Jul 042013

And in this case, the reaction weren’t pretty.  Yesterday, once again I was perched on the porch of the old bait house, frittering my time away on the computater, when an interesting scene unfolded, very much different from when the nice couple puttered in the other day on their sailboat to get fuel.

As I was sitting there from around the corner came a man in a rather large oversized pick up truck towing an equally large fishing boat.  The boat was a typical blue water fisherman, nice cuddy cabin, two huge outboards on the back.  He pulled in rather quickly, indicating that he may have been slightly unhappy, pulled up, backed up the trailer and turned the whole train around, then proceeded to park over by the temporary bait house in such a way as to block off every other vehicle that was parked there.  He got out and trotted back to the boat.  At least three employees came up to him and said he could not park there.  In all three instances he began screaming at them in Spanish, waving his arms and growing distinctly angrier with each exchange.  He walked over to the fuel pumps, grabbed a nozzle, dragged it out to his boat, and began fueling up his tanks.  About this time the manager came out and explained that what he was doing was not allowed and he would not be able to do this again.  The man again, began screaming in a combination of Spanish and English, very common here, that he had been using this marina for years, bringing his family, spending money here, and now the ramp was closed and he wasn’t even allowed to get fuel.  He finished fueling up, paid his bill and tore off out of the marina.  A very unhappy man.

A couple things from this.  Firstly, I can understand his anger.  Not everyone knows that the ramp has been closed here in the marina.  And with the holiday today, and many people wanting to go out on the water to watch the fireworks from their boat, there is sure to be some major anger issues when they find they can’t launch from here.  (To further complicate matters, Labombard had the employees rope off over half of the parking lot yesterday.  This guy has to be a big laugh at parties).

In three weeks time, we will have the infamous Lobster Sportsman Season.  If you are unfamiliar, it is sort of like the opening of deer season, only wetter and with more gunfire.  During that week, every idiot in south Florida will be converging on the Keys with whatever floats to go out and find some lobsters.  Many of them will be coming here to launch out of this particular marina, and do not know yet that the ramp is closed.  It will be very ugly.  There are few ramps around here and the only other public ramp, out on US 1 is only capable of parking about 6 or so vehicles with trailers.  Other marinas will get swamped with boaters looking for a place to launch.

My guess is that Labombard, if he has any semblance of smarts left, will put up a guard or temporary gate during those two days and turn away anyone trying to come onto the property.  If not, he would be best to not be around for the fun.

I also feel sorry for the employees of the marina.  They are the ones who, thanks to the new owner, must deal with these angry people.  And they will be most angry.  The marina will lose a significant amount of revenue during this period by not allowing the ramp to be open.  Fuel, bait, ice and drink sales will fall.  Labombard don’t care.  But he will look at the numbers at the end of the month and demand to know why the employees didn’t do a better job.  It’s an old trick by management.  Set the standards too high, rig the game so nobody can meet them, fire somebody as an example to show everyone else who is boss.  It’s a losing situation for the worker bees.

So today, I am going to stay away from the ramp area and avoid the bait shop porch for a while.  Come Sportsman Season, load up the boat with supplies a few days before, and don’t leave for any reason unless I have too.

It’s not gonna be pretty.

Capt. Fritter

Happy 4th of July everyone.