Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-07-2010, 07:13   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Boat: Newport 28 MKII
Posts: 359
Bridge Tender Rant

Headed to downtown Jax to watch the fireworks this weekend and had to request a bridge opening. At 8am, asked the bridge tender for 50' clearance going thru, she said no problem, wished me a Happy Fourth. Two hours later, I had to move to another location, so back under the bridge requesting 50' clearance. Bridge tender tells me that I need to have my mast "professionally measured" since "her spotters" were sure I could clear the 40' with the bridge down. I replied that my mast height was 43.5' (it has been measured) and I wanted a little saftey margin due to all the large powerboats rolling huge wakes that could lift my mast into the bridge beams if I asked for 46'. She replied "Have a nice day" and that was that. OK, now I feel better. Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July.

Steve
__________________

__________________
Steve W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 08:00   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,654
Images: 5
You want to rant about that? That was a nice, pleasant interaction with an efficient, courteous bridge tender.
Years ago I left the St. Augustine municipal marina with a charter on board. After repeated radio calls and horn blowing the Bridge of Lions still didn't open. My boss finally drove up on the bridge, stopped her car, and kicked the bridgetender's door until he opened it, received a tongue lashing, then opened the bridge. What was the cause of the delay? He was distracted by a bottle of whiskey in his hand and his girlfriend on his lap.
I'm sure other people can top that.
__________________

__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 08:10   #3
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
You want to rant about that? .....
I'm sure other people can top that.
I love a challenge....

__________________
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 08:10   #4
Moderator
 
nigel1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Manchester, UK
Boat: Beneteau 473
Posts: 5,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
opened the bridge. What was the cause of the delay? He was distracted by a bottle of whiskey in his hand and his girlfriend on his lap.
I'm sure other people can top that.

Not presonally, but see this one


The bridge tender was found to have had a couple on top of prescription drugs. He did get the bridge open, just decided to lower it back down a tad early

See Pelagic beat me to it by a few minutes
__________________
Nigel
Beneteau 473
Manchester, UK
nigel1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 08:23   #5
Sponsoring Vendor
 
Tellie's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hollywood, Fl.
Boat: FP Athena 38' Poerava
Posts: 3,045
What's the acceptable fudge factor on measured mast height and bridge clearance?
Tellie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 08:36   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,132
Never look up!! You'll chicken out every time!
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 08:46   #7
Registered User
 
speciald@ocens.'s Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat - Carib, Chesapeake
Boat: 58 Taswell AS
Posts: 1,139
I once was at a bar in Knapp's Narrows mang years ago and saw a small sailboat cariiied into the bridge by the current. When the tender tried to open the bridge, the bridge caught on the standing rigging and started to lift the boat from the water. Luckily the tender was able to reverse the bridge. The Mainstreet bridge in Jax has two lift heights. As my mast is over 80 ft I need the higher lift to get to the downtown fueling station. I never had any problem with the bridge tender when I request the higher lift.
__________________
speciald@ocens. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 09:00   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Boat: Newport 28 MKII
Posts: 359
I've been under that bridge dozens of times, but this was the first time I got a lecture from the bridge tender. Probably the spotters were being lazy and she was acting on bad information from the spotters. The tender with the whiskey bottle and girlfriend on his lap is hilarious. Let's hear some more Bridge tender stories...!
__________________
Steve W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 09:49   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,373
Well I've got a couple (nothing to top the previous) but first I want to say that 99.9% of my interactions with bridge tenders has been nothing less than professional.

However, trying to get under a bridge on the New River in Ft Lauderdale many years ago could not get the tender to respond to horns, radio or flashing a spot light on the house (it was night). After a while there were 6-7 boats circling around the bridge waiting to pass. Finally a big sport fish nosed up to the ladder on the side of the bridge and put a guy off the bow who climbed up and started banging on the door. The tender was asleep and we suspect alcohol was involved.

Had another problem on the New River, but this time it was a mechanical problem. Apparently the lift motors have a giant fuse in the system and the up fuse blew and no spare was to be had. Bridge tender climbed out, swapped the down fuse for the up fuse, raised the bridge and swapped them back.

My only complaints on the trip south last fall, several bridges open only on the hour or sometimes every half hour. A couple of times I got to a bridge about 10 nanoseconds after the hour and they would not open. I understand there's a schedule but seems like a tiny bit of flexibility could be justified. Maybe these things are on a time clock and they can't open them except exactly on schedule.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 10:07   #10
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: NJ, Paris FR and, for the moment, Cape Coral FL
Boat: Islander Freeport 41, AEGEA
Posts: 186
Like most of the others, I have found most bridge keepers to be pretty good. I recall once where a bridge was under repair and would be closed for the night. I had just dropped the hook when the keeper called and said they would be doing a "test opening" if I could be ready. Saved me a whole lot of time. My personal rant is for the idiots who schedule the openings, especially in Florida. I can't remember exactly where but there's one place where there are two bridges just about a mile apart that open five minutes apart...just long enough for a sailboat to not make it and then have to wait for the next opening 45 minutes later.

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
__________________
Dick Pluta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 11:20   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Blue Stocking's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Georges, Bda
Boat: Rhodes Reliant 41ft
Posts: 4,114
We have a swing bridge here on the "Rock" with equal width side channels, 9ft deep.
The bridge is marked with red hazard lights. On busy holidays two way traffic is heavy. Bridge opens on the.15 and the .45 of the hour. Rental jet-skies, and other loonies, constantly do not abide by "red to red" when going thru.
Have not researched the official position, but bridge tenders say Colregs consider a bridge to be a ship. What say You?
__________________
so many projects--so little time !!
Blue Stocking is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2010, 22:36   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Southern Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Norseman 430, Jabberwock
Posts: 691
I've had a couple.
Many years ago on the Cape May canal, and about 0800 hrs one morning, we signalled with horn for an opening of the RR bridge. Several times.
As the youngest crew, I was given the job of climbing the fender board to reach the tender house. The guy was out cold lying on the little table inside. Pounding on the door woke him to raise the bridge.

About 8 years ago we were in Elizabeth City,NC, headed north. Wanting to make the first locking at South Mills, we rose early. I repeatedly called the bridge tender before casting off to alert him of our intentions. No response, so I walked over to the bridge and climbed up to the tender house.The guy was lying in a reclining chair, covered with a blanket. TV on full blast. Pounding on the door did not wake him up. We finally got intouch with the police, who somehow woke him up.

This spring we were pleasantly surprised by the tender at North Landing just south of Norfolk. We were a minute late for an opening (alone), and the tender accommodated us. But the sense I've gotten (mainly NC and SC) is if you get there early, sequence starts maybe 3 miutes late . But should you arrive 30 seconds after scheduled opening
__________________

__________________
ggray is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rant! doug86 Off Topic Forum 21 01-02-2010 00:24
A Rant About Brokers shawnkillam Multihull Sailboats 107 16-05-2009 07:30
AIS Compliance RANT GreatKetch Off Topic Forum 8 08-10-2007 07:00
<rant on> ColRegs Amgine The Sailor's Confessional 16 13-08-2007 11:39



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:43.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.