On Sat. May 5, Sea Scout crews from throughout California met to take part in the annual Old Salts Regatta. The Port of Redwood City, which is the home of the SSS Gryphon, SSS Challenger, SSS Intrepid and MSS Tradewind, acted as the host for the regatta.
Arriving as early as Friday evening, participating crews set up and stayed in a mixture of boats and tents. Then, at 0700 on Saturday morning, the crews met for breakfast at the galley tent, followed by opening ceremonies at 0800. After announcing the official start of the regatta, the different ships reentered the galley tent to participate in the Mariners Quiz. From then on, each crew was allowed to decide what events to participate in and in what order.
The events at Old Salts weren’t too unusual when it comes to Sea Scout regattas. Rope Climb, Scuttlebutt, Drill and First Aid are simply a few of the events that each crew participated in. Specialty events, such as Bucket Brigade, as well as the Mystery Event, which involved undoing a puzzle-style knot, added exciting new events to the fold. With nearly perfect weather, none of the ships had much issue participating in the physical events; the only issue came in the form of flotilla, as some crews had difficulties battling winds later in the afternoon.
The only respite in the competition appeared in the form of lunch at 1130. Once lunch was done, however, the crews went straight back to participating in events. The events remained open until 1730 (5:30 PM). After the events closed, each crew was able to relax for a short amount of time before the Scuttle-Off, the annual competition in which the four fastest crews in Scuttlebutt were pitted against each other to see who could complete the event the fastest.
Following the Scuttle-Off, the crews began to unwind. The galley tent opened up for dinner right after the Scuttle-off, serving steak and extras. Once everybody had been fed, the event organizers worked hard to convert the galley tent into a dancing tent. Starting at 2000 and going until about 2300, the dance allowed the scouts to come together and intermingle in a noncompetitive way. With the end of the dance came the end of the day.
On Sunday morning, the crews met once again for breakfast in the galley tent. Following shortly afterward, the top four crews overall competed in the Regatta Relay, a timed event consisting of a mixture of Knots, Heaving Line, Rope Climb, and Bosun’s Chair.
Quite possibly the most anticipated part of the regatta, the awards ceremony followed the Regatta Relay. The scouts got into their dress uniforms and prepared to stand in the sun for a long but exciting hour. First came the event awards, or what crew placed first in each individual event. Next came the place awards, which stated what class of boat each ship was. Finally came the Regatta awards. The Odyssey took the Sportsmanship award, with the winner of both the Regatta Relay and the Scuttle-off being the Challenger. Finally, the Challenger was presented with the Old Salts Wheel, an honor that is presented to the ship that shows regatta skills by placing in every event and showing general mariner prowess.
With the presentation of the Wheel came the end of the regatta. The crews helped clean up the port and then headed out.
Overall, it was a great event. In general, all of the crews appeared to have a ton of fun, and everybody appears to already be excited for next year.