Hello Fellow Cruisers:
As many of you know, I flew down to Florida last week at my own expense, and appeared as an "expert" witness in a court hearing to determine whether the much discussed Marco Island anchorage regulations are inconsistent with Florida State Law. It was a VERY interesting 48 hours.
I discovered a handful of courageous cruisers who, with little support from anyone except Boat/US and the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net, have pushed this court case forward for many months. And, I also want to acknowledge the selfless sacrifice of attorney Donald Day who has undertaken ALL the legal work on behalf of the Marco Island cruisers WITHOUT ANY CHARGE WHATSOEVER. And, listen to this fellow cruisers, Mr. Day has already committed to taking this case to the Florida Appeals Court, if necessary, on the same without charge basis. The entire cruising community owes a HUGE debt of gratitude to the Ad Hoc Committee of the Sailing Association of Marco Island (SAMI) and Mr. Donald Day! Without their perseverance, it would be a much sadder day for any who want to anchor on Floridian waters.
As you can already tell from the above paragraph, I have become personally and emotionally involved. in this case. I now consider all the good cruisers on the Ad Hoc committee and Mr. Day to be friends. I have therefore provided all the voluminous facts about what happened in last week's court hearing, and what the court's implication for the future might be, to my SSECN partner, Eddie Jones. He has undertaken the gargantuan task of distilling all this data, thought and emotion into a readable story.* Eddie's account is now posted on the special "Marco Island Mess" page of the Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net. We urge ALL who are even thinking about a cruise on Floridian waters to read this important story without delay.
To check out Eddie's account, go to http://www.CruisersNet.net
, and then peruse the navigational buttons along the left side of our home page. Look for the "Marco Island Mess" link under the "Cruising News From" section. Click on this link, and you're off and running.
We actively solicit comments, and notes of support to the Marco Island cruisers who are giving so much of themselves to this fight. Please send your comments and notes of support to CruisingWriter @CruisersNet.net. We will pass on all messages received to the Ad Hoc SAMI committee.
And, just in case you need a little more incentive, here are two direct quotes from the courtroom testimony of one of the, what I will term, anit-cruising crowd, witnesses:
"Almost every time I leave the dock, I see boaters dumping garbage and sewage."
"There are a lot of crappy boaters out there."
Good luck and good cruising to all!
Claiborne S. Young