Shelter Cove Marina - October 2009 Newsletter
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Shelter Cove Marina
2240 Shelter Island Dr.
San Diego, Ca. 92106



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From the Marina Office!
Goodbye June and hello July! Summer is in full swing at Shelter Cove! We have been enjoying the lack of "May gray" and "June gloom" this year - although I'm sure most of the workers on the docks would welcome some overcast mornings! The weather has been near perfect on most days, which is great for tourism in San Diego.

The expansion and renovation of our tenant BBQ area is underway, and our five bed-and-breakfast boats are already booked for the majority of the month.

We anticipate that most of our community will be watching the annual fireworks show from aboard their vessels. Our own Sandy Purdon is the founder and Executive Producer of the Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show!

In this month's newsletter we have some tips to make sure you're boat is safe and ready to set sail, and some things you'll want to know if your summer destination includes Catalina Island or Mexico.

Lastly, we have some common sense tips for keeping your boat safe from vandalism or theft during the summer.

We hope you enjoy your boat this summer, and remember to stay safe and insist your guests wear life vests on the water!

The Staff at Shelter Cove Marina

Christian Marine Surveyors

Me-Oh-My! - It's the 4th of July!
There's no shortage of fun, celebrations, and excitement on the 4th of July weekend in San Diego. Here's what's happening!

When it comes to watching fireworks, adventurous boaters can have the best view seat in the nation - on the water!

Downtown San Diego Big Bay Boom!: July 4th, Fireworks begin at 9:00 PM. The fireworks score is simulcast live on Walrus 105.7 FM. Click Here for complete details including where to watch, parking, and shuttle info.

Seaworld's 'Sea to Shining Sea' 4th of July Fireworks:
Starts at 10:10 PM - Click Here for more details.

Ocean Beach Pier Fireworks: Starts at 9:00 PM - Spend the day picnicking, swimming in the ocean, walking and playing in the sand and shopping along Newport Ave. Then bundle up as the sun sets and pull up a blanket for a really spectacular fireworks show launched from the OB Pier. Click Here for details.

Old Town Historic Park 4th of July Parade: Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Parade, crafts and activities of early San Diego recreate an old fashioned Independence Day celebrated on the frontier. (No fireworks). Click Here for more details.

Coronado 4th of July Celebration: Various Locations on Coronado from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Celebrate the 4th of July in the Crown City with a parade down Orange Avenue at 10:00 AM, a concert in Spreckels Park at 4:00 PM and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9:00 PM. Click Here for more details.

San Diego County Fair 4th of July Celebration: Del Mar Fairgrounds - Fireworks at 9:00 PM. Start off the day at the Fair with a patriotic opening ceremony at 9:30 AM, then enjoy the Hometown Heroes Parade at 7:00 PM, a concert provided by the Navy Band Southwest followed by a spectacular fireworks display. Click Here for more details.

Oceanside Fireworks Show: July 3rd - 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Bring a beach chair and enjoy Oceanside Fireworks Show with music by El Camino High School and Oceanside High School bands along with bites from amazing food trucks. Click Here for more details.

Still Need More 4th of July Choices?
Here's some more choices - you Google them, my fingers are tired!

Rancho Bernardo's 'Spirit of the Fourth' Celebration; Rancho Santa Fe's Independence Day Concert on the Green; San Marcos 4th of July Celebration; Scripps Ranch 4th of July Parade and Festival; Independence Day Vista Style with live music and Light up the Night Dinner and fireworks; the El Cajon 4th of July Picnic and Fireworks; Julian 4th of July Parade; Ramona Rotary Community Fireworks and Family Picnic; Independence Day at the Border; and National City's 4th of July Carnival.

Protecting Your Boat From Petty and Grand Theft
- By Kells Christian
My work truck was stolen recently - from my driveway! I couldn't believe it, car theft really happens, and the truck had Christian & Company Marine Surveyors plastered all over it! I felt violated, but it gave me writing inspiration.

Our experience assisting marine underwriters with theft claims shows how a small amount of effort can prevent most thefts.

I can't be sure, but I think my truck was left unlocked. The unlocked truck gave the thief opportunity.

