Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fair Winds!

When we arrived at Fort Adams park in Newport to attend the Volvo Ocean Race event, we didn't expect to see this when we crested the hill from the parking area.  Crap.  I thought in Newport we'd be away from big rigs for a change!
I don't know why, but it didn't at all occur to me when I saw the name Volvo, that there'd be actual trucks here.  I mean, you don't expect to see shampoo at a Proctor & Gamble sponsored event, right?
Thankfully it wasn't an event geared toward trucking.  There were a few references, but I don't think most of the crowd had much interest in it.  They were there to see racing boats.

Inside the Volvo Pavilion they had a few truck-related interactive displays, boating stuff, and some games for the kids.  In two other locations they were showing off the Volvo self-parking driverless car, in addition to having a few other Volvo car models available to look at. The last truck-related item was a display truck that was also at the Mid-America Trucking Show.  There was a guy inside babbling about all the cool stuff their new engine does.  Yawn.

It seems like that guy and us were the only people on the premises who knew a thing about trucking. This was not a trucking crowd.  This was a boating crowd. BIG difference. 

The event made it possible for attendees to see the 65-foot, carbon-fiber sailing yachts up close, with their crews. Not something most people have the opportunity to do. We were very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

I'm not really into boats, but I have to admit it was kind of interesting to learn more about the race and see the boats these people take out into the open ocean. Ed was in heaven. Personally, I think they're crazy.

Weather, waves, floating debris, icebergs, reefs.  And did you know that they don't eat any real food during the race legs?  They only eat freeze-dried food when they're at sea. Talk about dedication to your sport.
One of the display areas had a cross-section of a boat so you can climb around the interior.  No thank you.  It may look big from the outside, but the interior is tiny.  And you're in there for nine months with ten people on board. After a while the boat starts to smell - not just because there are so many people in such a small space, although I'm sure that plays a part - but because they keep all their garbage on board with them while they're at sea.

The team boats are very colorful - and each team prances around in team color clothing - my favorite was the women's team, SCA.  That bright pink and blue really stood out.  

It's Pink.  It belongs to the women's team, SCA.
The teams leave for Lisbon, Portugal today.  It's the seventh leg of the race, 2,800 nautical miles.  We'll probably never see this kind of event again in our lives.  It's not something we follow or seek out, but I'm happy to have been in Newport while it was taking place.

Trucking allows these kind of amazing opportunities to just drop in our laps.  It brings us places we love, and places we've never been.  This was a great one, a yacht race of all things.  It's a big deal that happens once every three years and we were there for it.  

We're heading to Florida next.  Who knows what we'll encounter there.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Over Fifty Years In The Making

2013: Boom! Color.
2012: Little Dragonflies Alighting Upon My Ears
2011: Snuggling On Hold
2010: Confessions
2009: There’s Nothing Like The Humor Of A New Yorker
2008: Anne’s Land And Beyond
2007: Butter Me Up
2006: Master Backer Or Master Bater?
2005: Not By The Hair Of My Chinny, Chin, Chin!!


Gil said...

Loved this post. Love Volvos and the sea. Is that Volvo building decked out for the races or is it permanent?

I'd love to take a test drive in one of the new Volvo cars and a ride in one of the trucks. But, like you I'll skip the race boats.

MAE said...

Because of your blog, I got to see the races and learn all about it. Thanks for being 'out' there.

Belledog said...

I lived in Fort Adams, as a child, before they took the military housing down. It was all built on slabs, so eventually they could do that. We faced the water, although sometimes it looked like the world ended at the fence, due to fog.

You are looking at the view from our house, pretty much. Recognize the view behind the Volvo trucks. (The mansion was there; but not the smaller houses.)

Glad to see how much you love Newport. It is a magical place.

PS: Will look for some pictures of the base housing and environs, circa 1968, to share with you.

Happy trails and safe travels to Florida.

The Daily Rant said...

GIL: Glad you liked the post. It was a really interesting event, I'm glad we went. The Volvo building, and everything at the event, is put up temporarily. Everything for the event was shipped there in shipping containers - which they used for some of the buildings on site - and everything will be packed up when they leave.

MAE: You're always welcome to ride along wherever we go!

BELLEDOG: How interesting that you lived in Fort Adams! I didn't know that. Oh, and we did go to Newport Creamery for lunch AND ice cream. I'd love to see the old photos - maybe you can find some on Google images? And yeah, the more I go to Newport, the more I love it.