Sunday, February 12, 2017

Not The Silliest Holiday I've Heard of but Probably in the Top Three

Of course most of us are at work on a Monday.  Willingly we leave hearth and home (does anyone have a hearth these days?) and journey to the temples of capitalism in which we are the lowliest acolytes there to perform the rites that will ensure that each of us will be granted the boons of productivity from a beneficent lord and our larders will be filled with tins of food to enable us to survive another day.  Thus it is, thus it has always been.

Except in Tasmania of course where the lazy buggers have the day off.  To be fair not all of them have the day off.  Assuming anyone is actually employed in the north and western parts of the state (somebody must be handing out the welfare cheques) they will be turning as usual.  In the south and east however idleness reigns.  For today is Hobart Regatta Day.  On this day apparently everyone in the south-east of the state is given the day off to mess about in boats.

According to this blog's Improbable Holidays correspondent there will be boat races, dressing up as pirates, wood chopping (???) and an attempt at the Guinness World Record for the simultaneous launch of canoes and kayaks.  That's right the sort of activity that normally only occurs when Greenland goes to war is apparently dignified with a public holiday.

The Royal Hobart Regatta is apparently Australia's largest aquatic event.  At least, according to the Royal Hobart Regatta it is.  Judging from the photos on their website its pretty big in the wood chopping stakes as well.  And it isn't just chopping, apparently there is sawing as well.  Anything that can done to a hapless chunk of timber is apparently turned into a spectator sport with vast crowds baying for sap as the splinters go flying.

But of course the tree butchery is a mere sideshow.  It's on the water where the real action is.  There are powerboat races, sailing boat races. rowing races and of course the aforementioned canoes and kayaks.  All of this aquatic enthusiasm takes place under the benign eye of the Flagship of the Regatta.  The flagship of the regatta this year is HMAS Choules a navy vessel that was actually designed to haul tanks, troops and other assorted bits and pieces to those parts of the world not connected to Australia by motorways.  She is described as being "highly operational" which is better than just plain old operational because, well, its highly.  Part of being highly operational apparently involves being landed on by helicopters.  It managed 1000 helicopter landings in a twelve month period, presumably some of them took off again.  The presence of such a floating transport hub means, of course, that Hobart airport is now only the second busiest airport in the state.  Fortunately for the airport's pride I presume the Choules will be leaving once the regatta is over (unless her presence is part of a secret plot to invade Tasmania while everyone is busy at the regatta).

I hope my blog's correspondent is enjoying herself as she bobs, disguised as a jellyfish, in the Derwent River taking notes while jetskis thunder past and clouds of woodchips make breathing the air only slightly easier than actually inhaling a tree.  I expect tales of excitement, horror, drama and suspense to make their way to me tomorrow.  For those wretched denizens of Tasmania who don't live close enough to Hobart to have a public holiday they have another eight or so long weary months before they get their own public holiday.  I believe its called Not Hobart Regatta Day.

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