‘Dig for Digby’s Doubloons’ proved to be a big hit for the GVI Curieuse base, with success in both the response by the participants and by the money raised for the SSPCA.
Three teams (The Curieuse Cut-Throats, The Bloody Turnstones and The Blue-Nosed Buccaneers) set off in the morning to partake in challenges with the ultimate aim of unearthing Digby’s treasure.
The morning task involved the volunteers using their knowledge acquired from their time here so far to take them to different locations on the island to discover clues and answer questions which would then lead them to the next task.
After a lot of rushing around and wrong turns, the clue-finding ended with the teams digging up a secret message buried by Digby a long time ago- but still no sign of his treasure!
Once the teams had a chance to recover, the challenge was right back on track with a coconut relay on the beach- where the teams had to pass a colourful coconut to each other from chin-to-chin, without using their hands. A member of each crew then had to swim out to a passing vessel, where rumour had it that a lone pirate on board knew something about the whereabouts of the infamous doubloons, and his love of coconuts was enough to make him share this information.
While he didn’t know exactly where it was, the knowledge he gave them was enough for The Bloody Turnstones to rush back to shore and dig up the treasure.
The Bloody Turnstones had found the treasure, but there was still all to play for with two more quests to come. The second quest was sprung upon the teams with no time to prepare- each team had to make a mascot for use later on using only materials found on base, and they only had one hour in which to do it. The results were very surprising, with the creativity and resourcefulness of the volunteers really coming out, making it very hard to pick a winner. After much deliberation, Nosey the tortoise of the Blue-Nosed Buccaneers was ruled champion and won crucial points for the team.
A period of calm then followed, allowing the teams to prepare for the final round- a quiz to test their knowledge and have them tearing their hair out. The quiz included a picture round with teams having to name different pirates. Can you name them?
At long last the day came to an end, and The Bloody Turnstones edged the victory over their opponents, and were presented with hand-crafted trophies to mark their achievement. The points difference between the teams was miniscule, it could have gone any way until the final round, and in the end every team was proud with how they had done. The day ended with a huge meal prepared by everyone.
The Monday after, the volunteers were treated with a visit to the Valle de Mai, a UNESCO world heritage site and the home of one of only three populations of the endemic Coco de Mer. The group enjoyed the exceptional surroundings as well as seeing many unique and incredible species, including the giant gecko and the black parrot.
So far the event has raised over £300 for the SSPCA, due to the generous donations of family members and friends of the volunteers and staff here. We all hope that people will keep donating and the success of this mini challenge will lead on to many others, providing other groups of volunteers with the opportunity to participate in such a fun and challenging event. We also wish to prolong our partnership with the SSPCA and continue to provide them with some much needed funds for their commendable cause.