The Trip to the Seagirt SCA Event
Saturday started extremely early. 4:35am. It was supposed to start at 4:30, but my alarm clock didn’t go off. Or maybe it did and I just hit snooze and immediately fell back asleep for the five minutes until Fireflys alarm went off.
Read more for details of the camping trip myself, Firefly and Cat5 took over to the Island.
Cat5 was supposed to meet us at the horribly early hour of 5am so that we could get the 7am ferry, be at the camp and set up or at least ready to see the tourney start at 10am or so. We got all packed up and were waiting when he finally showed up, looking just as happy to be up at this time as I felt. We loaded up the Crown Victoria that Firefly borrowed from FireflyDad and headed out. About the only thing I can say about being up that early is that you get to see an amazing sunrise. Wow.
When we got to the terminal to Victoria we got an even better look at it. The trip across was uneventful as expected, with some snoozin’ going on and me taking pictures like mad, mostly with my 35mm though (developing soon). Firefly took some good ones with the digital though, and I got some quite funny shots of her hair in the wind.
We got the continental breakfast buffet they served in the snooty area of the ship. A bit pricey at $10, but gobs of food, including waffles, eggs, fruit, tea, etc etc etc.
Our instructions basically said “Get off ferry. Get on [blah] highway. Arrive in Saanich.” So we got on the highway and went. Somehow though, we ended up in Victoria, definately a very nice place, but definately not where we wanted to be.
A quick rant on Victoria’s street suckage.
Victoria is a very nice place to walk around. It has history, beautiful buildings and great scenery. Walk. Not drive. You drive along and all of a sudden you see that the lane you’ve been driving along has turned into a rright hand turn only lane! So you get yourself back into the left lane quickly, drive along for another minute or so and then all of a sudden it happens again! You curse, signal and get back into the left lane. Thinking ahead you stay as far left as you can, until all of a sudden the lane you’re in turns into a left turn only lane! Repeat ad nauseum.
A quicker rant about Victoria’s highway suckage.
Note to highway designers of the future. Putting stoplights evey half a kilometer does not a highway make.
Anyway, after stopping in a very nice place called Port Victoria we managed to get on our way and arrived at the boy scout camp that was being used for the Seagirt Tourney. After unpacking and setting up we got into garb (that’d be funny medievil clothes) filled out tankards (mugs) with booze (booze) and watched some of the tournament.
There weren’t nearly as many people there as we’d expected. Maybe 20 or thirty tents, 60 people? Something like that. It was nice though, small enough that you could actually have a good chance of meeting a fair amount of the camp instead of something like Clinton which had over a thousand people.
The baron and baroness, whom I didn’t get to talk to much, but did meet, were quite cool people. The baroness had great fun in arranging the fighters, asking the assembled
peanut gallery how they should fight. Should the fighter in question be set upon by his three opponents all at once, or one at a time, or a combination? What should he be armed with? What should his opponents be armed with. At one point the gallery asked that the fights be fought to the pain and not to the death, as there was far too much dying and not enough fighting (the rapier fighting can be over very quickly). A memorable combination was a two on one combination, with the two having to hold hands while they fought. Another was a three on one but the three had to have full tankards, and if they spilled a hit (ie: disabled arm or leg) was taken back from the one. Most amusing.
There weren’t many people like I said, the kids fighting tournament (a first for Seagirt) where they fought with foam swords called “boffers” had more fighters than the rapiers or the heavies (5 and 5 fighters respectively).
The fighting was first the rapier and then later on as the day went on the heavy (sword and shield, knights in armour type stuff) fighters. Not knowing a whole lot about the fighting it really looks a lot like two guys, heavily protected, bashing the hell out of each other with wooden (rattan) swords. And hey, hitting other people is fun.
Seeing as we had gotten up at 4am we were pretty tired, and I ended up snoozing a bit in the sun (luckily without ill effects). Firefly and Melony (whom we met there, and was a very nice lady and fun to have around I might add) took a quick trip into town and got lunch type stuff. Somewhere along the way Cat5 and I started talking to Alan, who was a heavy fighter, and who ended up being the champion this year, defeating his opponent amidst a great flurish of bashing. He talked to us about heavy fighting, and showed us some of the basic moves of swordsmanship. I hadn’t been really interested in being a heavy before, and instead liked the elegance of the rapier fighters, but after seeing that the moves which looked like bashing were really a very elegant set of moves, it gained some attraction, though I don’t look forward to wearing that armour in the heat. Maybe I’ll hit one of the fight meetings in Chilliwack and see if someone has some lender armour.
There was a big potluck dinner that night and we thought it was everyone sharing, so we got dessert, but it turned out that it was more of a “everyone eat their own food in the same place” deal. So we were very period and eat bread and cheese (what was left from lunch). We did get kind contributions from others though, probably taking pity on us (the people in the next table over had lobster!
Oh yea, the camp itself. Like I said it was a boyscout camp, and it had things we weren’t used to from previous SCA events. Like toilets. Real ones that flush (though they were definately designed with kids in mind… not a lot of room to move around in the stalls). And a big banquet hall. A nice big one, with tables and a full kitchen!
In the evening there was a bardic circle, where everyone gathered round a group of lanterns (high fire hazard, so no open fires) and people would come foward and tell stories, or sing songs (adaptions or “filks” of the Arrogant Worms seem to be especially popular). It was very cool. About 11:30 though I decided that sleeping in my tent would allow me less chance of embarassing myself by falling over asleep (remember 4am?).
Sleep, then in the morning we were awakened by a herald calling out the morning’s annoucements of a pancake breakfast commencing soon, and that yes, it was damn early (especially for those who were boozing till 3am or whenever the rest of the folks set down for the night. The night for me wasn’t that bad, a bit cooler at night than Clinton, and I got stereo snores from Cat5 in the tent on the left and from the tent on the right. The wierdest thing happened while I was listening to this, perfectly awake, and I heard myself snoring as well, and I’d think “that’s odd, I’m not asleep,” and then a few minutes later I’d hear it again.
The pancake breakfast was great, blueberry pancakes, bacon, fruit, sausages, all provided free to us. Fantastic.
As we didn’t want to get home all that late we packed up and headed out before noon. Now on the way here we (I) paid an extra $15 to reserve a spot on the ferry to make sure we weren’t sitting for two hours waiting for the next one. This time we didn’t have the luxury, however, after a long drive back to the dock (without any false starts this time) we basically drove onto the ferry. We arrived at 12:45 and were the third from last car on the ferry. We so rock.
Another ferry ride, this time with a White Spot burger, and then home, unpack, throw a laundry in, throw self into long hot bath, then sleep, blissful sleep.