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Old 09-04-2021, 12:11   #1
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Losing faith

I confess, I've lost some faith in humanity.

I don't know where to write this. It is just a rant, skip over it if you wish.

Backstory: Cruised down to the FL keys last year with the idea of heading to Bahamas and further but got stuck when the pandemic broke out and decided to weather the summer in Marathon until the world settled some.

A year in boot key harbor was enough to give me a good look at the life of so called "derelict" boaters as well as the people just "living on boats because houses are too expensive here." I endured the nightly ravings of a mad man shouting at his cat yelling expletives. I listened to the drunks on the VHF. We heard the shotgun blasts as a "liveaboard" murdered people that approached his boat thinking they were going to "get him". There are sunk boats lining the shores. Online everyone just talks about how peachy everything is. I guess if it isn't covid times and you have community to hang out with, you can just... ignore it.

I decided I couldn't take it anymore and we leave. We head out, escape. Decide to take the ICW since we hadn't gone that route yet. In Georgia and the Carolinas, it was somewhat unusual for someone to not give us a slow pass, in FL, no one slows down. In fact, despite acres of room they'll pass as close and fast to you as they can. Over and over. If someone slowed down we were shocked. If someone diverted their course just a tiny bit to help us out, shocked. The general boater in FL isn't going to care about you at all. They want to get from point a to point b as fast as possible and screw everything else. And everyone was like that. Anchored out in a remote spot? Expect wakes because they'll come just to buzz you.

Traveling through the Everglades and Biscayne National parks, we witnessed go-fast boats and huge yachts transiting and stirring up the bottom to an extraordinary degree. There is no sea life in vast swathes because the trails left from these wakes. Yet we're told we cannot anchor in sand because we might harm the bottom. We must use moorings because the bottom might be harmed.

Anchored near Key Biscayne, there is a manatee zone that extends 1000ft from shore (marked). I lost count after 75 boats that blew through an anchorage at full throttle throwing wakes. No law enforcement. No tickets. Yet we were boarded anchored off Jew point in a quiet spot for a "safety inspection". We made no trouble, the FWC was polite but I don't like my home being invaded and nothing I can do, all while people break the law continuously a few miles to the north. People killing manatees, no one cares. It is more important for them to make absolutely sure my fire extinguishers are up to date.

We have to track our pump outs carefully. We have to make sure not one drop of urine reaches the pristine waters of FL. Meanwhile in Tampa bay they pump the remains of a fertilizer plant directly into the waters.

It has become clear to me that FL goverment does not care for the environment except as a smoke screen. Will not do anything about the homeless/derelict/liveaboards that poison the regions they show up in, will not enforce laws that impact the power boat community ($$$), and will actively harass cruising boats (the poors). The boaters themselves reflect the same attitude.

FL has incredible natural beauty and of course I paint with a broad brush, there are many good people here, yet I lost something during my year spent in FL, I lost a little faith.

I'm happy to leave. Happy to go north again. I hope we find some of the quiet and friendly places again. And I hope I can learn to stop caring and come back to FL and enjoy what I can without stress or comparison. Maybe once I'm retired it won't seem so awful what is going on there.

Sorry for the long rant. I just wanted to get it off my chest. I figured other sailors might understand better than my family or friends who have not seen any of these sorts of things. Thanks for letting me vent. This is just one man's opinion and experiences. I'm sure there are others that are a lot more sunny.
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Old 09-04-2021, 12:42   #2
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Re: Losing faith

I'm sorry you see it that way. Several years ago we took a long time friend on a vacation with us. Her husband has social anxiety and she has never been on an actual vacation. ​A few days in Miami (South Beach) and then a cruise to the Bahamas. Whether it was South Beach, Nassau, the cruise ship, even Royal Carribean's private island, all we heard for days was "I thought it would be nicer". (The guy with the $100K Lamborghini in South Beach seemed to think it was ok )

She was expecting the world to look like the Disney rendition of the world. As far as people go, the type of people you get will tend to be directly linked to the cost of the rent in that neighborhood. However, you'll also find some of the nicest, kindest people as well. The kind of guy who'll give you beer from his cooler, when he only has two left and can't afford more and no ride even if he could.

We have enough social elitism marching up and down the shore waving fists and flapping their 'bitch-wings'. Do we need them in the anchorage too?
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Old 09-04-2021, 12:44   #3
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Re: Losing faith

Twenty -six years in Florida now..........

Cruising mostly the west coast and keys. Some things you are going on about are true, but most seem a little exaggerated.

I spent six months on a mooring in Boot Key, never heard anyone yelling at cats.......... no gunshots..........

Sure a couple of boats in the anchorage broke free, and one boat caught fire. Nothing more than a night in any major city. Didn't affect me one way or the other.

Maybe powerboaters in the rest of the country are different, that has not been my experience though, most of them are just clueless a-holes, have no idea what their wake is doing. And really don't care.

Never had my pump-outs tracked, although since I have a composter, City Marina would give me a receipt for dropping urine.

Not to be rude, but good luck up north.........
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Old 09-04-2021, 12:51   #4
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Re: Losing faith

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Originally Posted by Davy J View Post
Twenty -six years in Florida now..........

