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  #1  
Old 07-16-2007
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how's the water gestapo these days?

After almost 8 years of Caribbean cruising, we are planning a trip back to Florida.
Wondering what the situation is these days along that coast, with respect to cruiser-harassment by the vairous boating cops?

I guess I am asking, has it gotten worse, or is it about the same as say, ten years ago, or has it gotten better?

Frank, Distant Drummer
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Old 07-16-2007
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A lot depends on the reaction they get from boaters. I have a couple of friends that are up and down the coast a lot. One is rarely stopped and almost never boarded while the other is stopped and boarded quite often. They are both middle age white guys; one scowls a lot and the other smiles and waves and is very respectful if stopped.
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Old 07-16-2007
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They've gotten pretty strict in Florida....to the point where the Feds have had to step in and say that enough is enough.
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Old 07-17-2007
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Florida is fairly strict - esp since 911. I have seen a customs boat sit in the entrance to Ft Myers Beach - never saw that pre 911.

Still, I welcome them and welcome what they do. I do not feel they are the gestapo, as you put it. Those guys are there to protect us, put their butts on the line, and for a pay check I would scoff at.

I have had the occasional jerk - but by-golly when they come aboard I am happy to provide anything they want and will offer them a coke while they look and tell them, "Thank you for what you do" when they leave.

But that is just my thoughts.

- CD
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Old 07-17-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
Florida is fairly strict - esp since 911. I have seen a customs boat sit in the entrance to Ft Myers Beach - never saw that pre 911.

Still, I welcome them and welcome what they do. I do not feel they are the gestapo, as you put it. Those guys are there to protect us, put their butts on the line, and for a pay check I would scoff at.

I have had the occasional jerk - but by-golly when they come aboard I am happy to provide anything they want and will offer them a coke while they look and tell them, "Thank you for what you do" when they leave.

But that is just my thoughts.

- CD
I have a lot of respect and appreciation for cops on land but I do not in anyway feel bad for the cops who cruise around on the water all day while getting paid for it - no matter how little. These guys got it easy. And I am not directing this at the coast guard or people who help out far at sea - this is more directed at the "water police" who spend 99% of their time bothering recreational boaters out for the weeked and maybe 1% of their time actually doing something worth while.

This is how it is up by me anyway. I assume it could only be worse down around florida
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Old 07-17-2007
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Just came through Florida on the way north, and had no problems with the local cops. Had a few 'flyby's, but no one stopped. We didn't try to anchor in Ft Lauderdale, but were on the hook for 5 days in Ft Pierce near the CG station waiting for weather, and 10 days in the St Augustine anchorage.

Guess we just don't fit the profile.
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Old 07-17-2007
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Just a bit of context, gentlemen, so that you understand what I mean by water gestapo.
Almost all my experience with the Coast Guard is ok, no complaint.
But when a Ft. Lauderdale City cop (!!!) rousted me of of the sack at 2 am, with siren and bullhorn anf flashing lights, shouting at me that I was illegally anchored, (about a halfmile off the beach, just north of the Port Everglades inlet) and threatened me with immediate arrest when I told him , he has no jurisdiction out here, and broadly hinted your boat mmight just disappear inthe process, well, I have no respect for jerks such as this. I had just as bad an experience down in Biscayne Bay, one day with a
Miami city cop.
Respect for law enforcement ? yep, of course. None for the crooked cops, though. I have read of a woman getting arrested, fingerprinted and booked, for violating a local anti anchoring statute in Riviera Beach, I have heard of other outrageous behaviour on the water by some of these people.

Just keep in mind that the typical bully thrives on bullying. And the more you sessir, officer him the more outrageous he gets.
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DD,

I have had interactions with all of the above... however, my comments were aimed at the USCG, whom I have a lot of respect for.

However, I have not been bullied like you have and can understand a sense of apprehension.

- CD
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Are there any FL natives that can enlighten us on this? Maybe we need to pull on Jebs dick and get this problem fixed....
I love FL and want to live there one day (soon), but will absolutely not tolerate any of this crap. I can so fark-over these people with what I know.
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USCG-

You might want to read this article, which talks about Marco Island's restrictive anchoring law, which is described in the article as:

Quote:
The ordinance states that a vessel cannot anchor within 300 feet of any shoreline, seawall, bridge, dock or man-made structure for longer than 12 consecutive hours.

Another regulation of the ordinance is that a vessel cannot anchor more than three days in the island’s waterways without proof that the boat has been pumped out.
IMHO, the 300' restriction makes it really tough to dinghy in, especially if you don't have a egg-beater on the back of the dink.
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