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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
March 01, 2014
S251 Weblog 01 March 2014
At Anchor, Rikitea, Mangareva
Flags are set for the Schooner Olympics!
Overcast and loving it
Today has truly been a full day! The morning started for C watch with a 0230 wake up to a squally watch motorsailing closer and closer to Mangareva. It took a while to find the land amidst all the shifting squalls on the radar, but 30 minutes after the dawn broke we finally spotted the peak of Mount Duff! Dry land is not a myth after all! After waiting out some rather mutinous rain clouds, all hands prepared for the transit to this new anchorage.
Two hours of narrow turns and avoiding colorful reefs, Captain Colleen stylishly and safely anchored off the town of Rikitea; a new port for the Seamans and for all of her crew. The small anchorage was packed with other sail boats and small traffic, but we didn’t have time to gaze at the shore, every soul aboard was busy preparing for the Schooner Olympics! The individual events were a mystery to everyone before the competition started, though we were broken into three teams. Each team came up with a name, theme and introductory dance to be performed at Opening Ceremonies. It was a serious affair as the members of team Sexy Ninja Merman, team Mangarevan Muppet Mofos and Team Baggiewrinkle Bros of Bangladesh all attempted to psych each other out with a series of intricate dance maneuvers. After some much needed stretching, the main events started.
First event was Archery, where one contestant from each team attempted to throw a heaving line through a life-ring. Amid ruckus cheers from their teammates Cole, Maragaret and Dominique exhibited some stellar techniques in this precision game. One of the real crowd pleasers of the day was the ‘high dive’, where groups of three had to hand a bucket of salt water up to a waiting team-mate on the labtop and then attempt to pour its contents into a graduated cylinder perched on the final team-mates head below them. Sometimes it’s impossible to stay dry in the name of science! At this point, we all started to worry that our face paint was slowly disappearing, but athletes must persevere.
The final two events had team-mates dress another ‘paralyzed’ member in full foul weather gear with harness on properly, amid a constant attack of hose water! Such preparation for a life at sea. At this point, the teams were close in the rankings, and gold medals hung on the last event, the Human Knot. Knowing all the knots students have learned through this voyage did not adequately prepare them for this tangle of limbs. It was a close race and I’m sure we wouldn’t have been able to determine the winner without instant replay and a well-timed tape measure. Gold metal goes to team Baggiewrinkle Bros of Bangladesh!!
It is difficult to wind down after such an Adrenaline roller-coaster, but we finished the day with a hearty meal and a movie on the Quarterdeck. Around Cape Horn, filmed and narrated by Irving Johnson, tells the story of one of the last cargo ships under sail navigating the most treacherous waters in the world. The magic of sailing has not changed over the centuries, and has been highlighted in all the laughs and learning moments we had throughout this busy day. I personally cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings, and where this new island will take myself and my fellow Olympians.
Lots of love from the South Pacific,
PS. Familia and Dingle- save me some Polpetti when I get home! And I miss your faces more than I miss ice cubes.