First team: Purple
  Arrival: 10:10am
Second team: Gold
  Arrival: 10:26am
Soundtrack: "Little Guitars", Van Halen (from "Diver Down"). 
"Absurd", by Pluke. 
A# 41240  Shelby's Message

The Purple team was first to approach and land at Middle Boulder island. There, Game Control folks were waiting with the explanation for what happens next:

There are two clues here at Middle Boulder Island:

1. The first is underwater. You'll find a puzzle between 5 and 10' deep, it is attached to a wreck. DO NOT remove the puzzle, you need to solve it there underwater before you can leave this site and go...

2. Here. This second puzzle (hands over an envelope. See the "Clue" section of this page for the puzzle) will tell you where to go next, but don't go there until you solve the underwater puzzle. 

Roger C. from Purple Team   (click for full image)
Sarah P. from Orange Team   (click for full image)
Eric L. from Yellow Team   (click for full image)
More than one team attempts the puzzle    (click for full image)
Roger C. from Purple Team   (click for full image)

Middle Boulder Island, Underwater Puzzle - The Setup
Puzzles were placed underwater at two different depths-- some at 5' and some at 12'. Any team player who had a Scuba Certification card with them could "rent" dive gear from our on site moderator. Any team with no Scuba Certification could focus on solving a puzzle at the shallower depth. The puzzles were plastic "Spin-Outs", attached to a wreck. Solving the Spin-Out freed a plastic piece which contained the combination to a lock at the next location.

How did we make sure this wouldn't be impossible? Game moderators offered snorkel gear after a set time (20 minutes), and offered a surface-version of the puzzle even later so teammates could figure out the necessary pattern of moves.

Team Stories
Rodger C. from Purple was the first to get dive gear and enter the water. Nearly an hour later, he had exited the water with the puzzle solved. At peak, there were 4 divers in the water, all simultaneously working away. The "Ironman" award goes to Dan E. from the Plaid team, who entered the water with Scuba gear but with no mask or fins. For 5 minutes, he couldn't even find the puzzle underwater. But eventually he did, and Dan worked away at the it for 20 minutes before moderators provided a mask. Visibly shivering, Dan braved the water for a loong time before teammates pulled him out to consult looking at the surface puzzle. Eventually, the nailed it.

Only 1 team actually solved the puzzle underwater without Scuba gear: the White team. Captain Raman S. had seen the puzzle before, and managed to solve it by holding it underwater with his bare feet, taking a breath, and making 5-6 turns on the puzzle at a time. For 20 minutes Raman had no mask or snorkel. 

The 2 last-place teams never actually solved the puzzle underwater: the 2nd to last place team worked at it for awhile with no success, and the last place team arrived at the site, actually didn't send any teammates into the water, and was so far behind were given the solution without getting wet.

Sarah P. from the Orange team later said "solving that in the cold water was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life".

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