When the Waves Go Boom

If anyone tells you that sailing is boring, then obviously they have never sailed with the Africa Mercy.  There is always something going on, each and every day.  We have a whole calendar full of events, from Titanic up on Deck 8 to karaoke in the Cafe, Celebrations for crossing the Equator to Game Nights with Settlers of Cataan, Hand and Foot, and Killer Bunnies (three of my favorite games), and the favorites, Pirate Day and Sailing Olympics. 

Each and every night, dedicated volunteers keep a constant vigil during Pirate Watch.  I helped out the first morning of sail (from 5am – 7am) along side of one of the crew chaplains, Marty Schwebel (seen below in his Pirate Watch Garb, including eye patch, camera, night vision goggles, and radio).

We watched as the sky went from pitch black, through the colors of morning until the sun crested the horizon.  It was beautiful.  Besides us two on Pirate Watch, a handful of others joined us, including Rachel (one of the girls that works in the galley) and some of the Gurkhas who eventually relieved us of our duties and sent us to get breakfast. 

This past weekend, we celebrated the sail with the Mercy Ship’s tradition of Pirate Day and the Sailing Olympics. 

Saturday, Pirate Day, was a fun-filled day where we sported the Jolly Roger, sang sea ditties, dressed up and had us a treasure hunt.  Most of the crew participated in some form or another, though most of those that dressed up were the children and youth aboard the ship.  Some parents and adults joined in on the fun as well. 

Above, you can see the gathering of Pirates from around the globe, from S. Africa to N. America, Holland to Norway, New Zealand to England.  Young and Old joined in on the festivities.  Below, you can see how young we start ’em off. 

The next day, Sunday, we had the Sailing Olympics, held every time we sail.  Hosted by our abundance of Hoob-noobs on board, the rules  were relatively simple, a little confusing and altogether fun. 

Some of the rules were vague and confusing, but they were ment to be.  Each event was specifically designed to help the crew battle the elements that the sea may or may not throw at us. 

Above, you can see some of the crew taking target practice in case of the event of marauding pirates from the day before (aka: little kids) attacked and tried to over-run the ship.  Below, others of the crew practiced building supports in case the structure of the ship buckled and gave way. 

We continued to practice, and to train.  From memorization to planning, packing to fleeing, seriousness to loads of fun. 

We all enjoyed the hours of fun provided by the crew.  The fun will never be forgotten, and will be looked forwards to on the next sail (for those fortunate to sail with the Africa Mercy again). 

Now, we rest and try to keep our feet beneath us as we have hit rougher waters.  Already seeing 20 degrees of tilt, we all know we are in the capable hands of the deck officers, the captain and, most importantly, God.

God Bless and PEACE


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