Nov 022014

I ran into a former neighbor from that “other place” where I used to exist, because calling it living there would be a stretch.  I asked how things were going and much to my surprise, it’s gotten worse.  Just kidding….I wasn’t surprised.  In fact, it’s going about the way I thought it would.

Seems he who shall not be named has begun buying up the boat slips.  He currently owns 10 of them while his evil spawn has grabbed 2 more.   It won’t be much longer before he will have a controlling interest in the homeowners association, and with the backing of all the ass kissers he has in his pocket, he will be able to dictate any and all rules for the marina.  Which means if you are living on your boat there, you are about to be homeless.

What will be real interesting is what will happen to those who own their own slips and live there.  How will they react when they find that they can no longer live on their property?  Imagine that for a moment.  Suppose you buy a home, a real house on land, pay the mortgage, the taxes, keep it up, live on the property, get all settled in, and suddenly, your neighbor comes over and says, “Sorry, we changed the rules.  You can no longer live in your house”.  That is what is happening over there at what was once, a nice little marina.

No doubts a few people will attempt to take the HOA to court, but there is way too much money behind all this bullshit and they will lose.  At some point, HWSNBN will come a knocking and make them the proverbial offer they can’t refuse.  Sell to him, at a substantially lower price, or deal with the changes.  But no living on boats.

My old next door neighbor, the idiot with the wife who hated me, will be forced out of business.  He owns his slip, lives on his boat, and operates dive charters with it.  He also rents 2 other slips where he keeps boats that he rents out on a nightly basis.  He will probably still be able to run the charters, but he won’t be able to live there and rent out the other spots.  Life for him is about to take a very large downturn.

As for the marina itself, apparently some of the docks have rotted enough to actually break up and fall into the water.  The marina has closed down the one boat storage barn and is selling the racks.  Demolition will begin soon and construction of the new condos will start.  Also construction of the new bathhouse will begin.  It’s going to be a noisy, dirty place to be around for a long time over there.  But, when it’s all done, HWSNBN will have his little resort that he so desperately wanted.  A gated, over priced, ugly wart of a marina complex catering to the wealthy.  He’ll make money off the venture.  Those that he promised would make money, will find out just how much of a conniving thief and liar this man is.  It’s the way of the rich.  Lie, cheat, and steal your way to riches.  And it was all done legal and above board.

While I am out of the bullshit from over there, I have to constantly remind my self that the owners of the current marina where I live are in cahoots with HWSNBN.  They are all friends up there on rich asshole mountain, and no doubt, as they gaze below at us minions, they scheme and plan on how to take more from us, and remove us from this fair island altogether.

Right now, personal finances aside, things are calm and serene here at the marina.  But next year will see some changes.  The marina is currently putting in the pipe on each dock for pumpout stations.  This is a good thing.  We will be able to pumpout right from our dock and pay the marina a substantially lower price for said pumpout instead of throwing $25 to a guy who won’t show up if the wind is blowing harder than 10 knots.

The marina is going to build new bathrooms and a laundry and locate them downstairs from where the current facilities are.  This will be nice as we won’t have to climb stairs to get there.  But, I remember the $100 a month fee at the, “other place” with the damn cards and all.  Will that happen here too?

The condo association has filed the first permits to begin construction of 71 more units in the back corner of the property.  If you buy one of these you will have a first class view of the jail and homeless shelter next door.  But anyways, when construction begins, look for about 2 years of noise, dirt, and congestion.

To me, all this adds up to one thing.  It’s going to get more expensive to live here, and there will be more restrictions.  I have no doubts that my time in this marina will be limited.  Which leads back to making some sort of decision soon.

It’s going on 7 years now since I have moved to the Keys.  Out of those 7 years, I have lived on a boat for all but 1.  Three boats to be exact.  And in 4 different marinas and one RV park.  Of all the marinas I have lived in, only this current one where I reside has been worth living in.  The others were nothing but a litany of bullshit, nasty neighbors, poor facilities, and a management staff more suited to running a wallymart rather than a marina.  Of the three boats I have owned, only the one I am on now is sea worthy, up to a point.  In all that time, I have been actually out running one of said boats, namely this one, once.  One time, and that was to move to this marina.

I envisioned living on a boat as a simpler way of life.  Somewhat mobile, and laid back.  And to an extent it has been.  But, boat living has also been stressful, more expensive than I had planned, and not near as much fun as I envisioned.  That is not to say I am ready to give up and go back to land living, but I am reconsidering the whole thing.

I can sell this boat right now, or at least I think I can, and rent out the sport fisherman at the other end of the dock this month if I want.  $850 a month.  Includes hi speed internet.  It’s a nice boat inside with a full galley, room for the cats, and a working toilet.  It would be a step up from what I have now without all the worry about repairs.  It would be an open ended lease so I could leave at anytime.  But, and there are always buts, the owner has the boat up for sale.  At anytime he could sell it and I would have to get out.  That could leave me homeless with no alternatives.  And I am not prepared for that, at least not quite yet.

