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Old 26-02-2016, 07:06   #16
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Well Dave, if you were a regular HFest attendee then you know that for many many years boats would pack the whole of that area from offshore of where the big willow tree was all the way to the pier. USCG never complained though undoubtedly the channel was not clear. Likewise, the mooring off the CGS (unknown owner) was always open on Thursday, and I know the group of boats that would secure to it, and nobody complained.

There is room for 40 boats, as I've counted them. Granted, that included smaller powerboats. Not including those along the west wall near the museum.

I did not formerly state that the marina owner does indeed hold the land under water immediately between the shore and finger docks. Or that the owner "put the word out" before HF that they would not allow anchoring (of course, with the intent to force boaters to pay the $400 minimum for dockage.)

In any event, for years HF was a great time. Between the weather, comeraderie, hospitality of the city, sales at Price Chopper, being the perfect place to meet friends from all over the lake and the races, it was a blast. Then, for whatever reasons (including probably some you cited) one or more entities elected to bring about some changes that made HF less than fun.

Note that the marina management elected to change "rules" that had held for a decade, and brought the force of the police, USCG, and verbal threats of damage and possible injury all without any proof whatsoever of holding title to the seabed...who's the A-holes?

The fact that I, and many others, elected to not bow to a management that was trying to force us into docking while leaving a mooring area empty, does not make us "A-holes", sorry. The political bickering and financial motives of individuals and greedy entities is not my problem.

Oswego is a harbor and has been for hundreds of years; As cruisers we should not kowtow to some whim that comes and goes (don't ask me what I think about the border in the St. Lawrence or having to clear in Kingston before entering formerly-US owned Main Duck.) It's called Civil Disobedience, and if more did it, we'd clear away more of the junk faster.

Don't get me wrong, I love Oswego and have been going there for 40 years. When I finally returned in 2014 (with a family) we were so well treated by OYC members. But Oswego isn't what it was, and one must wonder the impact of heavy-handed tactics from short-sighted leadership.

This wasn't about Oswego though. It's about municipal policies and the strangulation of freedom, and the option to demonstrate against it with civil disobedience.
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Old 26-02-2016, 10:21   #17
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Let's make sure we're talking about the same area. If you are referring to the shallow area north of Breitbeck Park (where the food stands and main stage are located) that area has been an unregulated mooring field for decades. There are a lot of engine blocks sunk in the mud. Generally, no one cares if you anchor there at Hfest or any other time of the season. There have been years where that area has been restricted for all or part of the Hfest weekend due to ski jumping shows, jet ski shows, and air shows. I have no idea if you were there on one of those years. Generally the CG will establish a safety zone during those events as they do around the fireworks display. When a safety zone is established it should be posted in a Notice to Mariners. This area is long and yes, 40 boats can easily anchor there. More if they med moor to the shore.

The other area, near the CG station and the International Marina is fairly narrow and it would be a challenge to anchor 40 boats without impeding access to the marina.

Around the time you were describing your incident, there was incident involving a visiting sailor who anchored near the CG station in such a manner that his swinging circle encroached upon the marina's permitted footprint. He was also anchored near the Yacht Club's dock that had about 35 or so boats rafted on it for a regatta. Clearly he was impeding navigation into and out of the marina.

To make matters worse, when he was asked to move and explained our reasoning, he became belligerent insisting upon his right to anchor any where he so chooses. There were many other issues to address that weekend, so he was instructed that he was not welcome at the Marina or Yacht Club and that he could not use the marina facilities as they were private and for the use of marina patrons and regatta participants. None the less, he continued to show up at the marina, use the facilities and was loud, rude, and defiant. He did little to support the notion that sailors can abide by the conventions of polite society. He was indeed seen as an arrogant A-hole. Subsequent dealings with him have done little to dissuade me from that opinion.

When a law is broken or a request by a government authority is defied, it is a justifiable act of civil disobedience when it is done within the context of an organized political movement or at least with a public statement justifying the action. Otherwise, it is just some person being a criminal or a defiant jerk.

Acting in an uncivil manner does little to break the stereotypes that many have about cruising sailors.

