When the morning news reporter informed on the teevee that an 8-year-old boy was killed and five people were injured when boats collided at a Christmas boat parade over the weekend, I was sure it was Newport Harbor that was bloody.
But, after the initial tease, it was revealed a Coast Guard vessel responding to an emergency call struck a pleasure boat during the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights Sunday night.
The reason I figured--wrongly, thank God--the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade produced the carnage is because I was aboard a Hornblower yacht for a Christmas party Friday night. As our big ship pulled out of its slip, two little boats zipped right in front of us, the respective captains apparently not having a care in the world.
This set up the rest of the chilly night. As our boat plied the shipping lanes, it was amazing:
1) How fast the boats in the actual parade were moving. It's like they were late for meals or something.
2) How many boats, especially the smallest crafts like Duffy electrics, were anchored in the dark on either side of the boats going by.
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3) How many speedboats zipped between our much larger ship and those tiny anchored boats, with barely any clearance on either side.
4) How many goddamn boats were in the water all at once.
5) How much alcohol was flowing everywhere.
So, a captain's cap off to Orange County's Coast Guard vessels for somehow managing not to kill anyone.