We are now officially in the nicest time of the year in Galveston. Cooler weather is almost upon us, but the water will be warm enough to enjoy without a wet suit for several weeks.

Each day seems to be emptier and more beautiful than the one before. This time of year seems to be when all the locals get out to enjoy the beach and remember how nice the spring and fall are here on our island.

Saturday is a big day for water people. Two amazing events will be taking place at Moody Gardens.

In the morning, starting early, the annual Battle on the Bay hosted by Island Paddle and Houston Heat Dragon Boat Club will kick off. Dragon boat racing has a long, rich history dating back more than 2,500 years to the Guangdong province in southern China.

In the modern era, it is a sport that takes the idea of teamwork to its highest level. Teams consisting of up to 22 members, train to work together to reach the finish line first. It’s also one of the fastest growing sports.

Stand-up paddling (SUP) and kayak/canoe racing, although more recent, have strong followings as well. SUP paddling is one of the most popular activities among first-time participants because it’s so easy to get started and improvement comes rapidly. What many do not realize is that SUP, kayaking and dragon boat activities share much of the same technique and mechanics. There will be both 5K and 10K SUP races, prone paddle races, and canoe, kayak, and surf-ski races. These will be interspersed with dragon boat heats.

These guys do it right, so if you want to race, watch, or try out dragon boats come on down and join the fun. More information can be found at www.islandpaddle.com.

As if that wasn’t enough fun for one day, the Endless Summer Surf Reunion will be from 7 p.m. to midnight at Moody Gardens. The first-ever showing of ‘70s Galveston surf scene movie “Broken Waves” will happen during the event. This is a wild, great bunch of people that all hung out together in the ‘70s in Galveston surfing and forming what is now our surf culture. They’ll have music, an auction, the movie, and more right in that main pyramid of Moody Gardens. Here’s a link if you’re interested www.squareup.com/store/jerry-shelton-esgr.

They’ve generously named our lifesaving association as their donation recipient this year, so all proceeds will support the Galveston Junior Lifeguard Program or will go to enhancement of our flooding response capabilities unless otherwise specified. We were much better prepared for Harvey than we were for Ike, but there are still some ways we can better serve our community the next time something similar rolls around. We can’t thank the Endless Summer crew enough and are really excited about connecting with such a fun and altruistic group.

So whether you get to either event or just up to the beach, be sure and get out there this weekend and enjoy all that living on our island has to offer.

Peter Davis is chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol. The views in this column are Davis’ and do not necessarily represent those of the beach patrol, Galveston Park Board of Trustees or any other entity.

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