Monday, August 16, 2010

Dragon Boat Festival!

I may have mentioned this last year, but during the summer we are absolutely filled to the brim with festivals and special events -- so much so that they sometimes overlap!

This weekend was mostly about the Dragon Boat Festival in the inner harbour. It’s a fun celebration of the Asian population here (one of several, Chinese New Year is a pretty big deal as well), but by no means limited to the Chinese population. This year a Dragon Boat actually got swamped, but by and large it was another large outdoor gathering of fun and culture. Here’s a couple of nice photos I made at the end of festivities on Sunday.





Anonymous said...

Part 1 : Hello from Salt Spring, again. Let me just say that lately your posts have been very timely. First the 'Investigator', then Stan Roger's North West Passage (I've already linked those two in earlier posts. Now, you manage to do it again. Twice. I can weave this thread through the Tamil immigrant's ship and the Dragon Boat Races. Thanks!

This weekend was not just the Dragon Boat Festival. It was also the 10 year reunion bash of the Crew of the Simon Fraser, and the St Roch II Voyage of rediscovery.

For brevity, I'll let you do some research yourself. But search on RCMP vessel St Roch, currently housed at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Amazing story. Then in 2000 the Museum and the RCMP mounted an expedition that put recreated one of the St Roch's missions through the arctic. While we were there, we looked for Franklin's ships (the Investigator link) and Stan's NW Passage was an unofficial anthem (the fireworks night link).


Anonymous said...

Part 2 : The boats that intercepted the Tamil's ship included the RCMP vessel Nadon. In 2000 she had been (temporarily) re-named the St Roch II. On July 1st the St Roch II left Vancouver, and headed north. In August she crossed from Alaskan waters back in Canadian waters at Tuktoyuktuk and continued east through the Canadian Arctic, via the North West Passage. Late September she arrived in Halifax, and the continued on south via the American coast, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, back up the California coast and arrived back in Vancouver in December IIRC having become one of a very very few vessels to have circumnavigated the continent. The original St Roch was the first vessel every to make that circumnavigation. The St Roch II also became the first catamaran and the first aluminum vessel to circumnavigate the continent. But she does not hold the record for fastest circumnavigation.

That record belongs to the (now retired) Canadian Coast Guard Ship Simon Fraser, that accompanied the St Roch II through the NW passage as a support vessel. Nearly twenty of the volunteer crew and officers of the Simon Fraser for that trip (and us) met at the Milestones overlooking the harbour and the dragon boat races this past weekend, to retell the tale and spin a yarn or two.

In truly Canadian fashion we did an amazing thing, with complete anonymity.

So - if you get a chance to tour the RCMP vessel Nadon, ask them why they have a Narwhale tusk on the bulkhead. You might get an interesting story. Or better yet, visit the St Roch at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. It's worth a visit to learn the story of the crew and Captain, who earned the Polar Medal - more difficult to get than the Victoria Cross.

"Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea;
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea."

chas_m said...

Absolutely remarkable stuff, thank you so much for these posts!!

I particularly love the line "In truly Canadian fashion we did an amazing thing, with complete anonymity."

Sadly so true!!

I'm just dumbfounded that you found a wonderful way to link all four of those posts together. Serendipity is amazing.