Gung Haggis dragon boat team paddles False Creek and takes in pre-Olympic sight-seeing.
We have a dragon boat team of keeners…. who wanted to paddle in February. It was our first paddling practice since early November, when we had a few practices after paddling in the Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta. Fifteen people jumped into the dragon boat for 11am practice on Sunday Feb 7th,
And… I think… I really needed to paddle to get myself warmed up for paddling in the dragon boat flotilla that will accompany the Olympic Torch Relay on Feb 12th, for when Gold medalist Olympian Hugh Fisher will pass off the Olympic Torch from a dragon boat to Olympian Kamini Jain in a voyageur canoe.
I only paddled for half the practice. if
that… I also coached some of the paddlers a bit for some 1-on-1 coaching for only half the
time. I steered for the remaining half, after switching with Stephen Wong, who started off steering for the team.
The team met at the parking lot for False
Creek Yacht Club for 11am, then had a quick warm-up, then headed to the
boat for 11:15am, headed over to Alder Bay to pick up Debbie, then back to
FC Yacht Club to pick up a paddler named Tony who arrived late after his morning meeting. Next we paddled towards and past the Burrard St. Bridge to show
paddlers where the lights are for the from the
nightly spectacular light show.
I pointed out where the boat launch for the Burrard Marina is, where dragon boat paddlers for the flotilla that will accompany the Olympic Torch Relay will organize.
Next we paddled Eastward to Granville Island to identify the Ferry dock at West Side of Granville Island,
where the torch will be handed to torchbearer Olympian Hugh Fisher. We looked over at the bright yellow building, formerly known as Bridges Restaurant, that is now being transformed into the Swiss Pavillion. At the North end of the Granville St. Bridge is a floating hotel lodge that has been towed down from Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) that is normally lodged at Langara Island.
We took a little stretch, then switched sides. I took a turn at steering, and let veteran paddlers Stephen Wong take his turn for paddling. Just East of Granville Island is the Spruce Harbour Marina, where nearby, is the area where Hugh will pass the torch to Kamini
Jain in the middle of False Creek. Hugh will be in the dragon boat, and pass the torch to Kamini in the voyageur canoe. There are great viewing areas from both the North and South sides of False Creek, so it is perfect for cameras and television crews to set up for a unique photo opportunity.
We spotted the big black
pontoon floats that are being used for security to block off the boat
traffic in the East Bay, that are positioned along Cambie St. Bridge. We paddled along beside it and waved to the officers in the Police Boat, guarding the perimeter, that includes the Olympic Village.
Next we paddled near the Yaletown ferry dock, where
Kamini will hand the torch to a runner, after she climbs out of the voyageur canoe. The torch will then proceed up the streets towards Georgia Street, where it will arrive at the First Nations Aboriginal Pavillion where there will be a blessing ceremony. This will be one of the final stops of the Olympic Torch before it travels to the Opening Ceremonies about 2 blocks down the street to BC Place Stadium, later in the evening.
It was a good paddle, and our paddlers were happy and pleased that I would be a part of the dragon boat flotilla accompanying the Olympic Torch Relay. But most of all, the paddlers were all happy to be paddling again, and in friendly company. Many times I heard somebody say, “I'm just here for the social aspects” as we paddled back to FC Yacht
Club…. by about 12:30pm.
The next plan was to have lunch. I promised that I would treat everybody to dim sum lunch, if they came paddling.
We were at Floata Restaurant for dim sum,
at 1pm, at least my car was. Other people got re-routed by traffic
diversions. By the time they arrived, there were lots of dim sum selections on the table. Haw-gow shrimp dumplings, Siu-mai pork dumplings, Lo-bak-goh pan-fried turnip cake. We also tried a special appetizer plate that included jelly fish, crispy pork skin and bbq pork. There was also shanghai style dumpling with shrimp meat and green vegetable, steamed pork bun, sliced-almond covered shrimp balls, fish cakes, and more! I also ordered house special chow mein with crispy noodles, and Geurng-chow-ngor-hah flat rice noodles with sliced beef.
This was Katie's first time having dim sum in Vancouver. She's originally from Ontario, and only been in Vancouver almost a year…. and somehow never found her way to dim sum yet.
Georgia pronounced that the meal was “heaven”
GREAT LUNCH!!! and we finished off with Chinese egg tarts for dessert.