Up early and ready to head to San Diego. Out ETA is around 11:00. Glad to report that the traffic around LA was almost a non issue. Need to remember that early Sat. morning is a good time to beat the traffic. Arrived to SD as planned and by the time we had put our kayaks in Ryan's garage he and Jeff showed up. They had been working on a coding app to see if they could beat the system of basketball contests. We quickly changed our agenda to one of getting the boat ready for the parade. it had rained this week so all decorations had been stored inside the boat, which meant we had some work to do. Some improvements were made and with many hands the lights, lanterns, flags and pinatas went up. During the prep work, we got a message from a NOLS friend who had just arrived to the San Diego harbor on his sailboat. With little notice, he was psyched to join the crew for the parade. Our crew for the night included: Beth, Ryan, Jeff, Don, Donna ,Jim and 4 friends of Ryan and Beth( Eric, Scott, Kurt and Ryan). With all those helping hands the decorations went up quickly and we left the dock around 4:30. To our dismay as we headed to the starting point numerous boats were heading into anchorage and the ocean quickly came a mass of waves. Not good for the lights, lanterns and pinatas as we watched them take quite a beating. Fortunately we were able to repair a strand of lights and only lost several silver strands from the pinatas. As the sunset the seas became calm and the 70 plus boats ranging from paddle boards to huge yachts filed into somewhat of a line. Over 40,000 people lined the shores.
It was exciting to see all the effort that the participants had put into decorating their boats. We of course thought that we had the best one! We found out that the theme for this Parade, International Christmas, was actually a suggestion that Ryan had made at the previous banquet. As we circulated the shore we would often do a cheer...We say Merry you say Christmas. Most of the spectators got it and it was fun to see their participation. We did our best to impress the judges as we went by their station. Finally around 9 it was time to head back to the dock, a bit hoarse, a bit cold and a lot tired.