Greetings Sun Harbor Mariners
Welcome to the November 2019 edition of the Sun Harbor Marina newsletter. In this month's issue we have interesting articles: Thankfulness 2020; Sailing Emergencies, How to Sail without a Rudder; Magic Depth Curves; and our November Vichyssoise recipe.
Also this month we have There's lots to report on and about San Diego Bay this month including coming new charter regulations and tougher crackdowns on illegal "dumpers". On the plus side, cruise ship calls to the city are expected to break new records this Fall and Winter, and Comic-Con's sponsorship of this year's parade of lights is bound to be something you won't want to miss.
In other articles there's some good news for Yacht Brokers; some tips for preparing your boat for severe weather; and a request from the Coast Guard for some feedback on San Diego Bay's navigation aids.
Lisa Rustin and the Sun Harbor Marina Staff
Our Marina Fest Event was a HUGE success! We had live music, games, an exciting raffle, and multiple local vendors and businesses come out to partake in the event.
Winners of the Chili Cook-Off: We had 9 entries for our Chili-Cook off.. All battling for the coveted title of Best Chili at Sun Harbor Marina's annual Chili Cook-Off!
Our guest judges chose our top 3 contestants: Leland and Cecily Parsons in First Place with their vegetarian chili and a tie for second place between Tim McCully and Lisa Merten!
Thank you for all who participated in our raffle this year, we had a great time raising money for the Peninsula YMCA with you and were pleased to be able to give away such amazing prizes! Here are some of our amazing prizes and donors: A Beautiful Stand-Up Paddle Board from OEX, ½ day Fishing Trips from Fisherman's Landing, Spice Kits from Fisherman's Processing, Brunch for 4 at Kona Kai and "Love and Light Acupuncture", Wine Tasting Packages from Pamo Valley Winery, Free Wi-Fi Services, Mitch's Gift Cards+hats+tshirts, Pizza Nova gift card, a Haircut from "Electric Chair" in OB, and a Sun Harbor Marina gift basket- complete with a canvas beach bag, hat, mug, t shirt, and more.
Please keep in mind that all dogs must be on a leash while on the docks. We love our furry friends but it is marina policy that they are kept on leash while on marina premises. We love being a dog friendly marina and have dog treats in the office for anyone who wants to stop by! We have people treats as well.
Special Dates in November
November 3rd Jellyfish Day
November 6th Nachos Day
November 11th Oragami Day
November 12th Chicken Soup for the Soul Day
November 15th Philanthropy Day
November 18th Vichyssoise Day
November 19th Entrepreneurs' Day
November 22nd Flossing Day
November 28th French Toast Day
November 28th Thanksgiving
Upcoming Marina Events
Keep your calendars close... Save the Date coming soon! Sun Harbor Marina will be hosting a Holiday Party in December.
Clean Marina Minute: Marine Sanitation Devices
By Kristen Page
In response to growing fears of the decrease in quality of our nation's bodies of water, Congress enacted the Clean Water Act of 1972. It addresses a wide spectrum of water pollution problems, including marine sewage from boats in our coastal and navigable U.S. waters. The EPA regulates the equipment that treats or holds the sewage (Marine Sanitation Devices) and establishes areas in which the discharge of sewage from vessels is not allowed (no-discharge zones).
Within No-Discharge Zones, vessel operators are required to retain their sewage discharges onboard for discharge at sea (beyond three miles from shore) or onshore at a pump-out facility. All of San Diego Bay is a No- Discharge Zone. Boats with installed toilets must have an operable Coast Guard approved MSD designed to either hold sewage for pump-out ashore or for discharge in the ocean beyond the three mile limit, or to treat the sewage to Federal standards prior to discharge.
Find Sun Harbor Marina's free public pumpout station or your closest pumpout station on the Pumpout Nav App. Get the Pumpout Nav App at this link.
- By Laura Brownwood
What a wonderful name for a holiday . . . Thanksgiving!!! You have a boat? If you do, what percentage of the time to you spend being thankful vs "this or that needs to be done?" Researchers say if we celebrated thankfulness throughout the entire year, we would be rewarded with better health ... really??
Even without concentrating on diet and exercise* we can feel better and be healthier. Although this sounds like a departure from what we've been taught, science backs it up.