Finally, as you correctly note, the members of the Oswego Yacht Club are a great bunch of folks. Very friendly and outgoing towards visiting sailors. Unfortunately, we are left dealing with local misperceptions of cruising and racing sailors. Sailors who come in at night use the docks and facilities and leave early in the day. Sailors who promise to pay, but leave without paying their due. Sailors who are demanding and rude and critical of the marina staff. Our sport does not need these kinds of folks, they do the rest of us a disservice.
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Old 26-02-2016, 11:32   #18
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

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Subsequent dealings with him have done little to dissuade me from that opinion.
Well, if it's someone you know it wasn't me. If we've met it would have been during that tackle-busting July 4th 2014 weekend. You know, I'll bet your event was the year after I went- I now vaguely recall that some boaters were PO'd about the events of the previous year and were going to make an issue of it- perhaps looking for trouble, but still civil disobedience.

I will note though that every HF I'd been to boats moored between the shore and 1st finger dock (so east of the hoist) and nobody complained until the year in question, and even then all the boats along the main pier (the straight floater wasn't there) at the time were well known to me and nobody there complained to me they couldn't navigate. I think the excuse that the anchored boats impeded travel was a fabrication designed to incite division, and sufficiently repeated until accepted by some as fact.

Point is, for years boats anchored in the same locations. Then somebody decides to make a stink about it (not coincidentally with a change of management and a $400 minimum dockage) and it's somehow the visitors' faults? I'll have to disagree that the visitors should accommodate greed and excuses should be made for the unwelcoming behavior.
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Old 26-02-2016, 12:19   #19
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

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Well, if it's someone you know it wasn't me. If we've met it would have been during that tackle-busting July 4th 2014 weekend.
Well, I'm glad it wasn't you.

Yes, I remember that July 4 weekend. We were moving our boat from Buffalo to Oswego. Left the last lock, got tied up and hadn't finished a beer before that storm blew through. You should have been there in 2012 when a 40 x 80 foot tent blew off the pier in 70 mph winds. That was exciting.

The OYC dock was installed in 2005. In the years prior, things had gotten really out of hand on the International Marina pier, too many boaters, too many people, an out of control biker bar crowd. The sewer pump couldn't handle the load (pun intended) and backed up and flooded the shower rooms with raw sewage. No crowd control. Trash everywhere. It was ugly. It was as bad or worse in the City run Wright's Landing Marina.

The OYC moved to the Marina in 2005 and there was a concerted effort to get things under control so that Club Members, marina patrons, regatta participants, and transient boaters could have a reasonably pleasant experience. At the time, the Marina operator was under some financial and political pressure. As a result, there was a lot of push back against visiting boaters who seemed to be taking advantage of the city and marina and generally detracting from Harborfest experience.

Which brings me back to my point, when we are visiting a port we usually won't know the backstory. In our own minds, our actions may seem reasonable, even justified, but we may unwittingly be aggravating an already unpleasant situation. That's something that I try not to do. When I leave a port, I hope that those I have dealt with are left with positive feelings about cruisers.
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Old 27-02-2016, 15:10   #20
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Getting back to the op's subject, not sure of the whole special anchorage thing, but there is lots of areas like that in Lake Erie .. Maybe not on charts, but they are there. Including right off my stern when in my slip - no worries.. Lots of mornings wake up with a boat there.. Lots of room..
Not sure what the issue is?
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Old 28-02-2016, 18:08   #21
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

I think the issue is that a special anchorage is ... "special" ... somewhat reserved for boaters to anchor, regardless of the anchor light requirement(I would never anchor without one one) ...

as what was stated in one of the posts abut the defiance of laws ... or ... the defiance of a governmental "authority's request", to me means that one must obey the law ... along with anything a person of "authority", might perceive as being either law or ... maybe ... common sense(in their thinking), even though laws, specific to the situation, do not exist.

So, I find it refreshing that an anchorage is actually specified for that use. None ... not one single anchorage exist on Lake Erie ... other that the one at Cedar Point, and I get the impression from talking to the operators of the Cedar Point Marina, that they DO NOT LIKE that a special(free) anchorage exists.

The marina also has an overflow for docking, which is coincidently, to the south of the marina ... maybe this is why they don't seem fond of the special anchorage.

