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Old 07-03-2012, 01:44   #1
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What are the rules for this?

Two instances in Florida, what would you have done?

1st - Coming down the ICW in daylight between Ft Lauderdale and Miami under motor, there was a BIG boat party right at a section where the channel is fairly narrow, and we draw six feet. People were diving, swimming, and playing ball games, generally having a great time and a lot of activity in the channel itself. We slowed to dead slow and navigated between revellers, only running aground once (got off easily). Question is, what is the etiquette for this, I was particularly worried about a couple of guys on rubber rings that wanted to share beers with us. Passed off well and didn't hit anyone.

2nd - Approaching the seven mile bridge from the bay side, motoring again and in daylight, on a fairly wide channel we had a small motor launch pass directly in front of us from port to starboard flying a diving flag, so we slowed right down to let him pass. Only at the last moment did we notice a tow line behind him where he was towing a diver about sixty to eighty feet astern of his boat. We reversed and he passed safely in front of us, I don't think either the diver or driver even knew we were there.

Interesting sailing in Florida... Great place, but need to keep on your toes all the time.
Sweet are the uses of adversity.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:59   #2
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Re: What are the rules for this?

only thing I can think on the first was that you could have asked the people to at least clear a plan so you could be by

never realized people in FL were so key on getting run over by a boat
It is OK if others want to do it different on THEIR boat
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:39   #3
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Re: What are the rules for this?

I have never navigated these waters, but sounds like radio communication might help. If you see something going on ahead of you it helps to call and let them know of your intentions and find out what theres are. However this will only work if they are standing by on a calling station like 16, 9 times out of 10 they are not.
Just the guy that runs the boat.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:09   #4
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Re: What are the rules for this?

Not much you can do with drunks floating in the channel. Slow ahead as you did worked out. It is annoying that someone violating rules "pushes" you out of your lane - whether boat, car, or walking. When I was a surf boat rower in australia, during training, the surfers would exercise their right to catch waves in front of us as we were surfing in. The coach called them "thunks" - the noise they made when their heads hit the bottom of the boat.
The driving in Florida is worse.
Texting, magazine reading, makeup, coffee, lapdogs - 45 mph in the fast lane (and most of the 2 adjacent lanes)...
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Old 07-03-2012, 13:55   #5
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Re: What are the rules for this?

Boat parties like the one you are describing have been going on for many years in the Bakers Haulover stretch of the ICW. The best you can do is try not to hit someone. You probably won't find many turned on radios aboard the boats hanging out there.
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Old 07-03-2012, 14:11   #6
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Re: What are the rules for this?

Sound signals are appropriate in these situations. I've found that people often don't respond well to an airhorn, but that they appreciate a friendly ring of the ship's bell as my way of letting them know that I would appreciate a modicum of sea-room.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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