Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
By Michael “Fred” Weiss
We bros of the forepeak on board the Picton Castle, aka “brocave”, have been known to come up with some unique ideas. Actually that’s not true. In reality we’re just a bunch of dirty, stinky, sweaty, hard-working kinda guys trying to keep things simple. Well, we did hang up mini disco balls in the forepeak. That’s unique, right? Anyway, while sailing from island to island in Vanuatu, something was brought to our attention. An idea that actually made sense.
Shawn was the one who first brought it up. You see, Robert H. (an HB, or Honorary Bro) and I had already shaved mustaches since Fiji. Mine was shaved in response to a Head Herald (our toilet newspaper) poll survey on what I should do with my massive beard. Robert’s motives remain unknown, but it can’t be denied that he looked super sharp with the ‘stache. Getting back to the idea, Shawn said, “Have you guys ever heard of Movember?” Some replied yes, others no. So it was explained to us that a popular fundraiser for prostate cancer charity is for men to receive pledges for growing out their mustaches in the month of November. Well, we couldn’t really go out fundraising, since we’re on a ship, but we could definitely just grow mustaches, right? Right! All bros agreed that it’s about time we sported the upper lip hair, and that we should get as many men aboard to do so as well.
Public (and by public I mean Picton Castle public) reaction to this monumental decision was heavily divided. “You’ll all look terrible!” cried a Batcaver. “This is the best idea ever, count me in!” exclaimed a ‘tween-decks man. “How will I be able to take any of you seriously?” asked the third mate. The controversy continued as the days ticked away towards November. The bros were unanimous, however, and with the exception of our youngest forepeak resident (who lacks the required facial hair growing capabilities to participate properly), and we anxiously awaited the first of November.
Halloween this year fell on a Sunday, and so we got impatient and took advantage of our work-free day to buzz off our beards while the generator was running in the morning and get a nice, clean shave. The results were impressive, to say the least. One by one, the boys of Picton Castle became men, and not just men, but men with awesome mustaches. Several styles were fashioned onto the faces of the participants, but all were mustaches, and all were incredible. Sure, the haters still hated. But some opinions became more favorable over time, and why shouldn’t they have? We looked great. Even the Captain painted on a mustache for the day.
Two weeks later, on Sunday the fourteenth of November, the ship hosted a “Bizarre Bazaar,” with homemade booths and activities that varied greatly in range. The event was such a great success, it deserves an article of its own. But one of the highlights of the day was the “Mustache Competition,” hosted by our very own Bronwen. All the mustachios were called up one by one to show off their hard work, style, and inherent gifts of facial hair. In the end, the winner was declared by audience applause, and it was none other than the Bosun, WT! A well-deserved victory by one serious mustache.
Our arrival in Bali might not be the end of the month, but it will officially conclude Movember. Now we’ll have to wait for Febby-hairy and NHL playoffs for another sanctioned excuse to grow out our facial hair. I will finish with a list of all who participated at one point or another in mustache growing:
Brad Woodworth, Niko Griffes, Mike “Fred” Weiss, Davey Laing (painted), Dave Farrall, David Brown, Shawn Anderson, Dan Rutherford, Mike “Mitch” Mitchell, Clark Munro, Jan Caselli, Robert Murphy, Liam Tayler, Robert Hoffman, Logan Livingston, Paul “Jet” Bracken, The Captain (painted).
*Thank you to Adrienne for the use of her photos.