Florida Anchoring: Groundhog Day

klaxonstrongWell, the three public meetings have come and gone. “The 300 Feet is the Starting Point” is now 150 feet, and that change is worse than meaningless since it is just a place to renew the political discussion and some cruisers may mis-read it as an actual improvement and disengage from the discussion.

However, the survey itself has been improved and clarified. The issues have merit, but merit, truth and balance are the first casualties of political discussion, especially when the Pols have already smeared those of us who anchor with villainy approaching barbary.

The new survey is at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AnchoringSurvey and must be completed by Dec 7. It still ignores cruisers’ need for a place to anchor awaiting a good weather window for crossing the Gulf Stream — something I mentioned directly to Major Moore and documented in my submission at the Vero Beach meeting. Since marinas and mooring fields stand to gain from those of us cruising to the Bahamas being trapped for several days (weeks last season) by weather and potentially draconian anchoring restrictions, this omission is troublesome. So, I will say it again, the safe harbor language in the survey doesn’t engage with this issue sufficiently.

From the “300 Feet” post

I have run a test on some popular anchorages and what a 300 foot keep-out zone means. Basically, Faber Cove would cease to be usable, and the same for Lake Boca Raton and Lake Sylvia.

On the other hand…

Faber150

Faber Cove

LakeSylvia150

Lake Sylvia

Having reanalyzed the charts by halving the keep out distance from 300 to 150 feet, the change improves anchoring access in Faber Cove, and Lake Sylvia (green 300 feet, blue 150 feet keep out). Lake Worth and Hobe Sound are largely unaffected.

NoAncHowever the shoreside locals we heard from at the Vero Beach meeting would prefer 1/4 mile or out of their county whichever is greater. One very angry attendee would have gladly substituted country for county. [Before he angrily stomped up the aisle and left, He said, He had no idea people could anchor behind his waterfront property when he bought it.  ?!?!?]

POST SCRIPT From the “300 Feet” post (re: evaluating anchorages)

I looked no farther south [than Lake Sylvia] as we don’t travel any farther south than necessary to get to the Bahamas where cruisers who anchor are more welcome.

Unfortunately, I posted that sentiment before Mr. Carey of the Bahamas National Trust cast considerable doubt on how welcome cruisers (vice their money) are in the Bahamas. Interestingly, within just a few weeks of his grapeshot broadside at everyone who anchors in the Bahamas, The BNT launched its annual $$$ appeal without including a repudiation of his remarks. Thus, they have also informed us.

Aroma Therapy

largoWe are  soup fans. We like to appreciate their development from ingredients, through aromas, to gustatory delight. I suppose we are sopa-istas, or perhaps  caldo-istas. Either way, we’re fans of largo — soups that take a good long while to develop and feed the soul as well as the body. While there are many soups that delight the tongue,  we prefer those that delight the nose first.

Here’s a quick version of what I allowed to develop the other day.

  • Grilled 8 chicken thighs (trimmed of excess fat) to just short of done.
  • Let them rest till room temperature and refrigerated them overnight.
  • Then sliced them across the grain to spoon-sized bites.
  • Saved the congealed drippings.

Pre-cooking the chicken adds grill flavor, eliminates the curd-like white fat that boiling chicken sometimes produces. Chilling it overnight locks in the juices so that long simmering doesn’t toughen the meat.

  • Chopped three yellow onions and nuked them to soft. I could have sauteed them to half golden, but I didn’t want a pervasive onion aroma interfering with the soup’s.
  • Combined chicken, drippings, nuked onions, 2 cans of garbanzos, 1+ cup of picante sauce, 1 4 oz can of green chilies (mild), 3 tsp of fresh chili powder, 1 tsp of cumin, 1/3 cup of dark rum, 3 tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes and water to just cover the ingredients in the slow cooker.

Within an hour the aroma therapy had begun. I let the soup cook on high for 4 hours and low about 2 hours. Served with French bread sippets.

Serves six generously.

Can be enhanced with garlic, shallot, cilantro, Mexican oregano
Hominy can replace the garbanzos and pork the chicken and one gets a Pozole.

Lizardometery

T-Shirt Lizard

Who needs hi-tech wireless thermometers to know what’s going on outside? We have a trusty band of geckos and anoles, inter alia that let us know what’s what — biotech if there ever was some.

The smaller the lizard the sooner they hide from the drop in temps. There seems to be a scale.

