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Courtesy is lacking at boat ramps

February 18, 2012
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Pulling into Matlacha Community Park to launch my boat I had to get in line.

The line was caused by one couple parked directly in the ramp casually unloading their boating contents into their car completely oblivious to the four vehicles waiting to launch.

Please don't be these people - simple ignorance of ramp etiquette, lack of common sense, or plain old simple rudeness, take your pick.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

If you are not familiar let's discuss it. Never actually pull onto the ramp until you are completely ready to launch. The ramp is not a staging area to unload or load the boat. All loading, maintenance, sandwich making, bathroom breaks, and mindless cell phone chatter should be finished before pulling onto the ramp.

It would seem common sense would rule the day, but that's surely a scarce commodity these days.

The next day, the launch ramp was covered in kayak folks gathering their items and slowly walking them back to their car while boats waited in line to launch. Laughing and happy, they enjoyed themselves without a care to the precious moments they were wasting for other boaters waiting to launch. The park (taxpayers) just spent thousands of dollars to construct a kayak launch just for 'yaks.

In the interest of the boating public that supports the park with the $10 launch fee and taxes, it would be a good idea for the park director to spend a few more taxpayer dollars to put up a sign directing folks to the proper launch area instead of allowing mass confusion to reign in an already overcrowded resource.

A simple "Boat Launching Only" sign would stop so many problems. Let's finish the job right and get some signs up to help serve the boating public that pays the park's bills and salaries.

Rude and uninformed people at any venue always are a problem. It's part of the human condition, but the main issue is the lack of ramps in the area. This problem will persist as long as the boating public allows it to persist. A boating public brings huge wealth to the state and provides thousands of jobs. A boating public is held hostage by a minority of organized environmental zealots that see all motorized watercraft as a deadly threat. Until the majority of the boating community gets off their collective backsides and gets involved it will continue and become worse in the future.

Many, many folks don't realize that the anti-fishing, hunting, boating crowd both in and outside our current administration is very well funded and organized, working tirelessly to strip you of your outdoor and firearm ownership rights, 24/7/365.

If you don't believe me then spend the time to research each of President Obama's hand-picked czars, find out who these people are that are above the law, but paid by you, the taxpayer, what they really stand for and advocate. As a boater, angler, hunter, or gun owner to protect your family, all should be very, very outraged.

Boaters beware! Gas prices are on the rise again. Doesn't it seem strange that the US has more oil, gas, and total energy reserves than all the Middle East combined, yet we remain hostage to these folks who typically resent and hate us?

It's hard to think our government is on our side when the president's hand-picked energy czar was caught on film stating, "What America needs is $5-a-gallon gas."

Between that and the government's ethanol taxpayer ripoff, boat ramp problems will be a moot point as the average hard working angler won't be able to afford to go fishing in the near future.

Do what you can by waxing that hull at least twice a year to reduce energy robbing drag. Also, slow your speed a bit and please don't forget to vote.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.



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