Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Quest for Tribal Superiority – Marco Style


The winning team, The Sago Tribe, led by Chief Sinapa, proudly displaying their hard-won idol.

The teams of intrepid souls boarded boats and traveled one hour away before rendezvousing to determine which would emerge victorious in a five-challenge contest that tested their members’ physically and mentally.

At stake wasn’t some monetary reward, but rather bragging rights among the contestants in just another of the fun excursions for members of the Marco Bay Yacht Club (MBYC).

The MBYC recently held its very own version of the hit CBS reality series “Survivor,” entitled “The 10,000 Island Survivor Challenge.” The contest pitted four 17-member teams, comprised of people 60-plus years of age, against each other for the honor of winning the most beaded necklaces, as well as a special hidden idol, symbolic of their victory.

Like the TV show, each team was led by “Chief” who squired his troops through four preliminary challenges seeking to earn more necklaces for their squad than the competition received. Of course, there was a final ultimate challenge that tested the participants’ mettle one final time before a victor was determined.

The event and its “age appropriate” challenges was the creation of MBYC members Bob Boland and Lynn Bedell.

First to arrive at the contest site, Panther Key, was the loin cloth-garbed Tomo Tribe, led by Chief Nanrek (John Kernan). Joining them was:

  • The Sago Tribe, led by Chief Sinapa (Bill Schroeder). They dressed in native attire and showed their readiness for battle with version of the “Haka Chant” of New Zealand’s indigenous Māori tribesmen.
  • The Calos Tribe and its chieftain, Caluusm (Bob White), who sported the tribe’s colors in his headdress.
  • The Mayaimi Tribe, which was headed by Chief Loki (Paula Skillern), who proudly wore the colors of her band of Amazons.


Kicking things off was the selection of the best-dressed team, which received 15 necklaces. The winner was the Tomo Tribe. Next came the challenges, which also awarded 15 necklaces to the fastest team to complete each task. They included:

Challenge No. 1: Each chief selected eight members of their tribe, who clasped arms with only the last member having a free hand to grab a hula-hoop. The hula hoop had to be pass the body of each team member without any arms unclasping.

Challenge No. 2: The chiefs selected three tribe members, who spread a blanket at their feet, with sand bags on each corner. Once the “Producers” blew the starting whistle, they were challenged to turn the blanket over and spread it out again, without stepping off the blanket and replacing the sand bags.

Challenge No. 3: It used the hula-hoops from Challenge No. 1. Three blindfolded tribe members, directed by a spokesperson, were required to toss bean bags from varying distances into the hula-hoops.

Challenge No. 4: It required four members of each tribe to individually go to the referee, who required them to tie one of six nautical knots: Bowline, Buntline Hitch, Clove Hitch Double Fisherman’s Knot, Square Knot or Sheet Bend.

For the Final Ultimate Challenge, the two tribes with the most necklaces faced-off. A member from each squad was positioned at the starting line, another at the center line, and a third at the finish line. The members at the starting-and-center lines were given buckets, with the person in the center also having a piece of PVC pipe in the ground containing four ping pong balls.

The person at the starting line got a bucket of water from the Gulf of Mexico and returned to the starting line and attempted to toss into the water into the bucket to their teammate at the center line. Once that bucket was full (in varying degrees!) the water was poured into the pipe, where the ping pong balls would float to the top, when buoyed by enough water. Once the balls floated to the top, the center-line tribe member then placed them on a rimless tray supplied by the referee and walked to the finish line. The goal was to not lose any balls along the way.

At the finish line, the three tribe members then had to put together a puzzle. The first team to complete the challenge was acknowledged by the referee ringing the MBYC ceremonial bell. To that assemblage went the honor of being the Ultimate 10,000 Island Sole Surviving Tribe and the winner of a priceless trophy.

The Sago Tribe, led by its masterful technician, Chief Sinapa, came away with the victory. His faithful warriors were: Al Saunders, Charlie Skillern, Chuck Hubscher, Dan Dotterwich, Doug Hess, Janet Wood, Joanne Daugherty, John Hardy, Kim Hillyer, Larry Sacher, Linda Saunders, and Mike Brown.

“It was an incredible day, great weather and lots of fun,” said Sacher, who is the MBYC’s vice-commodore for 2019.

Interested in membership in the Marco Bay Yacht Club? To learn more, contact Membership Chair Judy Sacher at 239-777-4604 or judy.sacher@aol.com. The MBYC meets on the last Monday of each month at their official home, CJ’s on the Bay, in the Esplanade Shoppes, for Monday Madness (4:30 to 6:30 PM). All are welcome.

One response to “The Quest for Tribal Superiority – Marco Style”

  1. Dominique O'Leary says:

    What year are y’all living in? This type of racist minstrelsy has no place in a civil society in 2019. Indigenous peoples are actual humans living in the real world, not outlandish caricatures living in your ignorant imaginations. On top of that, you (& I) occupy their lands. Please educate yourselves.

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