Friday, July 2, 2010

Up close and personal

We're finding little "things" on the deck this morning.

Day before yesterday, when we anchored here in Ganges, we ended up with a prime spot. Apparently we arrived not long after several boats left. We are far enough to the dock to allow the seemingly continuous series of sea planes to get to the dock, but close enough to discourage anyone from anchoring between us and the dock. And outside of us is a "work in progress" wooden tug hanging on a rusty cable anchor rode. Everyone is giving him a wide berth.

But yesterday afternoon, when the large orange official-looking Marine Safety boat came up to us, I thought they were going to ask us to move. Not so. They informed us that there were going to be fireworks here in the evening, and that we should tell others who might be tempted to anchor inside of us that they would be in harm's way.

Canada Day fireworks! Wow! And it turns out that we got *the* front-row seat.
Like just about everybody, we have been to many fireworks displays - but not like this. As it got dark, Jane and I were out in the cockpit, trying to figure out where they would be shot from. And we remarked at all the people standing on the docks, also waiting for things to get going.

There was a rousing rendition of "O Canada!" from loudspeakers on the dock (and the entire harbor joined in!), and then the first rocket (OK, technically they are mortars) went up... from the dock! When it exploded it was directly above us - I literally ducked. Talk about impressive... Yes, I watched to make sure that nothing burning landed on us (setting the furled sails on fire would have ruined our evening); nothing ever did. These guys knew exactly what they were doing. There was the occasional "tink" as some piece of burned-out casing landed, but they were cool.

It was the most intimate encounter with large fireworks I have ever had. Well, except for the time when I was probably 8 years old and we went to see the fireworks at Arlington Heights, Ill. Something went wrong with one of the rockets, and it landed in the stockpile of unfired munitions. While running for our lives, I looked over my shoulder at the most impressive ground display I will ever see.

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