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The 2008 EMYR Pirate Party!
by Wesley Harris
05/18/2008, Girne, Northern Cyprus

"Arrrrr!" everyone in the EMYR yelled as we walked down the streets of Cyprus in pirate costumes. One of the highlights of the EMYR is the annual pirates party. It is a highly promoted event, and we were all informed before we arrived about getting ones swashbuckling costume ready.
We left the marina and arrived to the old port. We began a trail of about 200 people dressed in creatively chosen costumes down the streets. I was wearing a leather type vest and red striped pants, with a red sash and a leather hat. Ryan wore a red shirt with a gold trim and some black pirate pants, and a pirate bandana on his head. As we were walking down the streets of Cyprus we sang pirate songs and waved to the people. They were taking videos and pictures of us.

We walked until the "Pirates of the EMYR" got to the Dome Hotel where the party was hosted. There was a table for each group, and a table for the "young pirates". We "young pirates" were, Cassie and Juliana from Zia, Tom and George from Cowrie of Cows, Anouck and Celine from Cenou, and Brune and Arthur from Arcaloune. After getting settled down with our drinks, we took our swords and fought a friendly pirate game.

To go to the buffet, your group was to be called, but we kids had an advantage--we were allowed to go straight to the chow. The food was great! There were kabobs, rice, soup, and vegetables platters. There was also a dessert table there with fruit, ice cream, cake, and pastries.

After dinner, Dave (not Dad), a key member of the EMYR committee said that we kids would pick the best man and women pirate costume. We walked around the party taking notes of the costumes. After we got our results we went on the stage to tell the winners. The woman was Cathy from the S/V Twixster and the man was Jan from the S/V Sansipapp. They each received a decorated jug from the contest.
After a wonderful time at the party we walked back to the boat. We had great fun and a sense of more "pirate" blood in our bodies.

Kemer Olympics
By Ryan Harris
05/13/2008, Kemer, Turkey

Kemer is the birthplace of the E.M.Y.R. Since most people join the E.M.Y.R. by this port, they hold the Kemer Olympics for the kids and adults. The organizers figure it is a great way for people to interact and have fun.

The competitions for the adults were tug-of-war, line and shackle race, egg toss, wheelbarrow yogurt race, and the balloon race. The tug-of-war is when you pull the rope away from the other team (duh?). In the line and shackle race, you put down a line through your shirt and out, then continue passing your rope until the last teammate has completed the motion. In the egg toss, you throw your egg to your teammate from a distance away. When you have done a successful throw, you both take one step back. The team who wins is the last pair to toss an egg successfully at the greatest distance. It was the first time I saw a wheelbarrow yogurt race. One teammate grabs the legs of the other, while the second person walks on their hands, like a wheelbarrow. When the other side is reached, that person eats a bowl of plain yogurt without a spoon and then scurries back to the starting line. Last, but not least, is the balloon race, where two people have a balloon between their chests and run a distance back and forth. The winner is the person who does it the fastest, and of course, not dropping the balloon along the way.

Now for the KID Olympics... (which I think is more important). Since there was eight children there were four teams of two. Of course Wesley and I were together. The first race of the kids was the three-legged race. Wesley and I beat everybody by a mile, easily. So far Wesley and I were in first place. Second, there was the spoon egg race. Wesley and I got ready. When everybody started, I dropped my egg and so did Wesley. So we quickly ran back to the to the starting point and ran. I barely tied first place. Since I tied, I had to race again to determine the winner. I won easily since I didn't drop my egg this time.

At the awards ceremony, the top three who placed in the adult Olympics were each crowned with a wreath of flowers. I was the only person who received a wreath of flowers for the kids' Olympics. Then the speakers started to play "We are the champions" by Queen.

It was a cool experience to have a wreath placed on my head. We kept the wreath fresh for a few days in a bucket of water. When we departed to the next port, we gave our wreath a toss behind our stern into the setting sun, a final ceremony at sea.

Kekova Roads Castle
Ryan and Wesley Harris
05/08/2008, Kekova Roads, Turkey

Ryan and I woke up very groggy, and rolled out of bed. We had a small breakfast of toast and cheerios, then off with our Mom and Dad to go see the "Sunken City" and then a castle.
We checked to see if we had our water and sunscreen, and then Ryan and I took turns driving the dinghy to the docks. We saw lots of other people waiting to go on this tour back into time. We docked up and walked around until the boats were ready to take on passengers. As we were getting on, the seats were quickly becoming occupied. It looked like there wouldn't be enough room. But then they opened another boat, so the rest of us could have seats (which was all of us!). It was a cool boat with a glass bottom and comfy seats. We began motoring to the sunken city. We saw many little "apartments" that were underwater and had broken pots (amphora) inside. We saw many fish, which is actually (sadly) rare in the Mediterranean. It seemed like the fish were the "villagers" of the city. At one point there was a donkey inside of a bay that was remote controlled to move its head around and act like a real donkey (just kidding, it was a real one, but it definitely appeared to be moving on cue).
After seeing many sunken ruins we went to go see the castle. We were really excited to see it, because last year when we were anchored right next to it but the weather was so bad, we never could leave the boat. We would always look up at it. It was never safe enough for us to leave the boat unattended.
When we got to the castle Ryan and I explored as many places as we could. In the process, we found a frog. Many people became interested in the frog and started taking pictures of it. We explored for an hour climbing walls and hills. Eventually we took a hike and found some tombs. The tombs were very cool, but some had water in them that didn't drain out, and lots of mosquito larva had formed. Dad noted that his whole region had a history that often suddenly turned on this pesky pest and the diseases they can carry.
The path back we found a tortoise. Ryan and I tried to feed it a few dandelions, but it was keener on getting away from us. We walked back to the tourist boat. Motoring away from the castle, we cast our eyes back, admiring the structure. It was good to finally have made this trip.

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