Sunday, September 02, 2007

Peaks Island Labor Day Happenings

A happy, restful Labor Day greeting to all. This weekend has been a beautiful, breezy, clear, dry sunny weekend on Peaks Island. It is indeed the last hurrah for our summer visitors. This weekend, an entire tour group of Japanese visitors have been on the island. It's been very enjoyable hearing a different language and watching them covering the island on many of Brad's bicycles wearing huge smiles as they partake of an island visit.

A long tradition on Sunday of Labor Day Weekend is the Great Around Peaks Island Race. At 1pm the flag drops and any non motorized vessel that can make it is off and running trying to be the first around the island. Canoes, kayaks, row boats and all sizes of sailboats depart and for the next hour or so a semi formal race occurs. I was involved in working on the first couple of races and many strange things happened back in the early '80's. The original beginning was supposed to occur with a hand of each crew member on the local bar with the race then beginning. Not wishing to have anyone hurt by fifty individuals trying to get out the same door all at once, it was changed to a notable island attorney dropping the flag at the end of the pier to start the race. Of course, in the spirit of the day, he turned around, dropped his shorts and the race was on under a full moon. As I remember, one rather lengthy vessel was under the power of four rowers and was making remarkable progress against the other rowers when puffs of smoke were seen wafting their way out of the boat. It was later discovered there was a nice 4 horsepower single stroke engine greatly assisting them; they did get an award for the best cheating of the race. Another individual paddled their canoe about halfway around the island, came ashore, threw the canoe into her pickup truck, went to the other side of the island and reentered the race; she won the Rosie Ruiz award.

Many wonderful hours were spent afterwards with fellow islanders tasting assorted chili dishes in the Great Peaks Island Chile Bake off. A simple yet effective way to send off our summer visitors and once again begin to reclaim our island. Fun times. Enjoy some pictures from today's Great Race.


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