Theft happens to all size boats from tenders to trailer boats to mega-yachts. We can significantly reduce the likelihood of the theft of our boats or items from our boats by reducing opportunity and increasing the risk for the thief. We may not prevent theft, but we can help the thieves choose a different boat.

For boats kept in the water, reduce opportunity for theft by keeping the boat entry doors and lazarette lockers locked. Make sure the hatches and windows are locked, and store the key more creatively than most people do, i.e. hanging on a hook in a locker.

Meet your neighbors, especially the live aboards, exchange phone numbers and watch out for each other. A boat stolen in Oceanside a few years ago was recovered off La Jolla after the neighbors alerted the owner to unusual activity aboard, and the owner alerted the authorities.

Security cameras (real or fake) are a fantastic deterrent to crime and real cameras are often used to solve crimes. Camera systems prices have come down significantly and they are easy to install. Signs announcing a theft protection system are a simple deterrent. An infra-red marina camera identified a thief recently in Mission Bay, the camera's night time resolution was phenomenal.

Some cruisers purposely let the exterior of their boats weather, so they don't look like shiny beacons to thieves. We have surveyed many boats that appear neglected externally but are actually quite well maintained and equipped, but you may have to start a new class to win an award at the yacht club.

Simple ignition system protection devices, hidden battery switches and unavailable ignition keys make stealing the boat more difficult. Professional thieves are going to take what they want, but the joy rider or opportunistic drunk can be thwarted and are far more common.

Component theft is far more common and can happen to any boat stored ashore or afloat. The most commonly stolen items are high value, small and easily removed. Take the electronics home or lock them up, lock the outboard and keep the valuables out of sight. Fishing gear is a common target. Simply locking the lockers is an effective deterrent, after all, they are called lockers.

We see many trailerable boats stolen and stripped. This type of theft is best prevented by storing the boat in a safe place, locked gates, blocking them in with other vehicles, motion sensor lights, cameras, trailer locks and other visible theft deterrent devices will keep the thieves eyes moving to another boat. Many of these vessels are stolen from temporary storage locations that provided an easy target.

The truck story ended with a fair claim payment for a truck with over 270,000 miles, but the anger, lost time, lost money (deductible and depreciation applies) and energy was not worth it for me or for most people. I was most angry that the thief stole what I worked for. Shouldn't thieves work for a living? Let's make them work harder!

Kells Christian has been an accredited Marine Surveyor since 1990. His expertise extends to both recreational and commercial vessels. Kells was Regional Director of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) for 2 years and a prominent member of numerous other industry organizations. You can e-mail your marine surveyor questions to or Click Here to visit his web site.

Are You Putting Your Boat's Oil and Fuel on a Salt Diet?
- By Richard Benscoter
If you have been in boating for any length of time you have no doubt heard stories about engines quitting for seemingly no apparent reason.

It can happen just as you're approaching the harbor after getting pounded at sea, or just as you're peacefully cruising along.

In many cases, the cause is a clogged fuel filter, even one that was just changed a short while ago.

How can this happen if the filter is practically new? The answer may lie in how and where you have stored replacement filters on your boat.

Before we continue on here, we need to have an understanding of the inner workings of both fuel and oil filters. Anatomy of a filter - A filter's primary function is to remove and retain contaminants as oil or fuel flows through the porous component called the media. While media varies in its porosity and in material construction they are all absorbent, they attract and hold moisture.

The below pictures illustrate the media in a filter removed from the canister, and the picture on the right is that media unrolled. (Note: a canister type filer or spin on filter are constructed of like filter media).


Now it is important to remember the filter media attracts and holds moisture. The moisture in and around your boat is salt laden air, so if the media is not vacuumed packed, it will absorb the salt from the air. The media becomes loaded with salt crystals. Also, if the filter is a spin-on type or has metal inserts, the metal will begun to rust.

So if a filter in this condition is installed in the oil or fuel system, the salt crystals will go into solution when they come in contact with liquid, and then spread through the fuel or oil system.

