"If our security
forces keep track of floating objects anywhere on the US east coast
, this should be one of the places."
Look about 30 miles south of Miami
, just south of Homestead AFB. You may not see the name on the map, but look for all the nice rectangular isles arrayed on the shore. Those are the cooling
canals for the Indian Point NUCLEAR PLANT. Now, you might think a nuclear plant has a certain amount of mandatory security
as well. And yet, this weekend they rounded up a bunch of Cuban boaters who made it to the security fence, on land, before being discovered. And you can just "land" there, it is ringed by keys and outlying bits of land that you have to navigate through.
US coastal security? Please. Hasn't changed much since Key West
was populated by wreckers.
For most of the past 6 weeks, maybe 8, the weather
off the SE Florida
coast has been 2-4' seas and winds from the east and daily rain showers. Watchstanders are not very enthusiastic about staying out in that, and a 26' sailboat will blend into the sea state (the wave reflections) pretty perfectly on most radar
Boats that size and bigger have been abandoned off the Hatteras coast, north of there, and found drifting ashore in England
2+ years later, in excellent shape but having eluded all sightings or contact for two years. A Japanese fishing
boat made it to the US this year, the same way, what is it? A year
after their tsunami?
There's no magic to be had. There's no technology or manpower that is economically feasible. If Gil's boat is to be found, it will be by extreme luck, aided by a very thorough process of putting BOLOs out
to mariners and small craft aviators. Every airport
, every marina, every flight school
Rashly assuming that a single-engine prop plane, an old Cessna or whatever, was available in that port or down the road from it? I'd expect the pilot or charter
company to ask for $100 an hour, up front, four to eight hours minimum, before they'd even consider taking off. They're not in the business of flying for free, and even single engine
piston aircraft can COST that much to get in the air. So, without a spare thousand dollars in cash, in hand? Chartering a plane the next morning wasn't going to happen.
If his boat is French flagged, and if their documentation
laws are similar to the US's, then they may very well offer to give or lend him funds to fly home--to France
. Which right now might actually be a BAD thing, in case the boat is found and he first has to figure out how to pay for the flight back to retrieve it.
"Make haste slowly." Or as most naval commands would say "With all due speed". NOT necessarily as fast as you can.