I've been sailing around Manhattan for years to get from my home port on the Hudson River to my favorite cruising grounds in New England. After 911 the Coast Guard presence in the East River, especially around the UN building, was heavy, to say the least. A few years ago they made everyone go around on the Queens side of Roosevelt Island to keep boats away from "sensitive areas".
I just followed directions (they did have machine guns mounted forward in their RIBs) and went around the way I never had before. I must have been in a bit of a fog because my brain failed to register the lift bridge that connects the island to Queens. After all, I had gone (almost!) this route many time before without having to look out for low bridges. I must have been twenty feet from the bridge when I finally noticed the bridge tender frantically waving. I grabbed the wheel and the boat did the quickest pivot I have ever seen. Came within two feet of the lowered bridge with my mast. I waited, with a very red face, for the bridge to go up and the smiles on the spectator's faces to die down.