Captain's Log

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Near Tonga

By Chelsea McBroom

April 21st, 2014

Supposedly the Picton Castle has crossed the date line but the Captain decided we wouldn’t change our dates or times until we are anchored at Tonga. Perhaps by doing this he thought his birthday would be skipped but he couldn’t fool us. Lily cooked on her day off and worked in the galley with Simon and Avery who were cooking (a sort of sweet and sour chicken and friend rice) for the rest of the crew.

I tried to keep the Captain’s birthday dinner in the mess a secret until the last moment, but unfortunately the word got out. In addition to the Captain and the mate, the room was filled with Avery and John, their first time to the mess, and Samantha, Maria, Erin, and Lily. Laughing could be heard from the room’s portholes.

Later that night when I mustered for the 12am watch, we could see the golden moon rising just above the horizon between grey shadowed cloud. Our sails were in and we were motoring the rest of the way to Tonga. We heaved to at about 0200, then Finn and the Doc graciously took the deck while Gustav, Denise and I went back to bed.

All hands were called at 0800 for breakfast when Lily made the best hot-cross buns I’ve ever had. At around 1000 the anchor was dropped closer to the island. Being a Sunday we decided clearing in wouldn’t be possible and that it was the perfect day to celebrate Easter.

The Easter Committee organized it all: Vai, Hugo, Lily, John K, Erin, Maria and I. After lunch was a swim call. Then we had a trivia game, this time life raft #1 on the station bill against life raft #2. Life raft #1 had Gustav blowing a whistle if they had the answer, life raft #2 had Alex, the chief engineer, with a bike horn. While John asked the questions and Erin kept score, Lily and I hid bags of goodies on the deck of the ship. The winning team went further, each individual person then needing to answer questions and if they got it right, could choose someone to be removed from the group until one person was left. Denise won, winning herself a Mickey Mouse hat. Then everyone was sent to find their bag of treats including ring pops, hubba bubba, glow sticks and sheriff badges (inexpensive chocolate was hard to find in Rarotonga).

Soon after we had popcorn and punch with people dressing up to attend. I saw a lot of leopard print fur. After dinner when the sun went down at around 2000, the crew voted for a movie and watched Top Gun on the hatch. A cheesy 1980s finish to a wonderful day.

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