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Old 08-01-2015, 09:45 PM   #1
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Which way would you go?

Out for the Blue Angels air show at SeaFair today, headed under 520 bridge after. There's a new floating bridge being built on the far side, and the "span" (visible in the far right margin) is completely blocked.

So this is the picture that literally hundreds - maybe a thousand- boats today were facing. What would you do? We had a 200 ton and 100 ton USCG Master in the pilothouse and the conversations were like "um, well, I'm not sure..."

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Old 08-02-2015, 12:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
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"um, well, I'm not sure..."

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None of us are/were there so can't/didn't see everything plus, minutes later everything could change, right?

So, based solely on the picture and with no visible aides (regular or special purpose):
I would stay away from the crane barge because who knows what is hanging from it.
Next I would consider traffic, least manoeuvrable vessels and current flow to determine who has right of way if applicable.

If there are no complicating factors, I would just go with the next "span" opening to the left of the crane but...
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:22 AM   #3
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We've been through here a few times in the small boat lately. There are marked lanes under the high rises at both ends. We drove across the bridge today after the races were over and there were boats transiting south to north under both ends of the bridge(s). The boats on the east end appeared to be passing through next to the crane barge but I wasn't paying that much attention.
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:26 AM   #4
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Refugio-you were one place we never go on Seafair. We brought a friends boat inbound through the locks Friday and it was a nightmare. There were about 75 little boats, runabaouts, waiting to go in and 5 big boats, 40' plus. We had to wait about 45 minutes for the big lock to open and as soon as it did, the Lock Master called for the big boats first and about 25 little boats started speeding into the lock. The Lockmaster was yelling "Little boats stand down, big boats first" over the PA, the smaller boats paid no attention. They finally sent a lock guy all the way to the end to stop the smaller boats. About half of them, when they got in, couldn't get their boats pointed the right direction, didn't have long enough lines, or enough fenders. The small Sea Ray directed to tie to us had no fenders and 5 drunks who could not secure a line to a cleat. I am sure most of them did not care how or where they got under the bridge! BTW-the locktenders get big kudos for an amazing amount of patience.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:00 AM   #5
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So none of the "captains" on board thought of calling the work boats there and asking them for a recommendation?
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:51 AM   #6
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As bill mentioned those barges are required to monitor Chanel 13. You probably don't even have to call them if you just monitor the chatter by scanning 16 and 13.


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Old 08-02-2015, 07:48 AM   #7
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Can't say in this particular situation..but a work/crane barge is usually NOT required to monitor a radio..on the East coast many don't even have a radio on board.

There may have been a work boat about that could have helped but in most bridge projects I have been involved with as a work boat...we could care less what al, the traffic did or didn't do. They had to manage on their own as there was no special regs.

Often bridge repairs where clearances are reduced, there is info in the USCG local notice to mariners.

If no "special regulations" ....all you can do is go slow and be a Rule 2 "prudent mariner" and avoid a colision.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:01 AM   #8
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As provided in the "Local Notice to Mariners" The West Span is to be used unless you have an air draft of over 43'. If you have a 43' or greater air draft you are to contact the M/V Eagle on channel 16 for further instructions. This notice has been published and in effect since June and will run through Sept. It is always a good idea to review the USCG Local Notices prior to getting underway especially during a sanctioned event on any waterway.

Safe travels
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
As provided in the "Local Notice to Mariners" The West Span is to be used unless you have an air draft of over 43'. If you have a 43' or greater air draft you are to contact the M/V Eagle on channel 16 for further instructions. This notice has been published and in effect since June and will run through Sept. It is always a good idea to review the USCG Local Notices prior to getting underway especially during a sanctioned event on any waterway.

Safe travels
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Thanks...
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:46 AM   #10
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As a further note: Typically the USCG will broadcast these notices about 8 times a day, at least they do down in this part of the U.S. (Gulf Coast). Shift and listen to 22A when the notices are transmitted. It would also appear as though there are several green buoys in the picture which may be temporary aids.
As far as radio contact is concerned a work barge is typically unmanned and Not Self Propelled so no radio on the "barge" there is normally a work boat in this case the M/V Eagle that was required to monitor Chl. 16 .
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:59 AM   #11
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Unless there are crews working overtime on the new 520 bridge i doubt there is anyone connected to the project at work this weekend. The boats we saw passing under the eastern highrise were small runabouts and cruisers so perhaps the police were permitting passage under that span.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
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If no "special regulations" ....all you can do is go slow and be a Rule 2 "prudent mariner"
But first observe Rule 1 of Rule 2;
At all times assume no other boater has a clue as clearly pointed out by THD in post 4.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:56 AM   #13
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Dan, where do you moore the Ulysses. She use to be moored at the north end of lake Union and do you charter.

