The annual Gauteng Seamanship competition was held on 21 July 2019 at Arrowe park, starting at 07:15 for some very brave Scout and Scouters, 1 degree in temperature with a dense mist/fog on the deck. It even rained just to make it a bit more fun.
The competition challenges the scouts in handling of their 18ft pulling boats (gigs), drill, navigation and procedures.
As the mist lifted, we saw a huge island of hyacinth destroy our course. A council of the Coxwain’s and Troop Scouters made a call on how we could change the course so that it was fair to all as most of our buoys were now swallowed up by the hyacinth. In hind sight, this was a “God’s send” as we only set up for 4 boats and needed 6 because of all the entrants this year.
A few of the Scouters put the cable across the gulley again to secure the hyacinth in one place so it didn’t engulf all the space we had for the Scouts to use. Then the races began! It was extremely cold at this stage so we started with the long distance races to get everyone warmed up for the other races. Due to the wind and the freezing water conditions we did not have a heaving and towing race or the man over board race to retrieve the buoys as they were entangled with hyacinth. After lunch, the scouts demonstrated their prowess in standard and emergency drills, knotting and navigation.
I do believe a lot of fun was had under very challenging circumstances.
Here are a few thank yous I do feel need to be mentioned, even if it is again….please forgive me
To our Scouts first and foremost for competing so well under very trying conditions.
To our parents for bringing our Scouts to compete, some stayed a while, some stayed for the day as well.
To our Rover crew for running such a challenging and fun rope work base – there was a lot of positive feedback on your base from everyone.
To our tuck shop, Christelle, Gerry and Chris van Hattum, Karin Weeks, Angie Beukes, Joan Truby and team the food was amazing,(if I have forgotten to mention someone please forgive me, I was not there the whole time.)
Our Scouters for setting up the course that was destroyed and then setting up a line across the gulley to catch the hyacinth.
Our Scouters and those from other Troops for running bases. Alan Ford aka Chokka for his hardwork on the Anchoring base as always.
To all our supporters, Liam Beukes was a supporter and put in a fair amount of time on tuck shop duty too.
Paige Clulee that assisted Terryn at the embarking and dis-embarking base.
A special mention needs to go to Jessica Bott for assisting with another crew that was one member short as well as Declan Kritzinger who also assisted another crew and subsequently was elected their PL for the day!!!
Well done to all, we are super proud of our Scouts!!!