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First International
Checkers Game Match

Saturday, June 5

After the First International Checkers Game Match, several American players left early in the morning, but my flight does not leave until early tomorrow morning. I started the morning with a submarine ride. Excursions such as this can be booked at the hotel front desk. A van came by to pick me up at 8:15 am. The bus was already filled with other people, presumably guests from other hotels. We were transported to the Atlantis docking station and gift shop near Bridgetown's two bridges. The price was $65 US for a boarding pass.

We boarded a boat from a dock. After an airline-like safety presentation, we took a ten-minute boat ride to the location of the 65-foot long submarine. Our group was the first dive of the day. Our boat pulled up alongside the submarine, and we crossed over by a gangway plank. After descending backward down a steep ladder, we came to the seating area. The sub accommodates about 45 people plus crew. The room is long, skinny, and rectangular, with a row of seats facing out each side through portholes.

As we descended, we saw huge schools of very tiny fish. The underwater coral reef was beautiful. Colorful fish tended to hang out in the crevices of the coral for safety. We saw two sunken barges and a few large sea turtles. As we progressed, we saw more and more fish, including large schools of hundreds of purple, medium-sized fish. We saw a few bigger fish, but nothing else really 'big.' We moved out away from the coral reef and dove down to 130 ft to the flat ocean bottom, but the fish don't hang out in this wide-open area. A guide talked throughout the dive to explain things.

The dive took about an hour, and I really enjoyed it. When we surfaced, we traded places with people on the transport boat who were waiting their turn to dive. As we pulled away, we saw the submarine go underwater for the next dive.
After the van returned back to Dover Beach hotel, I saw Gerry Lopez, the Webster, and Tuckers depart. Their airport shuttle came by the hotel to pick them up. The only other American Checkers Game players remaining are Clayton Nash, Michael Holmes (Erin and Michael went snorkeling for the day), and Alan Millhone (who was having a family outing today). These three were staying for the Barbados First International Checkers Game Open.

I met Clayton for lunch in the restaurant, and then we took a one mile walk through the nearby St. Lawrence Gap. Today was another nice day, as Barbados temperatures usually stay within the 75-90 F range year-round. Along the way we saw a couple beggars and a number of street side vendors. The vendors sold a variety of things such as hair braiding, jewelry, wooden crafts, and coconuts. We came across two vendors who were passing the time with their green and white checkerboard. One fellow picked up his checkers game pieces and slammed down the checker with each move. We saw a number of restaurants with outdoor seating where loud Caribbean music could be heard. Clayton and I saw a resort miniature golf course that we wanted to try out, but it was closed to non-hotel guests.

I arrived at the Graeme Hill Nature Sanctuary to do a little island bird watching. (The Dover hotel area didn't have too many bird species to see--mostly mourning doves and an occasional bananaquit or hummingbird.) Admittance seemed pricey to me ($12.50), but I enjoy this kind of thing, and I had my own personal guide. Their sanctuary featured several ponds and wetlands, where 100 cattle egret were roosting in a tree. The lake was full of large tarpon fish that would violently jump out of the water if you threw in a small object. The guide showed me the mangrove trees, whose roots grow downward from the tree branches. Mangrove trees have long, pointed seed pods, so they can plant themselves when they fall. Lastly, I walked through 3 special aviaries that had assorted ducks and other exotic birds such as flamingos, spoonbills, and macaws.

For the remainder of the day, Clayton and I spent some time in the hotel gazebo by the beach. The waves seem choppier today, and the yellow flags were out at the beaches. On the TV, I caught news of the passing of Ronald Reagan. At 6:30 (just as it was getting dark) I went to a church that was a ten-minute walk from the hotel. Then I met Clayton, Michel, and Erin for supper, my last meal here. There was a continuing debate with the staff about how much longer our meals were covered by our hosts. It turned out this was the last meal, but we had to order off the menu instead of receiving our usual complete dinner. A few fish fingers were about the only thing on the menu that was within the allocated budget. Clayton was anticipated wanting something more substantial to get through the night, so I accompanied him to the minimart where he picked up some crackers and a bottle of white rum. I took one last look at the hotel beach at night, and then headed up to my room to finish packing for my early airport ride.

Checkers Game Match Epilogue

The rest of the Barbados Draughts Festival was a success for Ron King. Suki won both the Barbados Open (congratulations to Michael Holmes for nearly winning this event) and the World Qualifier Tournament. Clayton Nash won the Junior division, and Jan Mortimer from New Zealand won the ladies qualifier.

My thanks to referee Alan Millhone, Erskine Bayne, Ron King, and to many others from Barbados who hosted us and participated in the organization of this historic first international checkers game match. I had a wonderful week on the island!

1st International Checkers Match Checker Match Barbados Hotel First International Checker Game Match Clayton Nash
Checker Match John Walcott Checker Game Match Barbados Boat Trip First International Checkers Game Match
Barbados International Checkers Match Checker Game Match Barbados Players  


DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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