Saturday morning, I’m onsite before dawn. It’s a photographer thing, not necessarily my thing after drinking late night with boat friends, but we do what we need to in order to get the shots. The club has its own lighthouse, neat to see against the predawn sky.
As the sun starts to rise, great colors emerge over the tranquil water which make for great images.
More boats arrive along with many land displays of boats and classic cars.
The show is kicked off with a local choir singing the national anthem as well as the Canadian national anthem. Being September 11th, there is a 911 dedication. Since it isn’t in the chapter budget to have the Blue Angels fly over after the dedication, instead, they had a performance boat fly by. Two MTI cats and a few other fast boats zipped by at over 100 miles per hour. Many docked at the show afterwards, a nice addition to the displays.
A cruise around Grand Island was scheduled for Sunday morning but we woke up to high winds, overcast skies, and the threat of thunderstorms. The 8AM departure was delayed as we all checked the radar on our smartphones. Every app indicated something different. Finally, a hearty group of boaters decided there was a window between squalls and departed. We lucked out, while still overcast and windy, not a drop of rain fell as we circumnavigated Grand Island.
There were roughly 60 boats in the water and another 30 on land plus the cars, making a very nice show. The spectator attendance seemed to be very busy. Some boats did late afternoon fly bys off the outer pier. The bar was packed all afternoon right up to the awards dinner which featured excellent steaks. Being this was a Gar Wood gathering, the Turcotte family, builders of the modern Gar Wood boats, were well recognized.
At the north end, you can see the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario. We pause for a moment, look north, and consider that we are just three miles from a 167’ drop over the falls! Not a good location for your motor to quit! Fortunately, no one has issues.
The rest of the ride on the west side is calm and pretty scenic. Sadly, the sun didn’t show much. The international line is very close to the US side so we were technically in Canadian waters for a good part of the run. From what I understand, as long as you are moving along and don’t have any alcohol onboard, the Canadian authorities won’t bother you.
Overall, I can highly recommend attending this show. The venue is great, the people are friendly and the food is good. I met Andy Chudy, a Niagara Frontier member at the Clayton show. He was complimentary of my photography and suggested I should go to Buffalo, so many thanks to him for twisting my arm. And many thanks to the Niagara Frontier chapter for such nice hospitality. I’ll be back!