Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Deja vu all over again

I came across this article in the New York Times today -- Boats Too Costly to Keep Are Littering Coastlines -- and it reminded me of a case from years ago.
Boat owners are abandoning ship.

They often sandpaper over the names and file off the registry numbers, doing their best to render the boats, and themselves, untraceable. Then they casually ditch the vessels in the middle of busy harbors, beach them at low tide on the banks of creeks or occasionally scuttle them outright.

The bad economy is creating a flotilla of forsaken boats. While there is no national census of abandoned boats, officials in coastal states are worried the problem will only grow worse as unemployment and financial stress continue to rise.
David Streitfeld goes on to tell the story of Brian A. Lewis of Seattle who scuttled his boat by drilling a hole in the hull and then letting it sink in the middle of Puget Sound.

Reminded me of a case run in Manistee in the early part of the SAR season in 1989. One one of the first days after they'd dropped the boat in the water, there was a Mayday call half a dozen miles south of the breakwater. As the UTB bounced along under dark skies, the radar revealed a boat which was about six miles south and heading south matching the UTB's speed. The crew arrived near the reported position and found a man, in an immersion suit, waiting to be rescued.

While the folks in Seattle are environmental nuts, the good folk of Michigan are supporters of the law. Had the boat sunk a mere half a mile off shore, it would have been resting in waters too deep to effect a salvage. As it was, the boat was in fairly shallow water. When she was pulled from the bottom, investigators discovered that all the electronics had been removed from the boat... along with anything else of value.

You'd think people would figure out the need to scuttle boats in really deep water...

Meantime, I'm wondering about the moron who went in the water to wait for rescue by the crew of Station Manistee.

It'll make you want to join

Spotlight on Leadership: See the posts, live the dream

I've started a series of posts over at an unofficial blog. You can catch the posts up, up to now, here. Stop on by.

Monday, March 30, 2009

This feels good...

You might know that I sold an unofficial blog... for a cup of coffee. Today, SIGNO 3 asked me, "Why?"

I think I replied that it was too much of a headache.

And, yet, that's not the complete truth because the complete truth is more complicated than a simple explanation; life can't be summed up in a word or two, and neither can a decision to sell out.

One reason the site's been a headache is the pseudonymous and anonymous crowd which hovers around to make comments. While hiding behind dark shadows. Without committing to stand by their own words, without standing up to be counted. When I allowed other permanent contributors, I started to give up the site, to sent it out on its own into the world. And I just didn't feel like dealing with the pseudonymous commenters. Here, I'll be the only blogger, and I'll deal with commenters with a ruthless severity not seen since the Russo-Japanese conflict of the last century (okay, I'm stretching in any number of ways here, but you get the idea). This is my game, my rules.

Second, to create something of worth, at least in the blogosphere, it's necessary to produce posts -- thus words -- every day. When there was nothing new posted, I felt like I was letting the readers down. You, dear reader here at another unofficial blog, will have no promise, be it stated or not. No, my promise here on this blog is simple: I promise nothing. I may post frequently or infrequently; this might even be the very last post. No promises. Expect nothing.

Admirals; they tell me I'm wrong...

Back in January, I pondered a bit and and then challenged the flag corps. I laid down the gauntlet, perhaps. Well, today the challenge was accepted.

Following a meeting today with SIGNO 3, wherein we discussed blogging in an official capacity, he asked me to stick around to chat.

I felt a keel hauling coming on, but, as usual, it was neither something so picturesque or important. No, he'd read my comment, and wanted to assure me that he knew of no targeting, whether official or unofficial.

That's good to know, but I'd pretty much already figured out what the pseudonymous source was talking about, because I've spoken to folks from 092 and I've seen the watch list.

Short answer: Yes, the agency is watching me. They're watching the entire blogosphere, and the rest of the Internet to boot, maintaining situational awareness. It's not for evil, and I think I've got almost an inside handle on this one.

You can get a clue about the future of this watch list program here and here. This isn't paranoia on anyone's part; this is merely maintaining a full situational awareness.

Perhaps they'll even find this blog. I've gone and turned the feeds on, along with the ping; these changes will make it a little easier to find.

Now, about that other situation, the one about the mysterious billet move...