Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dragon Boating

Dragon Boating is a huge sport here. It's so popular they've dedicated an entire public holiday to it.

Let's start with the basics. What is a dragon boat and what is dragon boat racing? Dragon boating is a sprint race involving large 22-person boats (canoes on crack, really) in the water. The second photo was taken from our bedroom window and is an actual race.

While Stanley is the main dragon boating hub, Discovery Bay was one of only a few other HK spots that held races. In true DB form, the town got decked out in Dragon Boat fever. Here's a view of the D Deck (where lots of our restaurants are) with the beach (starting line) in the background.

Here's the beach where each team had their own tent:

In the heart of the plaza were booths selling everything from ice cream to oriental rugs and a huge stage, where I'm guessing they presented the winners with trophies. New Balance saw a good marketing opportunity and asked some employees to hand out fliers. Anyone else thinking Halloween 2009?!

The beauty of dragon boating is that people of all ages, sizes and skill levels can participate. Usually, dragon boaters break down into 2 groups -- serious competitors and people who want to do something funny when they're wasted. We have friends who are serious competitors and who trained for a good 6 weeks leading up to the day (they came in 2nd overall!) Then there are these people, whose boats I'd rather be on any day!

We had a great first Dragon Boating holiday -- spent the day at Zak's with friends, drinking beer, eating calamari and enjoying the decent weather. Unfortunately things didn't stay that way. We came home to find Victor a little out of sorts and after taking him to the vet, on our way back home he proceeded to have cluster seizures. Vin and I literally thought he was dying. It was awful. After spending the night in the animal emergency room on HK Island, Victor was diagnosed with epilepsy. The good news is that it's a livable condition; the bad news (or good news for Victor) is that we'll have to give him valium up the pooper shooter during his next seizure to keep things under control. Now THAT should be a good time.

Here's a picture of our epileptic pug the when he got home from the hospital.

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