Friday, June 13, 2008

the Pearl Regata : the Dunking Ladies

We didn't reach the preset goal of 8 sails, I'm afraid. Only 3 ships in the running, but that still makes a contest, so we mustn't complain. It is only the first edition of the Regatta, after all.
By sheer good fortune the 3 captains managed to coax the Lady of their hearts into their boats, ensuring themselves of furious and determined support.

The start was a bit chaotic. I attempted to explain the use of beeper and beackon, but gave up when gents and ladies alike packed at the docks and ships were zipping back and forth, crashing into each other and the big sailer at the other side of the harbour. Lady S even took seat in Lord S's boat, earning her a stern reproval of me (I must admit I might have used less profane expressions) .
Lady Bella, by rearranging parts of her wonderful bathing suit, managed to attract the attention of the gents and subsequently got them arrayed at the starting line. Spirits were high, even to the edge of propriety, as the green balls that served as beepers were thrown to the passengers of the other boats.
At the start signal, the boats jumped forward. Lord S immediately made good way, followed closely by Lord J. Both passed checkpoints 2 and 3 without trouble, but after that Lord J's boat capsized, losing first his Lady and then the vessel in the process. Both him and his lady were fished up and brought to the Pearl to recover with a few gallons of tea. Lord E's barge at that point was nowhere to be seen, causing much reflection on the doings of its crew.
No longer pursued by Lord J, Lord S's vessel proceeded to checkpoint 4, losing a few minutes in the labyrinthine sea passages of Emerald Isle, but making good headway to the Pearl docks. Starting its second lap still uncontested (as no other barge had made it to checkpoint 4) , Lord S met up with Lord E near checkpoint 2, at which point it's female crew member decided to get back her own for words spoken earlier. She yelled fiery encouragements at her gentleman , who blasted the vessel forward and lo and behold, the two sails were contesting each others right to move first. The ladies cheerfully pelted beepers at each other, causing grunts and outcries of pain to accompany the hiss of the keels cutting surf.
Finally, a well aimed beeper hit me on the head and I tumbled backwards into the water near checkpoint 3. After circling around a few times to see whether I was doing well , my loud exclamations after I surfaced (involving some descriptives about the gender of Lady Fortuna) reassured them and they jumped forward on their course.

Lord S recovered me, and after drying up a bit with towels we found in the vessel, we decided to continue. Lord E was still a lap behind when he took off, so even while we had lost some of the advantage, we felt we owed it to ourselves to finish. Racing ahead, we reached checkpoint 4 and finally made it back to the docks, where we were hailed as the winners.
It appeared that Lord E's vessel had sunk and that its crew was swimming the rest of the course.
They took quite a while in doing so, but I guess , knowing Lady S's determination, they both swam the first and the second lap.

text by Lady Hagar , pictures by Lady Luna

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