Chesapeake Cowboys are not what you might expect. They are not the ten gallon hat wearing chafe sporting ropers the name might conjure up in your imagination. They don’t ride horses or herd cattle. I don’t think they sit around campfires at night and tell stories of the old frontier. Who are they? They are proof any mundane task can be turned into a competition. This group has taken the art of docking a boat and created a spirited contest.
The rules are very basic. From a set point, the boat will leave at the sounding of a horn and the clock starts. It will race to a set of four pilings or dock. It must back into the dock and lasso each piling. When the last rope hoops the last piling, the clock is stopped. There are two runs and the times are accumulated. The contestant with lowest total time wins. There are no penalties for touching the pilings or hitting the dock. There are single-handed events and team events. The team event appeared to be mostly husbands and wives. Although, some solo boat operators asked the crowd for women volunteers. These are working boats and many traveled to the event starting out very early that morning. Some of the boats had the entire family aboard encouraging the designated participant. I doubt if the prize money covered the cost of fuel.
We are exploring the Delmarva (DELaware – MARyland – ViginiA) peninsula of the Chesapeake. We just happened to be at a place where the event was taking place. Why not, we thought. Let’s check it out. This is perhaps the best part of traveling. Fun things like this fall into our laps every once in a while. This was certainly not on our bucket list. Heck, we were naive in our thinking boat docking was simply the end of a journey. We didn’t know boat docking is a sport. Judging by the lack of people, we were not along in this. The crowd was pretty thin. But, this was good for us. We didn’t have to vie for a good seat. And speaking of seats, the expectation is that you bring your own. The event made for a really fun afternoon. We had a great time.