Sunday, January 6, 2013

Los Angeles Day #1

Greetings Everyone!
This is team Graphite (Dan and Lauren Turner) reporting on our second day of romping around the Los Angeles area. We all started off the day by attending church with our host families. We had the pleasure of joining the Bethany Christian Reformed Church for morning worship after which we had to do a quick change before heading out for the day’s adventures. After eating lunch on a beautiful beach next to Balboa pier, we anxiously piled into the vans with our stomachs full yet still hungry for some competition. We arrived at Newport Aquatic center and learned that there would be several races in the afternoon including a 12 v 12 dual hull outrigger race, as well as a stand up paddle-board relay race. We were divided up into two teams and given a little bit of time to practice our paddling cadence before launching into our first head to head race. We quickly learned the value of staying in rhythm and mastering the art of quickly switching the paddle from one side of the boat to the other. This allowed our team (Navy, Orange, Kelly Green, Graphite, Scarlet, Royal Blue) to emerge victorious in both of the races. Our next race put us back in our teams of two racing a standup paddle-board out and around a buoy. Lauren and I strategized while watching the first heat of teams as to the fastest route and the best way to transition from one partner to the other.  Thanks to a solid transition, and a brilliantly aggressive route choice by Lauren, team graphite finished with the fastest time. Our final challenged involved plugging a pvc pipe full of holes so that a ping-pong ball could be raised to the top by filling the pipe with water. It’s tough to describe this activity in words, but it was incredibly entertaining to watch and turned out to be a terrific bonding experience as we all had to persevere through the frigid air/water combination before being allowed some highly anticipated hot showers. It was also during this time that we all witnessed an absolutely phenomenal rainbow stretching across the Newport Back Bay.   

We finished up at the aquatic center with a delicious dinner provided by Calvin alumni. Finally we gathered together in the evening to debrief about the day and discuss a little bit about the aspects of competition and cooperation that we had experienced during our races. It is amazing how quickly the group is getting to know each other and energetically engaging in challenges set before us. Even though it was a little chilly today, prayers were answered in that the “day of rain” that was forecasted included nothing more than a sprinkle, along with a good amount of sunshine. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring! 

Once the final numbers were tallied for today's race, this is how we finished.

1. Vegas Gold
2.  Graphite
3. Navy
4. Royal
5. Kelly Green
6. Purple
7. Red
8. Orange
9. Gold
10. (Tie) Columbia Blue & Forest Green
12. Pink


  1. Following your fun and progress! Cheering for many of you- Bethany, Ali, Kristi, Megan, & Nick.

    The Doezema's