2019 Picnic and Regatta

Bill Bialkowski

On Saturday August 3, under a gorgeous sky with light breezes, we all gathered between 1 and 4 PM at Fitzgerald Bay beach for our picnic and regatta, and had a wonderful time. People came by boat and car and we filled the beach nicely. We had a dozen kayaks for racing events. In spite of the very high-water level, the beach was just fine for both swimming and boating. At 3PM – the peak, a headcount revealed 72 were present. There were lost of kids. Murray Hogeboom and Don Clement sold tickets for food, drinks and a raffle. Sausages and hot dogs were $2 each, while drinks were $1 each. Raffle tickets were $2 each, or three for $5.Picture of Graham Tucker

Pam Wing and most board members and families were there. By luck, Jeremy Gawen, our past president, was present as he was a weekend guest at our cottage. Jeremy and I came by boat towing a couple of extra kayaks for the races.

A special thanks goes to Graham Tucker who took on the task of West Carling Press photographer and the accompanying photos are his work.

Bruce Davidson and David Tool did yeoman service BBQ’ing hotdogs and sausages which were promptly devoured by a ravenous crowd which lined up many deep in front of the BBQ. Adrian Crowe with megaphone in hand, outdid himself and organized swim and kayak races. New this year was ‘musical boats’; Adrian’s impromptu invention. Twelve kids stood in the water and near 12 kayaks, while Cathy Crowe played music over the megaphone. When the music stopped, each kid would grab a kayak and sit on it. But on each turn, Adrian removed one kayak, and so someone had to be ‘out’ on each turn. The winner was the last person sitting on a kayak. It was a hoot.

The picnic ended with the raffle draw at 4PM – raffle tickets having sold briskly. To my complete embarrassment I was the winner of the raffle and did not even know it! As luck would have it, at the time of the draw I was busy preparing the boat to tow kayaks back, and missed the actual raffle draw. I have never won a raffle in my life! To my astonishment, Joe Tucker, our cottage neighbour, stopped at our dock at about 5PM and said – hey Bill – here are all the goodies you won in the raffle!! Suddenly it rained goodies from heaven. The haul included – a delux folding chair complete with drink holders for each fist, a bottle of Georgian Bay Gin (for the left hand perhaps?), a coupon for free samples from Norse brewery (for the right hand perhaps?), a coupon for a jar of Crofters jam, and a video. And after all the drinking and eating is done, the video “Alone in the Night” is a history of lighthouses on Georgian Bay, Manitoulin and the North Channel, so we can relax and learn a bit of the Georgian Bay’s past.  As a suggestion for future raffles it may be worthwhile to designate first, second and third winners and spread the wealth more equitably, than winner takes all.