I would hope that a "special anchorage", might be a place where one can anchor and not be "requested" to move by authorities being pressured by the "BIG", business called Cedar Point, if Cedar point ever feels they just must have the extra space.
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Old 28-02-2016, 22:47   #22
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

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I would hope that a "special anchorage", might be a place where one can anchor and not be "requested" to move by authorities being pressured by the "BIG", business called Cedar Point, if Cedar point ever feels they just must have the extra space.
So you are saying Cedar Point had the local authorities kick you out of the anchorage?

If that's the case why didn't you highlight that in your first post as it completely changes the situation.
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Old 29-02-2016, 05:32   #23
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

no no no no no ... No

I was somewhat lamenting the issue discussed(by others) in Lake Oswego ... that similar situation might be less likely to occur if the area is actually designated a "special anchorage", rather than being a place where everyone, just kinda anchors.

It is also in this context that I think designated "special anchorages", are important to cruising sailors.

There are many places to anchor, but those "non" designated anchorages could be subject to a situation similar to the situation in Oswego
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Old 29-02-2016, 06:27   #24
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

I don't really get the problem here. I anchor all over the place outside of any "special anchorage".

There is a special anchorage in my home bay, but the route between the bars and the marinas runs right through it- so sure has heck if I did anchor there (which I would not) I'd be lit up like a Christmas tree.

The one benefit I can see is that as a special anchorage an area might be protected from anti-boating activities such as banning overnighting as we see in FL and CA. But I think that's a false safety, the swipe of a politician's pen can turn a safe haven into a money maker.
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Old 29-02-2016, 06:37   #25
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

This issue is being played out in spades in Florida in both the judicial system and legislature. It also arose a few years back in Irondequoit Bay near Rochester, NY.

The core issue is the rights of submerged landowners, no not those folks who are under water on their mortgages, but the owners of the land underneath navigable water. There is no issue until the rights of the submerged landowner conflict with the rights of others to navigate those waters. The right to anchor is one of the rights of navigation.

A parallel issue that is more settled in law is known as riparian rights, that is the rights of landowners that have a navigable river running through their property. Essentially, a landowner has no right to block passage but can prohibit anchoring or landing.

Submerged land is seldom owned by individuals, typically it is state or local municipalities that have control over it. Of course this only complicates the issue. Federal (EPA, USCG, and Corps of Engineers) and state agencies regulate its use. If the controlling municipality thinks the best and highest use of submerged lands is to have a marina or mooring field, then it is within their rights to apply for the requisite permits and hire a company to operate the marina or mooring field or operate it themselves.

At the core of the FL problem is that waterfront property owners do not want boats anchored out in front of their property. They have convinced some local municipalities to enact regulations limiting or prohibiting anchoring in some areas or restricting anchoring in other areas. There is much written on the web about these issues. I understand, but do not necessarily agree with their position. By analogy, I don't mind if motorhomes drive down my street, but I would object to them parking in front of my house every night or day and partying on.

If you are interested in making changes then it is time to take a page from the FL boaters and cruisers playbook. The BoatUS website is a good place to start. Suffice it to say that ultimately this is a political problem that will require a political or judicial solution.

There are productive and nonproductive methods for effecting political change. Certainly acts of civil disobedience have, at times played a large role in effecting change; think of the Civil Rights movement in the 60s, the Anti-war movement at the same time, Ghandi's actions in the Indian independence movement are just a few that come quickly to mind. In these movements civil disobedience was one part of the arsenal of a larger social movement.

IMHO, isolated acts of "civil disobedience" are likely to be counter productive as they will not be heard or seen by those who can make a difference. All is these do is leave a sour taste in the mouths of the poor person at the bottom of the food chain who is passing along what he has been told. That doesn't help anybody, especially the next boater who visits the area.
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Old 29-02-2016, 07:41   #26
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Acts of civil-disobedience(sp), usually works better with news cameras memorializing what most people would consider abhorrent to the natural order of things.

Regarding the "special anchorage", issue, I would much prefer to anchor in much nicer surroundings than this particular anchorage offers, although I do enjoy the screaming meamies on the coasters ... I really do.

But, who might come and tell me that my stay is no longer welcomed after a few days(if I choose), in a non-designated anchorage ... as opposed to a "special anchorage"?

