Coconut Grove, FL
22 January 2012
The strangest thing happened on the way down here yesterday. As I've mentioned before, there are many bridges on this section of the waterway, many of whom have to be opened to allow sailboats through. Most have set opening times, on the hour and half or 15 and 45 after the hour to allow the traffic to flow pretty smoothly. However, even with this plan it occassionally gets jammed up waiting for a bridge to open, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Most of the time everyone stays out of each other's way and all goes pretty smoothly.
Yesterday we were behind this 50 foot ish sailing catamaran. Just as the bridge opened he started through ahead of us. No problem, until he slows down and slows down and truns in front of us leaving no room to pass...and little room to maneuver. The slower a boat goes, the less control it has because it is steared by the water passing over the rudder. We called on the VHF radio several times, no reponse. We could clearly see the skipper at the helm, but he certainly wasn't looking to the rear! Finally we used our compressed air horn and he about jumped out of his breeches! He scooted over and we finally had room to pass. And what did we see? Low and behold on the trampolene (mesh strung between the forward pontoons) complete with a whole crew, scantily clad young ladies "posing," was a photo shoot going on. They even had the large light reflecting screens which apparently is what was causing the captain to drive irradically trying to reflect the light just so. Oh well, this is Miami where one should never be surprised by anything, I suppose.
I just hope they made it through the rest of the bridges without an accident.