Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Meet the New Raft Captains

Bow (or front) View of the Raft

So, you might ask, what is a raft captain? Well, to begin, a raft is what you are looking at in the picture above. It is when a gathering of boats tie together, with anchors set fore and aft. There are also circular rafts, which I have seen in pictures, but have never tied up in one. Raft captains (that would be me and My Sweetie) have the responsibility of handling the Labour Day event for the following year - coming up with a theme, gathering emails and preparing information, setting the itinerary for the weekend, inventing water oriented games, monitoring a selected VHF frequency to provide helpful information for traveling and arriving vessels. Oh! And the raft captains also get their boat name engraved on the plaque!

Let me back up a bit. Back in 1988, 4 boats casually rafted together in a known and popular bay. The following year, they met at the same bay and rafted again. This continued for some years, but as they did so, other boats started to join in the festivities. In 1992 or so, someone created a funky little homemade plaque and engraved the host boat names, and glued a little plastic sailboat to the middle of the plaque. Over the years, the plaque became something more elegant, and now it is a professional plaque to be proudly displayed on the mantle throughout the year, until the following Labour Day weekend, when it is time to handover said plaque - along with the original plaque and a very old bottle of wine (which no one dares open or drinks).

This year, was an amazing weekend. Twenty vessels turned up for the party, themed around Pirates of the Caribbean. It was a huge success, and will certainly be a hard act to follow.

Stern (or back) View of the Raft


Anonymous said...

And back in 1988, were you part of the original four rafters who started this tradition?

Very cool! And fun!

masgblog said...

Nope. We had not started sailing until 1990. We do know 3 of the 4 boats though, and those 3 still come every year. Nice people, as are most sailors. So 2008 will be a huge celebration!!