In its second year and with almost two times more participants and boats, Floatilla this year had 28 vessels setting sail on April 29 with 1,073 passengers from Hong Kong, the United States, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Singapore.
Despite many of the participants of Floatilla comparing that this year's grey, windy and sometimes chilly weather to last year which was sunny and balmy, attendees were still upbeat and pleased with the turnout.
"Yes, shame on the weather. But the people on my boat were fun people. If you have fun people on board, it doesn't matter," said Ivan Ng, a 29-year-old Hong Kong native who went to Floatilla last year too. This year, he was with Floatilla Brazillia.
"When you get lemons, you make lemonade. You can't help the weather, or Mother Nature. So you've got to make your own party," said Albert Leung, 23-year-old Chinese American who set his maiden voyage this year.
Apart from the gorgeous weather from last year, participants also missed the arrays of boats, tied up to allow easy boat hopping.
"I love the boat hopping. This ability to mingle is the key ingredient that makes Floatilla work. Unfortunately the boat hopping is right at the tolerance level of these boat companies and though they do it sometimes, I think this falls into the grey area of safety," said Sharkbait, the mastermind who created Floatilla in 2006.
Due to its popularity, it would be technically difficult, if at all possible, to tie up all the 28 boats that were present this year (only 15 last year). Besides, boat captains seemed to have been forewarned of the scale of this party and became very hostile toward linking up their boats together, as this would increase the chance of damage, not to mention compromising the participants' safety.
Many claimed that the Mother Ship was the most happening boat of all as there were resident DJs Christof and Kenny who kept pumping the seas with uplifting house and groovy music. As a result, the Mother Ship saw the most visitors who were eager to get on board to join the party - but to no avail, as it was guarded by the most difficult door bitch (a.k.a the boat captain's partner) some of the participants have ever encountered.
"I wanted to go to the Mother, but the door bitch kept saying that the boat was already overloaded and sent everyone back," grieved Ivan.
While the possibility of linking the boats seems to be pivotal to the success of Floatilla, Sharkbait is constructively considering how to gather people centrally so that they can enjoy music, dance and mingle.
"My initial thoughts are to get a monster double-decker car ferry in the middle of the event. Then people can take their junk boats out, and board this mega platform, pre-wired with music and completely capable to handle the number of people. This model takes the junk boat owners completely out of the picture," revealed Sharkbait.
Dancing, partying and water sports might seem to be the focal points of Floatilla, many also took this opportunity to give back - AIDS Concern, a Hong Kong-based charity organisation specialising in the outreach prevention for vulnerable groups and support services for people with HIV/AIDS.
"[We have] produced a Waterproof Bag to raise money. We also came up with some interesting ideas activities such as Sexy Observation Tower, Sunbath Oil Pit Stop and selling 'Eat My Balls' Lollypops on the Fridae.com/AIDS Concern boat in order to attract more generous donors," said Ruby Ko, Marketing and Communications Manager of AIDS Concern.
Through the sales of those innovative products and services, AIDS Concern successfully raised HK$3,054.50. In addition, this will be topped by the surplus from the docking fees and administrative fees collected from Floatilla participants, totaling HK$15,700 (US$2,000).
Want to help out next year? Got something to say to Sharkbait? He would like to hear from you. Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.