Most all of you roun here know bout the Ft. L. Xmas Boat Parade, usually attended
by upwards of 800,000 people. And this year was no exception. Unlike last year's
50 degree weather at tide max flow, the temp was about 70 degrees, the water calm
and right around slack tide.
Turns out Joe, Chef Mike, dear Sue Sea and moi made it through heavy traffic to George English Park
(across from the bookstore on Sunrise) at about 5:30pm. Dear Sue Sea had gone all out
(unlike the rest of us dorks) and made sure we all had festive hats, brought battery
powered candle lights, glitter strings, and pushtop lights to put in our hatches. Chef
Mike brought... beer! So far so good.
We quickly decorated our yaks, and found a nice passerby to take our pics, and
off we went. This basin empties into a largish canal that runs just west of the
bookstore and slowly curves east to meet the intracoastal. Since my ***** hernia
was actin up we took our time. Arrived to find perhaps probably a hundred rafted
sailboats and yachts backed up to the ICW, plus assorted pleasure craft.
But the most fun was hooking up with some really amazing and colorful yaks with
all manner of costumes and festive decorations. See pics above.
The parade got to our section bout 7:30 led by fireworks and explosions. Lots of
cheering, horn blowing and flashing lasers and boatlights. It was great! Following
were a string of boats of all kinds and all manner of neat decorations, bands,
music, laser displays, moving lights, you name it.
And how can I not mention the
appearance of David Cassidy and Jackie Johnson, Channel 7 Weathergirl (if I'm
not mistaken, I think she gives the weather reports there, pant, pant).
Appearing in the parade were also some incredible paddlecraft, like tribal boats
with drummer, long sculls, and the like. Another really super high point was the
appearance of the gals and paddlers from Full Moon, one of whom was paddlin a
swoopy Greenland style yak called a Pintail (?) and who did a fantastic half roll
for us (ya just gotta see the pic above "Hi Ho Hi Ho")!!
And one boat after another, after another. Finally as the flow was starting to
peter out, Sue Sea notice the Chef nodding, and who admitted he had to get up at
3 am to work. Poor guy. And Joe was visibly slumping as
So off we paddled, avoiding the predicable madness of a hundred boats trying to
weave home, no way. Arrived safe and sound, then back to my humble abode for my
famous late night spaghetti dinner.
All in all a wonderful and special night. Next year we'll plan better and hope to
have David and Alan's kids along. Happy holidays!