There is also the very real possibility that my finances will not improve over the winter.  Selling the sailboat, assuming I get the price, will fund me through January.  I am starting to make a half decent income through Amazon Turk, (people are making some real money at this I found out), but I still need to get some more coming in.  Spring could come leaving me high and dry, unable to cover expenses, and no assets to sell.  So I am unsure about what to do.  Sell the boat.  Keep the boat.  Fix it up.

I guess I am tired right now.  The last year and a half took all the fight out of me.  The stress of dealing with the, “other place”, financial strains, the bike wrecks last winter.  I’m tired.  I spent the last three years learnin’ myself all this app coding stuff and haven’t made shit off of it.  It’s exactly the kind of work I have been looking for lo these many years, and now I can’t seem to market it out.

I may have to make a decision whether to sell the boat or not soon, possibly in a week or two.  If I can swing enough income to keep things afloat, I will probably just stay put in the Spirit.  At least with owning this boat I maintain some control over my circumstances.  As long as things don’t change drastically here at the marina I will be ok.  But changes, as always are in the wind.  I just need to be more better prepared for them.

Capt. Fritter


  6 Responses to “Living Aboard: Big Surprise…”

  1. oh capt.
    it seems like you’ve lived between a rock and a hard spot ever since you’ve been there.
    if you lived somewhere else not so expensive… you wouldn’t have to worry about money. you live on practically nothing as it is. actually… you could write an ebook just about that alone! it’s amazing and admirable.
    it’s the locale that’s the problem. it’s like palm springs or malibu. it’s not for the average joe with average funds.
    as you said yourself… it’s fast becoming a rich man’s domain. and it will only gain momentum now.
    if you did some research on other places and then sold the spirit… you might be able to move there before you got down to zero! it might not be the keys. but there are so many places that are beautiful along the sea. surely there’s one you’d like.
    only just a thought. but then… you’re the man in charge of it all. and it’s your own business. you’ll figure it out. you always do.
    good luck capt.

    • I cannot stress this point enough. Key West is not the problem. The location is not the problem. The only thing Key West does not have is affordable housing. I’ll work around it. Beyond that, it is just as affordable to live here as anyplace else. If I were to move back north to someplace like Orlando or Ft. Myers, any savings I had over cost of housing would be quickly be eaten up by the fact that I would need a vehicle to get around. Not to mention I’d be living back up north, where I do not want to live and will not consider living. Not happening. I sink or swim in the islands. Be it Key West, or a certain island in the Pacific that I am learning more about every week.
      No matter how things go here, I stay. It can be Marathon in a pinch, or the lower Keys, but I stay. I cannot explain to those of you who have never lived anywhere but the mainland. Living on an island, even though it is connected to the mainland by a highway, is exactly what I have been striving for these 60 years I’ve been on this planet. There is something special that I cannot adequately express about living on an island or on the water. The setbacks I have been having are no different than what I put up with on the mainland. The difference is, I am where I want to be and other than the eventual move to Maui, this is where I will stay. HWSNBN may be able to push us around, but he will never get rid of us. We are sort of the venereal disease he can’t get rid of. He can scratch all he wants, but we will keep coming back.
      Leave the islands you say? Blasphemy!
      C. F.
      I did write a book, remember?

  2. wow.
    i stand corrected.
    and yes.
    i remember your book.

    • Apparently you are the only one who remembers it. Sales have certainly dropped off.
      C. F.

    • Didn’t mean to jump on your comment but it seems every time I run into a dry spell down here the first “solution” I get is to leave Key West. Considering I spent a lifetime getting here I’m not about to give up now.
      Guess I get tired of hearing it so don’t take it personal or nothing.
      This island is the closest thing I’ve had to someplace I can call home in my entire life. Key West is very important to me. It’s been a part of me ever since I first visited. Even if I do wind up in Maui, Key West will be home. It has its faults. Everyplace does. But I knew what I was getting into when I came here, good and bad.
      Despite the bad, it’s where I want to be. If and when I leave, it will be under my own terms and my decision. Unless the oceans rise and swallow the whole damn rock. Then I’m totally out of here.
      C. F.

  3. For what it’s worth… I knew a guy who annually vacationed in Maui. He greatly enjoyed the temporary island life and decided to become a permanent resident.

    According to him, the locals loved him or his money as a tourist, but hated him as a resident. He left after a year of constant harassment. Maybe he was the problem,.. I don’t know.

    It’s no wonder that you’re frustrated. You had what appeared to be a solid plan with the app coding, and for whatever reason it hasn’t generated sufficient income.

    Keep working Amazon Turk and maybe you’ll reach 50 bucks per day — enough to keep you afloat until you can formulate another plan. Wish I had an answer… JG

    PS: You’re lucky that good natured Tammy didn’t rip you a new asshole! You know how she has a way with words. Just a little humor during rough times.