Way back about 16 months ago, an angry girl named Irma descended on this area with a wild, untamed demeanor that swept away homes, trees…and boats. Some boats are “anchored” in their new residences, the backwaters and mangrove islands that surround our area, blown from their tethers to ride the wind and waves like surfers until finally settling into shallow new dockage.
Most boats are unfound and unclaimed and continue to bear the brunt of the weather in abandoned decay. Occasionally, an owner “owns up” to the boat’s ownership and goes through proper channels to remove the eyesore from the pristine waters where it was stranded. This can be a long and expensive process, involving several agencies and permitting.
Several months ago, I took photos of some of the nearby abandoned wreckage via kayak. An osprey built a nest on the top of the cabin, but it seemed deserted. Maybe the bird decided, after all that hard work, that the view wasn’t the best, much too low. And there was the steady procession of cars ka-thumping over the Goodland Bridge that could have been a deterrent.
To my surprise, one of the boats was removed over the last few days via a complex system of barge, crane and dedicated workers who took care to corral any debris with yellow floating dam material. And don’t you know, it was during some of the coldest, windy weather we’ve had – that figures, right? But Kelly Brothers knew what they were doing and lifted the boat onto their barge which is now parked on the north side of the Jolley Bridge. I keep wondering where it goes from here. To the dump where it will RIP (rot in pieces), trading one decay site for another?
Amazing was the power of nature to reclaim the boat as territory for plant and sea life. Seeds blown in had started to sprout; barnacles, algae, corals and seaweed gained a foothold; crabs and other small creatures found nooks and crannies to inhabit as more food sources moved in, including the nudibranch or sea slug. Now that the boat is out of the water, their habitat has dried up, the waters will return to their pristine beauty and work can continue to remove the other dangerous sunken vessels and eyesores from view.