Sunday, January 20, 2013
Hong Kong Fire Boat 4 patrolling the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter.
Fire Boat 4 is berthed at Aberdeen Fireboat Station to provide fire and rescue cover to Aberdeen Harbour and southern waters. I've seen Fire Boat 4 in action once, fighting a fire at one of the shipyards that surround the Typhoon Shelter.
As my boat, Watermark, is a wooden boat, I am very happy to have Fire Boat 4 as a neighbor close by in Aberdeen.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
One of the sampans I often see, and sometimes catch a ride to shore with, specializes in delivering block ice to the boats of the Typhoon Shelter. Ice is important for the fishing boats to keep the catch fresh, to the excursion boats to keep the beverages cold, and to Typhoon Shelter dwellers without shore electric power to maintain the refrigeration of their "ice boxes". The ice cargo is carried on the bow of the sampan covered in layers of burlap as the sampan makes its rounds in the mornings to deliver blocks to customers.
Dragon Boat team training and racing are a feature of life in the Typhoon Shelter. Dragon Boat crews train mostly in the evenings and at night, and are usually noticed first by their drumming and chants before you see them. During the weeks and months of training, its impressive to see a new crew awkwardly going through its first lessons to growing into a skillful and synchronized team paddling with powerful strokes to surge their boat forward.
I have yet to take a good photograph of a Dragon Boat team in action, but it's an intriguing team sport with its own culture that I hope to learn more about.
Wikipedia - For competition events, dragon boats are generally rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails. At other times such as training the decorative regalia is usually removed, although the drum often remains aboard for practice by drummers.