Friday, July 31, 2009

Tub Racing 2009. Team Winter Harp

Of a tub and a gale is my briny tale,
Of things that splash on the main,
Of trials and terrors, and minor errors,
That make up the tubbing refrain.

The waters of the Port, have seen many a sort,
But the strangest they ever did see,
Was a tubber of mirth, of Catalan birth,
(where soft watches melt just like Brie).

Now tub 415, had much to contrive,
With unique features and gear.
The Winter Harp troupe, which sponsored this group,
Plays the Port Theatre each year.

The crew left town, and booted on down,
To Horseshoe Bay in the dark,
It had been a long day, and getting away,
Was not exactly a lark.

At the crack of dawn, the crew straggled on,
And breakfasted at Café Modern.
Then getting the tub, threw a prop on the hub,
And gave local waters a churn.

The Master of the Sea, Gus, did decree
That the tub must make 30 an hour.
"To run that low, will certainly slow,
And the chances of winning will sour."

With various heights tried, and all certified,
To change speed a bit each time,
Pace was gained, but wave handling strained,
Though the tub still turned on a dime.

With the motor set, lunch was 'et,
And the tub was taken for teching.
"The numbers a bit small, so felt pen them all,
And we'll sign you up with our blessing."

Now the old Port town , like an old wedding gown,
Has history to rival the East.
With timeless grace, it hosts The Great Race,
In the spirit of Hemingway's feast.

The events that night, were jocund and light,
With friends witty and wry.
Fireworks of all sort, lit up the whole Port,
And lightning filled much of the sky.

The dawn that came, was remarkably tame,
And the meeting succinct and quick,
But the winds soon came out, and sloshed waves about,
So the seas were no longer slick.

The crew did their best, the tub to wrest
And start it on its fateful way.
Numbers applied, large on each side,
Thanks to Ben, Jan, Fred and Jay.

"I love the smell of two-stroke in the morning,"
Yelled the skipper of 415.
The white ship was launched, the drain holes staunched,
And the tub engine came alive.

The tubs milled about, and all gave a shout,
When the last cannon signaled the start.
The commotion in the ocean filled all with emotion
Like an opera by Amadeus Mozart.

The start of the race, had a frantic pace,
With tracks where boats have just roamed.
The small engines howled, the big engines growled,
And the seas were churned cloudy and foamed.

In this turbulent mix, the tubbers tried tricks,
To get ahead of the deafening maelstrom.
The fastest roared past, with the slower aghast,
At the acres of jetsam and flotsam.

The harp tub surged on, and past many along,
Till it hit a large snag of sea kelp,
Finding reverse, (the crew feared the worse),
The tubber freed it up with no help.

Around the bottom isle, in a single file
The tubbers past the first post.
Now all were exposed, and often bulldozed,
By waves surging off the far coast.

The tub surged forth, aiming to North
Till they neared the Isle of Winchelsea.
The tub ran well, pounding into the swell,
And the engine screamed like a banshee.

But near sight of the top, the engine did stop!
To the great consternation of all.
The skipper was zapped, cresting waves lapped,
Into the little white hull.

With the bilge pumping out, the crew gave a shout,
And brought the tub in at the side.
The engine did start, but without much heart,
And off it raced on the tide.

The tub went anew, but in yards just a few,
The engine sputtered and died.
"Gentlemen please" said Joaquin with unease,
And the chase boat gurgled aside.

The following seas, threw waves with the breeze,
And churned the waters like Charybdis.
Ben grabbed the front, and the tub was buoyant,
But much on this ship was amiss.

"I'm getting fried" the skipper cried,
"And the engine dies at speed!"
The switch at the wheel, had ruptured a seal,
A quick cut, now the back had the feed.

He started again, though he thought of the strain,
Of this trouble now hopefully past.
But quick as a wink, the bathtub did sink,
And the engine gave its last blast.

They gave it a turn, and tied to the stern,
The tub was safely aboard.
The crew returned, a hard lesson learned,
At the end of a crimson kill cord.

"Bathtub control," said Jay to console,
"We failed to carpe diem."
"We're out of this race, and stopped giving chase.
We've simply run out of helium."

With natchos and brew, and coladas too,
The soggy crew was soon drying.
With resolve anew, and much laughter too,
Joaquin promised to "never stop trying."

The team will return, much glory to earn,
And race through gales and a storm.
For so long as we try, and the odds we defy,
We shall live a life less like the norm.