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 Dana Point Boaters Association
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Tall Ships Festival
East Basin Parking Update
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Tall Ships
DPBA Directors, Advisers and Volunteers will again be manning a booth this year at Baby Beach during the
Tall Ships Festival 
upcoming on Saturday and Sunday, September, 10th and 11th.

We're looking forward to meeting with DPBA members, boaters and others who love our beautiful harbor and want to discuss  what should be done to protect it and improve it today, as well as to learn the latest about what will be happening later during harbor revitalization.

To learn more

Click Here 



TopAugust 19, 2011



Dear ,


As boaters will recall from our two previous Boater Blasts, the issues regarding the East Basin 4th of July weekend parking disaster are actively being worked by the DPBA.  In our last Boater Blast we discussed our findings so far regarding each of the two separate problems as well as stakeholder actions taken so far to resolve them. We relayed discussions with OC DPH as well as what we thought was a very productive meeting one week ago with Mark Sanger and Dave Loesch of Aventura. Aventura is where The Island Bar was operating as a night club catering to the general public as well as its members during the 4th of July weekend.


We've since had a chance to talk with Mark again about the events last weekend, in particular about our being completely surprised to discover that Aventura again had parking attendants at the East Basin Island parking lot entrance on Saturday. Below is a status update regarding that telephone call, as well a secondhand account of a meeting Mark informed us about with Aventura's landlord, OC DPH on Monday. We've since had a brief conversation with OC DPH as well.


We are pleased to report that we believe the matter is pretty much resolved now, with only kinks to be worked out over time. Therefore, this will likely be our last update on boater parking until the plans for the Labor Day weekend become available.
Changing gears, Sgt. John Whitman is leaving his post as Watch Commander for Dana Point Harbor Patrol to return to Newport Beach. Today us the day that the guard has officially changed and our new Watch Commander, Sgt. Mike Scalise officially took charge.  Sgt. Scalise has been stationed in Newport Beach for the past several years and so the transition should be smooth. We are arranging for a meeting with DPBA directors during the next few days so if you have topics that you want covered please let us know.   


Rodger Beard, President  

For the Board of Directors and Advisors
The Dana Point Boaters Association



The Big Picture
Perceptions and reality are two different things.  That became quite clear as a result of the call with Mark late Monday afternoon and a follow up conversation with Dave Loesch yesterday.  Both assured us, and we believe them, Aventura indeed intends to be a good harbor citizen in all respects.  This organization is trying to do "right things right" from everyone's perspective, including boaters.  Mark and Dave are frustrated with recent events and believe their intent is being misunderstood.  Here we want to make sure that we emphasis our respect and trust for that intent.  

For the record, we have also learned that Aventura arranged and paid for their own shuttle to bring their members over the bridge in order to help out with the parking issues they, as well as boaters, were facing over the 4th of July holiday weekend.  This shows that Aventura was thinking ahead and being diligent about parking issues they saw coming (they of course didn't know about the second problem with Catalina Express parking).  As we emphasized in our last Boater Blast, Aventura has been a significant asset to the harbor, and especially for affordable recreational boating for more than 30 years now.  We see no reason that this will change.

Aventura used be located in much smaller facilities where the OC DPH offices are today.  It seems obvious to us now that the transition from a smaller club to a much larger and more public club with food and bar facilities and the right to hold scheduled outside events (earned based on paying a lot more rent) has presented challenges.  But that doesn't mean the transition won't be successful.  In large part it already is.

As both Mark and Dave have stated, the Islands Bar Night Club format was a project that didn't suit the direction they wanted the company to go in and this project is now over.  There will continue to be an Islands Bar (and Grill), but it will be membership oriented, down-scaled operation focused on the needs of its existing and prospective members.  As soon as remaining band contracts are terminated (negotiations are now underway so that's very soon) there will be no live music at all except during special events.  Even then, Mark and Dave assured us that sound rules within the harbor are going to be strictly enforced.  

In other words, the night club entertainment format has ended.  Going forward, Aventura will operate a sailing club and special events facility, just as was done in the past by Dana Point Yacht Club until 1998, and then was done by a catering operation for several of the years since then.  Beyond special events, Aventura will otherwise use their food and bar facilities to serve their membership, as well as those Dana Point boaters who participate in their Friday night racing program during the summer and/or enjoy the food and bar service throughout the year.  Then and now all these uses are largely compatible with Dana Point boater interests.