Also, rust present in or on the filter can also be carried through vital parts of your fuel and oil system with damaging effect. Both of these instances are destroyers to the internal parts of your engine.

So if you have filters in these conditions on your boat, I recommend you take them to the nearest trash receptacle. When you want to store filters on your boat which is a very good Idea, make sure they are in an airtight storage.

I personally take new filters home and use my wife's vacuum packer to seal the filters then take them to my boat. What you need to accomplish is to ensure the filter elements are stored in a sealed container before they are introduced into a salt environment.

Richard BenscoterEditor's Note: Richard Benscoter is a long time avid sailor. He and his wife Debbie are both avid sailors and members of the Silver Gate Yacht Club and owner of the Mariners Woodshop. If you have a sailing question for Richard, send e-mail to

Tommy J's Favorites - Trac Products - Barnacle Buster & Sew Clean
- By Tom Jarvis
Now that summer is here, you will be enjoying your boat more frequently, so here are a couple of products that will definitely help keep your boat running smoothly. Sewage lines and intake water lines can cause unnecessary odors and engine and generator overheating.

TRAC Ecological Green Marine Products is a manufacturer of safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable marine cleaning products that are used as de-scalars, cleaners, and degreasers. Kevin Greene, CEO of TRAC, has developed a product line that offers the boat owner a simple and safe solution to the maintenance and care of his vessel.

Two areas that create consistent problems are the clogging of intake water lines and sewage lines. Both of these trouble areas can now be addressed by utilizing Barnacle Buster and Sew Clean.

Barnacle Buster is another "green" product from TRAC. This is a very safe, non-toxic and biodegradable chemical that removes marine growth by dissolving barnacles and hard crustaceans from intake strainers, hoses and plumbing used in saltwater cooled applications for engines, generators, and air conditioners.

Barnacle Buster will not damage any working parts of the engine or plumbing as it dissolves barnacles, zebra mussels, calcium, rust, lime and all other mineral deposits. The most effective way is to re-circulate the product through the plumbing and motor parts for approximately four (4) hours. TRAC does offer some various types of re-circulation or flushing units on their web page.

One of the main reasons for equipment to over heat or malfunction is the build up of marine growth in the salt water cooled inlets. The various kinds of deposits from the salt water reduce the flow of cooling water to the equipment; even a thin layer of growth which may only be 1/64 of inch can result in a 15% reduction in efficiency.

Mechanical brushing and harsh acid based solvents may do the job, but they are harmful to the equipment, plumbing, applicator, and the environment. TRAC Barnacle Buster offers a solution that is cost effective and very reliable.

Sew Clean was developed to address the clogs and odors emanating from black water systems including the head, sanitation hose and plumbing. This chemical will not damage hoses, rubber gaskets or seals in the head.

It is designed to remove the uric scale and clogs which can cause plumbing to overflow and create unpleasant odors. The best way to use this product is to isolate the tank and let the product run through hoses and head with a circulation system or simply let the Sew Clean sit in the plumbing for at least an hour or so.

By using a bilge type pump and a five gallon bucket with outlet and inlet attachments, one can circulate the Sew Clean throughout the black water system. The system should be flushed with fresh water after the cleaning process has completed. Check their website for testimonials and other TRAC products. Go to their website to locate a dealer close to you.

Stay "fresh" out there and have a great summer!

Editor's Note: Tom Jarvis is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the SuperYacht Association and he also performs outside Marketing and Sales for the San Diego Marine Exchange. Click Here to email your boating product questions to Tom.

Rules For Accessing the Coastal Waters of Mexico Clarified by SAC
- By - Ken Franke
The Sportfishing Association of California (SAC) is a non-profit organization that promotes marine recreation in both Mexico and the United States.

A great deal of emphasis by SAC of late has recently been dedicated to clarify the rules and regulations pertaining to accessing the coastal waters of Mexico. To aid in this process, SAC has developed a new field in their web site at www.CaliforniaSportfishing.Org.

