In case you missed it, the weekend of April 29th & 30th signaled the first Opening Day on the Bay of the new millennium. If the weather was any indication, it will be a hard act to follow in the future, as the warmest temperatures and bluest skies in recent memory prevailed throughout. The weekend kicked off with the Boat Decorating Party on Saturday, with great support from A, B and C docks. Apathy seemed to take hold as we got further up the alphabet, and one wonders what we can do to motivate the boat owners in the smaller categories; if the offer of free beer and more prizes than entries wasn't enough, what's next? To add to the fun, the Pelican Grill was in full swing throughout the afternoon (and I'm pleased to announce that no pelicans were harmed in this presentation).
The judging of the decorated boats and bribing of the decorous judges commenced in mid-afternoon, as the crowd on the deck was entertained by the Cadets of the Indonesian Training Ship Kri Dewaruci, which had arrived in the Bay on Friday for a goodwill visit, and had kindly accepted the invitation of both CYC and SFYC to participate in the Opening Day activities.
Sunday morning began with religious services held outside on the main deck this year, overlooking a sparkling Bay in warm bright sunshine. The sermons of Rev. James Current, Father Michael Barber and Cantor David Margules were insightful, the flag raising by the USCG Color Guard accompanied by Amanda Carles on bugle precise, and the rendition of the National Anthem by Rosalind Colver was stirring. Traditionally, the yachts in the harbor received a blessing, with a special blessing for the new shore boat, Mermaid.
Following a short respite, those in attendance were treated to a beautiful presentation of breakfast in the Ballroom, with the tables decorated in the prevailing colors of the occasion. Jack Cooper did his usual masterful job of emcee and entertainer, introducing dignitaries and flag officers alike.
The moment of the day came when Commodore Diana Fischer presented a well-deserved award to Charlie White, to commemorate his many years of service as Opening Day Committee Chair, and Founder of the Annual Blessing of the Pleasure Craft on the Bay. This, accompanied by the announcement of Charlie's upcoming 80th Birthday, left almost not a dry eye in the house..including Charlie!
With the formalities over and the U.S.C.G.C. HAWKSBILL on station in Raccoon Straits, the blessing of boats commenced and the festivities turned decidedly casual. The wonderful Zeena Quinn Band played for entertainment and dancing throughout the afternoon for the second consecutive year to the great enjoyment of the crowd.
By 4 pm, the Boat Decorating Judges were deemed sober enough following the previous afternoon to present the awards to the contest winners. First place went to Marcia Peck and Mike Long for their hilarious rendition of silicone valley and surfin' the net; 2nd place to Ed & Diana Fischer for their historical and hysterical view of mankind's evolution; and third place to Hans Roeben and Sally Huse for a bunting invitation to Sydney 2000.
Every entrant received a prize, with lots left over for future events, due primarily to the dedication and imagination of Dan Carrico, Prize Chairman. Entertainment was then taken over by the fabulous GTS Band; again same as last year, but due to both bands' ability to captivate the audience, not because of lack of imagination! They filled the deck dance floor until an unusually balmy 8 pm, along with those partaking of the buffet, at which time the crowd dwindled to a whisper.
If you missed this one, you missed one of the best; if you were there, I hope this will serve to help you relive a couple of wonderful moments. It was truly an Opening Day to remember all year!