Hope Town held its Heritage Day Celebration this past weekend, with a huge turn out from all over the Abacos. This year focused on the Wyannie Malone Museum, but they also had six Abaco Dinghies set up for people to learn how to row or scull them. Dave and I were key people in getting these wooden boats bailed out (they took on water through their planks, since they had been stored on land until recently, and had yet to swell up once in the water), and then towed them over to the dock where the festivities took place.
The dinghies drew a lot of attention, and even the ladies came out to give it a try. It is a lot harder than it looks, that's for sure! The oar is long and heavy, and has to stay in a small notch on the back of the boat. Then you have to get it underwater and make it 'swim' down to push the boat ahead. If you don't keep the right angle or movement, the oar pops back up to the surface. I couldn't do it on my own, but Dave assisted.
Mercedes, the grocery store manager, did the best out of all of us, after a lesson from Harold Malone, who owns a couple of the dinghies. Her sculling talent must be in her blood from being Cuban. She's so funny and a ball of fire, laughing the whole time, and talking so fast you can't understand her.
Last year, only the guys that participated received shirts that said "A Gentleman and a Sculler". This year they presented the the women with shirts too..."A lady and a Sculler". Here we all got together for a photo while dancing and showing off our shirts.
Afterwards, I gave Dave a ride back to Harold's house, as we returned the boats back to his dock.
We certainly do enjoy the diversity here in Abaco! We never know what we will be getting involved in next.