Throughout the voyage, there were plenty of fun shenanigans that happened. Aside from the work of running the ship, there were always small little things that happened daily which made the trip entertaining and memorable.
Tuesday, April 12th happened twice for us. We crossed the international date line, a feat sailors traditionally commemorate by getting a golden dragon tattooed on them. In honor of this tradition, the crew prepared a golden dragon surprise for us on the second Tuesday April 12th. Dressed in silly outfits, they had turned the ship into an obstacle course, making us complete sailing tasks to appease the golden dragon (our captain dressed in an orange HazMat suit). There was a penguin suit, a hotdog suit, bongo drums dressed in a bikini, a squid hat, among other impressive costuming. I was impressed at the commitment the crew had to the whole event, keeping in character the whole time, and it brought out the focus of not only sailing, but having fun while we did it.
Each student gets a galley day, where they serve as the assistant steward. One of our students got incredibly excited about making rainbow cupcakes, calling them unicorn poops. He and our steward presented them to the class with a presentation on the elusive sea unicorn, filled with fun facts, and even a phylogenetic listing of the rare creature.
When we set the mains’l, the largest sail on the ship, we have to call almost everyone on deck to help hoist it. After hauling it all the way up, it takes some riveting cheers to coordinate our pulls and keep energy levels high to get the last bit of tension in the sail. For this reason, the person at the front would think of creative cheers to keep everyone going. Among these were “Sailors by CHOICE!” or “Let’s go SAILING!” One time, Tae, a student from Thailand, was calling out cheers. His cheer was “When I say POLY, you say NESIA! POLY! NESIA!, POLY! NESIA!” However, because he had a bit of an accent, everyone on the halyard thought he was saying “When I say HOLY, you say NINJAS!” Ever since then, we could be heard setting the main to the cries of “HOLY! NINJAS! HOLY! NINJAS!”, much to the amusement of our captain.
It was these little things that made our trip so enjoyable, and these stories became the ones we fondly recounted when we reminisced later on the trip.