Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dragon boats on the Cuyahoga

This was the tenth year of dragon boat races on Cleveland's Cuyahoga River. This has been on my 'Cleveland bucket list' for a few years. The last three years i did not make it, the weather didn't agree, and one year freighter traffic near scuttled it. For more than a week it has been forecast to rain, and it did so. My determination was a little stronger, this time, and it was not raining when i left house.

A little further, and earlier, more upriver there was a rowing regatta for 1, 2, 4,and 8 man sculls. This was a separate sport. Dragon boats have twenty paddlers, a drummer, and a tillerman.

By 8.15 heavy rain came, and i was so pleased there was a tent by the opening ceremonial spot. There was to be at 8.30 a Buddhist blessing, and the painting of the dragon head's eyes. With the rain the paint was further diluted, and some of the eyes looked like cataracts. The rain delayed proceedings. The sandalwood incense was quenched.  A little thunder and lightning before hand.
Three heads, i mistakenly thought they were to be attached to the boats; but they remained on the platform.
Shih Ying-Fa gave the invocations. He sprinkled the crowd, and with good humour saying it would be redundant. Gus Chan of the local daily is in the foreground with camera.
The painting of the eyes.

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