Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 31-03-2005, 19:23   #1
Registered User
Wahoo Sails's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Marathon, Florida
Boat: Cape Dory 28, "Night Wind"
Posts: 353
Images: 16
USCG part 2

A couple of years ago, I sailed from here (Fort Myers, Florida) to Key West, with a friend, I will call Capt'n John, aboard his Islander 36'. Shortly after we got out of sight of land (this was after dark) He went below and came up with a pair of night vision binoculars. I thought this would be a great chance to have a look at the stars ... he said, "Look around us on the water". To my complete astonishment, I counted 7 vessels ... all with out any lights showing. I asked, "What the Hell ...?" He said, "Yeah, 1 or 2 are idiots that simply don't have enough smarts to turn on their nav lights ... and 1 or 2 are fishermen going after fish that are out of season ... the rest are smugglers" ... "Smugglers?" "Yeah, some are illegal aliens (Cubans, Hatians, Dominicans, Hondurans et al) and the rest are drug runners". I freaked, "Man ... we gotta call the Coast Guard!" He said, "What? You don't think they already know they're out here? .... At times when I make this run at night, I count a dozen vessels on the water without lights"
I said, "Well we gotta do something!" He said, "Look man ... get real, these guys have more sophisticated electronics, faster boats and more guns than the Coast Guard ... there ain't nothin' that they can do about it."
I have known "Capt'n John" for a long time, and trust his "local knowledge" completely. What he told me was that if the USCG came after the smugglers, they would just make a run for shore and jettison their illegal contraband ... if that didn't work, it would become a running gun battle ... with the USCG underfunded and under armed. Now ... think about it ... if you were a Coastie .. knowing the situation ... would you risk life & limb to engage in a gun battle (that you might very well loose) knowing that the next night, there would be a dozen other boats out there, and that your efforts & sacrifice had been for nothing?

Met with a friend in the USCG the other day, complained about powerboaters not coming of plane when they passed (typical here) and he just smiled at me and said "You know, we belong to homeland security now ... and that's our priority now", I asked about search and rescue ... he sighed ... and a very slow smile crossed his face ....... "yeah, we still do that too" ... I asked, "Well, how in the Hell do you do both?" ... again ... the slow smile told all ... he said, "If you're in trouble, tell us you're an Iraqi insurgent with a bomb, looking for a place t put it! .... That way ... you'll get a faster response, and can clear it all up later"

Guess what I'm trying to say here is know, love & respect your local Coasties ... but also understand that they are underfunded & overworked ... so don't rely on them the way we used to.

Bob & Lynn
Wahoo Sails is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Selecting the Ideal Liveaboard Monohull Sailboat Stede Liveaboard's Forum 50 21-07-2011 11:43
GELCOAT CRAZING (Part 1) GordMay Construction, Maintenance & Refit 5 24-05-2004 16:55
Part 1 registry (UK) horwendil Liveaboard's Forum 0 23-02-2004 13:17
Breaker Recall GordMay Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 05-08-2003 10:05

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:12.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.