Some days it’s like I’m living in an NPR “Nature” episode I went up into the cockpit of my boat anchored here at the south end of Anna Maria Island, Florida to play my ukulele I noticed that nearby there were a couple of dolphins herding a shoal of mullets and then pouncing on them to feed. Pay attention at the one minute mark. You’ll see a stunned mullet flip through the air and then be instantly gobbled up. There’s no wind so the filming was easy.
Well, the neighborhood here at the southern end of Anna Maria Island, FL, is clearing out. The ratty fleet of boats has disappeared completely.
When I moved down here last year to escape the goings on at the anchorage off the pier, there was one other boat. She moved not long afterwards because people would blast by her boat with their wakes.
Then came “Pappi” with his derelict fleet including a large sailboat that was stranded for quite a while but moved last month as noted here. For several months before Papi arrived I was alone down here and nobody, not the Bradenton Beach Marine Patrol, Manatee County Sheriff’s Department or the Fish and Wildlife officers gave me a hassle. In fact, the F&W once told me that I was “Fine where you are.”
But after Pappi showed up so did the Sheriff. It wasn’t just his collection of shitty boats that don’t run, it was his whole way of being that irked the authorities. There is a county ordinance prohibiting the use of the boat ramp from anything other than the launching and recovery of boats. But nobody said anything about me going in and tying off while I went about my business on land. Pappi, on the other hand, would go in, tie up and be gone for several days at a time. After a while the Sheriff told me that I couldn’t use it as a “dinghy dock” anymore. Now, I tie my dinghy to a tree limb and I’m within the scope of the law, at least.
Now all of his boats are gone. I don’t know where. Don’t care, just so long as they aren’t here.
After Pappi a couple with an engineless 28-foot Carver showed up. I won’t go on about them other than sometimes they’ve been entertaining. Like when they were fighting one afternoon and he screamed “You’re the worst thing that every happened to me!” They’re still together, though. They went away for Memorial Day and haven’t come back. Supposedly their car shit the bed.
Then there’s the couple I refer to as “Itchy & Scratchy.” She’s obese and her face is perpetually glued to her phone. His IQ points wouldn’t cover a domino. They ere told by the BB Marine cops to leave the big anchorage. And here they are, with a 22 foot sailboat with no engine and no anchor lights. When I say these people are worthless consider this…Their boat doesn’t even have a small outboard. Their aluminum dinghy, about 12 feet long is constantly filled with water and has sat tied to the bushes for the last few weeks. They’ve been having Pappi ferry them to and from shore. They each got a $1,200 “stimulus check” and did they do anything to improve their boat? NOPE! They rented a motel room for a week and blew the rest on drugs, supposedly.
If those two boats could disappear it would be nice here once again…
This is a pretty decent video of the place I’ve been living for close to three years. I’m anchored at the lower end of Anna Maria Island, Florida. For some reason the video wants to start in the middle despite numerous attempts to get it to start at the beginning with a car coming out of Coquina Beach at the south end of the 7 mile-long island. At about the 55 second mark it passes the entrance to the Coquina North Boat Ramp which is where I get on and off the Free Trolley and then paddle out to my boat about 100 yards north. You can manipulate the video yourself to start at the beginning…
The video is pretty much what I see when riding the trolley. That conveyance is one of the reasons I choose to anchor here. It runs the length of the island from 6 in the morning until 10 at night and it doesn’t cost a cent. It takes me to two pharmacies, my doctor, Publix supermarket, Ace and True Value hardware stores, Dollar Tree to stock up on cheap junk food, and dozens of restaurants.
Second break in the bad weather. It started raining sometime in the middle of the night and kept on, steadily, until late morning. Stopped briefly and I was able to get about 2/3 of the water bailed out of the dinghy before it started pouring again.
What’s happening is that as Tropical Storm Cristobal swirls counter clockwise out in the Gulf of Mexico it’s sweeping its feeder bands across our area here where I’m anchored at the lower end of Anna Maria Island, Florida.
During this second break I was able to get inside the dinghy and bail it dry. It’s going to keep on raining according to the forecast and tonight The prediction is for winds gusting into the 25 mph range later on and 1 to 2 inches of rain is possible. The dinghy wouldn’t be able to take that much if it wasn’t bailed out. Could easily sink. Might, anyway. The canoe on the nearby power boat is down because it filled up with rain water. Haven’t seen those people in close to 2 weeks. They’re new to living on a boat and, perhaps, they just decided to cut their losses and walk away. They only paid $2,500 for the boat.
Starting to rain again. I might have to do a bit of bailing before I hit the sack tonight.