I came to BKH right before the pandemic broke out. I was planning to stay a couple of weeks and then head
down to KW and to further ports
, but alas, the virus changed my plans. Anyway, I've been "stuck" here for a while now and I'll make some observations to contribute to this thread.
First, I would say that boot key harbor's community has a sort of dismorphia. There are many posts on the FB group and many comments on the Nets about how loving/helpful the BKH community is. But on the other hand, many people also jump in from time to time complaining about how someone or something has upset them and how there is a lot of "judgement" and how the harbor is changing. Basically you have a war of worlds taking place on FB and you rarely get the "whole" story. People love to puke their drama onto the internet
for all to see.
I've seen both sides of the marina staff. I have seen the marina staff be absolutely brutal towards people, but they've never been so towards me. That said, I've followed the rules, asked when I didn't understand something, pay on time, don't make trouble, and make myself generally agreeable. Many other patrons do not.
Coming into BKH was eye opening. In the channel on the way in, I sighted no less than 5 sunk vessels, 8 vessels aground, probably about 10 that were floating but rafted up with others that looked like they hadn't moved in months. Forgive me, but the place looks quite like a derelict slum. The ambience was only confirmed during our first few nights in the harbor where we witnessed boats with woefully inadequate ground tackle dragging into each other in light winds, we often hear loud profanity shouted around the harbor, and at one point we watched an altercation. The sound of the harbor is generally the loud hum of generators and it is a very common smell to pass a boat and catch the whiff of someone that has not cleaned their skin in a long time. The mooring
balls are nicer, but the outskirts of the harbor are shocking.
I understand that these people may be in hard times, however, I do not forgive many of them. It costs nothing to keep your deck
clean and your body washed, regardless of the situation. It costs nothing to not shout, "I'm going to f*cking kill you!" over and over at midnight for nights on end to many different visitors. It does not cost anything to be a good neighbor.
Now this is painting with a broad brush. There are many good folks here in the harbor as well. Yet the fact remains that it is largely a dump. I believe the marina employees face the brunt of this conglomeration of vagrants and have grown hard over their rub with them. I've seen this before when I lived in New Orleans
(which has a huge homeless population). Even people that arrived to help the homeless would often leave jaded.
I don't really have a dog in this fight either way. I'll be leaving BKH when I can and I doubt I'll ever return, but I also suspect that post on the FB page had a lot more going on than the poster said. And at this point, unless someone has witnessed it, I'd say we're just not going to know. I've never personally witnessed the pumpout captains to be anything but professional around here, but then, tempers flare between the different communities at times.