Join Date: May 2002
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Rep Power: 14
Things are different all over.
Some bridge tenders monitor 13, some 9, some 16. Been up and down the ICW many times at that point and always got an answer on 16. Some rude people blast their horns after the initial hail. (Used to live in Little River, SC, and delivered new Beneteaus out of there.) Up north 13 gets, sometimes, a quicker answer, but still they could be slow. Only used the horn twice - in Buffalo when I was freezing to death and had waited for a response in the snow and freezing rain for almost an hour. The bridge tender actually came in to the Buffalo yacht club later and bought us a beer cause he had been slow. Then again, in Florida, had to wait almost 2 hours with no explanation, no response, no answer on any channel and the tide seriously going out on me with a 6 foot draft. For that, no resolve. For Sunset at this time of year, they will be watching the traffic, believe me. You should have no problem at all.
Most of the time there is a sign beforehand with the hailing channel and/or the schedule of the bridge.
But if not, remember this, please - if no sign, hail on any of the three channels, monitor them all and, above all, always be nice. And never, ever, ever forget, no matter how much trouble you have had and how much frustration you feel, do not forget to thank the bridge tender for opening. Believe me, they will remember you on the way back. I was once stuck at a certain bridge on the way north behind a yankee (dare I say) powerboat pacing back and forth across the channel, that had totally ticked off the bridgetender on the way down. Switched to another channel and she apologized for us waiting as long as we had (about 15 minutes at the most) because she was not going to open it for an hour or so more for these people until we happened to come along.
Pays to be nice.
Be nice. Or, if scheduled, get there on time. (Of course, if coming up just behind time, beg and beg, and sometimes you will get the best of the bridgetender.)
Best wishes for a wonderful trip,