cone or a cylinder.

Single day shapes or combinations of day shapes are required to be shown when a vessel has a specific type of work or status that restricts their movement. They might be unable to get out of the way of another boat or ship. Day shapes are displayed from sunrise to sunset.

Today, let's talk about some of those combos. Start with the Ball-Diamond-Ball (middle of the cluster below). The Navigation Rules states that the vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver due to the nature of her work, must show a Ball-Diamond-Ball grouped in a vertical line

Look at the last few words of this Rule "...due to the nature of her work...". I've given a lot of 100-ton license exams as a pro maritime instructor and taken exams many times. Those last words can trip you up big time if you do not read them word for word. Here's why...

Those words do not refer to a vessel with an engine problem. Nor do they indicate a sailboat with shredded sails. Or a sailboat that has been dismasted. Or a boat with a jammed or broken rudder. Sure, all of these vessels may not be able to get out of the way of another vessel.

But, their status has nothing to do with the "nature of their work". Other shapes are used to cover circumstances where a vessel has experienced a disability of some sort.

Look over this list of vessels that show the Ball-Diamond-Ball configuration:
  • Tugs with tows that severely restrict their ability to maneuver.
  • Vessels servicing aids to navigation (i.e. Coast Guard buoy tenders).
  • Vessels launching / recovering aircraft (i.e. Naval aircraft carriers).
  • Commercial or recreational dive boats (may hoist a rigid replica of the Alpha flag instead).
  • Vessels engaged in underwater dredging or operations.

Some vessels, like those engaged in underwater dredging or operations, have to carry additional day shapes on each side of the vessel. Note in the illustration the two black balls and two black diamonds on each side of the Ball-Diamond-Ball. What does this mean?

How to Decode Multiple Groups of Day Shapes
Think of these as "danger side / safe side" indicators. A vessel engaged in underwater dredging or operations, must show two black balls in a vertical line on the dangerous side of passage and two black diamonds in a vertical line on the safe side of passage

Use this memory key: "Balls are Bad; Diamonds are Delightful". Pass the dredge on the side with the two diamonds. Look at the illustration again. See if you can decode each group. Ball-Diamond-Ball means what? Ball-Ball means what? Diamond-Diamond means what?

See how easy that is? Use this same "one group at a time" method with any cluster of day shapes or navigation lights that you see. It melts away the confusion in a heartbeat! Works like a charm.

Vessels engaged in underwater dredging or operations are the ONLY vessels in the world that show these three groups together. That's really important to understand. There are vessels that show two black balls in a vertical line (and no other shapes), but they are not dredges! (find out more in my eBook - see below).

Why You Should Verify Before You Commit!
When I taught at the Chapman School of Seamanship, one of our instructors came back after a weekend on the water. A dredge was working in the inlet, with limited room to pass on either side. He saw the Ball-Diamond-Ball along with the Diamond-Diamond on one side and Ball-Ball on the other.

But--something just did not look right. Not right at all! So he stopped the boat and called the dredge skipper. And, guess what? The skipper came back on the radio: "Sorry about that; we forgot to switch the shapes when we turned around". Oops. It happens.

As you might know, commercial crews can get so busy that they might forget to tend to those small tasks that may not seem so important. But of course, small things we forget can sometimes have unintended consequences. So, give the skipper a quick call on the radio. Just in case.


Boaters Can Load Up Their Mobile Devices With Helpful Applications
(Part 1 of 5)
- By The Log
California - As a boater, it is important to know the weather window. Checking the weather forecast is what boaters and sailors do prior to going out to sea. Having the best boating apps loaded onto your cellular phone or tablet is also a good plan.

In today's world, so many resources are literally at boaters' fingertips these days. With all the technology out there currently, boaters can access radio, internet sites and mobile applications.

Marine forecasts are available on NOAA's National Weather Service website at weather.gov/marine. NOAA also has a national weather hazards listing all the radio frequencies at nws.noaa.gov/nwr. Both are great resources for mariners.

A mobile application – or app – can also be beneficial to boaters as a resource for weather, traffic and much more.

Numerous apps are obviously on the market; a few of them are sampled here to give you a perspective of what might be of interest before going out on the water. Some of the apps listed are free and some require a fee to purchase.

Weather and Wind - There are many ways to check the weather forecast, but weather can be unpredictable at times and suddenly change. Being alert for weather updates is always beneficial. Navionics provides information on weather, tides, currents, nautical charts, port plans, marine services and more.

WINDY is an app for sailors and other water sport enthusiasts providing wind, wave and tide forecasts as well as a hurricane tracker. Wisuki and Boating Weather are a couple other weather apps with information on wind, waves and tides.

For those who want to be notified when the conditions are optimal, check out the app called Sailing Weather. This app allows you to indicate your ideal sailing conditions, and an icon pops up when the weather meets your conditions.

PredictWind may also be a helpful app providing wind forecast. The description on the app itself claims to be the top choice for sailors, and local sailor and sailboat owner Sage Marie agrees.

My favorite wind app is PredictWind because it aggregates data from a few sources, and the wind mapping is super easy to read and understand," Marie vouched. As a backup to the chartplotter, Marie also uses the Garmin Blue Chart app. This app wirelessly transfers weather data to your chartplotter.

