Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Lobser Fest

Rockland, Maine N 44 05,831 W 69 05.786
We rowed in to the Lobster Fest this morning. It was more than and less than what we expected. The fest is primarily a carnival -- similar to those that travel to small towns all across America. However, there were some unique points that we enjoyed.
We met Ron Cowan and chatted with him for a while. Ron is a sculptor who creates chain saw sculptures on logs. Unlike most such sculptures, Ron's are delicate and finely featured. Both Libby and I were enchanged by them. Ron's web site is www.gardenfaces.com. I told Ron that we live on a boat and that I was safe from Libby buying expensive things because they don't fit onboard. Ron said that he could carve us a figurehead to mount under the bowsprit. We talked about that but I concluded that any figurehead with boobies big enough to make me happy would make Libby unhappy.


We went to the show by the Windjammer Barbershop Chorus. It was great. Besides sounding great, those men were such performers (some would say hams) that we could plainly see how much fun they were having doing the show. Not only that, but their music was superbly rehearsed and refined to the point that a false note could nere be heard. That was fun.
Next we watched the kids cod carrying contest. Small kids have to dress up in a man's foul weather gear then pick up and carry a codfish that weighed half as much as they do across the stage.
Libby had a lobster roll for lunch and she said it was delicious. Since we had a lobster dinner last week we didn't buy one today. Nevertheless, it was lots of fun watching the Mainiacs (people from Maine) attack a lobster. They make short work of it. In the lobster eating contest a 7 year old boy won with a time of one minute 12 seconds.
The big event of the day was the great crate race. Thousands of people jammed in to see at the water's edge but Libby and I went out in the dinghy and had the best seats in the house. I'll post pictures later, but let me attempt to describe this race in words. The contest uses 50 wooden crates used to pack lobsters. The crates are made of wooden slats with large air gaps between the slats. They float, but barely. The 50 crates were strung together to form a sort of bridge across the bay. When you step on a crate it immediately begins to sink under your feet. The heavier you are, the faster it sinks. To cross the bridge, you have to be small and light, and you also have to be very sure footed and very swift. To pause or slow down makes you fall in the water immediately. Most contentants slipped and fell or sunk immediately within tow or three crates. A few made it all the way across. The winner was an 8 year old boy who crossed the bridge once, twice and nearly three times before falling. Needless to say, the audience including us, had great fun watching this spectacle.

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