A Great Show on the Estuary

Even though it was a cold night, revelers had lots of fun on and off the water Saturday night during the 33rd annual Oakland/Alameda Estuary Lighted Yacht Parade.

Guests packed the special ferry that took visitors around the parade route, and lookouts like Pasta Pelican were full, too.

This year’s theme was “Christmas carols,” and the event was held to  benefit the Oakland Firefighters Random Acts and Alameda County Community Food Bank. (We’re not sure what Christmas carol Sponge Bob and Squidward were singing during the parade, but they sure were the life of the party on one boat!)

The gold sponsor was Celebrations on the Bay; silver sponsers were Stem to Stern and Fast Imaging.

Encinal Yacht Club, Oakland Yacht Club and Marina Village Yacht Harbor were the 2009 hosts.

Congratulations to Botany Bay, the Grand Prize winner, owned by Kris Jensen, and all the other winners in the power, sail and other divisions.

There have been no reports yet of  VIP wanna-be  party-crashers at the Alameda Firefighters dinner, held at Pasta Pelican. But stay tuned for any news on that front.

And rumor has it that Sausalito holds its annual lighted yacht parade this coming Saturday, December 12, including fireworks.


Spill Clean-Up Continues; Small Impact on Marinas

The U.S. Coast Guard says clean-up crews continue to work in several areas of Alameda that have been affected by the October 30 Dubai Star oil spill, while wildlife experts search for and capture any animals impacted by the spill.

Wildlife recovery specialists have recovered 36 live birds affected by the oil and 11 dead oiled birds since Friday. (Two of the 36 live birds died during treatment at the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center in Cordelia, Calif.)

The state also has set up a mobile treatment, or stabilization, center in Alameda near Crab Cove.

To report affected wildlife, call 1-877-823-6926.

Clean-up work at Robert Crown Memorial State Beach is about 80 percent finished, while the situation at Ballena Bay and Bay Farm Island is still being assessed.

Crown Memorial Beach, part of the East Bay Regional Park District, remains closed as a result of the spill, and fishing is suspended from the San Mateo Bridge to the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Two-day clean-up efforts at the Ballena Isla Marina in Alameda were completed earlier today, according to marina management. “We didn’t get much of the spill in the marina at all,” said Tim Leathers, Almar Marina’s regional vice president for Northern California. “We’re lucky.”

Ballena Isle, which has more than 300 boats at its slips, said the oil spill affected a dock with about 20 vessels. “There were globs of the bunker fuel, but they were easy to get out of the water,” Leathers said.

A crew hired by O’Brien’s Response Management,  handling the clean-up on behalf of Dubai Star’s owner – South Harmony Shipping, and the contracted cleaners — National Response Corporation – had about 25 individuals in the Ballena Isle Marina on Sunday and Monday, according to Leathers.

“The crews are now working on the west side, or the bay side, of Ballena Bay, and they are using materials to sop up and catch any oil that the wind could push into the area,” Leathers said.

At Marina Village on the Oakland Estuary, none of the oil spill came into the harbor, according to Sheila Maher, assistant harbor master of the Marina Village Yacht Harbor.

The claims number for those affected by the spill is (800) 421-0863.