May 052018

I’ve been wanting to get my Bennington pontoon boat back out on the water at least one more time before it gets too hot, and yesterday was the perfect day for it. The temperature was around 80° and we had lots of blue sky and sunshine. With temperatures in the 90s forecast soon and a lot of rain coming our way this weekend, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity while we had it.

Our friend Jim Lewis joined us, and once we launched the boat we made our way upriver, just enjoying watching the world pass us by. Or I guess maybe we were passing the world by. I’m not sure which way it was.

There are some beautiful homes along the river but I wouldn’t want to have to pay the property taxes on them. This one could be yours for just $1.4 million.

There were a lot of other boats out on the water. Everything from small one or two person flat bottom fishing boats that are great to get in the shallow waters of Mosquito Lagoon, like this one…

All the way up to powered yachts like this that you could easily live aboard.

I’d be afraid to live on a boat. What if I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and made a wrong turn somewhere and fell overboard? Then what happens? As long as I’m there, do I pee in the water? Or do I wait until Miss Terry rescues me and I get back on board? Would Miss Terry even bother to rescue me? And forget the pee thing. If I fell off a boat in the middle of the night, I think I might do something besides pee.

If powered boats aren’t your thing, how about a sailboat? There was a good breeze blowing and this one was moving right along.

Unfortunately, we also saw three or four wrecks. Boats that went aground during Hurricanes Matthew or Irma and then were abandoned by their owners. Abandoned boats are a real problem in Florida waters and nobody seems to know what to do with them because there are a bunch of legalities involved. Salvage law says that anybody can claim an abandoned boat, however, then you are responsible for any ecological damage that it might have caused due to leaking fuel or waste tanks. And that can run into some very serious money. So instead, they just sit there, slowly deteriorating.

We took our fishing poles along, hoping we could entice something to bite, but no such luck. But as you can see, Miss Terry had hers handy, just in case.

We went several miles upriver to New Smyrna Beach and anchored near the North Causeway, spending some time fishing, but it just wasn’t happening. Jim keeps insisting that fish only bite in the morning, but I know that’s not true because I’ve caught lots of fish in the afternoon, evening, and at night. Think about it – I don’t do much of anything all day long, and I’m hungry morning, noon, and night. Fish spend all of their time swimming, and that really works up an appetite. So it just stands to reason that they are hungry all the time, too, right?

Here is a picture Terry took of Jim and I debating things like fish feeding time and who should pick up the tab for dinner that night, since it didn’t look like we would be eating fresh fish.

We were out for a little over three hours, and it wasn’t enough time. When you’re having fun on the water, there’s never enough time. But the tide was starting to go out and the water can get very shallow around here. We wanted to get the boat back on the trailer before we got stuck someplace and had to wait for high tide, which occurred sometime in the middle of the night.

Since the weather isn’t going to be too conducive to anything fun for the next couple of days, I plan to get a lot of writing done, and a couple of projects here at the house taken care of. I will tell you about them once they are behind me.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel by my friend Suzie O’Connell. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “Little Boats, Big Boats, And Beached Boats”

  1. Claiming Abandoned Vessels
    In the State of Florida there are no “Vessel Salvage Rights”. In order to claim title to an abandoned vessel, you must follow the Statutes for Found Property. 705.102 FS requires a person to report found property to Law Enforcement. After this has been done, you may begin the process of claiming found property.

    Now if you’ve read that part keep in mind if you set foot on that boat/ vessel with out a direct clear title ,,it is considered a felony subject to prosecution

  2. I also forgot, if you do have a direct clear title. you are subject to prosecution for any state violation hazardous waste failure to remove/disposal disposal cost if a contractor removes it

    As much as the state would like to remove abandon vessel , it’s all boils down to about $5 to $12,000 per vessel to the state/ County ,, One has to remember the state has to go through the same claiming procedure just to remove the boat vessel my understanding the state and the county split that bill for the removal of a derelict vessel

  3. So my husband got this idea to salvage a 28 foot cabin cruiser that washed up in the mangroves near us after Hurricane Matthew. It will be fun, he told me. It will be a great project, he told me. We’ll get a boat for free, he told me. Yeah, right!

    Fortunately his brother – the smart one in the family- is an attorney. He tied an anchor around my husband’s neck to hold him in place while he researched all that was involved. It turned out that that “free” boat would cost us over $20K BEFORE we were ever legally allowed to set foot on it to see what kind of repairs it needed. I told husband if he went forward with the plan I was going to drop him off the dock with that anchor still tied around his neck.

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