Dragon boat on Victoria Harbour, Melbourne
Melbourne has for many years been the most livable in Australia and in August, 2011 it was named by The Economist, the most livable city in the world. By years end Melbourne had fallen back to third behind Willemstad & Vienna.
Regardless, I am still pretty chuffed that the town I call home not only beats the other cities in Australia, but share the top 10 with each other. Australia is a great country, it is worth all the hype. Melbourne makes you feel very welcome and one of these times was when I lived in the Docklands.
While you can row up and down the Yarra River all day, over in the Docklands on Victoria Harbour, you can Dragon Boat race. You hear the rhythmic banging of a drums, with lots of chanting and yells coming from the water. The dragon boats race each other all afternoon and into the evening watching the sunset behind the Bolte Bridge.
One day I was having my fish & chips for lunch, watching the dragon boats race each other. One came over to the pier and they took a well deserved break. I got talking to them and before you know it, they had thrown me a life jacket and told me to get in. There logic was that if they snuck a few more people on their boat for the last few races, they might have an advantage to win. I was more than glad to help them cheat.
An hour and a half later, I am exhausted and ready for a beer. Luckily its the Docklands and there are countless restaurants and bars along the boardwalk. I enjoyed a few quiet ones with my new dragon boat pals and then I went up to my apartment.
Turns out that while my team cheated, so did the other team. It’s a pretty cool way to get people interested in joining the group on a regular basis. It’s all in good fun and making the recruitment drive fun too seems to work very well. I lived in Docklands for over two years and come the end of summer, you will see over ten of these dragon boats racing each other on the harbour.
Dragon Boat racing on Victoria Harbour, Melbourne. Taken by James Miller in October, 2009.
Have you been in a dragon boat race? Or been roped into joining in a group activity? Let me know in the comments.