Newport Harbor Channel

Visitors to Newport Beach today might know the coastal Southern California city from “The Real Housewives,” “The O.C.” and “Arrested Development,” all of which were set amid its rolling green hills and picture-perfect beaches. But I had come to Newport Beach to commune with the stars of Old Hollywood, who began staking their claim to this idyllic spot just one hour south of Los Angeles during the silent film era.

In the Golden Age of Hollywood, Newport Beach’s lure was not so much its land, dotted as it was with big-band ballrooms and smoke-filled cocktail bars. It was its water, and specifically the sprawling recreational harbor where the stars docked their yachts and sailboats.

Continue reading at The New York Times…

Photo Credit: Beth Coller/The New York Times

Balboa Ferry

After taking over management of the moorings from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol last summer, Harbormaster Dennis Durgan provided a “Year in Review” summary for the Newport Beach Harbor Commission on Wednesday.

Commissioners asked a few questions and expressed support for the work the Harbormaster team has done over the past 15 months.

“I think your numbers speak for themselves,” Commissioner John Drayton said. “You’ve really done a fantastic job.”

Among many other reported statistics, between July 1, 2017, and June 30, the Harbormaster team has recorded 2,144 general assists, 962 wake or speed advisements, 662 mooring checks, 253 pier/dock/bridge issues (includes jumping, fishing, time limits, and gangway issues), and 19 emergency calls to either OCSD Harbor Patrol or NB police.

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NB Harbor Department Parimal M. Rohit photo credit

The city of Newport Beach, steadily considered a premier boating destination, has made strides, in the last year, to improve services, amenities and educational information available to recreational boaters, residents and tourists. A model was also introduced for a freshly conceived Harbor Department, which also happens to be “new to the world,” according to several city officials.

“A lot has happened/is happening with harbor operations over the past year,” Tara Finnigan, Deputy City Manager, said in an email to The Log. “A lot of thought and effort went into the department structure that the city council approved on June 12.”

In addition to approving the department structure, council members approved the new budget of $1.1 million – up around $200,000 from last year’s budget – to be included in the 2018-19 fiscal year at the June 26 meeting.

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Photo Credit: Devon Warren/The Log

Newport Harbor Aerial

The Newport Beach City Council approved an agreement with a firm for federal advocacy services related to harbor dredging efforts and programs, Feb. 27. Carpi & Clay was retained to represent Newport Beach at the federal level in hopes the firm would help bring the city’s issues to the forefront when it comes to harbor dredging.

“The city has been actively working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers … and to a limited extent, federal elected representatives, to present and educate them on our dredging needs in Newport Harbor, as well as to get our project on the Corps’ upcoming project funding list,” city staff told council members in a report. “Keeping our project in focus and on the recommended funding list of both the Corps and the many elected representatives that need to review and approve it is, and continues to be, a significant challenge particularly because we do not have a presence in Washington, D.C.”

An Army Corps study in 2017 revealed there is about 650,000 cubic yards of sediment remaining in federal waters and must be dredged to “maintain adequate navigation.”

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Mayor Marshall "Duffy" Duffield

By Devon Warren

Inventor of the electric Duffy boat addresses his plans to improve the Newport Beach Harbor as city’s new mayor.

NEWPORT BEACH — In the efforts to track down Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, the new mayor of Newport Beach, it seemed quite ominous his reply to an email correspondence about scheduling an interview stated, “I’m around,” with his phone number attached.

The Duffy name is certainly “around” in many corners of Newport Beach Harbor, as it’s literally everywhere you turn – in the form of a “Duffy” electric boat.

As a long-time Newport Beach resident (more than 50 years) and the inventor of the electric boat bearing his name, many of us would consider Duffield the quintessential image of the dreamy Southern California yachting life.

A car insurance agent once told me we pay such catastrophic prices because “it’s a privilege to live” in Southern California. In a lot of ways, Duffield has taken such privilege and created an empire from it – him, and most other residents of California’s coast, live in a Technicolor world of scenic beauty that others across the country may never see in their lifetimes.

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Harbormaster Vessels

The mooring management and harbor operations shift from Orange County Sheriff’s Department to the city of Newport Beach has been a fairly smooth transition as Harbormaster Dennis Durgan assumes his role.

Durgan took over the responsibility of overseeing more than 1,200 moorings from the Sheriff Department’s Harbor Patrol Division in July, with Newport Beach hiring 13 part-time harbor workers and obtaining two additional vessels.

The amount of foot traffic coming into Marina Park, where Durgan’s office is located, after the operational shift in management was unexpected.

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Photo Credit: Nina K. Jussila/The Log

Dennis Durgan Harbor Master

Longtime resident, world-renowned sailor, yachtsman, businessman, local real estate agent, and Newport Harbor enthusiast Dennis Durgan now can add one more role to his list: Harbormaster.

Durgan is well-known around Newport Harbor and is already a familiar face with a number of locals who live, work and play on the water. He officially started his new position as harbormaster on July 1.

The city was looking for someone who knew the harbor “inside and out, forwards and backwards” and he fit the bill perfectly. Durgan grew up in Newport Beach and has been sailing out of the local harbor for more than half a century.

“It’s really been a blessing to have grown up in this wonderful harbor,” Durgan said. “It’s nice to give back to the harbor that I so dearly love.”

Continue reading at Newport Beach Independent…
Photo Credit: Sara Hall/Newport Beach Independent