Many unusual objects wash in with the tides on Delray Beach: a dirty sneaker, a mangled flip-flop, a bright-blue shampoo bottle. But last night, I noticed one that simply didn't belong: a small sailboat, careening on its side, looking like a forgotten bath toy. It was floating close to shore on the southern part of the public beach, near AIA and Casuarina Road, completely empty.
No one knew what to make of it. Passersby stopped to gape at the water rushing onto its deck and note the name Pegasus painted on its stern. Something yellow --a life vest? -- was hanging off the edge of the boat, suggesting desperation, a possible drowning.
But the Delray Police knew nothing about it. They referred me to the city's Ocean Rescue division. There, a woman named Jane was familiar with the little boat's plight.
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"It was just abandoned," she said. She didn't know who owned it. She said the division had gotten lots of calls about it but had no plans to move or destroy it. They'd never encountered a beach litter problem quite like this before.
"I think that the owner just felt that it was too expensive to have it towed," Jane said.
And that was perhaps the saddest news of all. Times are so tough that people are just letting their boats become beached whales? Welcome to the New Depression.