I am happy to be invited my my friends at Suzhou Taihu Mercury Club to join them for one day of boating and BBQ. After sailing with BV guys in San Francisco, I deeply fall in love with boat, although currently, I can only afford “model boat”. I sank in the Dishui Lake one month ago.
The Suzhou Mercury Boat Club is the most professional boat club in China – the only one in its grade in the entire country. It is based at the West Hill area of Taihu, with very nice facilities. Let me show you the pictures of my day.
Boat is still a luxrious entertainment in China. Even in the Rich People club, boat is not mentioned. On one hand, when a golf club membership raises to about 80,000 USD, the boat membership relatively reasonable (130,000 RMB), but the boat is much more expensive than outside China. For example, Sea Ray Sundancer 2xx costs more than 2 million RMB, while it is jus around 1 million in U.S. (Based on what I HEARD, without research).
Get to there
It is close to my home in Shanghai, in term of distance. It is about 120 KM away, exactly from the parking lot to their parking lot. I turned on the meter when I am back.
I can get to A9, turn right at A30, and exit immediately at Daying 大盈 exit. The Suzhou-Shanghai Express way is completely, but not connected to A30 yet. So I have to go around 10 km west and get to the Suzhou-Shanghao Express. Not many people knows that experess, and there is definitely no cars running on it.
Then the West Hill 西山 exit is 63 km away. It takes less than 2 hours to get there.
I like the style of boat owners. They put everything in order, including ropes. I enjoy to see all the ends of ropes were well arranged like this.
Another interesting part of boating is to be able to get to an island that not many people go, and see those untouched grass land.
People practice to get ready for the Dragon Boat Champaignship the next week.
I intentionally changed the focus of this picture so it came out with blured image of the large trees above us.
The dock of the boats – clean and nice.
Wendy took this picture during her course to learn to take photos. She demostrated the effect of a wide angle shot – the method to produce gaint-like picture. She obviously succeeded.
Enjoying the Sun and clean white table cloth and the good view of boat.
Look at this Labrador Retriever! It is one of the very few type of dogs I can tell, and I do love it after watching the Japanese movie “Little Q”…
There are some motor boat as well.
Some types of Sea Ray Sundancer. I suspect it may be 315…
The whole view of the dock at the boat club.
Boat returning home…
Going under the West Hill Bridge, which connects the land and the West Hill Island.
Another section of the bridge.
Something bad about the Taihu Lake is, it is not deep enough. Boats need to park at the middle of the lake, and take shuttle boat to the land. The boat is just too big to go near the small dock at East Hill.
It was me, before leaving for the BBQ.
The boat started to “fly”.
People leaving the habor on Sundancer 275.
Three boats ahead.
The habor, sweet habor. When I am getting back from one day of sailing, the bridge and lamp of the habor were more nice too me.
To be honest, I still enjoy quieter boat, like those sailing boat. I just don’t feel too excited on boat powered with huge engines and can run 90 km/hour on the surface of water. For me, there is not big difference than another car.
Also, Taihu is not the same after I went out boating for one day. It is not a big lake for me. Instead, there are routes on it that is deep enough and safe enough for boats. You just cannot sail around as you wish – you have to keep the predefined routes on the wide surface of the lake. To be short, to have a boat on Taihu does not bring the kind of freedom I expected. Mmm….