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    • Portsmouth, VA City Government Not In Tune With Cruisers

      Mile Marker 0 is a full-service marine supply business at One High Street Landing in Portsmouth VAThe note below has been sent to the SSECN from Captain Bob McBride, owner of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Mile Marker 0 Marine Supplies, located in Portsmouth, Virginia. As you will read, the situation along this community waterfront will provoke a lot of head scratching within the cruising community.
      Apparently, the city has put up signs along the waterfront (see below), which seem to ban overnight docking. Captain Bob reports that these regulations are NOT being enforced, but this situation has still had a serious effect on his business, as well as any number of other firms operating near the downtown waterfront. You know, sometimes I truly believe that if anyone is elected to public office, they must sign a pledge to abandon ALL common sense.
      Anyway, WE URGE THE CRUISING COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT CAPTAIN BOB, MILE MARKER 0 MARINE SUPPLY, AND ALL THE OTHER MERCHANTS IN DOWNTOWN PORTSMOUTH! These new, apparently unenforced, regulations are NOT their idea, and, in fact, they are fighting them tooth and nail. So stop by, talk with Captain Bob, and express your support (and give him some business)!

      Many boaters heading south have enjoyed over the years a friendly stay at the Portsmouth landings. The city has put up signs saying `NO DOCKING from 12:00 to 6:00 am. Many boaters are afraid of the possible consequences should they tie up and spend the night. The city is not enforcing it but the boaters are not taking any chances.The other week we had a successful Trawler rendezvous and over 60+ boats were at Tidewater Yacht for a week. We hosted a cocktail party for the trawlers assoc. and had over 100 people in our store and they are still talking about the great time they had and the fellowship.They confronted the mayor the day he addressed the group and encouraged him to take down the signs.His response was not positive but that of a politician up for re-election in November. I had a meeting with him the next day,and asked that the city change their perception and direction, his answer was the same,as when he spoke to the Trawlers.I told him the word was travelling fast through the boating community not to stop in Portsmouth Va.If something was not done and soon we would lose a tremendous amount of business from a great group of travelers.
      I appreciate all that you do.
      Bob McBride

      This is one of our favorite stops and MM 0 is a great stop. Bob McBride is outstanding and Portsmouth is a great town. We have stopped here many times. We wrote the mayor and all the council-folks an email asking them to reconsider. Google Portsmouth and you get a link to do the same.
      John Winter

      I would highly encourage boaters to stop by the southern- most Portsmouth marine basin to visit Captain Bob at Mile Marker Zero Marine Supply. We stayed during the hot weather in July and Captain Bob welcomed everyone into the refreshing air conditioning of his shop to do Internet or just sit and talk about boating. His hospitality is legendary among those cruisers who stay in the basin. We stayed for a while with a group of British sailboats and had an incredible time. Downtown Portsmouth has wonderful restaurants and a great historical area, and Captain Bob is known to invited boaters back to his house for a dip in the pool and a barbeque. Again, if you are going to stop anywhere on the ICW, make sure to stop in Portsmouth and say hi to Captain Bob at Mile Marker 0.
      Walter Conner

      We were rousted out of the basin by a cop 4-5 years ago. He said that overnights weren’t not allowed. Fortunately, he kicked us out at 8 AM, after we had a good nights sleep and just tas we were leaving anyhow.
      Since then I’ve heard of many others who stayed there without incident.
      Dick Mills

      We really enjoyed our stop at Portsmouth. Had coffee at the Kiosk, bought some needed marine stuff from Capt. Bob, and enjoyed dinner and a movie at the theater just up the street.
      To whom could we send a note to let the `city fathers’ know we cruisers want to continue to enjoy their waterfront without worrying about being told to leave on short notice.
      Judy&GeneKoetitz aboard Lo Que Se A

      We always stop in Portsmouth on our way north and south in Spring and Fall. Sorry to hear about politics putting a stop to our visits but that is what will happen.
      Jim Angel

      The Trawler Association that Capt Bob Hosted at his business was the MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Assoc) while they conducted their Northern Rendezvous 2012 in Portsmouth. Mile Marker Zero Marine Supplies hosted a very nice party for MTOA and we sincerely appreciate his hospitality and the good food.
      Salute to Capt Bob @ Mile Marker Zero Marine Supplies
      Capt. Bob Kovach

      After featuring the above article in our 10/5/12 SSECN Alert, many cruisers e-mailed and asked for names and e-mail addresses of Portsmouth, VA city government leaders, so they could send their thoughts to these officials. We asked Captain McBride to pass along this info, and he has responded:

      We need to let the mayor know as well as the other council members. This is an election year for the council and the mayor does have opposition. Mariners can go on the city web site and get their e-mail address.The web site is http://www.portsmouth.gov
      Thank you for helping us, as it is really a matter of existence since many of the mariners stop outside the landing and use their binoculars to check out the signs, and then they continue on their way.I even have a photo of a Portsmouth police officer assisting a boater to tie up and our landing. He told the boater that they were not enforcing the signs and that they would be coming down soon.
      the question is if that so why are they dragging their anchor.
      Thank You
      Bob McBride

      I got a nice reply from the mayor of Portsmith just now. It was very nice and he said that `Perhaps we are missing out on the best way to do this.’ and stated that the city should talk with local marinas to see what can be done. I gave him Capt’n Bob’s website, phone #, etc. and thanked him. I cc:d the commissioners.
      John Winter

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