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Photography by Rick Houghton

Newport Sea Base celebrated its 76th year of operation with it’s Opening Day/Open House to a crowd of around 300 people on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Orange County families enjoyed a free day of fun, games, and sailboat & pontoon boat tours!

Sea Scouts from local Sea Scout Ships Triton, Del Mar and Renegades conducted the color guard in their crisp dress whites. Patricia Schuelke sang the National Anthem while the harbor patrol sprayed their water cannon. Former Mayor of Newport Beach and current President and CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, Steve Rosansky, praised the Newport Sea Base for being a great asset to the community and mentioned its many opportunities for youth and families. Assemblyman Allan Mansoor thanked the volunteers and staff of the Newport Sea Base and offered his support.

Sea Scout Jack Donnell spoke about his experiences at the Sea Base, including kayaking, fishing and winning the 2012 Koch Cup, an International Sea Scout Regatta. Newport Sea Base Executive Director Shana Bannert acted as emcee and declared the facility open for the season.

Other highlights included:

  • Invocation, flag ceremony by Sea Scouts and a brief program
  • Sailboat and Pontoon boat harbor tours
  • Hamburgers and hotdogs donated by Smart and Final and grilled by volunteers from the Newport Beach Firefighters Association
  • U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary “Coastie” the Talking Tugboat
  • Instant day of photos from Viral Booth
  • Sea Scout vessel tours
  • Fun games, Raingutter Regatta, and face painting
  • Andy Fitzpatrick Regatta

The Newport Sea Base serves the youth ages 6-17 of Orange County by providing fun, quality educational programs that instill solid values, teach effective teamwork and leadership development. The Newport Sea Base is one of four facilities owned and operated by the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America and has offered maritime-based programming since 1937.

The Newport Sea Base is open year-round. Girls and boys, scouts and non-scouts learn nautical safety skills, dinghy and keelboat sailing, stand up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, motor boating, oceanography, marine biology, environmental science and other aquatic-related subjects. Visit www.newportseabase.org for more information.

Sea Scouting is a co-ed program for youth age 14-21 that uses boats, seamanship and nautical skills to develop character and leadership qualities in young people. Sea Scout units are called “Ships” and are one of the fastest growing areas of Scouting today. For more information about Sea Scouting or how to get involved, visit www.SeaScout.org.