Friday 13 September 2013

The Wet Side of Friday the 13th

     "And in the lonely cool before dawn, you hear their engines roaring on..."
                                                                           -Bruce Springsteen

    Port Dover is a fishing port.
    Port Dover is a beach town.
    Port Dover is a retiree community.
    Port Dover is a bedroom community.

    And every Friday the 13th Port Dover becomes a motorcycle magnet.

     The legend is now well-known:  Thirty years or so ago, a bunch of buddies rode their bikes to a bar.  They had such a good time they vowed to do it every Friday the 13th, and invite their friends.

     Who in turn invited their friends.

      Now, Friday the 13th attracts thousands of motorcycles to Port Dover, and tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of visitors.  The town becomes, for all intents and purposes, closed off to any vehicular traffic that rolls on more than two (or three) wheels.

      That means a lot of walking and shuttle buses and hassle, if you aren't two wheeling it into town.

      But, got a boat?  If you can find room to tie up or raft up on the wall, you're in.

      This year, the weather was...less than promising.


  If there's no room on the pier, you can always drop anchor inside off the beach...inside the marked swim area.

   Cool or uncool?  I dunno.  Nobody is swimming, or likely to be swimming, but.  it seems like it's a little like parking in a handicapped space.  Yeah, sure, nobody else is using it now...

  Pontoon boats, sport boats, new boats, old boats, big boats, small boats,  runabouts, bowriders, cabin cruisers, dinghies,  fishing boats, trawlers, tugs...


   ...all represented.  

    And one lone sailboat.

    Whiskeyjack, sailing deep to represent the blowboaters!


    I managed to nab the last open spot on the waterfront with enough keeldepth, right behind the shuttered Misener's fish processing plant. It's kinda eerie:


  One of the things that I really like about Friday the 13th is it's run-what-you-brung-it's-all-good vibe.  Showbikes, ratbikes, tourers, cruisers, cafe racers, crotch rockets, sidehacks, scooters, all are welcome. 
   The boats reflect the same vibe.  This shot sorta sums up the day for me:

    More boats:

    An impressive staircase on this Carver:  

   Normally found on the end of Dock 4.  The name is an acronym.  


    Looks like Lord Vader's Imperial Cruiser lurks in the distance:

   Thee was the de rigeur police presence, both at the Provincial level:

    and the Coasties had their BlackBoat out:

  The presence was obvious but largely good natured and not intrusive.

    And kinda picturesque:

  As we have learned over the last century, when one assaults a beachhead by both land and sea, it behooves one to have air cover. So it goes here.  
    Constantly overhead throughout the day, fixed wing:

   And rotor air support:

   In an effort to win the hearts and minds of the locals,    Canadian comedic gadabout Rick Mercer showed up. 
 "I'm going where?  For what?"

 When the CBC sends Mercer, you know you've arrived.
  (Actually this is the second time that Monsieur Mercer has moseyed down to our little burg: he was here in 2009 as the result of a tremendous fundraising effort by Port Dover students.)

   Okay, this guy...

 ...says I need to post some bike pics.



    Temporary campsite, at the former Doverwood Public School.  Hundreds of tents and trailers.


     The fun continues tonight, with more live music down behind Bridge Yachts.

     Come on and join us some time. 
     Bring your bike. 
     Bring your friends.  
     Bring earplugs.

      And don't forget to...
     "Talk the Dock!"

No comments:

Post a Comment