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Airboats—An Abomination

I spent the weekend at Cedar Key, Florida, a village on the Gulf of Mexico. The business district, such as it is, faces the Gulf. The back side of Cedar Key overlooks numerous bayous. That’s where I was—high up on a house of stilts, enjoying the tides going in an out, watching gulls swoop down to catch fish, and listening to the wind blow.

Ah, peace.
Until the waterboats started. These fimgreslat-bottom motorboats are built to negotiate the shallow waters of bayous and marshes. They can do this because they use an above-board airplane propeller rather than a standard outboard motor. The propeller is driven by a powerful engine with no mufflers. Air boats are deafening. The noise is an abomination. As the motors roar across the water, the sound carries for miles. Birds scatter. The sound is enough to blight your weekend.

Have these people never heard of noise pollution? Is anybody doing anything?

Doing Nothing

bayouI am in an Alice-in-Wonderland B&B at Cedar Key, Florida, in a private guest room —an aerie, really. The home is built on stilts at the water’s edge overlooking a bayou. I’m getting hungry but don’t want to move from my chair on the porch.

Why is it hard to sit here and do nothing? The view over the bayou is calm, serene. White birds fly over the water. Silk-screen scarves flutter on the porch rail in front of me—blue, green, yellow, red, orange—all the primary colors. Only cars in the distance break the silence. A cool breeze blows across my body. The sky is a perfect blue, with no clouds in sight. The tide is out, uncovering islets of shell mounds and naked bayou floor. Emma, my dog, is sleeping on a bunched up down cover, settled in a warm, soft place. She snores now and then.

I don’t want to leave, but this inactivity makes me restless. I’ll wait until Emma stirs and I’ll chew nicotine gum until I can’t deny my hungry stomach any longer. Then I’ll put her service dog harness on and we’ll look for a restaurant.emma-ck