Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday 20th August 2011: Moelfre Lifeboat Day

Without a doubt this is the "big Day" in Moelfre's year. A sleepy little seaside village with a shingle beach is suddenly transformed into to an incredibly crowded place, and the bay is filled with boats of all sizes that home in from over the horizon!
Knowing how busy it would get, we drove in and parked at quarter past nine, and were glad we did. Things were just being set up as we went for a stroll down to the beach.
At this time there were only two small boats in the bay
It was a lovely sunny morning and after strolling round we went to visit the lifeboat
We were given a conducted tour round the boat
the boat was much larger than we expected and incredibly well equipped inside, it was also in immaculate condition!
This is the outside "Flying Bridge" for the Coxwain, there are similar controls inside the boat if it is too rough to use the external ones
By now it was getting close to lunchtime so off we went to the Chapel where they were selling plated sandwiches with salad and delicious cakes
Here are the volunteers doing drinks
The ladies were busily turning out a range of sandwiches which were disappearing as fast as they appeared on the table!
As we left the chapel and headed back to the clifftop we met Keith cominf along the path from the direction of the beach, we found a seat and watched the boats gathering from all directions in the bay, and these characters dressed as old time pirates with a small "Cannon" who let off very load explosions at frequent intervals making everyone jump!
Then,just three quarters of an hour before the lifeboat was due to launch, the rain started,
so we went back to the car and left Pat to crochet, while Keith and I returned through the dense crowd to see the launch and demonstration of various rescue methods
The inshore lifeboat boys were first into the water to usher the other boats away from the launching slip
Then it was time to launch the big boat, slightly obscured by Cannon Smoke!
It was busier than the M25 out there!
The crowd loved the spectacle, even the drizzling rain didn't put them off, they were packed on the hillside near the lifeboat centre
The inshore boys kicked off the rescue demos by tossing one of their crew into the sea, pretending to leave him, then dragging him in over the side!
Then it was the turn of the RAF Air Sea Rescue Helicopter
Who hauled a man out of the sea and dropped him off on the big lifeboat
The crowd cheered as the chopped swooped low overhead
When the lifeboat came in close I noticed a female crew member busily photographing the crowd
All too soon it was time for the helicopter to return to base and Keith and I made our way through the dense crowd back to the car park, I spotted the "Moelfre Queen" collecting for the lifeboat on the way
We gave Keith a lift back up to the field where he had parked, it was over a mile up the hill, which gives you some idea of the crowds that had come for the Lifeboat Day!
Despite the rain it had been very enjoyable!

No comments: