Sunday, August 4, 2013

Boat Parade a Waterful of Fun

Water and boats are an integral part of the summer scene. Motorboats whip past landlubbers, boat people waving and shouting, engines roaring. A more tranquil aspect of the marine scene engages boaters of a different breed. These folks amble slowly past in canoes, rowboats, kayaks, paddleboats and other non-motorized watercraft.

Hub and I enjoy the quieter side of aquatic life, adherents of the slogan, ‘leave no wake behind’, kayaking calm waters.

To celebrate and promote non-motorized boating and the environment, our town sponsors a yearly boat parade themed “Go Green” – motors prohibited.
All pictures taken by Jim, our official photographer.
Saturday’s weather was not reassuring, with a 40% chance of showers forecast between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The parade begins at 5:00 p.m. Patches of sunshine peeked through the clouds throughout the day, a hopeful sign for the evening.

A brief rain shower fell around 3:00 p.m., but we loaded the cars with our gear and headed for the staging area. Our team of four – hub, Jim and Jane, friends with kayaks, and me - primed for the event with a pasta lunch at a local restaurant.
Our team of crabs and sharks.

 The parade meanders two miles along the intercostal waterway through our town, passing numerous homes, a couple of high rise apartment houses, under a bridge and ending by the town water tower.

The 2013 Nights in Ventnor Boat Parade went off without a hitch, at least from the perspective of we four participants. There were spectators along the way, hanging out on their boat docks, lounging on decks and lined up along the road, waving and yelling greetings, throwing favors – mini-rubber duckies, bead necklaces, candy - generating antics among land and boat people creating an entertaining and comical spectacle. 

A view as the procession proceeds along town waterways.
Many boaters spend time and effort on themes, costumes and boat decorations, and prizes (gift certificates generously donated by local merchants) are awarded the winners. Weeks earlier Jane spied a group of kids trying on crazy hats and jumped at the chance to buy four hats (on sale, of course), our outfit for the evening. We did not win a prize for our  last-minute get-ups. “Save the crabs – then eat’em” did not wow the judges.
One of the winning boats on display after the parade.
We are already preparing for 2014’s parade with a great theme (top secret until revealed next year), with plenty of time to prepare costumes and signs.