We were back in Tenerife at about 8am or some ungodly time that is similar, with about 40 or 50 others in Puerto Colon marina having a briefing for a treasure hunt by boat.
B, Liz and l were on Liz’s boat but one of the boats had a problem so the crew was shuffled round and 2 brothers about 19years old joined us. You could see their “oh god oldies” contempt look. Bad move that look we intended to win. Safety and general rules were explained and we were given our first clue. Group huddles were dotted around as we tried to hear what others said or read their lips, not allow others to hear or see us and try and work out the clue.
We were off…. Brian untied us and started to climb back in via the folding windscreen when Liz gunned the boat. I grabbed him and pulled him down, he slammed into the bottom of the boat and broke the floor… “The hell with it it’ll fix” yelled Liz. The 2 lads went a bit green.
We arrived at the first clue point in Los Cristianos and the 2 lads and l swam ashore. The clue was about octopus and there was a bar by that name. We found the next clue after a bit of a hunt round the bar and ran back to swim to the boat to decipher it.
The next clue took us back to Puerto colon and some more running around. Clue 3 was to spaghetti beach. This was a nice secluded beach for nudists. We were told to go there and look for a mermaid. The 2 lads and l swam ashore again now life got fun. Nudists do not like to be stared at. Our task was to find a mermaid. As B and l used to go to the beach quite often l was nude however the 2 lads were a bit shy and kept their trunks on. I stayed close to keep an eye, and try to head off trouble.
They tried to look innocent while staring hard at people but things started to get a bit hot well not really under the collar as there was none. I had to jump in several times and explain we were looking for a mermaid and why. After about 10minutes no luck so we swam back to the boat to consult. Another good look at the clue and nope it had to be the beach. By now word was getting round and we got some good natured jokes but still a fair lot of black looks from those who thought we were lying. The lads were getting flustered but hung in there. Then they found their mermaid. A tattoo on a female, at that point the beach settled down and black looks became grins. We spread the word about 14 or so more boats would be coming through assuming their crews managed to work out the clue.
We were nicely in the lead when we headed to the next point. This one required B to swim ashore as he had to do splicing of rope. Well that’s what we thought but there was no one at the bar where we worked out there should be. Back to the boat and a confab then swim back to shore to double check. B stayed on board and let us do the work. Nope, the locals looked at us like the spaghetti beach patrons had. Trying to discern signs of intelligence on us as no sane person could ask questions like where do we get the splice rope and who is in charge of this check point. Back to the boat and a zoom to a couple of other villages but they did not have the right description.
Back to the village and still no luck then back to the boat. We had a quick discussion and decided we had to get back to base to see what was going on. By now the lads had realised we were out to win and were grinding their teeth about anyone catching up with us which by now of course other boats were doing.
The organisers comment was.. “Well we can not tell you if you are right where you went, but we have managed to trace the person and they did not expect anyone so soon so stopped for a beer”… Liz bent down and gave her evil eye look …”and” she snapped.
“And errrr” said the organizer knowing it was not good to upset Liz she was not a shouter but would verbally and with a sweet smile cut him into little bits with no swearing taking place.
“We have lost time because your lot wanted to drink” she said still glaring.
“Oh umm yes err how about 40minutes off your final time is that ermm fair?”
Liz straightened grinned and we powered back to the village.
Once again we swam ashore with B this time and sure enough, there was the splicing rope. By now the other boats were there and a lot of cussing was going on as people tried to either learn fast or remember old skills. Thankfully B has kept up old skills, god knows why but it came in useful and while he was trying to admire his work l ripped it off him and the lads hauled him off balance to get the message. He was a bit grumpy stuff him we had a race to win.
The last clue was to swim to the beach at la Calleta below the church run up to the church and run around the outside twice.
Well it isn’t a beach but a rock strewn area. We had a debate about this as by now the wind was up as a storm moved in and the sea was getting rough. We were in a small powerboat. A lot of the crews on the other boats decided against it due to the water and weather conditions, their captains refusing to risk crew.
Of course we were going to win and that mean doing every section. So the 2 lads and l took the plunge. It was hard going to shore but not to bad. The rocks made it tricky and we got a bit rolled going ashore. The slope to the church was hard as we were tiring by now and twice round the church was a killer. The lads were in front of me, they slowed down to see if l wanted help, l shoopered them on as l just needed to get my breath back.
By now no crews were coming ashore, the sea was rough and a couple from the last boat but ours said they were going to ring for a car to collect them, it was to rough and their boat pulled away.
Just to make it more fun did l mention we did not have any life jackets, funny how thoughts strike you at the wrong moment. I looked at the waves thought “aghh f*ckit all will be fine” and ploughed in.
Part way to the boat l knew l was in big trouble. I had done too much over the course of the day, then the final run’s round the church wasted what l had left, l cramped. I managed to tread water and on the crest of waves l saw the boat, the lads were struggling but almost there. I adjusted my direction and tried to swim but l wasn’t going to make it.
I waved my arms in the double arm “I am in trouble” signal. Liz and B saw me and waved back. I stared in disbelief. I tried to swim slowly and started to go under struggled back up. Again waved FFS they waved back grinning. I was in disbelief B and L had both done diving ok l wasn’t 100% sure if l gave the signal for diver in distress or not, but for Christ on a crumbs sake the fact l was stopped and kept going under, the waves were deep troughed now and a lot of white about the sky black it must have been obvious to the blind l was in trouble.
Nope it wasn’t, I looked back and realised the beach was too far and by now being hammered hard with breaking waves. I had 2 choices l swam and got to the boat on my own or l drowned.. while friends and family happily waved me downwards.
So l swam if you can call what l managed swimming. I saw the boat in flashes when l crested waves, l tried to spit out water when l went under, which was a lot, and struggled to break surface and gulp air when l could, while ignoring my cramps and exhaustion and finally l got to the boat. It was only when l was too weak to reach up for a lift that the idiots realised just how far gone l was and jumped to help me. The lads got back in to help push me upwards, B and Liz hauled me in.
I lay collapsed all the way back getting my breath and when l did l gave a broadside to B and Liz that left them in no doubt of what l thought about them. There was a hell of a lot of apologising from the pair of them. I forgave them eventually it took some time though. I was scared as hell on that swim and l really did not think l would make it. By now it had also sunk into them just how close they had come to waving me down to a watery grave and they were having a good hard think about things themselves.
As we had done all the clues and with our 40mins off our final time meant that despite almost being a crew member down we were the winners, with a certificate to prove it.