Sunday, August 31, 2008

Simply Family Fun

We headed down to the boat to relax and enjoy the annual Gloucester 'end of summer' boat parade and fireworks. Once again, this is something quite unique to Gloucester. Not only do we celebrate the beginning of summer, as most towns and cities do with fireworks and parades, but we also send it off at the end of the season with a bang!

The marina where we keep our boat tends to be a very sleepy type of marina. Sometimes, at the peak of the summer season, you may bump into one or two others coming from or going to their boats. Yet, more often than not, boats come and go but it's not a social scene. Basically, it's a marina for people that actaully use their boats. It's nice that way.

On Saturday, though, the marina was hopping. I think I saw more folks on this one evening than I've seen all summer. Part of the reason may have been the impromptu Dock Party that the marina threw for its patrons that afternoon. Naturally, we missed it. Our son remarked later that he had seen the signs up earlier in the week but 'forgot to mention it'. Thanks!

Some were putting the final touches on their boats for the boat parade. Others were heading out into the harbor to watch the parade and fireworks. Still others were just going to sit on their boat for perhaps the last time this year.

Wow! Where did the summer go?

We moved out into the harbor and found a hole in the boat crowd to anchor. For the most part, we had a space all to ourselves, although a few other boaters attempted to set anchors very close to us. (Grumble. Grumble.) Gratefully, once they set their anchor and then saw how close they drifted towards our boat and the others around us, they quickly weighed anchor and moved along.

[Warning! Soapbox in use.]
More people should take some basic boating classes. They really aren't that hard and are offered by both the US Power Squadron and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Many (if not most) boaters are very concientious of others on the water, yet, there are some real knuckleheads out there. Knowing things like the 'rules of the road', rights when going through bridges, basic anchoring techniques, etc. go a long way to making it better (and safer) for all out on the water.
[The soapbox is relinquished.]

We sat on the boat, enjoying light snacks and conversation, and listened to the Sox on the radio. The boat parade came right past us and we all agreed that the "ambulance boat" was our favorite. Part of the fun of the boat parade is trying to guess what some of the boats are supposed to be. We now know that the boat with the "shooting water" was a "Gloucester Water Main Break". Quite original!

The camera I have does not take very good pictures at night, although I tried a little bit. In low light situations, it just oversamples too much resulting in way too many light traces. Maybe, for my birthday, I'll get the camera I "really" wanted! Hint. Hint.

Here's a picture of the ambulance boat as it passed us. I should probably turn this into a 'Don't Drink & Boat' PSAs!

After the boat parade and a short intermission, the fireworks display started. This year, there were even launching them from Ten Pound Island! It's been a few years since I remember them doing that.

All in all, it was one of those perfect summer evenings in Gloucester. A time for family and friends. A time for celebrating the end of summer. A time for Gloucester doing a thing together as a community.

For much better pictures of the Boat Parade and Fireworks, please feast your eyes on the work of a true master and visit Jay Albert's Cape Ann Images blog.

Simply A Gloucester Good Time!


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