Friday, May 15, 2015

Close Call at NASA Causway Bridge - May 15, 2015

Friday May 15th, 2015 Titusville, Florida

After a couple of nice days of rest in Vero Beach we headed out this morning and made the 73 nautical mile trip north to Titusville (just north of Cape Canaveral). We'll spend the night here at the Municipal Marina before heading to Daytona Beach tomorrow.

We had a harrowing experience this afternoon while entering the NASA Causeway Bridge.  We were signalled by the bridge operator to proceed with our passage. With a reefed jib (in 25 knot winds) and the motor running we were about 100 feet from the opening when we saw a 65 foot sport fisher heading directly at us at full speed from the opposite direction. The wake he was throwing was enormous. After numerous attempts to call him there was no answer and the bridge operator told us NOT TO ALTER COURSE. We had no choice but to release the jib and bale out with about two  boat lengths to go from being cut in two by this idiot.
When he was in the middle of the bridge opening (and this is a NO WAKE Manatee Protection Zone) not to mention people protection, when he slammed on the brakes and slowed to a stop with the strong winds pushing us towards the opening.
Ron ran out on deck to see what this idiot was doing and was faced with a barrage of verbal cursing and hand gestures. When the large highly powered boat was on our beam he took off at full speed rocking us all over the place.
I called the bridge tender to launch a complaint with the Coast Guard but that went nowhere. He told me that we had right of way and that he should have stopped for us. That's just great as we get run over.
Apparently these guys are well known captains for the local Sea Ray builders here near Titusville. They should be fired and charged with reckless endangerment.

So... welcome to the world of totally incompetent idiots in high powered boats who have little or no respect or regard for other people, their property or their safety.

I need a drink....

Well, at least we're safe at the dock for tonight with our friends Rick and Cindy on "Dark Star".

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