Please note, not all mariner applications have been included in this article (and future sections), nor is The Log endorsing any of the apps listed. Many more apps are available especially those specific to a geographic location.Back

Leaving Your Slip in the Wind
- Source by BoatUS
Learn five tactics to get away from the dock when the gusts are against you.

Situation 1:
Wind Pushing Starboard Side, Stern Out

  1. Hard left rudder. Engine forward will kick out the stern.
  2. Reverse engine with left rudder, after releasing line and clearing dock.
  3. Forward out of the marina.

Situation 2:
Wind Pushing Away From Dock, Stern Out

  1. Engine forward and right rudder kicks out the stern.
  2. Engine reverse with left rudder after releasing line and clearing dock.
  3. Forward out of the marina.

Situation 3:
Wind Pushing Port Side, Bow Out

  1. Reverse engine, right rudder to pivot bow into the wind.
  2. Remove line and steer into wind.

Situation 4:
Wind Pushing Away From Dock, Bow Out

  1. Release bow line first, then stern and power forward with right rudder.

Situation 5 - Wind Pushing Starboard Side, Bow Out

  1. Reverse engine, left rudder to pivot bow into the wind.
  2. Remove line and steer into wind.

A challenging maneuver for any boat (power, sail, big, small) is leaving the dock. Slow speed makes a boat less maneuverable because the rudder isn't very effective until the boat's going fast enough for water to flow over it cleanly. Called "steerageway," that efficient speed can be elusive when the wind's pushing you back or when you make turns, which also slow the boat.

Before heading out, check the wind strength and direction, and then plan your tactics. The illustration shows five ways to cast off from a slip and head out of a marina into a head wind. It's a two-step process. First, clear the slip, using docking lines and the engine to control the boat and prevent rubbing against the pier. Be careful, though. The forces can be larger than they appear. Then point the bow as directly as possible down the channel and get going. On that heading, turns will be gradual, which improves your speed and controlBack

Better Than "Uncle Weatherby?" - Just Look Up!
- By Commodore Vincent Pica
While weather forecasting is far more reliable than ever before, it pales in our esteem for the mariner that can open the back door, look up, gaze knowingly for a second or two, and pronounce, "nah, we'll be coming home in a whopper. Tomorrow will be better." And, sure enough, a half day later, it is pouring!

This article is all about that mariner.

Clouds are Batteries: Since this column started, we've written about the weather and seamanship many times. And, as those columns implied, clouds are batteries that store water and tremendous power.

But the history of weather forecasting goes back to the dawn of time and is loaded with old wisdoms ("mare's tails and mackerel scales make tall-ship captains take in their sails") and many jokes, ("where else can you be so wrong so often and keep your job!?") So, where does the weather, and these "sayings", come from?

Part of the problem of weather forecasting was solved over a hundred years ago by British meteorologist, Luke Howard, when he devised a system of nomenclature that the rest of the world's scientists were constantly arguing about. Every country wanted to use its own language and definitions for naming clouds and their effects. Howard came forward using – you guessed it – Latin and the fight was over. Meteorologists the world over accepted his type/sub-type system:

Cirrus ("hair") – wispy, high-level clouds that foretell a major weather system on its way (the mare's tails)

Stratus ("layer") – these cloud formations have no specific feature except that they only form at specific altitudes (see the diagram)

Cumulus ("pile") – the puffy clouds than coalesce into the thunderheads we all recognize that then presages the near immediate arrival of a major storm. BTW, the warmer the weather, the bigger they get (pile up into the sky.)

Nimbus ("precipitating") – we're all familiar with these. By this time, it's raining. And, the darker they are, the more water they are carrying.

Alto ("high") – like in music, while it means high, it means the second-highest (soprano or treble is higher in music) and cirrus' and, often, the cumulo's (thunderheads) are even higher.

Look Up! - Watching the weather over hours or even days, often subconsciously by that back-door mariner, adds to your skills in predicting the weather. And it is all about the sun, the sea and the land interacting.

The sun heats the land faster than the sea. The warm air rises, taking some moisture from the sea, lakes, creeks and rivers with it, and forms cumulus (puffy) clouds. This vacuum effect then brings in cooler air from the sea to fill the gap created by the rising air over the land and we have what we call a sea-breeze ("winds are known from whence they blow, currents are known for whence they flow.")

The opposite effects happen at night, as you might guess. The land cools faster and the process reverses. All this is generally called "convection." And where convection is occurring, clouds are forming – and they are batteries storing up water and power.

Blankets presage Rain: - Another sign that weather is approaching is when the sky cover builds and the sea breeze stops! The cloud cover has now gotten so thick that the sun can't heat the air underneath the clouds. That's when someone mutters, "Please, let it rain and clear out this humidity!" The cloud is acting like a blanket – and you know how much you like blankets in the summertime!

Ancient mariners looked for clouds for two reasons. They didn't know that convection was causing the wind but clouds meant wind. They also meant land. Convection first lines the shore line with clouds. "Land Ho!" - And it builds from there.

Some more proverbs? See if you can divine why they are true, based on what you now know:

  • "The moon with a circle brings water in her beak!"
  • "Rain before seven? Over by eleven."
  • "Red sky at morning? Sailor take warning!"
Anybody who was borne prior to, say, 1970, can remember the newscaster/weatherman Tex Antoine, aka, Uncle Weatherby.

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.Back


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