January 2010 and again Bandana is prepped and ready to to! The new sails were aboard, as well as the food and the crew and layers and layers of clothing in preparation for wonderful but cold adventure on the water. For the first time in all the years I can remember, the Weather 'guessers' were predicting a downwind race, AND a downwind trip back! The Bimini was off, lines rigged spinnaker packed,
and and crew psyched and ready to go!
So we left the dock on time at a few minutes after 10, and made it about 6 blocks to the first bridge, which is the 11th avenue Swing Bridge. Now, this bridge has been under construction since last August or so and has been closed to auto and foot traffic but open to navigation this entire time. Until race day!
We got to the bridge and this sickening sight looms ahead!
The construction guys looked at us and yelled: "THREE DAYS until opening!"
We complained there was no sign, so they reached to the ground and hung up a sign which then dropped it back to the ground. A lot of good THAT did! It wasn't even up long enough for me to get a picture!
So, we turned around and went back to the dock and got on the phone to call everyone we could think of that might be able to help us: Mayor, Coast Guard, R/C people, etc. Then we waited for calls back.
And we waited, and waited, and watched the tide go out, knowing that if we didn't leave soon we were not going anyplace for at least a few hours when the water came back.
Finally 4 of us jumped in Skippy's truck to go over and check out the situation at the bridge. We figured we should go see if it is even physically possible for it to open, if they were ordered to.
Please note the location where the construction equipment is from... talk about adding salt to the wound!
A bit of research shows the bridge was approved to be closed to navigation on January 14th for 24 hours, however this was still January 13th and they said it would be closed for 3 days! How does this happen and who is responsible? Someone owes us a bunch of money!
So, the bottom line was that even if they were ordered to by the Mayor or CG or whomever, there was no way that bridge was going to open that day and so... Bandana was put back into cruising mode with Bimini on and sails and lines put away and we finished our NON Key West adventure at the bar drowning our sorrows.We couldn't be any more disappointed! We hope the others had a great race and are having fun!
p.s. Two days before race day, I was at the Doyle loft adding a new secret weapon to the new sails. I'll tell more about it in a later story, after I get to find out if it works, but I wanted to post these photos.