Marco Bay Yacht Club takes island 'Survivor' challenge

The four chiefs prepare for battle, from left,  Chief Sinapa (Bill Schroeder), Chief Caluusm (Bob White), Chief Nanrek (John Kernan) and Chief Loki (Paula Skillern).

On Tuesday, four intrepid troops of 17 each faced-off in Marco Bay Yacht Club’s very own version of “Survivor” with its original “MBYC 10,000 Island Survivor Challenge,” produced by Bob Boland and Lynn Bedell. Led by four of their bravest, each of whom earned the right to be called chief, a fierce, but bloodless battle took place among some 60-plus MBYC Members for the honor of winning the most beaded necklaces, as well as a special hidden idol symbolic of their victory.

The Tomo Tribe, led by Chief Nanrek (aka John Kernan) and dressed in loin cloths navigated the seas and was first to arrive at Panther Key; likewise, the Sago Tribe led by Chief Sinapa (aka Bill Schroeder) was dressed in their native garb and definitely ready for battle as he led his troops in their own version of the New Zealand “Haka Chant”; the Calos Tribe’s bold Chieftan, Caluusm (aka Bob White) sported his Tribe’s proud colors in his headdress, and not to be outdone, Chief Loki (aka Paula Skillern) of the Mayaimi Tribe proudly wore the colors of her band of amazons.

Owing to the obvious youth of the 60-plus total participants, unlike the TV show of a similar name, the challenges pitting tribe against tribe were more “age appropriate.”

Starting off the event the best-dressed team was awarded 15 necklaces.

Stretching almost a a quarter mile, the vessels carrying the various tribes were anchored-off of Panther Key in the 10,000 Islands.

Challenge 1

Each chief selected eight members of the tribe who clasped their arms with only the last member having a free hand to grab a hula hoop and start passing the body of each tribal member without unclasping their arms. The winning tribe (i.e. the first to pass over all eight members) was rewarded with 15 necklaces.

Challenge 2

The chiefs selected three more members to spread a blanket at their feet with sand bags on each corner, and once the “Producers” blew the starting whistle were challenged to turn the blanket over and spread it out again without stepping off the blanket and replacing the sand bags. Another 15 necklaces were awarded the winning tribe.

Challenge 3

Using the hoops from the first challenge, three blind-folded tribe members and a spokesperson to direct them were required to toss their bean bags from varying distances into the hoops. Another 15 necklaces to the winners.

Challenge 4

Since Marco Bay is a boating group, four selected members from each tribe (one at a time) was required to go to the referee who held a white bar and was required to tie one of six nautical knots: Bowline, Buntline Hitch, Clove Hitch Double Fisherman’s Knot, Square Knot or Sheet Bend. Once all four of the knots were completed, another 15 necklaces to the winning team.

Final ultimate challenge

Falling somewhat short of hand-to-hand combat, the two tribes with the most necklaces faced off in the final challenge. One member was positioned at the start line, another at the center line, and a third at the finish line; the starting member and center line members were given buckets although the center competitor had a PVC pipe in the ground containing four ping pong balls.

The member at the starting line got a bucket of water from the Golf, returned to the starting line and had to toss the water to his fellow tribe member at the center line; once they had their bucket full (in varying degrees!) the poured the water into the pipe (assuming they caught enough water the ping pong balls floated to the top); once the ping pong balls floated to the top the member then placed the balls on a rimless tray supplied by the referee and walked to the finish line without dropping any of the balls.

At the finish line the three 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 and had the honor of being the Ultimate 10,000 Island Sole Surviving Tribe and the winner of a priceless trophy.

The winning team (Sago) with Chief Sinapa holding the trophy.

As their ancestors usually did when the tribe was on the move, each member brought food to share (although in respect of modern times it was BYOB). The winning tribe, the Sago, led by their masterful technician Chief Sinapa and his faithful warriors: Al Saunders, Charlie Skillern, Chuck Hubscher, Dan Dotterwich, Doug Hess, Janet Wood, Joanne Daughterty, John Hardy, Kim Hillyer, Larry Sacher, Linda Saunders and Mike Brown.

An incredible day, great weather and lots of fun.

Marco Bay Yacht Club once again showed the way to “Have Fun the Marco Bay Way!”

Interested in Membership in Marco Bay? Contact membership chair Judy Sacher (239-777-4604 or to learn more. Marco Bay meets on the last Monday of each month at their official home, CJ’s on the Bay at the Esplanade for Monday Madness (4:30- 6:30 p.m.), all are welcome.