Sara Sota’s amazing trip to Sarasota with Mary, Beth and Wilma for the International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission Dragon Boat Festival
by Beth Sowter
Mary, her husband Andrew, and I left Australia almost a month after Wilma and Gary who were living the high life up to Alaska, across the Rockies and down the east coast of America. We stayed 9 days in San Francisco and Mary and I did a 2 night camping trip in magical Yosemite Park, where I discovered how unfit my legs were after a 4.5 mile (not km) walk down the zigzag trail from 3000’ to Yosemite Valley.We only had one practice as Team Inspiration, and with paddlers from right across Australia plus two from USA, we all thought that none of us had ever paddled before, with different calls, different styles, but with each race we improved our time and our finals race saw a united team all working hard, relishing the thrill of the racing and glowing with the friendships made at the Festival.
Sara became quite a decadent traveller with much wine, lots of bbq ribs, Cajun chips, and more wine, so we had to keep up with her. She took us to Haight-Ashbury where I re-lived my past life as a Beatnik in the Beat Poet’s Museum (yep, I’m now of Museum status), and she then took us to Sarasota to paddle our butts off (literally – I have a dragon bite on my bum from the training camp we went to before the Festival).
As you can see our US Ambassador got into the Aussie style of life, and Sara made me put an Aussie flag tattoo on my face. I put it on upside down because I couldn’t see what I was doing.
2014 IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival Sarasota, Florida, USA
Survivorship & Sisterhood in the Sunshine State