It’s the last day of the races here at the 11th International Submarine Races! Soo, it promised to be an fun-filled and interesting day! After we finished launching all the subs, Neil, Kim, and I got treated to a tour of the basement! (And you’re thinking…”uhm..yay?”) BUT, what most people don’t know is, underneath that half mile long pool, there is a museum! (I personally think most people are too distracted by the pool to realize there might be even more hidden treasures around). The museum is full of model ships, and the entire collection is scattered across the world in various other museums for public and private viewing. They also build and restore a lot of the models at this facility. The detail and care put into these models is almost obsessive, and the result is absolutely phenomenal. I’m so happy that I got the opportunity to go down and see them! But, that was only a small glimpse into the things that we did today!
Over the course of the week a few challenges had come up, and today we conceded to their requests and ran two head-to-head races!
They were really exciting, and all four submarines made it to the finish line without a hitch! We even had a surprise from behind, last second victory! Once the races were over and we got all the subs out of the water, it was time for the Dive Staff’s Challenge! Every year the dive staff come up with some kind of fun…activity..or challenge, for all of the teams to compete in as swimmers. This year the challenge that we came up with involved rubber duckies…lots and lots..of rubber duckies. We threw all the duckies out into the basin under the race supervisor’s perch. We had two swimmers from every team line-up on the beaches. The goal of the game? Most duckies back to the dive station wins! The prize? $500 to use on their next submarine! IT WAS HYSTERICAL! The water literally exploded after we said “Go!” Duck Race And the fun just kept going after that!
All this week we had been working with the Navy divers, and we had become pretty good friends with a few of them. Well, those divers made it their mission today to throw all of the dive staff into the pool! And………..they succeeded. Thankfully, they helped us all out..and we had spare clothes for the banquet!
The banquet was really nice. Right after it we moved into the auditorium, where all the speeches and awards were given. There was a TON of clapping as all of the groups were given recognition, and I was extremely surprised when I realized that some of it was for me! Us five dive staff actually got called by name to stand as the crowd clapped for us. It felt fantastic to be a part of this entire event. Once all of the awards and words were over, there was a bit of a meet and greet, where I was finally able to get introduced to Heidi Piper, the captain of the base! She also runs four other bases, and if her name sounds familiar, that’s because she’s been to a place few have gone before! ……..OUTER SPACE! She was an astronaut! And, she is an amazing woman. It was a privilege to meet her! All in all, this has been one heck of a unique experience, and I don’t know what my life aspirations will be in two year’s time, but I have a feeling I know where I will be the last week of June in 2013! 😀