This was intended to be one stop shopping to obtain all of the documents to visit Mexican waters. This includes the following:

  • A purchase point for obtaining a Mexican Sportfishing Licenses ($13),

  • Translated sportfishing rules for Mexico,

  • A purchase point to obtain a vessel importation document (required for vessels that plan to engage in recreational activities in the territorial waters of Mexico which includes 0-12 miles from shore, $62 for ten years),

  • A purchase point to obtain a FMM visitor document (for activities 0-12 miles from shore only, $24)

  • A spread sheet to be sent to Mexican Immigration with the names of the persons aboard your boat.

  • A catch importation document to be completed when returning to U.S. Waters with fish caught in Mexico.

For vessels that plan to just sail through Mexican territorial waters, and not engage in any activity, no permit is required as you have a "right to innocent passage" by international law. Mexico is good about permitting such a transit. It you are sailing to a Mexican Port you can get your visitor documents when you arrive in the Mexican Port.

For vessels that plan on fishing outside of 12 miles, but within the Mexican Economic zone (out to 200 miles), you need only possess a Mexican Fishing license.

From a safety standpoint the Mexican Navy has a new Search and Rescue unit based in Ensenada. They are quite friendly, speak English, and monitor Marine VHF Channel 16. Their vessels look similar to those used by the U.S. Coast Guard.

They also have a helicopter that includes a rescue swimmer. SAC staff monitored the unit in operation and noted their training and operations were quite similar to the USCG. They in fact have trained in part with the USCG.

Overall, the welcome mat is being put out there. The ports have been working hard at making an attractive environment to visitors. SAC will be working over the next six months to welcome key Mexican hotels, marinas, and marine support businesses into the organization. A list of these companies is already being populated also on the SAC web site a desired businesses to work with. SAC is also identifying brokers in each port to be points of contact for visitors to help make their visit smooth. The intent is to find services to make your voyage that more pleasant.

Ken Franke is President of the Sportfishing Association of California (SAC). He is also currently a member of the U.S. Commerce Department Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and is the Chariman of the Recreational Fisheries Sub-committee.    

Your VHF Radio and GPS - They Can Take the "Search" Out of "Search and Rescue"
- By Capt. H. G. "Rags" Laragione
At our maritime school, a big part of our curriculum is geared to teach our students how to use the newest and latest navigational technologies.

However, we find that even though most boats and yachts today are equipped with a modern VHF radio and GPS system that can literally save lives or effect quick rescue in an emergency, for one reason or another, many owners have not programmed them to take advantage of these incredible search and rescue capabilities.

Specifically, we're talking about three things - MMSI, DSC, and AIS.

A Maritime Mobile Service Identity number (MMSI) is a nine digit number used by maritime Digital Selective Calling (DSC) in conjunction with Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and your GPS system to uniquely identify and locate your vessel.

All this may sound a bit daunting (acronyms always do), but it's not all that complicated.

An MMSI number functions much like a phone number and allows boaters with DSC-VHF radios to make a touch-of-a-button emergency call that automatically transmits vital information to all other DSC-VHF radios within your area.

AIS uses your MMSI number in conjunction with your GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver to transmit your position and movement through your VHF radio transmitter.

The bottom line is that if you have the equipment, you owe it to yourself to get it programmed to use this valuable free life-saving capability.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so if you want to see a live map of how this works, Click Here.

If you want to investigate on the internet how to get an MMSI number and program your equipment yourself, the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center is a good place to start.

Alternatively, your marine store electronics representative should be willing to walk you through it.

Either way, if you haven't set up your systems to take advantage of this fantastic new technology, we hope you'll get it done soon. As the captain of your vessel, you're responsible for yourself and your guests.

Captain Laragione is the President of The Maritime Institute which offers USCG approved courses for mariners. Curriculum ranges from the maritime rules of the road to the 1600 Ton Captain's License. Captain Laragione is well known for his motto - "The key to safe boating is education; so let's get educated!"

There's Much More to Catalina Than its Beautiful Coves - Check Out the Trans-Catalina Trail for a Look at the Incredible Interior
- by Peggy Bodenreider
Two dozen boaters left Avalon at 6:30 in the morning, just as the sun was beginning to shine over the Pacific, on a 53' trawler headed two hours west to Starlight Beach. There we would begin a two-day trek along the Trans-Catalina trail.

