Well, I never thought I would say we had the most horrible four days at the beach — particularly at our wonderful Ocean City getaway!
We have had our condo for the past 13 years in Ocean City, and have been visitors since our childhood vacations. Never have we experienced the likes of H2Oi. Inconsiderate, arrogant, disrespectful, violent and vulgar are only a few of the descriptions for this group.
To begin with, we could not open our windows or sliding doors due to the self-made shotgun-sound pops and roars from their vehicles, thereby eliminating the beautiful and soothing sounds of the ebb and flow of the ocean surf.
We could not enjoy our travels as we rode through the city roads due to the deafening noises of the vehicles all around us. We could not enjoy the views of the city as we rode due to the messages on their vehicles, such as “F—- YOU,” EAT S—T,” or “GAS OR A—” (whatever that means!)”
Happily, we had no young children in the car to try and explain what these things meant. We could not enjoy our view from our condo when we looked out the windows or sliding doors and observed H2Oi participants urinating on or throwing trash from their cars on our other buildings’ parking lots.
We did not appreciate H2Oi participants entering our private property to use our water and hose facilities to wash their cars without asking permission.
While we residents in north Ocean City could certainly have had more police presence as these loud speeders/racers tore up and down the road, endangering the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians, and violating all other kinds of law, it is understandable why they were not in our vicinity very often.
To their credit, when our residents called the police at least twice, they arrived quickly and took us seriously. And, after viewing on TV the more than disgusting behavior of these participants in Ocean City proper, it is obvious where the majority of the police should have been.
We can only wonder with awe how the Ocean City police officers conducted themselves in such an admirable way. They deserve the utmost respect.
With all of this chaos over four days, they must have been exhausted and near the breaking point. And to have retained their self-control and calm demeanor must have been a very difficult trial. No one deserves to have rocks and bottles thrown at them while protecting others!
And to make matters even worse, upon our departure at mid-morning Sunday, we found ourselves among a large number of departing H2Oi participants.
In addition to hearing the roaring noise, their continuous speeding, and observing the vulgar sayings on their cars, they felt it necessary to again put travelers in danger.
On two-lane roads, they sould pass in caravans of six, eight or 10 cars — sometimes in the passing zone and sometimes not. But the most dangerous thing they found amusing was to maintain their caravan when passing, which would force oncoming cars to veer off the road onto the shoulder.
Luckily, when we saw these incidents, the menacing H2Oi drivers were not driving on a curve, and the oncoming cars could see them coming, and there was a shoulder for these cars to move onto to avoid and head-on collision. Not funny.
While we certainly appreciate the mayor’s desire to eliminate this nuisance and dangerous activity in our wonderful city, we believe it will take more than just raising the cost of violations to keep them away.
While we do not know the answer, we hope that someone does. Additionally, it would be interesting to have an accounting of the monetary damage incurred by the city, its residents and its businesses, and the number of visitors who will never return.
Ocean City is too great a place for residents, families, and elderly people to let hoodlums rule the good.
Stuart and Marie L. Balderson