Fiddler's Green is the mythic destination of mariners and those who live on the water, and sometimes when the boats are laid up for the winter and one is feasting with friends, the idea doesn't seem so far fetched.
The crew of TSAR-2 wassailed in Allen's restaurant on the 9th of December and received Certificates of Membership and CCGA phase 1 and 2 training, and told their favourite tales of the year — even if some of them were not directly connected to the lake just yet. The yare spirit of their boat was properly celebrated, with Alan Banks recounting how he, Petr Jano and Ivan Simokovic learned of her eager swiftness when she first touched the Lake.
Derek recounted how he and Miles Smit awaited our first applicants in the snowed-in and anonymous Navy League building mysteriously lurking in Ashbridges Bay, and how our first volunteers believed just fighting their way through hip-deep snow to find the building was a deliberate screening test! Of such things are traditions born, and we may have to deliberately recreate an accidental circumstance... at least that means our CCGA volunteers as yare as their vessel. This impression was confirmed by Scott Johnson and Peter Winfield of the CCGA, who admired the enthusiasm and spirit they witnessed both at our first training session and at the official christening of TSAR-2.
Slightly more sedately, but just as cheerfully, the T-SAR Board took pot luck at Kathryn Langley-Hope's home and recounted their feelings on a year well-concluded. More Certificates of Achievement were handed out there, including one to a surprised John Thompson — who was still getting over accolades for his split pea soup.
For all the mirth and celebration, there was a sobering note, as the Board lent thought over what the next five years may bring. TSAR-2 is christened and our crews are trained, but they are not yet blooded. Tales of rescues and searches require tales of tragedy to others; grim days will balance the gleeful ones. Admission to the true Fiddler's Green needs to be earned; but we take stock of each other and know that we will try as best we may with whatever circumstances will confront us.
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