Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Scottish Games

Cead mile fàilte!  (a hundred-thousand welcomes!)
Yep, not a too boating related post today.   Consider, though, that when cruising one often does touristy stuff and this was the 36th annual Scottish games in Savannah.  Gibsons were originally from Scotland, part of Clan Buchanan.  We got kicked out of there and moved to Ireland.  They didn't want us either so we immigrated to the US.  It's only a matter of time...

It was only a couple of miles away so off we went in the T-bird.  Well, almost off.    We uncovered the Thunderbird and piled in and then I realized that I had forgotten the camera.  When I got back to the car, I had to extricate Ben.

We arrived at the parking lot, a big cow pasture.  The parking attendant said he would park our car for us and to give him the keys.  What a kidder.

The place was crowded.  There is a history of Scots who moved to the Savannah area and they're proud of their heritage here.  This had all the makings of a fun day.  Where else would you get a chance to see something like this, a big man in a skirt throwing a big heavy thing.

Just to set the record straight about kilts; I think a tee shirt I saw said it best- "This is a kilt. If it was a skirt, I'd be wearing something under it". These athletes were wearing something under their kilts though. They were doing a lot of spinning and their kilts were twirling straight out.

The Scottish games originated in 1057 by King Malcolm Ceanmore as a way to keep his military in shape.  The weight this fella is throwing weighs 56 pounds.

The contestants might be plumbers or construction workers, but they're every bit the athletes at these competitions. 

One of the events was tossing a sheave, a bundle of hay, with a pitchfork. The idea is to see who can throw it the highest. 

These guys were just practicing.  During the actual event, they throw over a bar that gets raised as the competition progresses.

Besides the athletic events, there were booths set up for each clan represented at the games, food booths, and merchandise booths.

It was 96 degrees with 99% humidity, and that brain freezing slushy was go-oood.

The competitions weren't just about big burly men.  It was also open to big burly women.

There's also highland dance competition.

Highland dancing is a serious competition.  Not only is it athletic, but these girls are wearing all wool clothing.  96 degrees.  99% humidity.  In front of judges.

Now, look at the next photo closely.  Click on it to enlarge it.

This gentleman has just tossed a caber, a 90 to 120 pound log that is 16 to 20 feet long.  The competitor holds the narrow end of the log in his hands, picks it up balancing it on his shoulder, runs forward and tosses it high into the air.  The idea is to spin it 180 degrees so that the large end hits the ground and the log lands at the 12 o'clock position. 

He nailed it.

There was also a demonstration of working border collies.  They herded both sheep and... ducks!

The Scottish games would be nothing without bagpipes and drums.

Or cute kids.

Or distinguished old gents.

I love a marching band that actually marches in step.

It was time for the marching of the clans.

Tug of war time!  Men versus women!  Best of three!

The women won the first one easily.  More men were recruited from the audience.   One was the guy in black.

The announcer was dumbfounded when he trotted onto the field, referring to him as Arnold Swartzenegger.   He's an Army Ranger.  "God created Army Rangers so that Navy Seals could have heroes too", the announcer quipped.  The men won the next two rounds.

We had a lot of fun, but it was back to the boat to sit in the shade and to enjoy the coolness of the water

Friends from the Norwalk dog park, Ben and Ensign, arrived on Relemar.  They're headed north back to Norwalk.

Ensign is a border terrier.  He's a real cutie.

Finally, last night's super moon.  It's caused super high and super low tides.  High tides are not a problem, but the low tides caused the water on the ICW to be two feet lower than normal, resulting in many boats going aground yesterday.  If you're boating, watch the tides.

1 comment:

  1. You make it like we were there. You ROCK Dave! Stay on that mink, you'll catch him....