I have been going down to Oriental for 15 years. I have had a boat in a marina near there for years, we just moved there this year.
The issue is not about anchoring
rights. That argument is a deflection, a smoke screen
. The issue is about permanent unregulated moorings. (And before someone says they are anchored, they have not moved this summer. If they claim they are anchored then leave for a couple of months and then come back). Oriental has no regulations
when it comes to anchoring
but in the past boats would anchor, stay a while, then move on.
The real issues are:
A cruiser friendly town where cruisers stop a while then leave.
A very small anchorage that can hold six boats well, plus the free dock can hold two more.
Now four boats have taken up permanent anchorage. Four out of six spots.
Now only four cruisers can anchor / dock free and it used to be eight.
The permanent boats are taking away your rights to visit the town.
Two of the boats drug during the last storm and were aground, one leaking diesel
into the harbor.
Let me tell you what is going through my mind. I used to like to go to Beaufort
, NC for the weekend. It has become a permanent and unregulated mooring
field. I now have to anchor very far away to dinghy
into town. Is this going to happen to Oriental but at a quicker pace because of the smaller area?
So why shouldn't I put down a mooring
and move my boat there first to get my spot and quit paying dock fees
? Tell me why I shouldn't do that? There are no laws on the books
to stop me. If I did that and just a few others did that then no one could see Oriental by boat unless they paid for a slip.
I know someone that has a derelict boat and has quit paying slip fees
. Why shouldn't they move the boat there where it is free and permanent and block your use of the harbor?
If I'm thinking about putting down a mooring then so are others. If the town leaders don't do something, then this town will be shut down as cruising destination
within a year and it will be shut down by semi-permanent anchors (unregulated moorings).
The town has no choice but to do something, but what? There are many people there that are former cruisers or want to cruise
in the future. Everyone hoped that the permanent boats would take the hint and leave. Now they may have to regulate, something no one wants to do.