Play and Light Hearts Amidst High Risks: An Incident on an August Vineyard Sound….

The US Coat Guard has a lot to keep its attention on.

Especially in Vineyard Sound, on an early August day, during the peak of boating season.

Most people on the Sound at this time are actually passengers, riding on the ferries that crisscross these waters. For them, crossing the Sound is a pleasant interlude.  For many, it will be one of the few times they will ever be afloat on a boat.


What’s not to like about a ferry ride on a perfect summer day?

The Coast Guard has to worry about ferry safety, but it also has thousands of other craft on its radar.

The Sound gets crowded on a summer day.

If I were one of the people responsible for the safety of people out here, I don’t think I’d sleep very well.

The following series of photos, taken over a one minute time span, will show why.


View of a busy Vineyard Sound.
Note the fast motor yacht on the left, and the distant ferry boat on the right side of the image…

Our view shifts slightly to the right in the next picture.


The ferry is now to the left side of the photo.
In the middle right is a small sport fishing boat, headed towards us.

Twenty seconds later, we notice that these two boats are closing in on each other.


Seven seconds more go by.


Does the person driving that big power yacht know what’s to the front and side?

A few seconds of attention or inattention is going to make a lot of difference.


Six seconds more….

Does the fellow in the sport fishing boat even know what’s behind him?

Let’s hope so.



In the final seconds of this near-miss, the power yacht turns and increases distance from the sport fisher. No collision.


That was a close call.

Meanwhile, back on the ferry, most people never even noticed what just happened a few hundred yards away from them.

They’re just doing whatever floats their boat.


Whatever that is.


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