So, where was I? Oh, yes: Day 2 of the Humboldt Kinetic Sculpture Grand Championship; the day on which the sculptures launch into the Humboldt Bay and paddle along with the tide until they get to the Samoa Bridge on the other side of Eureka.
The morning was rainy--not a heavy rain but a steady light, misty rain. The sculptures lined up in the parking lot near the docks and the spectators lined up as well, jockeying for a good view and sneaking out onto the rocks when the kinetic kops weren't looking. The route the sculptures were to follow led down the boat ramp and into the water; from our view point, we couldn't see the ramp itself, but we could see the vehicles as they hit the water.
We heard the pirate ship had been eliminated, but it ended up launching after all, so either our information was false or an earlier decision was overturned. Here in the first photo, the pirate kayaks await.
I don't think I told you about the Rutabaga Queens, did I? Each year, the week before the race, there's a Rutabaga Queen Ball and a new queen is elected. We wondered where the Rutabaga Queen was in all of this; later we found out that the queens--this year's queen Lady Luck and some of the past years' queens including 2012's Queen Sohotshe Burns, were on a Madaket tour boat (aka The Booze Cruise) in the harbor watching all of the sculptures go into the water.
Were you wondering where Waldo was? He was here:
I think these are the guys who won the award for biggest splash:
We heard that last year, Duane Flatmo's dragon had the biggest failure going into the water, so we wanted to make sure we hung around long enough to see it. Apparently they'd worked out the kinks, though, because this year's launch went perfectly.
Not so for this guy. He took a bit of a nose dive!
His sculpture is called Counter Culture and here's a photo of him and his vehicle before he launched. I heard the water was awfully cold, and he ended up having to get right down into it to readjust those drums so the weight was distributed better. Eventually he was able to pedal off.
There was another guy, who I don't seem to have a photo of, who was riding a sculpture that looked much like a motorcycle or ATV but with four large inflated wheels and paddles on the front wheel on one side and on the back wheel on the other side. Once launched, he just kept going in circles until he and his team were able to make some type of adjustments to the paddles.
Oh, and about those Rutabaga Queens I started to tell you about. In all the excitement of watching the launch something happened that caused Queen Sohotshe Burns to lose her crown in the harbor.
Here current Queen Lady Luck is offering to share her crown with Queen Sohotshe. The tragedy ended well, though. Just yesterday, the Humboldt State University Scientific Dive Program undertook a rescue mission and the three divers were able to retrieve the missing crown.
A reward of $700 had been offered, but the team asked that it be donated to "Miranda's Rescue."