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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:13 am 
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Bumpy and Machoman have left Flamingo (Chpt 3) and are taking the southern route. The Hobie 18 has a malfunctioning SPOT which they have replaced. They have cleared Ckpt 2 but their borrowed SPOT is not showing up on the tracking window, so no one knows where they are. SewSew in his very fast tri, is catching up, but has not cleared Ckpt 2.

Dogs and TT are on the move just near Sanibel. There are a number of boats ahead of them including a 2-person Coresound--a fast monohull. The Coresound will be hard to catch since one can sleep on board while the other navigates. There is also a 6-man Hawaiian outrigger canoe paddled by strong long-distance paddlers--they are doing great. Toby Nipper, a friend, is steering that canoe. A very strong single paddler (ArdioO doing the Ultimate Florida, circumnavigate Florida) is also one of the front boats.

I just noted that the Hobie 18 gave a SPOT signal on Tamiami Hwy--they seem to be on their way to Miami--maybe they are just taking a shortcut.

Out of the 60 boats scheduled to do the 300-mile Everglades Challenge, 5 did not start including 1 TI--he had a cracked hull (he said he had a "well used tandem." I guess a little too used.) Of the 55 who did start the race, 25 have dropped out including a number of very experienced people. First timers frequently drop out--they are just not physically and mentally prepared. That is what makes Josh's trip such a great story. This is his initial try.

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: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:09 am 
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At 11am looks like the majority are bunched up around Sanibel island. I'm glad Bumpy is out front as we talked with them before the race and they were pretty cool. Looks like Josh and Paul are neck and neck going out on different sides of San Carlos Bay.

One sad drop out today was a pair that we were watching. A guy (waterbug) and his very very cool 86 year old father. Here's the report.

(I'm heading out to do some sailing today so this will be my last status report)

--------
After a very wet start with water running off our deck addition and into the center cockpit, we took shelter on the lee side of Egmont Key to assess our options. Lowering the main we realized the main was ripped at a reef point. While pondering the situation, we found that our new, lightweight aluminum anchor was not holding after several attempts to set it. This was a last minute gear change to save weight. We headed back to the boat ramp and pulled the boat out of the water while waiting to hear back from someone able to sew the sail up. After hearing water sloshing in one ama (we're a tri) we opened the access plate to find it about 1/3 full of water. I agonized over the idea of dropping out, but with winds predicted to be on the increase, I decided it best to call this a practice run for next year. We'll be back, leaner, meaner and better prepared for the extreme. It was a great time in spite of our troubles, my 86 year old dad had a blast and so did I! Dad said this was the most fun he's had in years. After my mom died two years ago, this event became a wonderful distraction, something to look forward to for both of us. On so many levels, this years race was a success after all.

Thanks to all the Tribers we met, those that helped us get to the starting line, the volunteers and chief for putting together such an amazing event!

WaterBugTwo (David Damon)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:32 am 
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I'm sure waterbug & his dad will be back next year, stronger and better prepared.

Josh, TideTraveller, is clearly prepared both physically and mentally. He is probably south of Sanibel by now. 7 boats are in front of Josh, but I think he will make up some time on some of them before tonight. Dogslife seems to be taking a break. Dogs is also very prepared for this 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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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Bumpy & Machoman are a couple miles from the finish in Key Largo. Congratulations to them for running a great race.

Conditions are turning unfavorable for Josh and the other sailors--the wind is dropping below 10 mph this afternoon. Of course, the kayakers in his vicinity are loving it--they are strong paddlers and will make 4-5 mph in most conditions, but especially these conditions. Tomorrow and the next day the winds will strenghthen again.

Dogslife has not moved much today. Not sure what the problem is.

BTW, our Hobie 18 guys, Justanothersailor/atwitsend, have reappeared south of Chokoloskee and are in second place. They could conceivably finish late tonight, very late. Going straight east across FL Bay after dark is a very risky business. A wrong move and you can get stuck on the mud flats for hours, or days! They may lay over in Flamingo and finish tomorrow morning.

The race is really just beginning to get interesting as Josh and other sail boats try to get the most out of the winds. It was a cold front that moved through FL bringing the gale force winds of the first 2 days. The winds are dropping, and they will continue to change direction until the get into the East--the prevailing direction this time of the year.

The sailors' real competitors will be the powerful paddlers who will just keep moving.

Update on the Hobie 18: They are making incredible time, last reading on the tracker was 13.45 knots! Judging from their position a few miles north of North Cape Sable, they will be into Flamingo (Ckpt 3) before dark. Then it will be interesting to see if they push on, maybe via the deeper southern route. Much will depend on the winds in the area tonight and tomorrow. If the winds are favable, I am sure they will push on tonight because the winds are predicted to be 23 mph from the East tomorrow--unfavorable.

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: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Dogslife has cleared up his lack of movement today. This is a report from him probably posted by his ground crew, I presume.

