A bit of a political rant.
17 November 2013
Beware - This will probably not be a post that my liberal friends will want to read. It is all Roger as Chrisy has an aversion to conflict of any stripe. So my liberal friends might want to stop reading and wait for the next post.
Last Friday while we were entering Charleston from the ICW we were boarded by Homeland Security. They pulled alongside and "requested" permission to come aboard. What am I going to tell them "no?"
"Sure come on aboard. Can I get you a cup of coffee."
They proceeded to interrogate us about our documentation, life preservers, fire extinguishers, flares, do you have weapons onboard, where we had been, where we were going, had we been offshore, out of the country, etc. They called the documentation numbers in to "base" and then proceeded to ask a bunch of even more obnoxious questions. "So, are you retired. What did you do before you were retired?" Please don't try to make small talk with me while you are harassing me.
All the while Casey is barking his head off at them, and I'm making no effort to calm him down. Never been more proud of him.
What gives these people the authority to harass pleasure boaters who are coming out of the ICW? I could see if they had been tracking us on radar as we approached from offshore, our boot stripes were underwater, and we hadn't checked into Customs. Then they might assume that we were smuggling in tons of cocaine.
This is what we get when our government gets so bloated. They need to justify their existence by prowling around for pleasure boaters and harassing them with silly questions - making sure that we are compliant with all of the ridiculous regulations that have been enacted by legislators with nothing better to do than make rules that impair our freedoms.
I carry flares, fire extinguishers, and wear life preservers because it's the prudent thing for a mariner to do regardless of whether we're in the ICW or 100 miles offshore. I don't need some regulation mandating me.
After receiving confirmation that the Joneses are neither terrorists nor drug smugglers the officers mercifully left, but not before scuffing up the boat with two huge black marks from their taxpayer funded boots.
This was actually the second time this trip that we've been hassled by authorities. While we were in the dinghy tied to a dock in St. Michaels we were approached by Maryland state police. They were concerned that we didn't have our dinghy registration numbers displayed on the bow. I had the decal, but that only shows the decal number, not the registration number. In order to be fully compliant it must have the current decal showing that you have paid the fee, and the registration number. You also need to have life preservers on - mine was on the floor. Shame on me on two accounts. Our registration numbers are now on the bow.
Enough! Our government needs to find better things to do with the money that they don't have. Maybe they could spend some money dredging the ICW as - in addition to our little visit from Homeland Security - we also ran aground on Friday.
Ahhhh!! I feel so much better. Blogs are wonderful.