Normally at this event, Koos and I, together with members of the family, take the Vereeniging on a lap of honour of the five harbours that make up our outdoor museum complex. But this year, even though we fixed the engine problem (see last post), we found our departure was blocked by a row of barges and tugboats right across the entrances (or exits) on both sides, so we couldn't leave our mooring. We didn't mind though. We just climbed in my little rowing boat with an electric outboard motor instead, and wove our way between the other vessels to see what was going on.
|Our exit was blocked by boats|
Sunday's event was what was called a toeterconcert. Apparently, these are not unusual in Holland, probably because there are so many boats with horns, but what happened was this: a collection of brass bands gathered on a huge pontoon barge which was set halfway up the slipway (which I'd vacated last Friday). They were directed by a conductor from one of the boats in the harbour by means of a microphone and loudspeaker. They played a number of pieces with great enthusiasm if not much finesse, and at intervals they were joined by the barges and boats hooting their horns.
|A collection of brass bands gathered on a pontoon |
halfway up the slipway
|Small boats filled with onlookers|
|People watched from the bridges and terraces|
|Harbour families watching from their rowing boats|
Then at one point, a trumpeter standing high on the platform of a fire-fighting tugboat, played a magnificent solo. It was quite breathtaking. The whole show ended with the same boat creating a huge fountain of spray with its high pressure hose. What a fitting end!
|A trumpeter plays on the fire-extinguisher platform of|
a fire boat/tugboat
|The tug's fire extinguishers create a fountain of spray|
All in all it was a great day and another fabulous World Harbour Days celebration to add to the memory collection. In fact, I haven't missed one now for several years as the event marks the end of summer for most of us here. Isn't it great it always does so with so much aplomb?
I describe other, former World Habour Days in my book, Harbour Ways. If you would like to read a sample of the book, you can find it here