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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:43 am 
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Alive and well. Lots of video and stories to tell. Even flipped my boat swimming with the gators. Too hard to type on iPhone.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:20 am 
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Update – Thursday, 8:30 AM

Most people who arrived at Flamingo CP3 yesterday have left, trying to catch enough water to make it to the Finish. It has been reported that sailboats have not been able to make it across the mud flats to deeper water, but Hobie Islands seem to be doing OK—keep our fingers crossed. Sailboats that have been turned back, may head south on sort of a V-shaped route to the finish. It is much longer going south, but avoids most (not all) mud flats.

My GE annotated image of the mud flats east of Flamingo. It is 35 miles straight east to the finish in Key Largo. The competitors have to traverse about 12 mi of mud flats, or, as mentioned above, go south to avoid most mud flats.
Image

Dogslife did as I predicted—he arrived in Flamingo, rested a bit and left on the rising tide this afternoon to try and get across east Florida Bay. Dogs has finished—3rd Island in, about 9:15 PM, Wednesday. He was the fastest solo-piloted Island, Tandems or AI. Good for him.

TIs--Most TIs still in the race are doing fine. The weather has been mild this year and all Islands have or are succeeding spectacularly.

    SirTackalot (aka Roy Edwards) and WindWatcher (aka Alex Wilson)—I’m a bit confused here. I believe SirTackalot has finished, maybe last night before Dogslife. It would make him the 3rd or 4th finisher.
    PedalOn (aka Roy MacPhail) and Sherlock (aka ArDelia MacPhail)—Finished, first Island to the finish line. Supposedly they went to a Tiki Bar before going to the finish—so they say.
    ChumBucket (aka Bill Wickman) and TriSherpa (aka Steve Morris)—Finished, 2nd Island to finish.
    PrivateHam (aka Michael Prince) & Jimbo (aka James Pritchard) —They finished last night.
    BackwaterBob (aka Bob Nichols) — BWB seems to have just left Flamingo CP3 headed to the finish.
    Triman (aka Mark Ellison) — In Flamingo CP3; he may be on his way to the Finish, but he never shows up on the Mapper.
    Pelican (aka Nick Hall) and falcon (aka Mark Hall)Listed in class 5 (not Hobie TI) Pelican/son are about 6 mi east of Flamingo on the mud flats. They and PenquinMan must be in sight of one another, maybe travelling together.
    DivesWithKraken (aka Tom Turner) and WyomingWolf (aka Debbie Turner)—Camped on NW Cape this morning.
    Dietired (aka Josh Bowers) and dietired2 (aka Denise Parris)—Appear to be south of Nightmare but not to Ponce de Leon Bay.
    Sundance (aka James Connell) and GoldenSun (Victoria Connell)Listed in class 5 (not Hobie TI) This Father/daughter team has made it to Whitewater Bay. Probably light winds as they do the final 20 mi into Flamingo.

    People who are making good progress but their SPOT is not tracking properly.
    Moose (aka Lee Havins) and Squirrel (Kimberly Havins)— Probably on their way to the finish.
    Hollywood (aka Butch Newell) —Probably on his way to the finish.
    Danceswithwaves (aka Royd Whedon) —Royd had not moved for a day, but suddenly he has shown up in Chokoloskee. My claim of his demise (in the 2014 EC) was clearly premature. Go Royd! He is not on the Mapper today.
    Sharknado (aka Kent Morse)—Another competitor that I have been unable to find on the Mapper. Apparently, he is in Flamingo, CP3.
    ___________________________________________

There is no shame in not finishing. Not finishing usually simply means you have a much, much better understanding o the demands of the Everglades Challenge. Usually, you have another opportunity to finish. And, the WaterTribers will always welcome you.

AIs—Most AIs are doing great!

    Dogslife (aka Paul Kral)—Dogs was at the finish as about 9:30 pm last night. 3rd Island in to finish. Beautiful!
    PenquinMan (aka Jim Czarnowski) — Jim is in the Hobie IM class. Jim is about 5 mi east of Flamingo on the mud flats. He has a light southerly wind.
    Juscuz (John Sims)—Off Clubhouse Beach about 8 mi west of Flamingo CP3.
    AhMaChamee (aka Bryan Tindell)—AhMaChamee seems to be doing a rest stop on the eastern shore of Ponce de Leon Bay. It is a bit unusual to take an AI/TI on the inside route at this point, although he could come out and round Cape Sable. Time will tell.
    Chief (aka Steve Isaacs)—He is in the Ultimate Florida race (circumnavigate Florida in about 30 days.) He got into Chokoloskee at about 2 PM, today. Nancy & I happened to be there when he arrived. He is doing good, and said he was “doing sweep” for the competitors.
    _____________________________________________
    Dorsalis (aka Charles (Chip) Southerland)—Unless Chip’s SPOT is not tracking properly, probably DNF.
    Kokopedal (aka Ray Jones)— Kokopedal found a leak in his AI and has a temporary patch. Update: much of his gear is either wet or damaged (electronics.) He has dropped. DNF
    FlyingFox (aka Susan Fox) — Pressed “help” button, DNF

My apologies for any errors or omissions. Please make additions and corrections as you see fit.

