Sails v. Whales
Is Fisherman's Wharf's only sailing concession sunk?
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Monterey Fisherman's Wharf may lose its only sailing concession—at least that's what Captain Dutch Meyer, owner of Monterey Bay Sailing company, says after a Tuesday, April 6 City Council meeting at which he was denied the space he says he needs to operate his business.
"My business is crippled," Meyer says. "They sunk us. They absolutely sunk us."
Meyer had requested additional space to dock the six boats he uses to teach sailing and take tourists and locals out on the bay. But the Monterey City Council granted him a small single berth at the wharf, along with a floating dock he can use to board his boats. His other five vessels must be moored in the harbor.
Meyer argues that he lost out because Monterey's fisherman and whale watching companies, which compete with him for space at the wharf, have more clout at City Hall than he does.
But the city's head planner Kim Cole says the main question facing the council was, "Can everybody [whale watching, fishing and sailboats] get in and out ?" That is, without colliding with each other in the crowded waters off the wharf. Safety, she says, was the council's main consideration.
For now, Meyer says he's looking to sail into retirement. "I'm going to try to find a buyer. I'm going to try to be out of here in 90 to 120 days."