I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year's eve. We did. As with most events in Oriental, the turnout was outstanding. One estimate was 800 attendees (in a Town with a population just shy of 900.) The schedule was as follows:
8:00 PM -- The old dragon
11:30 PM -- The new dragon
Midnight -- The Croaker drop
New Year's Day Noon -- The Instead of Football Regatta
The old dragon appeared right on time and wound its way through the throng clustered between The Bean and Town Dock. Amidst the clanging of pots and pans and the rhythm of drums (courtesy Oriental Drum Circle), the dragon passed by twice to give everyone a chance to touch the fangs for good luck. Watch and hear the sounds in the video below shot by Beth. Cameron and Kirstie managed to get under the dragon which is reportedly very auspicious. The best part of the event, of course, is seeing friends.
photo from TownDock.net
Beth's video of the Dragon
I skipped the late night events, but Beth and Cameron attended. It was a different crowd and fewer of them, and the new dragon insists it is bad luck to touch it. So , the second dragon run was more like a traditional parade. At midnight, with a scorecard countdown by a couple of youngsters, the Croaker dropped into the new year from the fifty foot mast of a Cheoy Lee ketch at Town Dock (Steve from Maine). No, not a real, much less live, croaker.
photo from TownDock.net
Sunday, New Year's Day, we ushered in the new year with perfect weather and sailing. With temperatures in the upper 60s and winds blowing 10-15 knots (after some light air at the start), about 60 sailboats raced up river to the Adams Creek marker, then downriver wing and wing to Garbacon (pronounced "Garbashon" or "Gar-bacon" (as in "eggs and bacon")) Shoals marker, then back to Number One and dock to scurry over to M&M's for free soup and a beer. The competition was stiff on the water, but the prizes were awarded by drawing. It was a good chance to photograph friends' boats, something none of us get to do for ourselves. We crewed with Pat and Judy on their boat, Thalia, as Beth injured her hand a few days ago and Cameron was a bit under the weather. (As always, TownDock.net will have lots of good photos from the regatta.)
Hinckley near starting line in light winds
Starting line (genoa backwinded on purpose)
"Rail meat" Cameron
Judy and Pat in good winds on Thalia, their Passport 40
Bristol Star, a Bristol 41.1, closing on our stern near finish
All in all, this was the best new year's I can recall. The new year also brought the forecast of severe cold (down in the teens even out here on the water) and high winds. The ducks knew it was on its way and fled the area as boats lined up for the regatta.
Ducks flee south
Scout and the crew of Wild Haggis wish you a safe, healthy and, dare we say, prosperous new year.
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