Re: Miss Liberty vs the landlubbing haters!
My apologies if this is coming off as a rant, but as you read I hope you will recognize the intent with which it is written, I am seeking advice and perhaps help and trying to lay down a cautionary tale, there but the Grace of God kinda thing with all love of a mariner at heart. See, the fact that the anchor and chain were amongst the things stolen is tantamount, they set my girl adrift, and right when tropical storm Sandy was coming into her windup around here. I had been working in Clearwater Beach, thirteen miles to the south, half-camping ashore, only coming out every other weekend, in my 19 foot Cobia'grocery getter, an unfortunate victim at the dock during Sandy.The Pasco County Sherriff continued to call and harass me EXACTLY as he had before the storm, not giving any hint that there had been any change in her status, and I repeatedly told him she was anchored south of the Anclote River, which put her squarely in Pinellas County, and out of his jurisdiction anyways, and it wasn't until several weeks later that a Pinellas County Sheriff whom I know loosely passed word to the Clearwater Police Department's Marine Sergeant Officer Mark Cason whom I know rather well, professionally at least, he'd inspected Miss Liberty a couple times, and my favorite anchorage was less than a quarter mile from where the sheriffs and the PD both dock, that it was a situation, not just his usual illegal 'you can't anchor there' nonsense. I had lost two boats, actually, to Sandy, a 19 foot center console SeaSquirt as well as the Cobia, and had been busy scrambling to replace them, both of which had been disposed of properly, I might add, cut up and paid to drop at the dump, but because of which, I had not been able to go and check on Miss Liberty yet. Pasco County issued a notice (they say, I never saw it) to an address that was so old it had been torn down and is now a Walgreens, not the address on my ID or the ship's registration, which, when returned, became a warrant. I have a few friends in Clearwater, having been sort of the first long-term sailboat resident, and not easily, the official types were dead set against it, but at every inspection I was within the law or so close no offense was sufficient to net me more than a single 'anchor light' ticket (bulbs burn out, sometimes) which I think was even dismissed when I proved I fixed it before the next evening, and complain as they did, the local Condo owners finally grumbled and accepted that I lived here.