Fourth of July in May?
I love the Fourth of July with all the fireworks, particularly viewing them from our boat at the Harbor, but there’s nothing like setting off your own fireworks, which of course we’re not allowed to do anymore in most parts of California. So the flare shoot, in which we set off our own “fireworks,” is not only an extremely important safety event, but is exciting because it appeals to my love of being in charge of my own pyrotechnics, like when I was a kid.
The flare shoot held Tuesday evening, May 22, began in a Harbor Master’s Office classroom, where several of the officers showed us three different types of flares. The officers explained the attributes of each kind and showed us how to use them, so that we were ready to try them out, once we got down to the beach next to the Yacht Club parking lot. Everyone brought their expired flares to use in this exercise and I don’t think there were too many duds, but the officer stressed that we should always replace expired flares and not expect them to last longer than the expiration date. This was a well-organized event, where everyone had an opportunity to try out the different types, from hand-held flares, flares shot from a gun and a kind of rocket-launched type. I learned that though they may go high and they may be loud when launched, none lasts terribly long and for that reason need to be used wisely — hopefully when there’s a chance that someone else might see it.
This event really epitomizes what the Squadron is all about — education — and in this case a hands-on, well-managed, yet very exciting hands-on experience, which is the best way to learn. Thanks Virginia Johns for setting this up with the Harbor Patrol and thanks to the Harbor Patrol for a great presentation and guidance.