Launching Billie (‘Dark BOFO’)
posted Jun 20, 2015, 9:01 PM by Posts Editor [ updated Jun 22, 2015, 12:32 AM]
|Saturday the 20th June began with a congregation of well wishers gathered to see the new St Ayles Skiff named and launched, and ended late that evening with jiving at the Wooden Boat Centre to tunes from a Rolling Stones Greatest Hits record (‘High Tide and Green Grass’) that had miraculously survived the depredations of the decades. In between were highlights almost too numerous to mention:
* a Gaelic hymn to bless the boat from the choir led by Tiffany Eckhardt, which brought a tear to many an eye;
* John Young’s canine history of Franklin, leading to the new boat being named ‘Billie’ in memory of the late lamented doggie mascot of the LBT;
* Peter Laidlaw piping ‘Billie’ into the water;
* a row past by the team that built ‘Billie’, skippered by Graham Rankin who managed the project;
* racing between many teams aboard ‘Billie’, ‘Imagine’, and ‘Swan’ from Cygnet;
* cruises up and down the river on ‘Nancy’;
* lots of good tucker served by Ros Barnett, Endra O’May and the team;
* a bonfire and ritual sacrifice to St Ayles;
* a whaleboat lifting, which saw a team of thirty stow the Montague Whaler into the Wooden Boat Centre side shed;
* music from the ‘Low Hanging Fruit’;
* the running of the Roger Harwood dinghy race, ultimately won by John Young.
It was one of the (many) days when there was no better place to be than at the Living Boat Trust on the banks of the Huon – the Riviera of Tasmania.