We use to moore at the south end. We use to go to most lake events. Since its a no wake zone and we were big, we motored slow and with slow turns so other boats knew my intensions. It was the commercial charter you had to worry about as they had right away and very seldom gave way, so many times I followed them. Most pleasure do not know or follow the rules and go ever which way. Opening day and Seafair were usually the worst.

The Eagle and the Ulysses where well know on the lake and Puget Sound and both commercial charters, large, and slow to maneuver so we had preference over the pleasure. So usually we had little no wait time.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
As provided in the "Local Notice to Mariners" The West Span is to be used unless you have an air draft of over 43'. If you have a 43' or greater air draft you are to contact the M/V Eagle on channel 16 for further instructions. This notice has been published and in effect since June and will run through Sept. It is always a good idea to review the USCG Local Notices prior to getting underway especially during a sanctioned event on any waterway.

Safe travels
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
As provided in the "Local Notice to Mariners" The West Span is to be used unless you have an air draft of over 43'. If you have a 43' or greater air draft you are to contact the M/V Eagle on channel 16 for further instructions. This notice has been published and in effect since June and will run through Sept. It is always a good idea to review the USCG Local Notices prior to getting underway especially during a sanctioned event on any waterway.
And that would be a grave mistake. As I mentioned - the "West Span" is visible to the right edge of my photo and is completely obstructed by an immense floating structure for the new 520 bridge on the other side. We went through this area on our tender last week going to Westward for Happy Hour and I noted that the span lights are still in place! Not sure if they are lit though.

And I think that a radio call to the Eagle - if answered - would also yield a confusing answer.

Attached is a diagram on the WSDOT page that shows what was in my photo.

Note the giant orange crane (not on the diagram) obstructing the Eastern half of the first...opening? passage? Not even sure what to call it...West of the "Current navigation channel (to be blocked)" on the diagram. So that one is out.

Moving West to the next opening between pilings...there is a green ball buoy clearly visible in the middle of this area with nothing around it. I believe that this is supposed to be the buoy marking the Southern piling of the Northern 520 (in fact, how would you clearly distinguish between these two parallel bridges? They are both 520!) but there is a very wide distance between that buoy and pier (visible in the center of the frame just to the left of the piling of the Southern bridge). So there's a passage with nothing occluding it with a green buoy in the middle - that might be a good choice.

Except it would mean passing the green buoy right above my burgee to port. So you shift one more passage West and head straight for another set of piles for the Northern bridge, with a dogleg right turn under the Southern bridge.

The diagram really helps, but - as everyone else has posted - virtually nobody is paying any attention to these navigation markers.

We eventually settled on the "New temporary navigation channel" as we got closer and the situation resolved itself, but just imagine coming up on this at night!

I'll also note that this is probably the North end of the "Fast Lane" that the man who got convicted last week of "Homicide by Watercraft" was talking about.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:26 PM   #15
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If like most places...just because that is the designated navigation channel...it doesn't mean it has to be used unless specified.

You can use any span you feel comfortable with.

Bridges are always free for all....add in poorly lit kayak fishermen at night around the pilings and a 100 foot barge behind you in tow and now you are earning you non-union pay....
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:37 PM   #16
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Phil Fill: At the moment the Ulysses is in fresh water in Demopolis, Ala. I don't usually charter but am always looking for those that have the time and inclination to taking long journeys. I spent last winter in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Trying to decide now where to go this winter.

She is also semi-for sale.

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Old 08-03-2015, 01:14 PM   #17
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March next year we will be down in that area. Last year we hugged the coast, next year more inland. If you need help crewing, might want to post here as several of us have the time and some experience. Tom old member here had a diesel duck that we flew down a few times and their is a sister rw 58, like ours up in Canada we help Jim crew. My wife has me booked for the next couple of years with the land yatch motor home.

Most boats are semi for sale. Older big boats take years to sell. For long term moorage I would keep a boat in fresh brackish water, easier on the boat and less maintenance and move the boat temporary on the salt. Keep us posted.

Quote:
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Phil Fill: At the moment the Ulysses is in fresh water in Demopolis, Ala. I don't usually charter but am always looking for those that have the time and inclination to taking long journeys. I spent last winter in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Trying to decide now where to go this winter.

She is also semi-for sale.

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