Kudos to all who participated in the successful Naples Island Holiday Boat Parade last Saturday. Thanks to the efforts of the Naples Improvement Association and parade chairman John Shuman, the workaround plans to continue the parade in spite of sea wall construction left locals thankful. Shuman volunteers year round to make the event successful, and parade goers agreed his dedication is appreciated.

David Weil decorated his boat Hurrah with a Hanukkah theme, and was part of the spectator fleet. Boats that are entered in the parade and those viewing tend to circulate in the turning basin.

Weil suggested that the large boats were not as organized in structured parade fashion, as the smaller ones were in the canal. He noted it was more like “20 clusters of 2 or 3 boats each, wandering around,” so he recommended calling it a “Christmas Boat Mingle” — the name that sounded so social and festive to me that I hope it becomes tradition. Weil noted he still had a great time.

Now that the parades are behind us, I asked some Long Beach water lovers what they are hoping to find under their tree on Christmas morning.

Taryn Tande, an up and coming 7-year-old Sabot racer, is hoping for a new racing sail. According to her mom, Kerrie Tande the existing sail is missing a batten. Taryn races in a Corvette yellow Sabot aptly named “Making Lemonade” and she took fourth in the C3 Sabot fleet at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club’s annual Turkey Day regatta last month.

I hope Santa comes through so Taryn can compete in ABYC’s Boxing Day Race on Dec. 28. It’s a fun race where section 2 of the Notice of Race (NOR) states, “Shameless self-promotion is encouraged and entirely the responsibility of the competitor.”

Other playful comments in the NOR include, section 4 “There is only one Class. Sub-classes of boats with similar characteristics will be established. Sub-classes may include; Boats with Heads, Boats with Beds, etc.” and section 7, regarding changes to sailing instructions, “These will be arbitrary, unpremeditated and incomprehensible to all concerned. They will probably not be divulged to competitors.”

Kerrie Tande reported some of the other sailors like Skyler Elias, Alex Lech, and Nicki Lech have asked Santa for Moth sailboats — seems like everybody wants to foil. While foiling, they want to look good, so Gill sailing gear also tops the list.

U.S. Women's Open sailing champion Stacy Straw said, “This good Goldilocks girl is going to be sailing less and swimming more… Hoping Santa will find his way to regulate the wintertime pool temperature at CSULB. It is either too cold or hot.”

Lifetime boater and Long Beach Port Pilot Bob Blair asked Santa for “Docks and ramps replaced at Veterans Pier, bottle brush trees to be outlawed in Alamitos Bay, a new Olympic-size Belmont pool, a beautified Long Beach Lighthouse, figure a way for every city inland and upriver from Long Beach along the Los Angeles and Santa Ana Rivers to be fiscally and physically responsible for their discharge into each river.”

Blair’s thoughts were echoed by others — just not as succinctly or eloquently.

And what does Blair want in his stocking? Simple enough. All he asked for was an “endless gift card for West Marine.”

Long Beach Navy Yacht Club 2020 Commodore Rodney Coomber said “I want Santa to bring us a great improvement plan for Navy Yacht Club.” I bet the club will thrive under your leadership, Rod.

Seal Beach YC 2020 Commodore Laura Elsworth said, “I hope people take a moment in this busy time of year to remember those that are not with us. Enjoy the season’s warmth and love and carry that in your heart for 2020.”

This is also the time of year where we can express gratitude for all we are blessed with. I’m thankful for my friends and family and Long Beach’s favorite DJ and sailor Steve Steiner, said it best with his Christmas wish for all, “A Peaceful Holiday Season.”

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