Every year, the James River Advisory Council sponsors a Boat Parade of Lights from just south of Richmond to just before the Varina-Enon Bridge, about thirteen miles in all. In 2004, we had attended the festivities at the Osborne Landing Park and vowed that next year, we would be IN the parade.
Sure enough, Rockhopper made it into the 2005 Parade of Lights. She carried, in addition to her permanent crew, our teenage son, Ken, his friend, Justin, and our friends, Steve, Mel and their young son, Sam. This was Sam's first time on a boat and he was FASCINATED!
Rockie taught us a few things about herself that trip - especially about the importance of being ready for any eventuality! A minor transmission problem resulted in us getting separated from the rest of the parade for the first part of the trip and we had to navigate the dark, cold river alone.
However, we were able to catch up with the rest of the parade before the judging, thanks in no small part to the Henrico Marine Patrol (thanks, guys!) and Rockhopper took home her first boat award - Second Prize in the Big Boat category! Not bad for three people, an inflatable penguin and a bazillian lights!!