As is customary on Bark Europa, the famous Pinrail Chase arrived. A game where you are rewarded for all your efforts studying the ship, but maybe not in the way you would expect beforehand. During this hilarious competition, nothing was fair, but it is still a highlight of our time on board. As Hans put it; “Apparently competitions don’t have to be fair to be fun”. The muscles in my cheek still hurt from laughing.
While we kept handicapping our knowledgeable Bosun, Nat, to make the competition fairer Rudi, the judge, just kept giving Nat extra points because she had a handicap and carried it with charm. We tried to tell him we were actively trying to have her finish last, but it didn’t matter. Nat could finish last in a round and Rudi would give her the highest number of points anyway. Some crew members did their best and did well, but no points were given because Rudi was looking the other way or forgot which team you were on. Arguing was of no use; talented Host Matti would reward this with a funny spot-on joke and some minus points. While Matti fabulously executed his role and ensured the game kept a good flow, Rudi would do his magic and within 2 rounds the scoreboard became so chaotic nobody really understood who was in the lead. It all doesn’t matter in the end. It was a competition without winners and losers.
When we play some board games at night, it is similar. We all count our points after a game, but don’t write the points down or share them with fellow players so we basically have no idea who won or lost. I have wondered why we count the points at all, but that’s just what we do. Part of me wishes we did this with my family when growing up as well, but somehow we always wanted to announce a winner. On board, the exception is with ‘Settlers of Catan’ where Ayla is still unbeaten and we all know it. It might be time to check if she is cheating with special dice.
I am grateful for the atmosphere on board. Everybody is valued for their own skills and nobody is competing with each other. “You are the best” is given away for any victory you achieve (Made a nice photo? Handed me a spoon? You are the best). And we all know we are all the best.