I want to believe that a "special anchorage", is also a more "allowable" anchorage ... an anchorage more free from harassment ... be it the CG, police or neighbors who don't want sailboats in their sunset views.

I'm shocked that there aren't more "special anchorage" ... especially say, like behind the breakwall of Cleveland Harbor, Sandusky Bay, Fairport Harbor or Ashtabula ... safely tucked away from the turning basins and all ... not just because it could be a relatively nice place to anchor a few days, but also because the CG and local authorities would be less likely to harass boats in a "designated" anchorage which does not interfere with big boats for other small boats.

Maybe I'm way off base in my thinking ... especially with the diminishing numbers of sailers(as in sailboats) ... maybe this is a complete non-issue.

It's just that I see a popular place to anchor(used to be a "special anchorage"(old charts), a Put-In-Bay, first taken over by private, individually owned mooring balls, now taken completely over, allowing no anchoring in a good anchoring lake bed, in favor of allowing " anchoring in a more "questionable" area, with less holding.

Once these anchorage are lost, I don't think a future resurgence in sailing would ever bring them back ... and if law enforcement and courts ever "re-evaluate" shore owner's rights to the detriment of boaters anchoring "in their back yards" ...
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Old 29-02-2016, 12:12   #27
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

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I want to believe that a "special anchorage", is also a more "allowable" anchorage ... an anchorage more free from harassment ... be it the CG, police or neighbors who don't want sailboats in their sunset views.

I'm shocked that there aren't more "special anchorage" ... especially say, like behind the breakwall of Cleveland Harbor, Sandusky Bay, Fairport Harbor or Ashtabula ... safely tucked away from the turning basins and all ... not just because it could be a relatively nice place to anchor a few days, but also because the CG and local authorities would be less likely to harass boats in a "designated" anchorage which does not interfere with big boats for other small boats.
Full disclosure, I'm not an attorney. Many years ago I served in an advisory capacity to a local municipality where there were many sailboats and some powerboats who had placed moorings in a harbor. The mayor asked what could be done about it. I advised him that the city could apply for a permit to establish a permanent mooring field, but if they did, the city would then assume some responsibility for the moorings and managing them.

Once the CG designates an area as a anchorage or special anchorage it takes on some responsibility for what happens there. If some yahoo in a speedboat crashes through a special anchorage and hits a boat with no anchor light, someone is going to say that the CG should have known better and not made it a special anchorage. If I was the commandant of the CG I would be very hesitant to put my agency in that position.

The CG does designate anchorages, but these are primarily for commercial vessels near major harbors waiting for dock space to load or discharge cargo. I believe the locations are determined by navigational safety and environmental concerns.
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Old 29-02-2016, 12:18   #28
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Florida is a completely different issue. They are dealing with non-cruisers living on derelict boats and the struggles to open up the waterways so others can use those anchorages also. Not too many people trying that on Lake Erie.

Reality is you are getting upset over an issue that isn't even present. I can pretty much guarantee the status as a "special" anchorage will have no impact on the results if Cedar Point asks to install a mooring field. If anything, it will support their stance that the area is in demand and mooring fields support more boaters in a smaller area.
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Old 17-03-2016, 08:17   #29
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

Just my two cents, but the Put-In-Bay mooring field is not such a bad thing, it provides safe, sturdy moorings for 80 boats in a concentrated area. I use them often. They are owned by PIB and managed by the Boardwalk. There is a charge of $30 per day or $40 overnight, but a free water taxi will pick you up at your boat and deliver you ashore. And it runs until 1am during the high season. It just leaves a lot more opportunity to enjoy the bay.

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Old 17-03-2016, 08:30   #30
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Re: Great Lakes ... about special anchorages

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Just my two cents, but the Put-In-Bay mooring field is not such a bad thing, it provides safe, sturdy moorings for 80 boats in a concentrated area. I use them often. They are owned by PIB and managed by the Boardwalk. There is a charge of $30 per day or $40 overnight, but a free water taxi will pick you up at your boat and deliver you ashore. And it runs until 1am during the high season. It just leaves a lot more opportunity to enjoy the bay.

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My 2 cents: $40 for a mooring ball is highway robbery!
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