Waypoint: “Waypoints typically mark either points along a planned route, or locations of interest”- The American Practical Navigator/Bowditch
Harbormaster Waypoint 1/2020
Fellow Boaters: Welcome to a new decade! With a relatively mild winter, we got off to a pretty smooth start, but as you all know, by late February through the month of March, our lives changed drastically. The corona virus touched all of us, in many ways - and our life on the waterfront will be different this year. More on that below, but first an update on things that have changed over the last 6 months:
Fort Getty: You will notice some new barriers around the kayak racks and across the road to the Getty pier. Vehicular traffic out to the pier will be restricted to the commercial fishing operators and the people with outhauls. All others need to park to the south of the barrier.
Dutch Harbor: Our Public Works friends have been very busy removing the overgrowth, installing new riprap, and completely rebuilding the West Ferry outhaul stairways. The aesthetic and safety improvements are incredible, and we owe them a great debt of gratitude.
East Ferry: The public floating docks took quite a beating last season, including the failure of one the new pilings that was installed for the eastern-most floating dock. The plan calls for the removal of the failed piling and repositioning it to the west side of that dock, providing more strength and stability to the dock system. Hopefully this will happen before the end of May.
Some other items of note:
- The 2020 permit stickers have a white field with RED numerals and letters…. please apply them to your mooring floats, on your kayak or dinghy, as applicable.
- All Town Pumpouts in East and West Ferry are operational.
- Just a reminder that the office phone numbers for both Kim and myself have changed:
Harbor Clerk – Kim Devlin: 423-1213 x4339
Harbormaster – Mark Campbell: 423-4340
Important Dates: June 15th …… End of Grace Period for registrations
July 1st ………. All moorings must be commissioned with current sticker
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING FUTURE RENEWAL SCHEDULE: Over the winter, the Harbor Commission recommended a change to the Harbor Ordinance regarding the timeline for mooring renewals. The recommendation was approved by the Town Council, and the new schedule will begin at the end of this year. Starting in December 2020, the renewal schedule will follow the below timeline:
12/7/2020 All Renewals will be mailed (Wait list & Permits)
1/7/2021 Reminder Notice
1/21/2021 Final Notice
1/31/2021 Payment Deadline
2/1/2021 Certified letters – Permit forfeiture notice
3/1/2021 Deadline to file an appeal of permit forfeiture
3/2021 Appeals heard at March meeting of H.C.
3/15/2021 Begin issuing new permits
COVID-19: By now we are all familiar with face coverings, social distancing, and proper hygiene with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic. We also know that the situation is evolving continuously as do the requirements. The Governor has already issued an order that all gatherings of 100 people or more are prohibited through the month of August. As a result, the following events will NOT happen this year in Jamestown:
- The Newport to Bermuda Race
- The Quonset Air Show
- 4th of July Fireworks
- Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals
- The Save the Bay Swim
- The Fools Rules Regatta
In addition, the RI Department of Environmental Management has also set restrictions on marine activities. Two of the most impactful to boaters in Jamestown are:
- Prohibition of rafting between vessels. Rafting is not allowed.
- The Dutch Harbor public restroom will be out of commission all summer.
I ask for your cooperation and patience while dealing with these inconveniences.
The RIDEM website has guidance for boaters that you should be familiar with. Below, I have reproduced some of the guidance that has been issued so far. I recommend you read all of it, and pay particular attention to the yellow highlighted sections:
The RI Department of Environmental Management provides this guidance to marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs to clarify the protocols that must be in place by May 1st in order to allow patrons access to their vessels during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. (This guidance may be adjusted and updated in the weeks or months to come, as we enter new phases of the reopening plan.)
- Owners/operators must post signage advising employees and patrons of COVID-19 guidance including postings on boat ramps.
- Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators.
- The number of patrons on the property or in an area is limited in accordance with current Executive Orders and other appropriate guidance or regulations, including social distancing guidance to ensure all persons remain 6 feet apart at all time.
- High-touch areas in restrooms or porta johns should be cleaned at least every 2 hours; in the absence of the ability to have areas cleaned every two hours, and in instances when restrooms are infrequently in use, cleaning wipes and/or cleaning materials must be available for individuals to clean surfaces before and after.
- Ensure that the facility is supplied with soap and water or hand sanitizer at all times.
- Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use.
- Any communal areas should be closed, including but not limited to:
- Ice machines, refrigerators, gas shacks, storage areas, or the like in any other areas that members may have used to store food, drinks, gas tanks, etc.
- Consistent with the Executive Order allowing travel to Rhode Island for work purposes, the use of boat ramps by out of state residents (“non-residents”) for Commercial Fishing purposes is allowed.
- Facilities located indoors and all amenities belonging to the marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs remain closed to members and the public, including bars, restaurants, clubhouses, and communal kitchens.
- Sales from a marina retail store are allowed (as of May 9.)
- Licensed food establishments can offer take-out food orders only, for pick-up or delivery from associated food businesses.
- All transactions should be done electronically.
- Any employee who is ill should isolate at home until they have been symptom free for 3 full days without the use of fever-reducing medicine AND at least 7 days have passed from symptom onset.
- Employers should establish screening procedures to screen all employees for exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus, particularly at the beginning of their workday or shift. A screening tool is available, in English and Spanish, to aid employers with the proper screening of employees at https://health.ri.gov/covid/for/business/
- If an employee appears ill or reports any symptoms of COVID-19, they should be sent home. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle pain, chills, repeated shaking with chills, sore throat, headache, or new loss of taste or smell.
- Employers must ensure that all employees receive adequate COVID-19 instruction related to these protocols. This requires addressing any language barriers that might prevent effective communications.
- Employers must provide employees with time to wash hands as needed.
- Face coverings must be provided to all employees by the employer and worn by all employees.
- The face covering requirement must be clearly displayed in signage and on business websites and through social media, along with other safety protocols.Signs are available at https://commerceri.com/masks/
- Fuel docks may open to all with attendants wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Transient dockage from out of state boats remains prohibited.
- RI residents may continue to access facilities to work on, launch and use their boats.
- Adherence to social distancing guidelines and protocols is required.
- Beginning May 1st, non-residents may also access these facilities to work on their boats.
- Non-residents must adhere to Rhode Island’s social distancing guidelines and protocols.
- Non-residents who access fueling docks from the water must continue to remain on their vessel during fueling.
- Non-residents must return to their home state after they complete their work.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recommended and state-required social distancing of at least 6 feet must be followed.
- Patrons should not congregate on the docks, parking lots, common areas, or near other customer boats on land.
- Customers should go from vehicle directly to boat and back.
- No patrons should have any access to buildings, sheds, storage bays, or mechanical or service departments.
- All patrons in public spaces should wear a face covering in accordance with Governor Gina Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-24.
As I mentioned above, this summer will be very different for all of us. Please keep in mind that despite the restrictions and inconveniences, there’s still no place better to be than on your boat…on the water…there’s plenty to enjoy and be happy about out there!!
If you need to contact me on the water, I always monitor channel 16 VHF. I can also be contacted through the dispatch officer at the Police Station; or by phone: Office 401-423-4340 and Cell 401-265-3990.
Smooth sailing - See you on the water!
Mark J. Campbell