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Harbor District, boat owners prepare for another strong storm

Posted at 6:09 PM, Feb 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 22:55:11-05

Nearly a month after a storm set adrift a couple of boats in the Port San Luis Harbor, Harbor Patrol and boat owners are preparing for another potentially strong storm.

After spending the morning securing his boat to its mooring, boat owner Darrel Rundstrom looks anxiously across the water Tuesday afternoon, hoping for the best.

“I always get nervous. I lost a sailboat here in 1978 on Christmas Eve and I was real nervous at that time,” Rundstrom said.

The Port San Luis Harbor District sent emails to boat owners like Rundstrom, warning that the coming storm will include strong southerly winds.

“Our harbor is pretty well protected except from any kind of conditions from the south, so when we see southerly winds or southern swells in the forecast, we know there’s not going to be a lot of geological features to knock down that energy,” explained Chief Harbor Patrol Officer Matthew Ashton.

Earlier this month, boat owners got a harsh reminder of what Mother Nature can do, with several boats coming loose and one boat still stuck on the beach.

“(There) wasn’t so much a takeaway as much as a reaffirmation of us and how important it is to keep doing disciplined mooring checks prior to storms as we have been, but also keeping in mind that we can put every ounce of effort we have into it and there’s still going to be something that comes up that we have zero control over,” Ashton said.

Harbor District staff spent hours Tuesday looking at each boat in the harbor, ensuring their moorings are secure. The staff says they found several areas of concern and are now alerting those boat owners before the storm rolls in.

“There’s only so much you can do. Losing a boat out here is about 95 percent preparation and 5 percent luck,” Rundstrom said.

The Harbor District says they are still trying to make arrangements with the owner of the boat that washed ashore to get it removed. For now, the staff says they are checking weather apps to stay up to date on when the storm will get here and how strong it will be.

The Port San Luis Harbor District is home to 221 moorings. Boats stay in the harbor both seasonally and year round.