In all our nine years here, I’ve seen Rubber Ducky Race’s come by countless times. Always on a weekend we aren’t home, have company, overwhelming chores, or something broken. This weekend, finally, I had free time for the annual Rubber Ducky Race at our local eisstadion (Ice Stadium / skating rink). Dane & I bundled up and went with great enthusiasm.

Dane was excited to use his ice skates he got from Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) & I was excited for glühwein and taking some action shots. I haven’t played with my camera much since my accident (Pride Before Fall) but I knew I could stand next to wall around the rink & get some good shots.

Despite arriving a good half hour before kick off (drop off? dump off? water off?), we had a hard time finding a parking place & wound up parking way down the road. Usually I love walking, this day I’d gone without my crutches or walking stick knowing it would be crowded. Dane helped me walking, but it was still a long way to hobble & we barely got a spot in time for the big event.

I quickly made my way through the thick crowd, halfway around the rink, switched out for my long-distance lens, and got the camera to my eye just as the zamboni drove onto the ice. I barely had time to take a breath, hold it in, before rubber duckies came swimming out of the back of the zamboni!

I think I clicked all of 8 times and it was over. The rubber duckies had rushed out, scooched down the eyes, and stopped.  Done. I was a little sad it was over so fast, Dane was excited to get to the ice skating part of the afternoon. The announcer gathered the top 3 rubber duckies, called out the numbers, and three very excited people won some pretty amazing prices.

The best part was watching the owners kids skating around picking up rubber duckies and tossing them into the clear bin with perfect aim. I also had a great time getting my camera to cooperate with the changing light. While the disco ball and strobe light were off, the every-shifting colored spotlights were on; changing the light from blue, to green, to red, to orange. It was a great excercise in white balance.

Finally the ice was free of rubber duckies, the all clear was blown, and kids & parents alike flooded the ice out of every door and even over the wall. Soon Dane was happily skating rounds, enjoying his new skates even with people touching both his elbows.

I took over 100 pictures of Dane weaving in & out of the crowd. Two turned out clear. Woooooohooooooo! Go me!

And they’re off!

Go duckies, GO!

Those last two? Not winning the race.

It’s time to pick the winners!

And just like that, it’s time for clean-up.

Filling up the rubber ducky – tube. I need those rubber duckies for my bath ?

Finally it’s time to skate! I had to struggle to find Dane (in focus) in the sea of people!