Border Run Race

February 25, 2014

Border Run Race

The Border Run is a 70-mile race from Newport Beach to San Diego, and this year drew 94 entrants, including two boats based out of the Newport Sea Base. Due to very light, wispy winds on Saturday, only 11 vessels finished the race. SSS 90, of Newport Beach, which took 1st place the 2009 and 2011 Border Run races aboard their 60′ vessel, pulled-up at about 3PM on Saturday, having covered only 14 miles over 4 hours,with wind speeds dropping and forecast to be non-existent during the night. Also participating this year is the Newport Sea Base Youth Racing team, which placed 5th in their class in 2013. Team members race a 38′ boat owned by the Sea Base and its male and female youth members come from Sea Scout Ships in Orange County, as well as non-scouts.

UPDATE: Sea Scout Ship 90 and Newport Sea Base Youth Racing Team left to a slow drift in the 2014 Border Run.

Commissioner’s Blog #14


John Hovanesian, M.D.
Orange County Council Commissioner

“What is a Commissioner?”

February 17, 2014

Often friends ask me what I do as the commissioner of Scouting in Orange County, and I wonder if many Scout parents (or volunteers, for that matter) wonder what commissioners do in our organization.

Well, here it is:

A commissioner is a uniformed, experienced Scouter who usually comes to a pack or troop meeting to interact with unit leaders.  But commissioners do much more than shake hands and share a joke or a cup of coffee.

A commissioner is a voice of experience.  Usually a long-time Scouting volunteer, a commissioner offers advice and guidance to leaders on how to find success in a Scouting program.  He’s a great asset to seek out  when leaders need ideas for solving problems.

A commissioner helps the pack or troop succeed.  He is not a quality control officer, policeman, or a spy sent from Scouting’s higher-ups.  He does, however, give feedback to the district committee on what is going well and not so well in each pack or troop, so that group can offer assistance, guidance, and resources to bring about a more effective Scouting program.

A commissioner is a liaison to the Scouting district and council.  He is ready to hear concerns, share perspective, and solve any problems that occur with the support coming from the larger Scouting organization.

A commissioner is a friend.  He knows what a challenging job a Scout leader has, having walked in those footsteps himself.  He’s ready to share a laugh, hear a rant, or just be a shoulder to cry on when a volunteer needs it.

Don’t hesitate to call on the assistance that your commissioner is there to offer you or your leaders in your pack or troop, and don’t hesitate to thank him  for his own service to Scouting, offered freely and generously to help the youth in our program have the best Scouting experience.

Sail Loft Visit

February 12, 2014

A few weeks ago, Sea Scout Ship 90, Renegades, substituted a sail loft field trip instead of their weekly Wednesday meeting. After the business portion of the meeting, Mr. Kettenhofen, an adult leader for Ship 90, explained the different uses of several large sewing machines. Two of the sewing machines used the straight or running stitch and made anything that would not be strained, such as a sail bag or pouch for spare line. The next machine utilized a zigzag stitch, which is commonly used for high quality sails. The final machine employed a three step zigzag stitch. This stitch increases the strength of the stitch and can be used to make heavy-duty sails. One particularly surprising characteristic of the final two machines are their amazing capability to punch through several inches of thick material. Obviously, this is important when hemming the edges of the large sails because the strands of Kevlar or carbon are concentrated in one area. Often, the corners are significantly thicker than the middle of a Kevlar or carbon sail. Watch your fingers…

After the sewing machine demonstration, the scouts listened to a short talk about how the draft of a main sail is determined (this produces the camber which turn this cloth into a wing-like device to generate lift and forces to propel a sail boat). This section included a comparison of modern and past sail assembly processes. The three factors a sail making must consider are heat, pressure, and time. Different sail makers control and tweak these factors in order to create, what they believe, is the most efficient and effective product possible. The entire system is completely fascinating. The final portion of the field trip was interactive. The scouts were allowed to walk across a main sail from a 60-foot racing yacht, Dare. Then with the help of some string, the draft of a main sail was demonstrated. The field trip proved to be rather educational and piqued the interest of many ship members.