Tom and I got roped into paddling on a friend's dragon boat team for this weekend's Dragon Boat Festival. Dragon Boat competitions are huge up across the border in Canada, and last year it caught on here. There are 20 people (including a minimum of 8 women) paddling one of these narrow boats while a drummer drums from the bow of the boat to the stroke of the paddles and hollers out the strokes. Meanwhile, an oarsman balances in the stern and engineers the power created by the paddlers. It's quite the deal. And, it's not like paddling a canoe - you stroke QUICKLY and deeply - the length of the distance from the person's thigh directly in front of you back to your own thigh. You definitely put your whole body into it. And, you get very (very) wet! The canoe sits only about 2-4" off the water, and the strength of each paddle often causes water to come in. So, when you're done, you're soaked, and your feet are sitting in a couple inches of water. But, it's great fun! It's a sprint of a couple of minutes of full-out exertion.
We had our practice this afternoon, and, aside from the dumb galoot in front of me who couldn't keep in synchronization to save his life (and therefore kept cracking his paddle into mine), it went really well. Tomorrow should be an all-day affair with our initial race at 11:30. Apparently we race a few times during the day. Thank goodness there's a beer tent to entertain (and hydrate) us in between stints! ;)
For those of you keeping tabs, we do have new dates for the house raising. Because of this which led to that and such-and-such, we will raise the timbers in September. It will happen either the first week, before the 7th (when our timberframe builder has to teach a class), or after the 11th (when his class finishes). We're not really off schedule either - despite our initial plans to raise the house around August 11th. We gave ourselves enough leeway that things should still work out just fine. Besides, we need this extra stretch of time to get windows and doors and SIPs ordered (and arrived)!