Be careful when you pass through Haulover Channel, approx ICW mm 868. A very rude federal Fish & Wildlife officer was ticketing nearly every power vessel passing through the channel for manatee zone speed violations. He was even stopping sailboats & warning them. Two of us (the other boat was a power catamaran) were ticketed there today even though we were both running at dead idle-5 kts through the channel (there were several fishing boats & kayakers in the channel), but the F&W officer said we were still throwing too large a wake. Winds were over 20 kt. All the kayakers said we were not making a wake, but the idiot who was 200 yds away when he turned on his flashers to stop us would not interview them.
If we fight the ticket and lose, which requires a court appearance in Orlando, it becomes a felony conviction with up to 6 months in jail & $25,000 fine. If we just fold and pay the fine, they said it does not "go on our record". Isn't our government wonderful to us? Let's put more environmentalist wackos in public office.
Alice and Phil Priemer
Aboard M/V Wonderland
Got your message about Haulover Canal to late. But I was lucky — stopped but not ticketed and I was going VERY slowly. There was a patrol boat at both ends of the canal that were visible and also several small boats fishing. I could not believe that he stopped me.
Keep up the wonderful job.
Regarding the post re ticketing in the Haulover Canal, I hope you'll forward that to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. I doubt very much that it was a "federal Fish and Wildlife" officer as the post claims – I've never seen one of those around here. I also think it does a disservice to those who are concerned about the environment to refer to this obviously ill-trained and over zealous officer-of-the-law as an "environmental wacko" suggesting that action on the part of the officer has anything to do with environmental concerns, and I hope you'll support that idea on your web site in your comment to that posting.
That officer needs to go back to school or be fired, and the tickets he's issuing in the manatee zone should be reviewed the Fish and Wildlife.
Bob McLeran and Judy Young
Subject: Haulover Canal
Cruising News: Claiborne,
Please note that these are most often Federal Officers in the Haulover Canal due to it's prosimity to the Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore. The problem is that current flows through the canal and creates a wake if you are holding position. If they actually protected the Manatee it might be more paletable, but they just harrass most of the time.
Read the message below. Looks like the word got to the "powers that be" in Talahassee about how the law enforecement officer described above was acting.
Subject: Haulover Canal
Cruising News: Hi,
Chez Nous went through the canal on Thursday and a State Law Encorcement boat was politely instructing all boats to slow to a minimun due to 18 Manatees being
in the canal. We actually saw three and the boat behind us saw two. No tickets, just polite warnings.