Opened in 2009, the trail spans 37.2 miles from Starlight Beach at the west end of Catalina to the Renton Mine Trailhead near Avalon on the east end. We planned to cover about 28 miles.

As the trawler motored along, the group slowly came to life as they grazed on fruit and muffins. The water was flat and the ride was smooth. But as we rounded Black Point and approached Starlight Beach, we noticed a steady swell on our starboard bow. This made a beach landing with the dinghy impossible with the low tide at Starlight, so we settled for the next cove to the west which was less rocky.

A foursome of men went ashore on a reconnaissance mission to determine if the rough terrain was passable. It would require a steep climb up a 20' cliff through bushes and brush. After about 15 minutes of waiting and no feedback from the explorers I herded some gal pals into the dinghy for a quick run to the beach. We rolled up our pants legs, hung our boots around our necks, and jumped into the water as the dinghy nosed into the surf.

The guys had gone off in four different directions, each attempting to conquer the wild like Indiana Jones. Machetes would have been handy, but probably a good thing they didn't have them. Soon the rest of the hikers made it ashore and we randomly chose our routes. We bushwhacked up the cliff, grasping roots and branches to pull ourselves up the steep hillside. After about 15 minutes we made it to the dirt road, ready to begin the journey.

The morning was cool; perfect hiking weather for this first leg, which was the most challenging we would experience over the two days. "Is this a one-GU hill?" a fellow hiker asked as I opened an energy packet.

"Yes, I replied, but I should have taken it 15 minutes ago." We were trudging up the road to Silver Peak Trail, which climbs from sea level to nearly 1700' in only a couple of miles. This section of the TransCatalina trail is not for beginners, but this group was prepared and, at their own pace, all made it to the top.

When I reached the junction I could see hikers strung out along the ridge like beads on a rosary, each muttering their own words of hope they could carry on for 16 miles that day. The sun was now shining brightly; fortunately a cool breeze rose up from the ocean. The trail leveled out somewhat and each found their stride.

A couple of hikers were on a mission to complete the trek as quickly as possible; others ambled along in no particular hurry. Most were somewhere in between. One hiker was in his own world, capturing memories with a real camera!

Still on my carbohydrate high I floated along the chain of hikers like a bee seeking pollen, grasping bits of conversation here and there. One guy shared a recent chance meeting with a gal who could be his soul mate. But she was off on a year-long adventure around the country, so how would he ever know? I overheard snippets of a serious conversation on local politics . The Colorado family was enchanted with the views of the deep blue sea on either side. And so it went over the many hills and valleys along the first 11 miles until we dropped back down to sea level at Two Harbors.

My husband and I reached the isthmus mid-day and decided to pass on lunch at Harbor Reef Restaurant even though the food is great. In 2009 we did this same trek with a group and did stop for lunch, which led to beers, which led to a lot of grumbling and whining on the final leg to Little Harbor.

Being wiser this time we hiked up to Banning House, soaked in the sun and the view, and savored a Clif bar and water. (I would rather have had a buffalo burger!) Then we slowly climbed to the next ridge where we caught up with others from our group. We had to hike only five more miles and a few more ups and downs to reach Little Harbor, where we would camp for the night.

The best part of this trip: our gear and provisions were trucked into the camp so we did not carry the extra weight on our backs. All the hikers met in Avalon at 6 that morning to load sleeping bags and tents on the truck before leaving. Coolers packed with food and drinks were added to the cargo.

When the first of the hikers arrived at Little Harbor about 3 pm, hot, dusty, and thirsty, there was no truckload of campers supplies. We were ready for a cold beer – this was not good! Time for plan B. A couple of gals headed to the beach to soak their feet and cool off.

I was about to follow when I heard a whoop and turned around to see one of the guys stripped down to the buff under the cold water camp shower. He had the right idea! When he was finished I looked at my husband, he grinned, and we raced each other to the shower. The cold water was a shock but, wow, it felt great! And the sun was so warm and no wind in the cove – it was awesome!