"Thousands of years of literature talk about the benefits of cultivating gratefulness as a virtue," says University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons. Throughout history, philosophers and religious leaders have extolled gratitude as a virtue integral to health and well-being. Now, through a recent movement called positive psychology, mental health professionals are taking a close look at how virtues such as gratitude can benefit our health. And they're reaping some promising results.
- Maintain a gratitude journal. Emmons' research showed that people who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercise* more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and maintain greater optimism about the future.
- Create a list of benefits in your life and ask yourself, "To what extent do I take these for granted?" Some people need such concrete visual reminders to maintain mindfulness of their gratitude, explains Emmons.
- Talk to yourself in a creative, optimistic, and appreciate manner, suggests Sam Quick, PhD, of the University of Kentucky. This could entail simply reflecting on things for which you're grateful or, if you're facing a challenging situation, seeing how it can ultimately be beneficial. For instance, having to cope with particularly difficult people in your job or neighborhood can improve your patience and understanding.
For several years, I have been doing Joy Consultancy, and have taught people the power of writing daily list of Positive Aspects and have personally witnessed changes in happiness levels from this practice. There are notebooks titled, Gratefulness, Appreciation, etc . . . why not buy a few. One for home, one for work and, how about one for your stateroom? Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Year ahead.
Captain John's Skipper Tips - Use Magic Depth Curves to Keep Clear of Danger!
- By Captain John
Black night, not a star alight; your small sailboat surfs down the waves like a graceful dancer. Just ahead in the distance lies landfall. What technique could you use to back up your "black box" navigation systems and give you warning before you sail into danger?
On this coastal approach chart to the Krenitzin Islands in Alaska, soundings are in fathoms. Depth curves are staggered at 10 fathom intervals. Note the 50 fathom curve about 5 miles offshore. Closer inshore, you see the 40, 30, and 20 fathom curves. The thick blue line represents the sailing course of 135° Magnetic. The light dashed blue lines show what would happen if navigational error (see below) caused our sailboat to be off a few degrees to one side or the other. Your depth sounder would still warn you that you had crossed one of the fathom curves. Use navigational techniques like this for sailing safety.
How to Use Magic Depth Contours
Check your chart to find out if soundings are in feet, fathoms or meters. Next, scan your chart for lines or non-concentric circles, called depth curves (or depth contours). Look for a number inserted somewhere along the line. This number indicates the depth all along that specific depth curve.
Depth curves are often staggered in increments of 6 or 10. In inland or coastal waters, you will see depth curves numbered 6, 12, 18, 24, and 30. Further offshore, depth curves might be labeled 10, 20, 30, and so forth. Set your depth sounder alarm to trigger at the outermost depth curve near a hazardous coastline.
In the illustration, you see the 50 fathom depth curve, about five nautical miles off of the Krenitzin Islands in Alaska. Closer to shore, note the 40, 30, and 20 fathom curves. Set your depth sounder to alarm when you arrive at the 50 fathom curve. This gives you time to get the crew on deck for the final approach.
Now you know how depth curves or contours can help you sail clear of danger. Use easy sailing navigation tips like these, wherever in the world you choose to sail or cruise.
Sailing Emergencies - How to Sail Without a Rudder
One of the first techniques I taught our Professional Mariner students at the Chapman School of Seamanship was how to steer a sailboat under sails alone. No wheel or tiller. Just sails. It's a vital sailing skill to know if you lose your
If you lose steering you can sail under sails alone. Sail onto a close hauled or close reaching course. Aim for a distant object or use your steering compass (if coastal or offshore sailing). Slack the jib and trim the main to head up. Ease the main and trim the jib to fall off. See details below.
Steve Colgate, former Olympian, author, and founder of the Offshore Sailing Schools, tells a story about a race across the Atlantic ocean on a large sailing sloop. The rudder was damaged when they were still more than one thousand nautical miles from the closest harbor.
"We lost a rudder in the middle of a Transatlantic Race and steered the last 1000 miles by adjusting the sails alone."
There they were, stuck out in the ocean with no rudder, and no spare parts to replace it. They steered their boat the rest of the way with just the mainsail and Genoa!
