MOSES LAKE — It wasn’t exactly the Spanish Armada, but the boats that took to Moses Lake Saturday made a definite impression on everyone who could see.
“We had people sitting out on their decks all the way cheering us on and waving,” said organizer Mick Hansen.
The event was the first Moses Lake Boat Parade. The weather was perfect for being on the water and the boaters were enthusiastic. Anybody that happened to be near Blue Heron Park around 5 p.m. would have seen boaters congregating, a few putting in at the park itself and others gathering just offshore.
The flotilla left Blue Heron more or less on time, said Hansen. In the lead was Hansen’s Lady Liberty, a replica of the Statue of Liberty that played patriotic music as it went.
“We took it out on the trial run, and people started saluting,” said Jeff Hansen, whose son Christopher was her captain.
The tail end of the parade, appropriately enough, was the Moby Mick, in the form of a big black whale, complete with occasional roars.
The parade began with about 20 boats, said Mick Hansen, although not all of them stuck the full course, possibly due to the sewage spill that had occurred last week off Knolls Vista.
“Halfway through we started having some of them drop out, especially when we got into the zone that had the warnings about the sewer. We lost probably about half of our boats at that time. Probably about 10 actually made it to the downtown area. We went clear to the Alder Street Fill and then came back on Marina Drive.”
The hitches were surprisingly few. There was some difficulty igniting Lady Liberty’s torch, so it went unlit through the parade and nobody seemed to mind. Despite the notorious temperament of outboard motors, Hansen said, all the boats fired up just fine.
“We were within 10 minutes of our time all the way through the parade. We got off almost exactly when we said we would and we were checking in all along the way almost when we were supposed to be. So that part of it went very well. Probably the biggest problem as far as I was concerned was that everybody grouped together. Instead of having a drawn-out parade where you could see one boat at a time, we all flocked together,” Hansen said.
“We had a lot of them that didn’t do a whole lot of decorating but they had a lot of people on board,” he added. “They were following with us right to the end. I want to thank those people that stayed with us. Nobody got stuck on the sand bars and nobody got sick to the best of my knowledge, Nobody fell in.
“I think it was a success.”