The yacht clubs in Portland Oregon all got together today for the opening day festivities. This is a great time of serious fellowship and massive joking around. The tradition of raising the US flag, saying the pledge and raising the officers flags continue. The Sea Scouts and USCG attend and add the pomp. We all wear our white pants and blue blazers…yep, opening day is a tradition that carries on even now.
The Commodore shares a few thoughts and then it’s off to the clubhouse. Each boat that participates in the parade is assigned a letter and number and it’s hung on the stern pulpit. In our club there are three lines of vessels and we line up behind the officers with the Commodore’s boat leading the line closest to the judges. This year we were A2, meaning we were the boat right behind the Commodore.
Every boat dresses up with flags from bow to stern and runs up their club burgee and flies the US flag. At the appointed time the entire club (or as many members who will participate) head out onto the water. As we left the club marina I felt a few drops of rain and looking down river I could see the dark line of a small squall approaching.
We threw on our light rain gear and I pulled out the bimini top. The wind began to pick up just a bit and the rain started to come down pretty good. The metal bow frame of our bimini was one long piece when we got the boat and over the winter we’d had it cut in half so it would be easier to work with. I came topside with the bimini canvass and zipped it into place while my hubby took the helm. I was a bit worried about putting the bimini up in the wind and rain while underway as we’d not tried it since the modification. It worked fine and once up made a wonderful umbrella.
There always seems to be a moment of circus confusion or mayhem as the vessels try to line up down river for the parade past the judges. Yes, remember the judges? The object is to form three lines of vessels with 60 feet between each line and each vessel. Then you parade past the judges and wave like fools. Buddy, our dog even got into the act by barking loudly as we past the first set of judges. The Daughters of Neptune were on one judging vessel to cheer each club and remind everyone to wear their PFD’s.
The club holds it’s formation until the last vessel passes the judges and then it’s orderly confusion back to the club for open boats and happy hours. As we returned to the club the rain slowed down and just as we pulled back into the slip…it stopped…figures.
It was a nice kick off to the season. We’ll see how our club comes in with the judges. Last year we won ‘best seamanship’ and ‘most participants’.
Opening Day for the Portland Oregon yacht clubs was lots of fun once again.
2 Comments posted on "Portland Oregon Yacht Clubs Opening Day 2008"
Boating Beauties on May 5th, 2008 at 1:15 pm #
Interesting post today I enjoy your blog.
Debbie on May 5th, 2008 at 4:48 pm #
Thanks for picking up on it. I appreciate your visit.
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