The crew were able to sail an accurate course day and night for more than a week and arrived safely at their destination. Follow the easy steps below to learn one of sailing's best-kept secrets.
Marina Recipe - Classic Vichyssoise Soup
Prep and cook time 1 hour and 45 minutes
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
6 large leeks, thoroughly rinsed and sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 quart chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
Chives to garnish
Sauté onions until translucent in the olive oil and the butter (about 2 minutes). Add the leeks and sauté until soft (about 4-5 min). Then add the potatoes and sauté with the onions and leeks for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Puree the soup until smooth. Add the heavy cream and turn the heat back up to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes so it thickens a little. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Remove from heat. Wait for the soup to cool down to room temperature and chill for at least one hour before serving. Garnish with some chopped chives and serve.
As it is November, and the spirit of thankfulness runs high, we want to give all of our boaters an extra special THANK YOU for being part of a wonderful community that really makes being a part of Sun Harbor special.
Inspired by Laura Brownwood's "Thankfulness" article this month, SHM wanted to share with you a short list of graditudes that our staff is particularly thankful for:
- The dogs that come into the office everyday (and their people!)
- The beautiful location and view of Sun Harbor
- The love and support of family and friends
- The wonderful team and community at SHM
- Flowers and Plants
Lisa Rustin and the Sun Harbor Marina Staff
Boat Gadget Finds of the Month
Every once in a while you find a boat gadget or an idea that you "just have to have". Here's what we found this month - Starting with a Portable Fender Clip
Portable Fender Clip:
A lot of times you want to position a fender in a specific spot, but you don't want to undo a permanent fender and move it, or it's needed on a tight fitting or obstructed rail.
The "Quick Cleat" Portable Fender Clip mounts on any section of rail - No drilling required! You then Rotate the cleat, insert the fender rope, and done!
Anti-slip material keeps the clip positioned on the rail and rotating the cam lets you adjust the fender height up or down.
Different sizes available for most common rails and rope sizes. Available from quick-cleat.com.
Maxxtow Trailer Chocks:
Why chance a runaway boat launch? These solid rubber wheel chocks will help keep your vehicle and boat trailer in place.
Deep ridges on one side provide traction against the tire for a firm grip. Built-in handle makes positioning and removing fast and easy. Available from eTrailer.com.
Kayak Anchor for Canoes, Jet Skis, Paddle Boards & Small Boats:
The perfect size anchor for kayaks, canoes, jet skis, paddle boards and small boats.
Small and compact - Folds up and stores easily inside the storage bag it comes with.
Made of galvanized iron that's resistant to rust. Available from Best Marine and Outdoors
San Diego Mariner Feedback Requested
- By LTJG Katie Clark, Waterways Management, Eleventh Coast Guard District
Hello Southern California Mariners - The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) study for San Diego Bay to validate the adequacy of the existing aids to
navigation systems and to gain a better understanding of the uses of the waterway and general safety issues.
The information collected from this survey will be used to see what may be done to enhance safe navigation of the waterway and to anticipate and plan our budgeting processes.
Your participation in this brief survey will be much appreciated by the U.S. Coast Guard and will be very valuable to our research. To take the survey, please Click Here. Thank you!
Yacht Brokers - Dodging the Bullet
The California Senate passed a bill in September that would extend new protections to employees of so-called gig economy companies including Lyft and Uber.
Essentially, the bill requires "a person providing labor or services for remuneration" to "be considered an employee rather than an independent contractor," according to the text of the bill. The term "gig" refers to an employment situation where the working arrangement is limited to a certain period of time based on the needs of the employing organization
If Governor Newsom signs the bill as expected, independent yacht brokers will join the list of more than 50 other professions that are carved out from Senate Bill AB5, largely because they typically set their own prices and negotiate directly with their customers.
These professions also include doctors, dentists, psychologists, insurance agents, stockbrokers, lawyers, accountants, engineers, direct sellers, real estate agents, hairstylists, commercial fishermen, travel agents and graphic designers.
The bill still must go through the State Assembly and be signed by the governor, who's already endorsed the bill in a Sacramento Bee op-ed.
Comic-Con Spills Over Onto The Bay
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights has announced that the 2019 parade theme is "Comic-Con on the Bay".
