Dock Daze 2012 in pictures and text

Over the weekend, Wicomico County’s Division of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism went to the dogs, literally.

My significant other Kim Corkran took that shot, as both of us attended the inaugural Dock Daze event at Cedar Hill Marina in Bivalve with cameras in tow. Her shots will be interspersed among the remainder of the narrative.

There were two main components to the event. At one end you had the dock dogs, who on Saturday were leaping into a large swimming pool instead of off a literal dock. For many, seeing dogs get ‘big air’ and land with a splash was the main attraction. (Top photo by Kim Corkran, bottom photo is mine.)

The idea, as you can see in the top picture, was to lure the dog off the dock in pursuit of a toy. Generally dogs would leap between 15 and 20 feet from the end of the dock to the point where the base of their tail hit the water, with the best approaching 25 feet. (Apparently the world record is just over 29 feet.) The other components to the competition, conducted over the event’s two days, were a vertical leap contest and speed retrieve, with an overall winner crowned from the top finishers in each portion.

For their part, the dogs were just happy to get their toy and a little love from the master. (Both photos by Kim Corkran.)

There were one or two shy guys who wanted no part of the water, though. Dogs had 90 seconds on the dock to complete the jump and this one said ‘you want me to do what?!?’

On the other side of the marina there was a boat docking contest underway.

The idea of boat docking was to start at a point, accelerate to get into position, and quickly reverse course to back into the dock. Ropes were to be tossed over the four marked pilings, with the entire process generally taking between 20 and 30 seconds.

But the crowd enjoyed watching.

Another interesting attraction was chainsaw artist Rick Pratt, who demonstrated his ability several times over the two days.

Watching him work with the chainsaw, the random thought I had was whether he can do ‘The Lumberjack’ by Jackyl? I don’t know about that, but Pratt can create some seriously sturdy artistic objects.

Also in between were the usual array of food vendors and other selling wares of some sort. This outfit which sells The Fish Bomb was a key sponsor, and covered the bases well with a couple mobile billboards.

One of my favorite sponsors is moving beyond the Good Beer Festival to become a staple at local events.

Maybe they need to support their Maryland blog? Anyway, this tent had other popular sellers.

But I can’t bring myself to have a breakfast like this.

Maybe the closest the affair came to political was the tent put up by the Maryland Waterfowler’s Association, which advocates for duck hunters and the like.

You may have noticed the sign on the bleachers at the boat docking contest, but the local television program ‘Outdoors Delmarva’ was getting footage at the event for future episodes as well.

Surely there will be a lot of dogs and boats on their program over the next few weeks as the hunting seasons wind down and the tourists move in full force.

Kim gets the last shot. As we were leaving she took this picture looking down the marina. You’d never know there was an event going on nearby given this placid shot.

Since we didn’t stay for the whole day or come back on Sunday, there were a lot of things we missed like the live music, Sunday’s duck calling challenge, or the sailboat and paddle boat races also scheduled for Sunday. (With the heavy winds, those may not have occurred.)

But on the way out I believe I heard that about 1400 tickets had been sold, which would put this event in the same ballpark as the Good Beer Festival. Considering the somewhat small venue and remote location that’s a rather healthy turnout so I would anticipate a second event next year. If we were to go, though, next time we camp out on the hill and watch the tapestry unfold from there.