Captnchaos, excellent update.
The quote reguarding Jarhead (Bill Fite) colliding with a marker and ripping his sail--he sails a beautiful Sea Pearl 21. He and many of the experienced Watertribe, who do this Challenge, treat it much like the Olympiocs. So, when Bill had to drop out, that is crushing to him. He is tough ex-marine.
TideTraveller--our Josh Morgan in his 2011 AI--is making great time. The sailers who can, will try to start across FL Bay from Flamingo to Key Largo while the very strong winds are still in the North or at worse, NE. After that the winds will switch to the East, making the crossing very difficult for a sail boat. The area has many shallow, mud flats. Competitors have floundered and been forced to crab-crawl across them at times. If the winds get in the East, before a sail boat like an AI/TI finishes, they can tack far south in deeper water and then tack NE back up to the finish. It is a much longer route, but maybe the only route for sail boats once the winds get in the east.
Thanks for the updates, Jim.
BTW, Josh and Jim did our Chok to Flamingo trip this year. You can see them at http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=180
Scroll down until you seeChokoloskee to Flamingo, Jan 16-23, 2012
An Inauspicious Beginning: One Sunken AI, One Empty Bottle of Scotch