Saturday, March 5, 2011


Lorraine's Cafe is a tiny restaurant in Black Point catering to cruisers, a restaurant so small, you have to radio in a reservation if you want to eat dinner. If you go there, you will be served by Lorraine, who then goes in the back, cooks the food, and brings it out to you. You will meet her children and buy amazing coconut bread from her mom who bakes it in the house behind the restaurant where they all live.

The family has two computers, a printer and wifi for cruisers as an enticement to bring in business during their fleeting 3-month season when their only customers anchor in the cove near the government dock.

There's a note on the wall at Lorraine's politely asking cruisers to contribute $3 when they use the computers. The sign states that some boaters were using the facilities all day without even buying a soda.

It's a pitiful refrain along cruising grounds, small businesses trying to make a living; cruisers stealing from them. So many businesses have posted lists of rules, rules obviously a response to repeated inconsiderate action.

FREE WATER: FOR DRINKING ONLY, LIMIT 5 GALLONS (We actually saw a guy filling a 40-gallon, soft tank from the free water in Georgetown.)

Why do you think there are NO paper towels in any of the bathrooms in these remote spots? I couldn't bear to ask, because I'm sure I know the answer: cruisers steal them.

While most cruisers we've met are delightful and inspiring people, a community I'm pleased to call my own, this dirty underbelly makes me ashamed.

Come on, cruisers! I know you're trying to get the most out of your cruising dollar but that does not entitle you to steal from these sweet people who are our hosts, these people who have so few alternatives for making a living, a hardscrabble one at that.

I know some of you fancy yourself anarchists, but anarchy is abandoning government, a system, not your fellow humans. Decency calls upon us to treat each other with respect, even more so those who have less than we do.

Stop stealing.

Start giving.

It will come back to you, to all of us -- either way.

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