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Last edited by Chekika on Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:29 am 
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PenquinMan and Pelican/son have made it across the flats and are in slightly deeper water. Now it is just a matter of doing another 20+ miles across to the finish. BackwaterBob is 2/3 the way across the mud flats. Looking good!

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:12 am 
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The following was posted by Chip Southerland (aka Dorsalis) on the WaterTribe forum:

Quote:
Apertaining to one of the greatest disappointments endured in life, my participation in EC-2014 ended yesterday at about 5:30 PM between Crate and Pavillion Keys. I was proceeding southeast on a Starboard Tack in 2-4 foot seas on a brisk Westerly-Southwesterly wind when there was a sudden "BANG" (always a bad sound on a small boat in remote, breezy seas). The right side pedal crank shaft snapped off of my Mirage Drive at the drum. I could not get the Mirage Drive system to function with only a left crank shaft pedal. Tried pulling on the foot strap, triedpushing and pulling the left side Mirage Drive crank shaft manually... nothing worked.

With the prevailing Southerly winds during most of this EC event, the Mirage Drive has been a primary functionary throughout most of the trip. I must have brought along every spare piece Hobie retails to repair any reparable part of the Mirage drive system. However, this breadown clearly, was irrepairable. I tried to sail on for a while, but found that, with out the Mirage Drive, I could not Tack the boat through the eye of the wind in heavy seas. Waves kept knocking back the bow. If one is going to sail, one has to tack. And so, with great trepidation, I had to withdraw for mechanical breakdown. Interestingly, I had just passed "Dances With Waves" in his Hobie TI, about 20 minutes before on reciprocal tacks. He had just broken his Mainmast step plate and was headed in. He shouted to me "Ahoy Dorsalis! My mast step has broken, I'm finished - Headed in now". I replied "So sorry to hear it, see you at the finish!".

After 14 months of preparation, many thousands of $$, a lot of blood sweat and tears, this is, needless to say, a great disappointment. The boat is relatively new, having been purchased just last August. I have not heard of others sustaining this same sort of breakdown. As a structural failure, I trust Hobie will make good on their product and replace or repair the broken Crankshaft. However, that will not begin to assuage the despondency I am feeling right now over coming so far with this race and being taken out by a mechanical failure.

To all the great Tribers, with whom are shared more than a few fond and poignant memories of this EC-14, best of luck to you!

Chip Southerland (aka Dorsalis)

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:32 am 
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No doubt this event is very hard on competitors and their equipment. It will be interesting to see how many of the various AI's and TI's made it against those that didn't, due to mechanical failure.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:59 am 
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Yes, this event is VERY hard on competitors. The last couple years, with high winds, were extremely hard on both competitors and equipment. I would say, this year has been fairly mild on equipment, moderate to light winds most of the time. One AI developed a leak. I don't know how old that boat was. One competitor was airlifted to Marathon in serious condition. Fortunately, his SPOT worked as expected and brought the needed help. Kokopedal (AI) also developed a serious rash. The combo of rash and boat leaking caused him to drop. BackwaterBob is nearing the finish line. 2 yrs ago, his Tandem broke down near Shark River/Ponce de Leon Bay when it's mast step broke--the typical break at the crossbar seen on most older Tandems and hopefully fixed on newer boats. I always felt very sorry for Bob because it seemed his boat let him down when he had completed 80% of the EC. Much like Dorsalis here. Hopefully, Hobie will continue to re-enforce their boats in all the right places, so we only have to worry about the health, mental & physical, of the competitors, our friends.

As the EC2014 winds down, it has been a very good year for AI/TIs, but not that much of an equipment test. Maybe next year?

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:36 am 
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There is a storm front bearing down on all the competitors. That may be why some of them have chosen to go inside through Whitewater Bay rather than stay outside where they will be a bit more at the mercy of the storm. Other than that, every one still in seems to be doing fine. Jim Czarnowski (aka PenquinMan) and Pelican/Son have finished. BackwaterBob is about to finish. AhMaChamee is making nice progress through Whitewater Bay. Dietired and Dietired2 have entered WhiteWater Bay. Tom & Debbie Turner (Kraken & WY Wolf) seem to be taking a rest break a couple miles north of Middle Cape on the outside--or the storm is threatening them, and they are taking refuge on shore. Sundance/Daughter are 4 mi due north of Flamingo and about to enter the protected area of Tarpon Creek. They will be exposed as they move across Coot Bay to Buttonwood Canal, but they should do fine.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:59 pm 
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The storm front is passing through Cape Sable and Flamingo area. Winds NW 22 kn, gusting to 26 kn, and probably raining. Generally, nasty weather right now.