  • No lizards sunning — it’s cold for here, wear a sweatshirt (or it’s too darn hot even for lizards and stay in the shade with a cold drink)*
  • Only big lizards sunning — it’s cool, wear a long sleeve T
  • Medium lizards sunning (well away from the big ones) — T shirt weather
  • Little lizards sunning (well away from every mouth in sight) — stay in the shade
  • Lizards panting — stay in the shade with a tank top and a cold drink*

Seems tech enough for us.

*This minor ambiguity can be resolved by stepping outside for a moment.

Vanity Plates

statetagI suppose when one starts thinking about what one might put on a vanity plate one has well and truly returned to the ranks of seasonal cruiser.

Our trusty Toyota has a plate which reads SAIL-4VR. I’m not sure whether it is going to retain its relevance or not. It would only take a sailing dinghy (where do we store it?) to keep the plate relevant. It would only require us to beat, reach or run with the seabreeze once a year with Brilliant Star. Since we are heading toward the Bahamas in mid to late winter, the issue needn’t be heavily addressed at the moment.

But we have returned to the realm of two vehicles. SAIL-4VR will go to the new one — Janet’s. The (now my) Toyota will be in need of something. Certainly the State’s choice would do the job, but I have enough of that in my life right now. So I have put my mind to the task. Unfortunately, plates which aid or honor entities or interests that appeal to me can only have 5 characters. Regular vanity plates may have 7 — or ~1300 times as many choices. Of course, one has to account for the various prohibitions the State places on micro-memes it doesn’t want flaunted around on its roads.

I have a few crypto-acronyms in mind, but will keep them to myself as I might actually decide to use one. At the moment, my favorite is too crypto. I don’t want someone rear-ending me trying to figure it out (yes, that does happen). Some, such as any variation of CLOD, are out. I really prefer something snicker/smile inducing, but sadly those same things can induce road rage in someone whose context is vastly different than mine. I could do something meaningful only to me, but then I might as well just write that on a sticky note and stick it on my dash and go with the semi-random State issue. Nah.

The one word that I know would get a knowing nod around here is trademarked by a litigious defender. So…

Mr. Carey’s Informative Apology to Cruisers in the Bahamas

BNEMr. Eric Carey = Executive Director Bahamas National Trust
His initial remarks Short form = “They come down there they anchor and they pay absolutely nothing and they come fully stocked. Half of the time they don’t even spend $5 in the Bahamas and what do they eat? Our fish,”
His apology Short Form = “The Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) top executive yesterday made an “unreserved apology” to international boaters infuriated by his comments that many of them were ‘el cheapo smoochers’, who this nation should not mourn if they “p….. off” when charged minimal anchorage/mooring fees.

Eric Carey told Tribune Business in an exclusive interview that he wanted to “retract” comments made in a posting on this newspaper’s website, which resulted in incensed boaters threatening to take their cruises – and business – away from the Bahamas.

Expressing hope that his comments, and the fiery reaction, would not cost the Bahamian tourism industry and wider economy much-needed dollars, Mr Carey said his remarks – both on The Tribune website and at the Exuma Business Outlook Conference – were “ill advised”.”

Both Quotes from Tribune 242

REWIND

In the course of my (continuing) evolution as a social being, I have said things for which an apology was appropriate. Some were eventual and some were needed instantly.

I remember one in particular. I insulted a three star general in front of his peers from a position of (great) juniority on my part. His peers fled the room before he said a word in response, and boy did it get cold in that room.

He was carefully calculating what he would say when I blurted an apology. That’s when he got really mad. “What the **** are you apologizing for?”

I must say the question set me back. I thought it was obvious. I thought he meant “why.” He really meant “what” just as he said. He was a very precise man.

He told me I couldn’t apologize for insulting him, because I didn’t have his permission to insult him.

He told me I couldn’t apologize for how I felt about him, because he didn’t care how I felt about him.

He told me I couldn’t apologize because I had my facts wrong because what I had said was largely correct — although seriously lacking tact.

He said I could only apologize for having lost control of my mouth.

His stern look never melted. “Chris,” he said, “an apology is lubricant for the social machine, but just as often it is a passive-aggressive tactic — get your message out there and then pretend the devil made you do it — and you inform the conversation in ways you may not have intended.”

“So, what do we have here?” He said. I immediately apologized for losing control of my mouth. A week later he invited me to lunch and that began a mentoring process and a friendship that lasted for years.

FAST FORWARD

I read Mr. Carey’s message and received it loud and clear. I read his apology, and I believe he is sincerely sorry he voiced his opinion so clearly. He got his message out there — whatever made him do it. We know where he stands on cruisers — that stance didn’t change overnight because of the reaction, and isn’t going to change much over time. We know what will be going on behind the scenes on this issue when he is involved. He has informed us.