By Casey Allen
Once again, local photographer and HASA member Rick Urban, “the fishing mortician,” provided
another great photo for this issue’s cover. It’s one of my favorites of the Coast Guard Life Saving
Station with the winter moon, a gale warning flag, and a flock of black brant heading south. You can
see more of Rick’s photography work on his Facebook page, Majestic Encounter Photos.
The USCG installed a mooring buoy for their patrol boat just north of the Samoa boat ramp and off the eucalyptus trees ( 40-46-23.760N, 124-12-24.960W). It is technically out of the shipping channel, which swings east near the oil docks. It was placed to reduce the response time for the cutter. But it is directly in the path of every recreational and commercial fishing boats who take the shortest route south to the entrance of Humboldt Bay. The buoy is white with a blue stripe and reflective tape but only throws a scant radar reflection. The cutter is moored there 5 or 6 days each month. Someone is going to run into the buoy. Please don’t let it be you.
The USCG is also going to implement a bar closure when the waves reach 20’. This is because their motor life boats are not safe to operate in these conditions. HASA supports this decision as we don’t believe any recreational anglers will object. The USCG maintains they will come save you regardless of the conditions and the closure is another layer of warning. It is up to us to not put them in that position. For commercial vessels the closure will require a conversation with the USCG before crossing the bar. It is recognized that conditions can change quickly. But if someone crosses the bar and gets into trouble under the closure they could be fined or billed for the USCG services.