Cruising mostly the west coast and keys. Some things you are going on about are true, but most seem a little exaggerated.

I spent six months on a mooring in Boot Key, never heard anyone yelling at cats.......... no gunshots..........
Everyone's milage will vary. The shouting at his cat guy maybe wasn't around while you were?

Here is when we heard the gunshots:
https://www.flkeysnews.com/news/loca...244502042.html

I appreciate the wishes of good luck. Maybe I've just had a run of bad luck or maybe the pandemic blues have me down.
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Old 09-04-2021, 12:53   #5
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Re: Losing faith

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We have enough social elitism marching up and down the shore waving fists and flapping their 'bitch-wings'. Do we need them in the anchorage too?
To be clear, I'm not trying to be elitist in any sort of way nor do I condone it. I don't care how much money or "stuff" someone has. What I care for is being considerate to your neighbors and to our planet. That is all. Doesn't cost any money to keep a deck clean, scrub a waterline on occasion, or slow down for other folks. That was my point. Sorry if it came out as some sort attack based on wealth or status.
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Old 09-04-2021, 12:57   #6
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Re: Losing faith

I sure hope you find your happy place. BTW, a friend of mine stopped by your boat and told me you werenít very friendly, so.........
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:02   #7
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Re: Losing faith

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Here is when we heard the gunshots:
https://www.flkeysnews.com/news/loca...244502042.html
For some reason, this one incident of a moron shooting at another moron keeps getting replayed. If this were really that bad, no one would ever visit Chicago again.

I will say that the covid restrictions put a very big damper on activities in Boot Key. No more pot-luck dinners, no more nautical flea markets, no more seminars from cruisers about the Bahamas and elsewhere. You can thank mostly the liberal politicians for that. The moron mayor of Miami Dade county closed boat ramps.......... that did a lot of good. BTW, he's a republican.
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:02   #8
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Re: Losing faith

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I sure hope you find your happy place. BTW, a friend of mine stopped by your boat and told me you werenít very friendly, so.........
Send whoever it was my apologies.
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:04   #9
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Re: Losing faith

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I will say that the covid restrictions put a very big damper on activities in Boot Key. No more pot-luck dinners, no more nautical flea markets, no more seminars from cruisers about the Bahamas and elsewhere. You can thank mostly the liberal politicians for that. The moron mayor of Miami Dade county closed boat ramps.......... that did a lot of good. BTW, he's a republican.
Yeah, I spoke to some folks that had been there for a while and they said that this last year was a really different vibe. I think we just caught it at the "wrong time" even if it is sometimes the "right place".
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:10   #10
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Re: Losing faith

Most of post 1 is true.

But i have found each year is better than the one before as my understanding of the real cruising world verse the dream in my mind come closer together.
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:12   #11
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Re: Losing faith

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Send whoever it was my apologies.


I do truly hope you find a happy place in the cruising world. And maybe try Marathon again, it wasnít a typical year.
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:15   #12
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Re: Losing faith

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Most of post 1 is true.

But i have found each year is better than the one before as my understanding of the real cruising world verse the dream in my mind come closer together.
I have six years of cruising under my belt, but I might just be a slow learner.
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:16   #13
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Re: Losing faith

I've found that in some places, it's not so much that more of the boaters are idiots, but that there are just so many boats. When there are too many boats, there end up being enough idiots that you're so busy worrying about them, you basically stop noticing the non-idiots.
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Old 09-04-2021, 13:38   #14
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Re: Losing faith

I had a dream one night about a ocean volcano erupting in the middle of the south Pacific, creating an entirely new island, protected anchorage and no nation having claimed it and wouldnt be grand if a fleet of cruisers with enough grit and resourcefulness to sail offshore to it were to claim and colonize it, build a cruisers community, Marina and functional management to enjoy it and make it a cruiser haven. Maybe like waterworld without jetski pirates. Of course you will get partiers, and quiet folks, loners and social folks but maybe there wouldn't be as much of the drama we see on the news when you take out the people that wouldn't make the cruise there and take out the overcrowded city people...and such....but thats naive and idealistic isn't it.....it would either become anarchy or be bought up by billionaires.

I must have seen waterworld or the beach too many times.
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Old 09-04-2021, 18:20   #15
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Re: Losing faith

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Originally Posted by Wander4Wonder View Post
I had a dream one night about a ocean volcano erupting in the middle of the south Pacific, creating an entirely new island, protected anchorage and no nation having claimed it and wouldnt be grand if a fleet of cruisers with enough grit and resourcefulness to sail offshore to it were to claim and colonize it, build a cruisers community, Marina and functional management to enjoy it and make it a cruiser haven. Maybe like waterworld without jetski pirates. Of course you will get partiers, and quiet folks, loners and social folks but maybe there wouldn't be as much of the drama we see on the news when you take out the people that wouldn't make the cruise there and take out the overcrowded city people...and such....but thats naive and idealistic isn't it.....it would either become anarchy or be bought up by billionaires.

I must have seen waterworld or the beach too many times.
Check out "Island" by Aldous Huxley. His last novel, (1962), is a utopian vision of a Pacific Ocean society. His best known and possibly most important novel was "Brave New World".
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