More Details

As for what we were told about this past last weekend, it turned out that there was a small special event scheduled at the Aventura that quite unfortunately, both Mark and Dave Loesch did not mention last Thursday.  We've since learned the plan was for private party guests would drive up to the East Basin Island gate, dial Aventura on the gate phone and request entrance on an individual basis.  However this plan didn't work out every well.  In fact, the call in approach apparently generated quite a line up, well out into the street.  Aventura staff then took steps of their own initiative to avoid problems for boaters.  An aside, Dave also commented that the instructions on a small sign near the phone had been removed by someone and this introduced confusion which further slowed things down.  Anyway, the steps the staff took included calling in the gate attendants shown in the picture taken by a DPBA volunteer (at their own cost).  Once called in, the gate attendants stayed on duty for a "shift" to make sure things flowed smoothly.  

Unfortunately, as we learned from their landlord (OC DPH), they were not aware of the small special event because they had not been contacted beforehand (this awareness is customary within the harbor).  Note that it is now known that a special event permit (from the City, with a cost associated) was not required for this event based on its size and the fact that at it was held strictly inside the club. However, this is a determination to be made officially to be made by OC DPH, the landlord gatekeeper.  Needless to add , this surprise was not a welcome one either, but it will be avoided in the future. 


Other Lessons Learned

In the case of events that are major enough to necessitate expedited parking lot access through the gate, as determined by OC DPH with the best interests of all stakeholders in mind, Aventura will employ OC DPH sanctioned gate attendants (we understand arrangements will be made with a 3rd party under the direction of the Dana Point Marina Company).  This sort of arrangement has worked well for the Dana Point Yacht Club at their current location on the point of the island.  (DPYC has similar parking issues and constraints.)  We have also suggested that Aventura employ a standup sign to announce all special events; a sign big enough to be easily seen and read from the street when gate attendants are not present.  This way the general public will understand that parking is not also available to them.

DPBA called the Aventura office before sending the previous Boater Blast (it was closed) and sent Dave Loesch an email (which unfortunately bounced) but we (Rodger Beard) did have Mark's mobile number at his office in Irvine.  Looking back now, a drive up to Irvine would have been the best choice.  We apologize for not taking this extra step to get the facts while addressing the issues.





The boating advisory below was emailed earlier today by OC DPH.  We are forwarding here to help get the word out.   FYI, we also post all OC DPH advisories on the DPBA website: 


Six traditional Polynesian ocean-going canoes and their two escort vessels are scheduled to arrive in Dana Point Harbor tomorrow (Saturday, August 20, 2011) and remain anchored in the Harbor this weekend. All boaters and human powered craft operators, please keep well clear of the vessels as they arrive and maneuver to anchor.


Each of the ocean-going canoes is 71 feet long and over 19 feet wide and will be stationed in the West Anchorage Area. Their escort vessels are 108 feet and 82 feet long. and will be directed to the east anchorage, near the east breakwater.


Given the sizes of th vessels in each of the anchorages, please take extra care to keep clear of them, their anchor lines and anchors - both stern and bow anchors will be used.


More information about the visiting vessels and their voyage is available at:




We hope that all of our members, as well as all other DPH community members are frequently looking to the website as a source for current and up-to-date boating and harbor related information. There is literally a ton of information on a broad spectrum of topics available there, thanks in major part to the tireless efforts of long time DPBA Webmaster, Director and Secretary Steve Carpenter.


We have been holding off on membership renewals for some time this year, until a "behind the firewall" members-only area could be operational, but the website upgrade is quite complex and has been delayed by Steve's full-time+ work schedule lately. (Steve, like the rest of the DPBA officers, directors and advisors is a boater and very dedicated volunteer.) Because the website still isn't quite ready, we are now asking existing members as well as new members to go to the existing website and go ahead and renew their membership. Thereby you can update your contact information let us know what your interests and priorities are, as well providing updated contact information we will use to keep you informed. This will insure that you remain informed about the evolving issues within our harbor.


Again in 2011, there is no charge for DPBA membership. We have been very careful in our uses of our members' funds accumulated during the almost 5 years since we were incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. Rest assured that we will continue to represent Dana Point boater interests and work with the other stakeholders potentially impacting recreational boating interests, both inside and outside the harbor.  



Mission Statement
MissionStatementThe Dana Point Boaters Association advocates the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating resources.  We work to improve the family friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented actives we all enjoy in the harbor.  We serve as the watchdog by ethically protecting the rights of all boaters and representing them when collective action is most effective.  We actively gather information and communicate our views to educate boaters, external interests, and public officials.  We build and maintain constructive, working relationships to achieve common goals with other harbor stakeholders.  We will pass on our harbor to the next generation of recreational boaters in better condition than it is today.
Questions should be directed by email to (  Or call us at (949) 485-5656 and leave a voice mail and we'll get back to you soon.

Dana Point Boaters Association
P.O. Box 461
Dana Point, CA  92629