OK, let’s see if I can still remember who all these people are and the nicknames I’ve assigned them. Although I should probably tell you I’m changing Team Twin to Team Doublemint. Not that it matters. Oops.

Although Team Surf opens their clue in first place, at two fifty-six a.m., the first ubiquitous “even the teams up via waiting for transportation” occurs. The water taxi stand to take them to their next destination doesn’t open until 0730. When Team Survivor pulls them aside to discuss the whole deal they made the previous day, Team Surf suddenly enacts a previously unknown deal breaker — if any of the non-allied teams find out about the alliance before they’re required to hand the pass over, the pact is null and void. This rightly pisses off Team Survivor. Non-alliance teams start kissing ass.

The two penalized teams have not yet arrived when the water taxis take everyone off to get a blessing from a local priest, after which they receive their first clue, a Detour. Pick a Pearl or Take a Trunk. The clue clearly states they need to get their scuba gear before going back to the water taxis. Everyone except Team Roller Derby goes for the pearls, but when they get there, Team Survivor has to go back for their gear.

Team Roller Derby is working well together, but it turns out Team Doublemint is hydrophobic, as am I, and I don’t mean that in the rabies sense. They can’t decide whether to take the six-hour penalty and definitely be out, or battle their way through and definitely be out. Oops.

Team You Tube develops a plan that temporarily lands them in first place while we learn that the two laggard teams are now behind by only an hour and a half. Despite the extra boat trip, Team Survivor quickly joins Teams Brohockey and Surf in taking off to find their “personal watercraft” so they can follow a hand drawn local map to Motu Tapu. Team Roller Derby gets their clue in 5th place.

Team Doublemint is really struggling, and I, who love playing in water but start getting panicky if it goes much higher than my waist, totally empathize. Knowing this feeling, I understand why they can’t focus enough to realize they can untie the strings from the main line instead of pulling each oyster off one by one. By this time, Team Newlyweds have talked Team Country Blondes into going to the same detour (they also pick Trunk, which does seem faster), and Team BFF, whose struggles are only somewhat less than Team Doublemint, find their second pearl and move on.

The first teams to arrive at Motu Tapu discover a Roadblock based on an old Polynesian game. You have to get on a pair of stilts and kick a coconut along 35 yards of sand and across a finish line. If you fall off, you can leave the coconut where it is, but you have to go back to the start. Team BFF are panicked enough just by being in the ocean that they get lost. The two laggard teams get to their chosen Detour, while Teams Brohockey and Survivor race for the Pit Stop, with Team Surf not far behind. Phil checks them all in (in that order) and ask Team Survivor what’s going on. Dave (the father) explains that he thinks he felt his Achilles tendon rupture on the run to the mat. I’m not sure I’d know that was what happened if it happened to me. Connor helps him hobble off to see a doctor.

The laggards have finished the Detour. Team Doublmint decides to try the second half, and Team BFF is still lost. Team Doublemint finds the diving helmet easier to deal with than the scuba gear, and I plan to remember that for my next trip to Hawaii. But Team BFF has found Motu Tapu, the laggards have also gotten there, and everyone else is checked in. Team BFF falls behind at the roadblock, but check in as Team #9, and Team Doublemint is Philiminated.

Next week: It looks like Team Survivor is out, and the racers head to New Zealand.

Nina Lisa

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