The mixed couples, Dietireds and Kraken/WY Wolf, have not moved since the last post. AhMaChamee is hunkered down on a small island in Whitewater Bay about 7 mi north of Flamingo CP3. juscuz is laid up against Palm Key about 3 mi SE of Flamingo. Both AMC and juscuz were probably out of the wind initially, but are now exposed to the NW wind. juscuz has to be careful because NW winds literally blow the water out of FL Bay--the mud flats, which he is about to cross, will have less water than ever. I doubt he will make it across today even though it is nearing high tide in the area. It is no fun, and potentially dangerous, to be caught on a mud flat with strong winds and rain sucking all your body heat away. He still is in deep enough water at Palm Key to maneuver around and get out of the wind if he has to spend the night there. Same with AMC. The mixed couples should be ok. At least with these winds, none of them have to worry about mosquitoes, noseeums and other bugs--always a welcome relief.

The Mapper shows juscuz has moved up onto Palm Key out of the wind through a break in the mangroves.

They will all be able to get to the finish, finish ceremonies, and fabulous finish brunch this Saturday, Feb 8, about 11 AM, at Bay Cove Motel in Key Largo.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:25 pm 
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Thanks for the update. I look forward to seeing many great on the water videos next week.

Only a few years ago I remember the Hobie AI and TI boats being disregarded for this event. Look at them now.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:08 pm 
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Thanks for your comments, Tom.

I have a question. Chief makes the decisions regarding the EC. He, after considerable discussion on the WaterTribe forum, sets the rules, etc.

I have removed part of this post.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Last edited by Chekika on Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Yes, in spite of what might appear to be the case, don't make any assumptions until the facts are known. Sometimes things are not what they seem.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:19 pm 
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Of course. In any case, it is up to Chief to verify that someone did the EC when they claimed they did, but did not show up on the Mapper. The only way to verify is if someone else can vouch for them--that they saw them on the route. That is a little easier when kayaking with dozens of others on the inside WW route. I think it is much more difficult if it is an AI/TI traveling alone on the outside. In this case your SPOT needs to be tracking properly.

Why are their so many Tandem Islands whose SPOT did not track at all during the race--at least 4?

Are Tandem Island owners less tech savvy than almost all other WTers?

I've decided to quit trying to follow TI competitors who have not shown up on any route during the EC. No evidence that they have done the EC from my point of view. I don't know how Chief enforces the rules--I think he has been fairly lenient relying on an honor code.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Last edited by Chekika on Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:40 pm 
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I think it might be a stretch to assume that as many as 4 teams, all in TI's, have done something nefarious. I certainly don't know one way or the other, but it just doesn't seem likely.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:54 pm 
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Stripbuilder in a solo kayak was caught in the major storm today as he crossed east FL Bay. He apparently was picked up by the coast guard and taken to the finish. He is ok, but no explanation why the CG helped him. There were reported 40 mph winds. If he were in the deeper water just west of the Keys, it could have been pretty rough.

Good News! The winds have dropped (15-16 kts) and shifted back to the SW. The Dietireds have taken advantage of this and are about 2 mi north of Flamingo just entering Buttonwood Channel. If the winds stay in the SW or W tomorrow, they will easily get to the finish.

And, now I see AhMaChamee has landed in Flamingo CP3. He is at the freshwater ramp. Wow! He hadn't moved for a couple hours, but, he too seems to have taken advantage of the friendlier winds. Debbie and Tom Turner are still out a mile north of MidCape, probably debating what to do--go in to Flamingo now or wait 'til morning. If they are following this on their iPhone--my advice is to go in. Winds are great! Just kidding. I understand the communications tower down at Flamingo was damaged today and not working--so, no iPhone.

Juzcuz is still at Palm Key. Also, Sundance/Daughter are also at the freshwater ramps--called fresh water because it is not the ordinary saltwater found in FL Bay, for example. It is brackish.

That is it--my evening report. All good news!

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:06 pm 
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Here is a further update from SirTackalot, whose friend was airlifted seriously ill to Marathon.
Quote:
Keith, good job on the Hobie site. A few more things to add now that I have slept. Alexs condition was caused from the muscle tissue breaking down and causing too much protein into the kidney. I understand this is common in car accidents. As a side note, when leaving check point #2 I broke the right peddle off my mirage drive. Even if Alex could have peddled, we only had one operating system. I have heard of 5 broken peddles during the race. Arrived at #3 at 4 PM Tuesday. Showered and slept from 8-6....10 hours. Over night Peddleon came in slept and then left a hour before me. Almost caught them at the Twisty Mile, but could not keep up. Chased then ( 2 against 1) across FL bay. About 4 miles out I cut south to the ICW, and they continued on East. We converged from two angles to the finish line with Peddleon and his daughter beating me by 10 minutes. 7 hours of match racing was a great way to finish the race.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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