"The Parade of Lights gives boat enthusiasts and owners an opportunity to demonstrate their creativity in a fun way, and we can't wait to see what they come up with to celebrate Comic-Con's 50th Anniversary this year," said Parade Chairman Larry Baumann. "I'm sure the thousands of spectators who visit the bay to view the dazzling lighted boats will get a kick out of this year's theme."
The dates for this year's parade are Friday, December 8th and December 15th. This year marks the 48th anniversary for the Parade of Lights.
Presented by the Port of San Diego, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights brings more than 100,000 San Diego residents and visitors to the San Diego Bay waterfront each year. The procession of more than 80 lavishly decorated boats has become one of the region's most iconic holiday events.
The parade route starts at Shelter Island and travels west past Harbor Island, then south along the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and Cesar Chavez Park before turning parallel with the Coronado Bridge to the west side of the bay. The parade then proceeds past Peohe's Chart House to the finish line in front of the Ferry Landing.
It takes about two hours to complete the procession and there are many comfortable waterfront viewpoints along the route.
A variety of prizes and awards are presented to the best decorated boats and those that best capture the parade's theme. All participants will receive a participant plaque and are invited to the awards dinner held at Tom Ham's Lighthouse.
Those interested in sponsoring the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, can contact Larry Baumann at 619-222-1181 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and parade details, visit www.sdparadeoflights.org.
No Means No!
- By Kells Christian
I didn't know that San Diego Bay is a NO discharge area.
The discharge of grey water (galley, bath and shower water) and black water (sewage) from any vessel while berthed, moored, or anchored in San Diego Bay is prohibited. An out of town client quoted this to me from a webpage he found during a recent survey.
I was familiar with restrictions on contaminants in the water. I deal with boatyards requiring haul outs for paint work and boat enclosures. I am aware of limitations on boat owners painting their own boats and have been told that you can't even let saw dust, natural wood without paint, fall into the bay. I did not know that grey water was prohibited and apparently neither did anyone else.
Consequently an editor asked for "I didn't know" articles and voila, I recalled that recent revelation. Thus with inspiration provided, I began my research, but initially could not find the webpage. I did find several maps including San Diego Bay as a no discharge area with very little explanation.
So, I called the environmental department at the San Diego Unified Port District. I spoke with a friendly, knowledgeable and helpful government employee. I asked if grey water could be discharged into San Diego Bay. He initially responded with a chortle and said, "You're asking a government employee for permission to put something in the bay?" And then he began to explain the basic governing concepts to my question.
There is a federal law called the Clean Water Act, a California law called the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act and there are numerous organizations that enforce these acts. California has a State Water Resources Control Board and nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards. I barely skimmed the surface of these acts and realized there are exhaustive limitations.
In summation the only thing he felt an authority would allow to be put into San Diego Bay would be pure rainwater. Even water removed from the bay would not meet some standards for pouring it back in. While he would not condone grey water discharge, he said the priority on grey water discharge should be much less than many other contaminants. After I hung up with him I found the website and called him back. He laughed and said, "but there is no legal citation".
I continued research and found that the California Water Boards' online Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act begins by discussing the establishment of the State and Regional Water Boards and stating, "Together the ten water boards have primarily [sic] responsibility for implementing and enforcing the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act". (I wonder who had primarily responsibility for editing?)
I once again realized that my world, the world of boating, boats and boaters is a tiny subset of a much larger world. This law deals with sewage, wells, reclamation and a little bit relevant to vessels. I just wanted to know if grey water could be "legally" discharged in San Diego Bay.
I was born in San Diego and have been an active marine surveyor based in San Diego since January 1993. I have seen a lot of boats. I have seen some with grey water treatment systems, probably two hundred of approximately 10,000 boats I have been aboard have grey water systems. All 9,800 other boats dump their grey water into San Diego Bay, Oceanside, Dana Point, Newport Beach, Redondo / King Harbor, Marina del Rey, Ventura, Santa Barbara etc.
So my research determined that I didn't know how complicated it was to answer a simple question. I didn't know that one pass cooling water, water running off the decks and water touching bottom paint were all potentially illegal contaminants. I didn't know how many laws and organizations protect the quality of the water and I truly was unaware of how much I didn't know about keeping the water clean.
