Last year John and I, plus several of our friends, won local Urban Dare races which gained us free entry in the SuperDare championship. Plus a free 3-day cruise! What a deal - we were very excited to spend several fun days with friends. To do an urban race ON the cruise itself was gravy.
We flew to Miami to board the ship. Here we are on the bus ride:
Sheila and John admiring Miami scenery from the deck of the ship:
On Friday we got settled on board, had a nice dinner, then gathered for the first round of the SuperDare: Trivia Night. It was a lot like "pub quiz", which we always think is fun but we never do well at. We weren't too hopeful, especially when the questions seemed to be centered around the 1980's. On the other hand, at least we're old enough to have a chance at it!
We did poorly at the Iran Contra questions and the photo identifications. We're most proud of a couple questions involving the America's Cup (Conner) and a new official language of New Zealand (Maori). On the other hand, we just missed the Steffi Graf and Billy Ocean song answers...
After that night we were in the top third of the 29 teams, with a 4.5 minute penalty. Everyone else had a 0 to 13.5 minute penalty, except for the team that won the trivia. They got a 5-minute bonus. Depending on how they did with the next 2 days, that could be tough to overcome.
I didn't find any photos that our friends might have taken of the trivia night, so here's a shot of us messing around in the cruise ship elevator instead:
On Saturday it was off to Coco Cay island for a set of dares - fun!
Our ship, as viewed from the tender to the island:
Dave and Michelle, with the ship in the background:
Someone was excited!
Each team was released at 2-minute intervals (with your start time taken into account). We were randomly assigned a start placing of #27 so we could watch most of teams do their first dares, which was a nice break for us.
The dares were:
* Assemble a jigsaw puzzle
* Find numbers matching letters in a word and add up the total
* Water brigade - filling a big glass with a smaller glass using sea water / running back and forth
* Run down the beach to a redneck golf station and score once on each rung
* Spin around a baseball bat and run a short ways and back
* 3-legged race
* Run back on the beach to the finish
Jason and Shauna, at the start of the dares:
Kip and Dave heading for the puzzle:
Sheila and Scott taking off:
John and I enjoyed the puzzle - it had a bunch of animals and we put it together pretty quickly:
We worked with Tom and Spencer on the "spellbound" letter search and got through that relatively smoothly. That dare probably caused the biggest swings in finish time, as it's quite random whether you will find the letters you need quickly or not. Rather frustrating for some teams.
The water brigade started poorly when John broke our first cup, but then we got moving and filled the large glass to the brim. Off down the beach!
We did the golf task without too many misses, then John started spinning around the baseball bat while I counted. At "8" he stood up and tried to move forward. A stiff wind off the ocean added to his stagger, and he headed up the hill toward a fence. Tom and I watched him and went "Hmm..." Eventually John made it back to the beach, around the cone, and back to me so we could continue.
Our 3-legged race went well this time, as we are finally getting more in synch. Although we still haven't found the most comfortable posture yet...
We ran back to the finish just behind Tom and Spencer, finishing in about 18 minutes. That turned out to be the top time for the day, yay! On the other hand, we gained only 2 minutes on the trivia winners, who we learned hailed from Boston. So we went into the last day still down by 7 minutes.
Sunday was a standard urban dare race on Nassau. Well, "standard" except that phone service was really expensive so we couldn't use our normal communication methods. We tried a couple work-arounds with some success but it still wasn't ideal. Oh, and also, Google Maps has a really hard time with Nassau addresses, so that made things hard on our crew. We would all just have to do the best we could.
Pre-race group shot with Kevin, the race director:
I made a good guess on the opening trivia question (the meaning of the name of the original island people) and we got our clue sheet right off. We knew a couple answers but it didn't appear to be an easy set of questions. Our crew started working and we decided to head for a park on East Bay street since the clue described exactly where it was (#7 on our clue sheet):
Running along Bay Street, John noticed a sign for a Search and Rescue organization, so he went to investigate. He was looking for a monument for the bonus points, but we didn't see anything so we continued on to the park where we found a race volunteer and the leapfrog dare.
