Let’s Hear It for the Rainbow Tour (Raft-Up)
I’m writing this as I am packing to head to the Gay Games in Paris (yes, France) that are in progress as you read this issue. It’s going to be quite a rainbow tour, as Evita might say, and I will report on the festivities when I get home.
However, while I am gone, plans are being made for another kind of rainbow tour. Do you know what a raft-up is? Boaters know and I will let you landlubbers in on the gig. It’s an event where two or more boats get together, tie up to each other or anchor separately, and party together with food, drink, and good times.
Bonnie and I used to host or attend raft-ups all the time on the Chesapeake Bay, having a blast with friends, partying, swimming, and taking time out to row our dinghies to shore so our pups could have pee breaks.
We rafted-up for evenings in quiet coves or in the sunshine for noisy summer days. On especially hot days we filled our rubber dinghy with water, tied it to the boat, and floated around in it, having cocktails, until we became water-logged.
One time we had so many boats rafted together we called ourselves the Lesbian Flotilla, raising rainbow flags and blasting Gloria Gaynor’s “I Am What I Am” for the whole Severn River in Annapolis to enjoy.
And it was in that very same boat that we cruised down the Delaware Bay, into the Roosevelt Canal at Lewes, and to Rehoboth Bay Marina in Dewey. That was our original home in the area, as we spent weekends (increasingly longer ones) and vacations aboard starting in 1995.
So here’s good news for boaters and folks who love being on the water. Several boaters of the LGBTQ+ persuasion decided we should all celebrate Pride on the water here in coastal Delaware. There’s a raft-up planned for Rehoboth Bay on Sunday, August 26, from 12-3 p.m., at the “horseshoe“ by Massey’s Landing.
Come one, come all, diversity R us!!!!!
It will be the first annual Rainbow Raft-Up and Bay Pride Celebration. Naturally, all local boat captains are invited to bring their vessels to the raft-up—power, pontoon, or sail.
You won’t be able to miss the gang and their gigantic inflatable Rainbow Unicorn. But if you still need directions, the GPS coordinates are N38°37.199’, W75°05.166’. I know, it’s meaningless to me, too, but apparently the GPS knows what the heck I’m typing here.
And here’s excellent news. Even if you don’t have a boat or FWB (friends with boats) you can join in the fun. There are a limited number of tickets available on the Sand Dollar Pontoon Party boat, leaving from the Rusty Rudder at noon and returning around 3 p.m. Included in the fee will be beer, vodka lemonade, and snacks, but you can BYO as well.
And by the way, proceeds from the Sand Dollar ticket sales will be donated to CAMP Rehoboth.
And naturally, since this is a Pride event, there will be decorating! There will be a prize for the Best Decorated Boat (oh boy, rev your engines, decorators!) and a prize for the Best Personal Flotation Device (think inflatable pink flamingo or giant inflatable bagel). I used to be the proud owner of a giant inflatable bagel, a giant inflatable hot dog, and many other blow-up toys. No, not that kind.
So if you want to join the fun, come on over to the Rainbow Raft-Up Bay Pride Celebration! If you want tickets on the Sand Dollar Party Boat contact them for tickets and questions!
As for preparation for the event, Captain Bonnie has advice: when rafting, the heaviest boat probably has the biggest anchor—use that one! Fenders are your friend. Position fenders (many people call them bumpers but that’s an automotive—not a nautical—term) along the sides of the boat to avoid any crunching. And if there are more than two boats rafting, keep the one with the anchor in the middle.
I for one, cannot wait. And I will let you in on a little secret. Although we gave up our beloved boat—which, by the way, was called Bay Pride (yes, a B with a wink)—17 years ago, its cocktail flag survives. And that very flag will be hoisted at the First Annual Rainbow Raft-Up and Bay Pride Celebration. Long may she wave.
Hope to see you there! ▼
Fay Jacobs is an author of five published memoirs. Her newest is Fried & Convicted: Rehoboth Beach Uncorked. As a humorist, she’s touring with her show Aging Gracelessly: 50 Shades of Fay. More Fay Jacobs.