I did know that it is wise to consider what we put in our water and that ended up as the true purpose of this article. We all need to consider, research, and prioritize what really matters, and modify our behaviors accordingly. Is that soap really bio-friendly? Should I pour that ??? down the drain or would it be better processed or disposed of another way? Is that sheen from my boat?
Here are a few other reference sites for the interested
California Water Board (San Diego Region)
EPA California No Discharge Zones
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System NPDES
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.
Busy Bay Season Coming
Over 100 Cruise Ship calls are coming to San Diego this Fall/Winter cruising season, bringing about 338,000 passengers - up from last season's 295,000.
Lucky San Diegans can choose to say "Bon Voyage" to destinations including Hawaii & the South Pacific; the Mexican Riviera; South America; Panama Canal; or just along the Pacific Coast.
Cruise lines coming this year include Carnival; Celebrity; Crystal Cruises; Disney; Holland America; Norweigian; and Princess.
The Port of San Diego has a great section on their website that lets you explore the dates and destinations to choose from.
Thursday, November 28th - Oceanside's 14th Annual Turkey Trot
It is that time of the year again and we're expecting another big crowd at the trot. November 28th is the big day
The event will raise over $340,000 for non-profits that serve Oceanside residents. The Oceanside Turkey Trot attracts participants from 46 States, 460 cities.
The race will have about 9,000 registered runners and walkers plus about 1,800 will do the 5 Mile the run through the harbor and down to the strand.
For more details on the trot download this PDF named "2019 Turkey Trot". The Turkey Trot website is www.osideturkeytrot.com
Prepping Your Boat for Severe Weather
- By Commodore Vincent Pica
'Tis the season of heavy weather. The question is, what should you do to minimize the potential damage or sinking of your boat, either at sea or as it sits tied up at the marina?
First, Let Me Say It Again - "Never stay on your boat in your slip or at mooring during severe weather." I know. There are old timers that swear by it and they say "I've saved my boat every time when others were lost."
At sea or in open water, with absolute certainty, it was saved simply because the winds and seas never exceeded the operational capacity of the engines.
But if they do, you will be lost with the boat. The boat is just money. You are someone. If you care about the people who care about you, read on and leave the boat behind while you take your loved ones to high ground.
The Spider Web of Lines: If you can't get the boat out of the water and on to "the hard", then you are compelled to protect her in her natural element the water. But the sea presents forces magnified beyond the speed of the wind it is the momentum of the wind-driven seas and the tidal surge.
The storm tide is added to the astronomical tides. And when those waves hit something solid, they generate force dozens of times more powerful than wind of the same speed. Sandy generated a storm surge of 14 feet. Andrew generated a storm tide of 17 feet. Camille in 1969? 24 feet. Dorian made the Bahamas look like Hiroshima!
While nothing will save the boat from something like that, the vast majority of storm-driven tidal surges are significant but really fractions of that. So, with a "spider web of lines", you can create a fighting chance that your beauty will ride out the storm.
What is common to all these configurations is lots of lines and long expanses of them. In some of them, you can also see that multiple anchors are used as well. The longer lines are there to address the tidal surge. The additional lines are there for back-up. Losing one line to stress doesn't completely undo everything you've done.
Chafe Guards: Without doubt, you will need chafe guards of some kind since the storm will put extreme stresses on the lines where they are wrapped around the cleats and chocks. Your ground tackle too will need additional chafe protection. Think of the storm as putting a summer's worth of stress on your lines for every hour of "blow." If you go through a set of lines every two summers, they will never withstand a half-day of a serious "blow." And that is assuming that they are new.
What to use? The universal winner-take-all is old garden hose. Lay the line through a length of hose and lay that through the chock or along the toe rail where your line crosses the gunwale on its way to a cleat on the dock. In a pinch, duct tape (a TON of it) works really well. And it is more pliable than garden hose.
For the aficionados, they will hate it because it looks like hell but it works. BTW, while you can (now!), be sure that the cleats on the boat and on the dock are through-bolted with a backing plate. If not, they will become high-speed guided missiles as they fly out of their bedding under strain. And the boat will be free! No garden hose? Improvise. Leather straps. Rags. Anything helps, just some things help more than others.
