Waypoint: “Waypoints typically mark either points along a planned route, or locations of interest”
- The American Practical Navigator/Bowditch
Harbormaster Waypoint 5
Today, October 31st, is my last day for the 2016 season as Harbormaster. It was a busy summer, and the time flew by. My first season was a challenging and rewarding one. Here are some highlights:
Despite some of the best summer weather in recent memory, we did have to cope with two named storms – Hermine and Matthew. Luckily, by the time these weather events hit Jamestown, they had been downgraded significantly. Unfortunately, the timing of the storms couldn’t have been worse, spoiling two holiday weekends; Hermine over Labor Day, and Matthew over Columbus Day. Hermine caused the most problems, with seven vessels breaking free of their moorings and running aground - four on the East side of the island, and 3 on the west. The good news was that no serious damage was sustained and all vessels were successfully refloated with minimal damage.
The 2016 season began with many boat size change requests – often accompanied with a relocation request. The density of our mooring fields is very tight, so accommodating relocations and size changes becomes a complicated puzzle, sometimes with second and third order consequences. There are still some mooring interference issues that remain unresolved for next season, and I will work with those effected (and their respective mooring service provider) to get them resolved.
In addition to day-to-day patrols and responding to the needs of the waterfront, the Harbor Department supported the annual Air show, the Newport to Bermuda Race, Save the Bay swim, and Fool’s Rules Regatta. All of which will be back again next year.
This year we actively sought to identify unused moorings and reached out to the owners to attempt to make some of those moorings available to people on the wait list. I am happy to report that several of those unused moorings have been relinquished and will be assigned to people who have been waiting for a long time. I want to thank those boaters who reevaluated their needs and decided to relinquish their moorings to allow others to benefit.
Looking ahead to 2017, here are some items of interest:
Boat size changes: before you go out and buy a bigger boat, please do not assume that it will automatically fit on your current mooring, even if the tackle is sufficient and/or you had a larger boat on the mooring in the past. The vessels around you may have gotten bigger over the years, and now there is just not enough space on your mooring to support a larger vessel. Also, please remember that boat size changes and relocations require an application – the form is available online - and I’m sorry to report that there is a waiting list on both.
New Stickers: The Harbor Department acquired a new printer that will allow us to print our own permit stickers. In the long run, this will save us thousands of dollars, and give us additional capability and flexibility.
Contact Information: While renewing your applications and Online Mooring System data, please be sure to check and update your contact information: home and cell phone numbers, email, and addresses. We are thinking of employing a type of “Reverse 911” system, just for the boating community, so we can “push” useful information out to you, as needed. It’s important that we have current and accurate contact info.
May 15, 2017: Renewals are due.
June 15, 2017: End of grace period for renewals.
July 1, 2017: ALL moorings must be in commission, properly labeled and have the current permit sticker applied.
Finally, I appreciate the cooperation and general goodwill extended towards me from the Jamestown waterfront community, and I look forward to working with you all to make 2017 an even better season. Thank you!
Stay warm, enjoy the holidays, and see you next spring!