03 February 2013 | Nazi Florida
Capt Don Q.
I am at a mooring ball in Boot Key Harbor. That is actually big news. I have not been at a mooring ball in several years. Maybe more than several. I almost always anchor, but this time I decided to see some of Nazi Florida instead of the Bahamas, Mexico, or the Caribbean. So far that decision has cost me an extra $800.00. I have been forced by the always polite local constabulary to register both my sailboat and dinghy. My sailboat got through with little cost, but they really got me on my little dinghy. They made me pay sales tax on it from when I bought it several years ago. I tried to explain that is was several years old, but NOOO I had to pay hundreds of dollars in sales tax on something I didn't buy here, or in the current year, at an exorbitant rate, and I am now registered in a State that I don't live in. Go figure! Nazi Florida has a law that says "If you are here for more than 90 days-everything you own that is here has to be registered with the state tax collector. Nazi Florida-then they made me buy $150.00 worth of gear for my dinghy as I have a 4 HP engine on it and they do not honor Documented vessel tenders. Horn, flares, fire extinguisher, throwable (I'm alone, who am I going to throw it to?), etc. etc. etc.
Now I am in a huge mooring field paying $120.00 a week (1 week only thanks). Otherwise I have to pay $22.00 a day to go to shore for the tiny anchorage here. The mooring field is the lesser of two evils. Lots of boaters here, so it is a real festive atmosphere. Actually a lot of fun so far. All the rules in Florida have my skin constantly crawling. I won't be back. I did it once and that will be enough. The rules really take a lot of the fun out of something that is supposed to be based on freedom. I tried to go to the Everglades, just to see it, but I only lasted less than 12 hours. 38 pages of rules. I wanted to go to the Dry Tortugas but finally gave up on that idea (48 pages of rules) and the weather wouldn't cooperate.
Next season I will go somewhere where freedom still exists and I get to spend my $800.00 on fun things.
The weather has been great and the sailing has been good too. If it wasn't for officialdom, I would be having a great time. Florida was probably a great place twenty years ago.
Back to the Mooring Ball.