Cut Your Windage: Do whatever you can to lower the boat's profile to the wind. Take down the bimini cover and lash it. If you can't, open the windows. Take down the antennas. Even that little bit of additional windage can tip the balance. A sailboat? I know I don't need to say that you must stow all the sails, even the furled ones, below or ashore. If the boat has dorades or cowls, seal them. Wind or wind-driven water getting below at high speed can't be good. Duct tape! And take in all the electronics and seal the boat's electrical leads with tape.
Fenders and Fender Boards: Yes. As many as possible, put them out. I always suggest that they be secured to the boat, rather than the dock. If the boat does break free, at least she is taking some of her protection with her.
In Summary: Make a check list now. If you need one, email me below and I will send you one. Do you want a copy of the BoatUS guide for boat and marina owners? Email me below and I'll send that too. And remember these words:
"The time for taking all measures for a ship's safety is while still able to do so. Nothing is more dangerous than for a seaman to be grudging in taking precautions lest they turn out to have been unnecessary. Safety at sea for a thousand years has depended on exactly the opposite philosophy."
- Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
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.
Specific Gravity and Your Boat's Batteries
- By Jeff Schwenn
We often work with boats that have 6 Volt or 12 Volt flooded lead acid batteries.
These batteries need water of course, but it's not only important to make sure there are no dry cells, but equally important to check each cell for the correct specific gravity.
In this short YouTube video, I will give you the information you need to check your batteries for the correct specific gravity and help make your battery investment last a long time.
I hope you enjoy the video, and if you have any battery questions you'd like to ask, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Diego Port Authority to Set New Regulations for Charter Vessels
The Port of San Diego is inviting the public to review and provide input on proposed changes to the Port's charter vessel regulations. On Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 1:30pm, the San Diego Port Authority will hold an outreach meeting to discuss the changes and record feedback on the proposed new regulations.
If approved by the Board of Port Commissioners, the updated ordinance will apply to charter vessels that operate out of San Diego Bay marinas and sportfishing landings, and for the first time will allow the Port to issue permits to qualified charter vessel operators who conduct their businesses outside of a marina or sportfishing landing.
The meeting will take place at
Port Administration Building, 3165 Pacific Highway
In addition to commenting and asking questions at the meeting, the public may send questions and provide feedback via email to email@example.com.
Among the changes, the Port proposes to issue all Charter Vessel Operation Permits (Permits) for all Charter Vessel Operations and collect license agreement fees from qualified Charter Vessel Operators who do not have an agreement to operate from a marina or sportfishing landing.
Currently, legal charter vessel operators must obtain a Permit from a marina or sportfishing landing where they board passengers, and there are more charter vessel operators than there are available slips at the marinas and sportfishing landings on San Diego Bay.
Additional proposed updates include:
- New requirements for obtaining and maintaining a Permit for all types of charters;
- An appeal process for those whose request for a Permit is denied, as well as suspended or revoked for violating any term of a Permit; and
- Insurance requirements and the payment of license agreement fees to the Port.
To see a draft of the proposal, Click Here.
Is the Dye About to be Cast?
- By Bob Simons
How responsible are recreational and commercial boaters when it comes to the environment?
Apparently many are not all that responsible if the number of recent notices and complaints are any indication.
The main culprit is the age old temptation to illegally release untreated or partially treated wastewater, sewage, or polluted bilge water while at anchorages, moorings and marinas. Other sources of pollution include the maintenance of vessels at berth in sportfishing landings and in marinas that have the potential to release pollutants into the water.
A main problem in detecting, identifying and policing sources of these discharges is challenging since they are often done early in the morning or at night when they are not easily observed.
Complicating things further, wind and tidal action also can quickly move the discharge away from the source making the identification of the responsible party difficult.
To deal with this rising problem in San Diego for example, an interdepartmental team including the San Diego Port Authority, Environmental Protection, Harbor Police, Legal, and Real Estate has been meeting to identify possible additional actions related to prevention and enforcement. The group is evaluating vessel discharge prevention programs that are in effect in other areas, such as placing dye tablets in holding tanks to better identify illegal discharges.
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