Location: Vuro, Fiji

Today once again marks another anchorage in Vuro Levu. After a great breakfast, we had another seamanship class dedicated to the VHF radio and how to use it in an emergency. However, the big highlight of the day was the leadership challenge course devised to test our teamwork and leadership capabilities on a scavenger hunt.

This scavenger hunt was not limited to Argo, however. The crew was split into multiple teams, and each progressed through various challenges to reach the end of the trials. The first trial involved arranging your teammates in order based on the time of the year they were born, except while blindfolded and not able to speak. The second challenge had the teams free-dive 25 feet down the anchor chain to find the next clue attached to one of the metal chain links.

From here, the clue told us to “Go East,” and the only thing East of us was the island of Vuro Levu itself. Some of us failed to understand a part of the anchor clue, and instead of swimming ashore with one arm in the air, we swam all the way there before having to swim back the correct way. Waiting for us on the beach at the foot of a coconut tree was our next challenge, scour the beach arm-in-arm with your teammates to find 7 pieces of trash. Once that was completed, the challenges became more like an obstacle course, cross a stretch of sand with 1 less object than the total number of people in your group. For my group specifically, it was a single stone and a piece of driftwood. After that, we had to swim with the trash we had just collected, one arm still in the air, and deposit it on a dinghy before swimming around a rocky promontory to another beach, being careful not to disturb the shallow coral reef just feet below us. While swimming across, I kept being accosted by territorial damselfish, who would sprint out of their lairs in the coral to chase you away from their den.

The next challenge only two of the group could participate in and was trying to get a piece of coral across a line in the sand and back again, all while every foot that touched the sand became “stuck” and couldn’t be moved again until the coral was back across the starting line. There were many strategies to complete this challenge, some more successful than others. Some involved carrying, and some more bold strategies involved face-planting in the sand so that your teammate could walk across you.

After that, the final challenge involved firstly climbing a tree to even see what it was, but it told us to go back to the start of our journey. That meant one thing, the forepeak of Argo, or where we keep our anchors. Underneath the floorboards was the final reward for our endeavor, a small red stone shaped like a heart.

All in all, the challenge course did a great job of showing everyone teamwork in a fun way, and getting to go ashore on an uninhabited tropical island is always an amazing adventure.

The island of Vuro Levu itself, along with the beach where we first had to swim ashore.
All the teams trying to solve the birthday challenge.
Freediving to find the clue on the anchor chain
The winning team and their victory jump from Argo after they won