I was sailing the Minnow up the the coast of Florida by myself in 2006, and I heard that they delayed the space shuttle launch one day. Since I was going that way, I anchored off Cape Canaveral to see the launch the following day. I radioed the Coast Guard and asked them if I was OK if I stayed three miles offshore, and they said that would be no problem.
The next morning, the Fourth of July, I woke up to a honking horn. I eventually realized I was on a boat and not in a big city.
Then I remembered I was anchored offshore, miles away from anybody. I staggered outside and saw a Coast Guard boat.
When I finally woke up enough to operate the radio, they told me I needed to go south a few miles.
I asked if I could go north. They said I'd have to go pretty far (past "charlie alpha").
I asked them to wait and tried to figure out whether to go north or south.
Then the range control officer said I could go three miles southeast.
So I did. They were all very polite and professional. And patient.
When I anchored, there were no boats anywhere around me. The Coast Guard was patrolling behind me.
Once I heard the Coast Guard or Range Control people ask on the marine radio, "Are you going to let that sailboat stay there?"
They did. I was still a few miles away, but I was happy to be that close.
I listened to the marine radio part of the day before the launch.
I was impressed with the Coast Guard, and the efficient and courteous way they kept boats out of the off-limits areas. Those guys are good.
I waited around until 2:38 and the shuttle went up. It was really, really impressive. It was bright and loud.
There was an interesting contrast between their speed and mine.