So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Monday, September 25, 2017
Cruisers going dark
I follow a lot of sailing blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels. The Caribbean and Florida interests me so I've concentrated on those who sail in those waters. Lots of those boaters got hit by the hurricanes. Not all of them have been accounted for. Only a handful have survived in relatively good condition.
A few got out of the hurricane zone in time. Some got lucky and missed the worse of the storm. Those who survived in the zone did so with good planning and lots of luck. Even if your boat is well prepared, it could get hit by another boat that broke loose. It appears that's what happened to many boats in the Boot Key mooring field in the Keys. Boats would break free and collide with other boats and so on.
One of my concerns are some of the boating communities that don't have a public presence. People like to think of boaters are wealthy people who have expensive toys. While there are some like that, many are people without much money. They are eking out a living on old boats. They live at anchor, working low wage jobs or living on small pensions.
There are anchorages of those people all over Florida. The anchoring field off of Key West comes to mind. It's a pretty sketchy anchorage at the best of times. Even minor storms cause boats to drag at anchor. There's also a significant low rent boating district off of Bradenton Beach. My lovely wife and I have anchored there a few times ourselves.
What concerns me is that these people are pretty far off the grid at the best of times. Many of them could go down with their boat and nobody would notice. People come and go all the time. Who's to say whether or not someone moved on or sank to the bottom?
Why should we care? Well, first of all, they are human beings like everyone else. That should be enough. There is more though, they are free people, not tied down to the rat race. I, for one, was excited to learn that there were people out there living good lives on less than $500/month. It's like they found a cheat code to life.
At the best of times, they are tolerated. Often they would be harassed by waterfront property owners who did no like to look at them. Law enforcement knows who pays their wages, and it's not the sea hobos on old boats. I'm sure many of those rich property owners don't care if those boaters survived the storms or not -as long as they are gone.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.