We jumped as far as we could in each leap, although John seemed to land flattened on the ground somehow and I had to wait for him to coil himself back up again. Still, it didn't take long to finish this. Kip and Dave were equally fast on the grass next to us.
Next we aimed for Armstrong Street to try to find the golf dare. We found it back a bit toward town. John and I took a few extra tries this time around, but finally completed it.
Now we decided to start back toward town. Dave talked on the phone and had some info about a couple of checkpoints not far from the start. Then a discussion started about the "Iraq port city" clue, and we stopped to check our map. We were told that it might be at Harbour Bay Shopping Center, which was back past the leapfrog dare, further east. Time to turn around!
Finally we learned that we were looking for something called BASRA - OK, that at least makes sense. Oh, and look, there's a bus coming! We jumped on board, since we figured we had a ways to go. It was pretty loud and Dave had a hard time hearing on the phone. Suddenly I noticed the Search and Rescue place we had passed earlier - and it was named "Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association" = BASRA = get off the bus!
Wow, that was crazy. OK, time to go back to town. We were running along, and I was mentally mapping the rest of the checkpoints, but we still didn't have all the information we needed. One of the checkpoints was a particular house. We had seen lots of houses in town (e.g. Vendue House, Balcony House), so it seemed reasonable to assume that the Sears House for checkpoint 5 would be in that direction too.
Then Dave relayed that the Sears House was the same as the Haitian Embassy - uh oh. I had seen it earlier on the city map we got at the pier, and it was NOT in town. It was back near the first park. Again. It was at that point that I knew we were in trouble, having out-run our clue solvers and not realizing it until too late.
Sigh. Back we ran, finding the right house finally:
For the last time, we turned back toward town and headed west. We passed the Boston team, who had obviously taken a less-convoluted route. They weren't running as fast as we were, but I didn't think we could make up 7 minutes on them based on foot speed alone.
We found the Taj Mahal on Parliament Street:
Then a photo of a pirate at the Pirates of Nassau:
Continuing west, we snapped a photo of Woodes Rogers, the first Royal Governor, at the Hilton:
Next we located the El Greco Hotel and ran to the back where we had another "Spellbound" dare (with a new set of letter/number combos). We muffed it up slightly when John called out a number and I didn't hear it right, but we fixed that pretty quickly. Then they directed us across the street to a bubble dare where we had to find a piece of gum in whipped cream and blow a bubble. Kip rocked it, while I blew whipped cream spit for a while until I got a small bubble.
Next we ran toward Arawak Cay and Goldie's restaurant. The volunteer gave us 4 conch fritters to eat before we could start a jigsaw puzzle. John swears we had 5, but really I just gave him no help at all and he ate most of 3 of them. Finally we could start the puzzle - my favorite one was already taken, but we did OK with the puppies (puppies!) instead.
On the way back toward the finish, we got word that the memorial bonus question was an obelisk in that area. John and I had both seen it on the run to Blondie's, so we refound it and got our photo:
Back into town for the two remaining checkpoints we hadn't yet hit - Solomon's Mines:
And United Colors of Benetton:
We hoofed it back to the finish, but the Boston team had arrived just ahead of us. Plus they had a 5-minute bonus for the 3-2-1 pyramid. The only thing we did better than them on that day was finding the stairs to the second-floor bar and the finish line. Otherwise they kicked our butts :)
So it was a solid win by the Boston team, with me/John in a strong second place. Tom and Spencer just edged out Kip and Dave for 3rd overall. Our five teams all placed top-nine, which we were quite happy about, even though that didn't net us any money.
At the awards ceremony with the $5K check, the Boston team, and Spencer and Tom:
Double-fisted drinking to drown our "sorrows":
Huge props to our friends, our support crew, and our travel buddies for a great weekend, and to Kevin Keefe for putting on a fun race and taking us on a neat vacation!
(Photos by John, Dave/Michelle, and Steve/Sheila)