Whitstable Regatta

On Sunday, we wandered down to the waterfront to take in the Whitstable Regatta. It became clear fairly early in the morning that it was one of those days where the kids would benefit from some time apart, shall we say, so Daddy and Charlie set out for the beach by themselves, and Mama and Flora followed behind a few hours later. On the way to the beach we stopped to inspect the fish in the market, some new boats in the harbor, and we picked up a kite. That all paled in comparison to the bucket full of tiny crabs that some friendly kids showed off to Charlie though!

A stop at the fish market Another market Pretty wooden boat in the harbor Kids show Charlie their crab collection We fly a kite! There it is... It's so high!

Flora was excited to fly the kite when she and Mama arrived. She joined Charlie as ground crew, and got a chance to see how hard the kite pulled once it was in the air.

Ground crew prepares for another launch Ready... Launch! Flora helps too Too many pilots Charlie's tangled up Flora loves the kite

Before long, we started to see boats sailing past our beach camp on their way to the regatta.  The camera doesn’t have enough zoom to do the regatta justice, but we all enjoyed watching the action.  Mama was particularly impressed with the speed of the catamarans in the group and, with a gleam in her eye, vowed to have one someday.

Watching boats assemble for the regatta Momma dreams of fast catamarans Charlie dreams of going swimming This boat was clearly using different wind from the rest of the pack Getting ready for the start Waves and boats Running away with the show Beach cottages in use Flora admires her mussel shells Where'd everybody go?

Once the winner was across the line we continued down the beach to Tankerton, where we could see carnival rides up on the bluff.  A Spitfire from Hangar 11 gave an amazing display just as we reached the carnival.  There are fewer than 50 remaining airworthy Spitfires in the world, so it was a special treat — made more special by the fact that we’re right in the heart of Battle of Britain territory here.  The pilot flew it home, then came back with Hangar 11’s Hurricane!  It’s one of only about a dozen left flying.

Hiking up the hill to the carnival! Hangar 11's Spitfire makes an appearance Only Spitfire left running its original Merlin V12 Spitfire does flyby over regatta boats Strafing the committee boat Hangar 11's Hurricane -- one of about a dozen airworthy

Then it was off to the carnival. They had an amazing number of rides packed into the little bluff-side strip, and the majority were appropriate for kids the age of Flora and Charlie. (Charlie was dozing on Mama’s back as we first started looking at the rides, and missed a couple that he would’ve loved — the cars on a track, and the Thomas ride.) He was awake by the time Flora rejected the merry-go-round as being too scary, so they decided to ride together in an airplane instead.  Flora did fine, but Charlie discovered quite early on that it was not for him. The teacup ride seemed like it was just the right speed, but Flora caught sight of the merry-go-round just as the teacups started moving and decided that that was the ride she should’ve been on after all. A parent can’t win. We wrapped up with a stint in the bouncy house, which was enjoyed by all. (Enjoyed so much that there was much unhappiness when it had to end.)

Flora really wanted to try this one Charlie was sleeping when we walked by this one He missed Thomas too... Merry go round was declared too scary Flora's agog Until she gets her ice cream Pub was doing big business Strapped into an airplane Charlie got scared Teacups will be just the right speed But now Flora wants the merry go round, of course Bouncy house was a big hit Blurry Flora is elated Dad helps Charlie bounce Bonk Stomp

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