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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been secretly getting certification in Pirate Training for physical education credit. Students who complete physical education classes in sailing (small boats on the Charles River) , archery, fencing, and the fundamentals of pistol shooting can qualify for an official certificate as an MIT Pirate. Classes take place at 0800, so pirates-in-training who splice too much of the main brace the night before might not get through the program. Students must take an oath in the physical education office when they get their certificates. Elements of the oath include promises to "run from any fight [they] can't win, [and] to win any fight [yo u] cannot run from," according to certified MIT pirate Stephanie Holden. Holden adds, yo u must also be willing to "sing yo-ho-ho at the top of [your] lungs ." (MIT P. E. Program Administrator, Meredith Volker, 120 Vassar Street Cambridge, MA 02139; email mitpe@mit. edu; www. mirpe.com) . .. The Barque Picton Castle, currently underway in the South Pacific, recently came to the rescue of a 42-foot sailing yacht, which had issued a distress call in the early hours of30 July. Sailing under the command of Capt. Michael Moreland, Picton Castle was en route berween Manihiki and Aitutaki when the call for assistance went out to all vessels within a 300-nautical-mile radius. At 180 nautical miles away, the three-mas ted sail training ship was determined to be the closest vessel outside of a few fi shing boats, and the only ship that could offer the yacht's crew an alternative to aba ndoning their craft. It took them 29 hours to reach the yacht's position. The ship sent over its chief mate and chief engineer to assess the situation. Chief mate Paul Bracken replaced a parted section of the shrouds, while engineer Alex Marts made repairs to the raw water pump and installed an electric auxiliary bilge pump. With these repairs, no towing was required and the yacht was able to carry on with their planned passage. This summer, the Picton Castle spent ten weeks providling much-needed shipping assistance in the heart of Polynesia. The ship and her ccrew sailed from Rarotonga, the largest atnd most accessible of the Cooks Islandls, to the nation's ten other inhabited islarnds. During this time they
SEA HISlfORY 144, AUTUMN 2013