Gradually more hikers stumbled in just as the delivery team showed up with our gear. Soon the tents were pitched and out came the beers, the chips, the salsa – the party had begun!

While some of the guys made sure we had a glowing bed of coals to grill the chicken and roast the new potatoes in olive oil and rosemary, others focused on building the perfect campfire. We toasted a glowing sunset and a glorious day as we ate our delicious dinner. Doesn't food always taste better al fresco?

The night air cooled quickly and once we had our fill of food, everyone gathered around the fire for another glass of wine, chocolate brownies, and more stories. Out came a guitar and one of the guys entertained the group with old favorites and even some of his own little ditties about life in Southern California. I was so looking forward to sharing a beach campfire with my friends and this was the highlight of my weekend!

I don't think anyone really wanted the night to end, but we had such a full day. One by one the hikers slipped off into their tents as the embers slowly burned out. The sky was dark and the moon and stars shown so brightly. All I could hear was the sound of the surf, like a lullaby from the sea.

I was sure I would sleep like a baby because I was so exhausted when I snuggled down into my sleeping bag for the night. The breeze picked up and the sound of the palm fronds brushing the top of the tent woke me up. My bedroll wasn't providing much cushion from the hard ground and my back was a little sore. I shifted onto my side, but that was more uncomfortable. Not much air was circulating inside the tent and now I was too not. Need I say more? Not the good night's sleep I had expected!

Day two, 5:45 a.m. I step outside my tent and see headlamps shining as campers prepared to depart. We all hit the trail at 6:30 for the two-hour hike up Sheep Chute to the Airport in the Sky, walking from sea level to 1602'. I was amazed at the energy level of this group at this hour, especially noting the number of empty beer and wine bottles from the night before. But then most are boaters i.e. experienced drinkers!

The sunrise over the mainland was gorgeous and the dark lumps and shapes along the trail soon became bushes, boulders, and cactus. The trail wrapped around to the east end of the airport, where we all crowded into the Runway Cafe for breakfast. You'd think we hadn't feasted just 12 hours earlier!

We left the airport for the seven-mile hike to Haypress Camp where we would have lunch. This was one of my favorite sections of the trail – incredibly green and lush in early spring. Splashes of orange and purple, yellow and white could be seen on the hillsides and along the trail as we passed rattleweed, silver bush lupine, Indian paintbrush, and other wildflowers in bloom.

On previous hikes through Cape Canyon we've come upon small herds of bison at the watering holes in the valley, but not this morning. We finally did see a couple on a far ridge but had hoped for a closer encounter. In two days this was our only animal sighting; island foxes had marked their territories well, but none had been seen.

We arrived at Haypress Camp about 11:30 to find our lunch crew ready to serve. Again, it was nice to have others do the heavy lifting of bringing food and drinks. As we ate and shared stories, clouds moved in and the wind picked up so we didn't hang around too long. There were only two miles left to complete our journey.

We had arranged to traverse down the hill to Gallagher's Beach, with permission of the lease holder, where a private boat would then take us back to Avalon. So we left the Trans-Catalina Trail and headed down the ridge to the beach. About half-way down we rounded a bend and got that closer encounter we were looking for. There stood a large male bison, still as could be. He didn't seem too inclined to give up the road to a bunch of hikers. But after a few photos were snapped, the group moved forward, waving hands above heads and he quickly turned and took off down the road.

We had one final nature experience as we approached the beach. A beautiful bald eagle rode the currents along the cliff walls, soaring back and forth, deeper into the canyon until it disappeared.

What a finish to a fun and fascinating journey of Catalina Island!

Note: Hikers can access the Trans-Catalina Trail from Avalon, Two Harbors, Parsons Landing or Starlight Beach and may hike a single leg, or do the whole thing over a few days. There are varying degrees of difficulty so you can find a hike that best suits your abilities. Bicyclists can tour eight miles of the challenging east end of the trail. Visit for more details

Peggy Bodenreider is an avid boater and West Coast Regional Manager for Sterling Acceptance Corporation and a 30-year veteran of marine finance. Peggy can be reached at 877-488-5568 or for information on competitive financing programs for purchase money or refinance loans. I Like
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