Visitors take in the view of the Van Riper’s Resort moorage docks in Sekiu. (Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News)

Visitors take in the view of the Van Riper’s Resort moorage docks in Sekiu. (Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News)

OUTDOORS: Larger transient moorage docks likely at Van Riper’s Resort

IMPROVEMENTS ARE IN the works in the coming years for transient boat moorage at Van Riper’s Resort in Sekiu.

The State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board has freed up $159,600 in grant funding to provide guest moorage for boats 26 feet in length or larger at Van Riper’s Resort.

Van Riper’s Resort is expected to contribute $56,077 to the project, which will replace 280 feet of docks with moorage capable of accommodating the larger vessels.

The resort has seen an uptick in larger recreational vessels in the last five years, with a project statement estimating between four and 10 boats 26-feet or larger seek transient moorage per day during fishing seasons.

Existing docks cannot handle that number of vessels, so boaters have to anchor in Sekiu Harbor — a difficult and dangerous prospect considering the amount of mud at the bottom of the harbor and high north-easterly winds.

Add in other boating traffic in the harbor’s confined space and the potential for danger is raised.

Van Riper’s Resort’s Glenn Teeter cautioned that there are plenty of hoops still to jump through for the project and the earliest the new moorage would be in place would be sometime in 2021.

“There’s a lot that is still in the works as far as being ready to go,” Teeter said.

“But a lot of it is people have gone toward buying larger recreational boats for fishing.”

Moving parts

Some of the moving parts of the deal involve securing a state Department of Natural Resources overwater structure lease.

Teeter explained that state-owned aquatic lands require a lease from Natural Resources and there are stewardship standards that would apply to the project.

“We are till working out the details for the DNR lease, still a lot of moving parts to it,” Teeter said. “All the water in the state of Washington belongs to the state, so we are working out the details there.”

One of the biggest requirements is making sure the maximum amount of sunlight can shine through any new overwater structure.

“That’s one of the bigger drivers for DNR,” Teeter said. “They want sunlight to penetrate the docks to provide for eel grass blooms to get all the sun they need. That would help provide habitat for salmon.”

Another of the moving parts is the type of grading material to be use for the project.

The docks will still be lumber, Teeter said, but there are several different options for grading material including fiberglass, steel and aluminum.

Sourcing those materials and paying for them has become an international issue.

“That’s one of the bigger moving parts,” Teeter said. “Some of that has to do with economics. The tariff war with China is driving the price of things up. You want the biggest bang for the buck with the money you receive in this kind of deal.”

Navigation talk

Doug Miller, founder and president of Port Orchard-based Milltech Marine, will speak at tonight’s monthly meeting of the North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers.

The monthly meeting will be held in Sequim at Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave., with raffle-prize viewing and fish tales at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starting at 7 p.m.

Milltech Marine is a provider of Automatic Identification System (AIS) solutions for the marine market — a technology that works to avoid collisions between maritime vessels around the world.

It is possible to “see” vessels in real time on a chartplotter, computer navigation system or even mobile devices such as iPads.

If you install an AIS transponder on your boat, other vessels including commercial vessels can see you on their navigation systems using an AIS.

This talk will cover the basics of how AIS works, various AIS devices and an overview of the steps for adding AIS to your vessel’s navigation systems, which will include system prerequisites, wiring examples and how to configure your displays to use AIS. We will also cover how AIS can be used in mobile apps, man overboard scenarios, vessel tracking and more.

A short club business meeting, raffles and a $75 membership drawing (must be present to win) also are on tap.

Refreshments will be served and the public is welcome to attend.

Sea otter lectures

The history of sea otters in Washington will be discussed at presentations Friday at the Forks and Clallam Bay branch libraries and again Saturday at the Port Angeles and Sequim libraries.

Jessie Hale, a doctoral student at the University of Washington and recipient of a NOAA Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship will offer insights into the species’ history in our waters as well as her research investigating what sea otters eat and what it tells us about the health of the population.

Presentations will be held on Friday at 2 p.m. at the Clallam Bay Library and 6 p.m. at the Forks Library.

Saturday’s lectures will be held at 11 a.m. at the Port Angeles Library and 2 p.m. in Sequim.

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