Wednesday, February 2, 2011


"Hey Lefty, I gots an idea for a job. We could heist a boat, hide it in Miguel bay, and strip it down at our leisure." I don't know about that Niney, remember when you blew off your finger trying to open that safe with dynamite? What do you know about driving a boat?" "I knows that they float, and it has a steering wheel. It's just like driving a car off road Lefty."

This is the end result, of a boat that was stolen from a local marina. The thief, or thieves had enough of a skill set to start the boat, and get it out of the marina, but apparently they were bereft of even the most basic navigational skills. The boat's aft end is pointed towards Tampa Bay, and......

The boats bow is pointed towards Eds Key. To say that Eds Key is a real piece of land, would be a misnomer. This part of Tampa Bay's shoreline consists primarily of mangroves, which abhor any land that is not continually drenched in salt water. Mangroves also require lots of mosquitoes, gnats, and spiders the size of sneakers to survive. 

I marked the chart (D'oh!) where the boat ended up. The Coast Guard had opined that they didn't believe the grounding was intentional, no doubt because they had to be moving at a good clip to get that far up on the grass flat. Obviously the helmsman "knew those waters like the back of his hand," and didn't need a chart.

For those who are not avid readers of paper charts, that light green area is a shoal, and in this case, it is a grass flat. Birds stand on grass flats, and your boat can only go into those places, once. All of those very low numbers are the water depths. There is very little water here, and as you can see from the pictures of the boat, especially where it found bottom. 

The good news was, as you can see, there was little chance of drowning, and since the perp, or perps were not around, we can all surmise they just walked to shore swatting mosquitoes as they went. That black line at the top of the chart curving up at the left side is the southern end, west side of the Sunshine Skyway bridge, and it is lit up like a Christmas tree at night. And a note to the perps, don't give up your day job, thinking you can make a living stealing boats, until you have taken some boating courses that include chart reading 101. Morons, just morons.

Many thanks to Alicia Sebacher who graciously allowed me to use her photographs.