Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's Show Time!

The Newport International Boat Show officially opens today at 10 am.  The opening is announced with the firing of what sounds like a cannon; the sound is still fading when the gates open and a stream of boat-loving humanity streams in.

Before the festivities begin however, the KKY crew fortifies itself with Pat's phenomenal breakfast.  They don't call the Spring Street Inn a B and B for no reason.  Pat's freshly prepared breakfast selections of hot things (crepes, waffles, french toast, omelets, scrambled eggs, sausages) and baked goods (croissants, biscuits, muffins, coffee cake), cereal, yogurt and fresh fruit would be reason enough to jump out of our Tempur-pedic equipped bed (no backaches from this bed)!

A crystalline sky and warm day greeted us as we walked the mile or so to the show.  The boat gods were indeed smiling on us (as they continued to do for the entire 4 days of the show).  I'm told Serenity brought good luck to KKY since it usually rains during this show.  Good thing too since the cleaning crew spent 4 hours cleaning her outside and another couple of hours cleaning the inside.  I found out later that she was cleaned every day of the boat show - wow!  This is the view that greeted us as we left the inn and headed for the show.
After waving our exhibitor's passes at the security staff, it was off to the boats.  I must confess that I stopped to do the merest bit of shopping in the quaint shops lining Thames St. as I walked to the show.  Actually the shopping wasn't so mere, but the captain may read this blog, so mum's the word.

Since Serenity was with the other trawlers and trawler wanna be boats, I had the opportunity to visit other boats.  I hopped aboard a 2+ million dollar Grand Banks 53 and a $395,000 North Pacific 39 - boats at either end of the cost spectrum.  The North Pacific is a nice entry-level boat and the Grand Banks is a lovely boat for weekend cruising.  Neither of them could hold a candle to Serenity though.  Yes, you could say I'm a bit biased, but the workmanship, lines and creature comforts just speak for themselves.
Between the boats of all types - both power and sail, boat equipment, boat stuff and things to eat, the show was overwhelming!  Huge tents were stuffed to the gills with every imaginable engine, thruster, compass, chair, mattress, first aid kit, ditch bag, and a thousand other things.  I smiled as I first walked into the show - tables advertising boat loans were the first thing one saw!  They're not dumb.

As I walked to where Serenity was waiting to meet her admiring fans, I was quite taken with her display.   KKY's blue and white flags fluttered on either side of Serenity.  The KKY folks waited on a nice-sized float covered by a tent, carpeted, with lovely chairs in which to sit.  There were large easels displaying their boats, including the new 52, a wood podium emblazoned with the KKY logo and 2 huge pots of fall mums.  Very classy!  Nothing but the most elegant surroundings for our elegant girl!  That's Shannon who orchestrated Serenity's showing and arranged for all the "furnishings".
The next few days found Serenity the center of much attention.  The KKY folks conducted countless tours and answered endless questions.  When I wasn't off shopping in the tents, I was on Serenity with Tom doing our best to help with some of the questions.  We were like proud parents, quickly offering that Serenity was ours at the slightest opportunity to boast.  There is something incredibly wonderful about hearing people exclaim over your boat and hearing them tell us how lucky we are.  We are indeed lucky and feel very fortunate at the same time.

In addition to enjoying showing Serenity off, Tom and I had some nostalgic moments in Newport.  We visited the Black Pearl for lunch and the White Horse Tavern for dinner.  Both places were visited during our first visit to Newport as newlyweds.  Tom was sailing on tankers at the time - one port of call was in Fall River, MA which is just across the river from Newport.  On one of my visits to meet the ship, Tom and I visited Newport and found those 2 places.

Forgive my photography.  I think I inadvertently had the camera set on something I shouldn't have.  Since I never have time (or the patience) to read owner's manuals, this is the result.

Tom and I enjoyed the show more than we initially thought we would.  Every day was like being at a party.  We met so many wonderful people, saw neat boat things we never knew existed, had dinner with KKY folks, and just enjoyed being in the moment.

I couldn't resist taking this picture of Serenity on my way back from one of my shopping trips.  It was nice to be able to stand back and take a full picture of her all dressed up for the show.
During the show, beautiful sailboats glided by adding to the excitement of being at a boat show in fabulous Newport.  I did a lot of pinching myself to assure myself that I was indeed at a boat show in which our very own boat was on display.
Sunday came all too quickly.  At 5 pm the final cannon shot was heard, announcing the end of the 2011 Newport International Boat Show.  The docks gradually emptied of people.  The sound of happy voices was replaced with people closing down their displays, forklifts going back and forth, shouts to move things along and the background noise of a closing show.  I sadly hugged my KKY

1 comment:

  1. Oops! Looks I was carried off in mid-sentence! I wanted to say that I sadly hugged my KKY friends good-bye all too quickly!