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.

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