"In Sarasota Bay I lost my GPS. The Garmin Colorado thumb selector stopped working because it got water underneath the circuit board. For the past four hours I have been trying to get a new one. Now I am $500 poorer. Time to get back to the boat and get going. "

Keith

PS That is another reason to buy a Garmin 76Cx for $150. The 76 is by far the most popular GPS used by Watertribers during the EC.
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_11151_10001_435018_-1?cid=sc_google&creative=11043314404&gclid=CPDnjpLf0K4CFSHatgodaRdSjA

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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: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Sunset was about 6:30 pm. It is about 9:10 pm as I post this.

People are starting to put in for the night, but Josh (TideTraveller) and Paul (Dogslife) are still sailing hard. Josh has made up some time on others. He only has 6 boats in front of him. Paul is tough and competitive, and he will probably push well into the night to make up for the time he lost today. Josh is trying to make Keewayden Island, just south of Marco Island, before quitting. He has less than 10 mi to go.

The Hobie 18 is sitting in Flamingo (Ckpt 3.) They are about 60 miles ahead of the next boats (2 are in Chokoloskee Bay nearing Ckpt 2), but those boats may sail all night. If the Hobie 18 waited until first light before heading out, and the other 2 boats pushed on all night we would have a race for 2nd tomorrow morning.

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: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Update

Sunset was at 6:30 pm. It is 10:26 pm as I post this.

I thought ArdieO (kayaker) and Toby Nipper's crew (6-man Hawaiian outrigger canoe) were stopping at Goodland for the night, but after a short stop both moved again. However, now, at 10:30 pm they have both stopped for the night (or their interpretation of the "night.")

Pelican, Dogslife, and TideTraveller, all in Hobie AIs are still on the water around Marco Island. AhMaChamee and Backwaterbob have put to shore for a break. There are still a couple more Hobies further back. Hobies are making an excellent showing in this year's EC.

TideTaveller, Josh, said he was trying to make Keewaydin but he has changed his route and may be headed to Goodland. He is on schedule to be in the top 10 of this race. This is an amazing feat for a rookie.

Bumpy and Machoman, sailing an Olympic-class Tornado catamaran, finished the race about 3 pm today in Key Largo. A Hobie 18 is in 2nd place. They are sitting in Flamingo (Ckpt 3). The next nearest boats (2) are at Ckpt 2 (Chokoloskee) about 65 mi away along the coast. One of the boats is SewSew in his extremely fast trimaran. He has certainly had a strange race--apparently some mechanical problem and then his SPOT quit working, and his loaner SPOT seems to be strange. But he is moving well now, so I'm sure we will see a major push to finish 3rd, but he has some serious competition with the 2-man Core Sound sail boat also at Chokoloskee.

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: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Update on TideTraveller & the Hobie 16.

As of 12:15 pm, Mar 6, Josh is still on the water south of Goodland. I have no idea where he plans to stop for the night. He is about 20 miles from Ckpt 2 (Chokoloskee). Is he shooting for that? Whoa! That is an incredibly long day. And he is going into some of the most complex terrain of the whole EC. On the other hand, he is familiar with this area. This area is the "10,000 Islands" of the Everglades and there are many small beaches which he can stop at if he hits the wall. It looks to me, though, as if he is headed for Chokoloskee. He seems alert since he is punching is SPOT regularly.

I'm worn out just watching this kid.

Good night.

Oh, one more thing, the Hobie 18 which spent a few hrs at Flamingo (Ckpt 3) is on the move, and the move is to head straight across FL Bay to the finish at Key Largo. It is a 30 mi trip with acres upon acres of mud flats to get stuck on. In their favor, they have chosen to move when it is near high tide in the area. That gives them an extra foot of water compared to the daylight high tide. And, they have a near full moon to help see those mud flats and the channel thru the flats. They really have timed this perfectly. The two sailors on the Hobie 18 are JustAnotherSaior and AtWitsEnd.

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: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:20 am 
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Holy Smokes !!!! It's 6:00 am and I just poured myself a cup of coffee and pulled up the map. I was floored to see Paul (Dog's life) still sailing and now out front of the main pack. He passed Josh (Tide Traveler) who appears to have found a campsite for the night. Paul must be completely exhausted from traveling all night to make up for his lost GPS. I'm guessing he's shooting for Chokoloskee where he'll probably rest.

Keith, thank you for the excellent trip reports. Your knowledge of the race and course adds to the excitement.

6:37 am edit ... Looks like Paul turned at Indian Key pass will be fighting the tide current to push into Chokoloskee.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:38 am 
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That can be a bad tide to fight, especially if you must also fight any wind.

I finished posting my comments and pictures on the Everglades Challenge 2012 start. Helpful corrections and colorful details are welcome!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:47 am 
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Looks like Dogs life is at the mouth of Chokoloskee Bay just before 8am (with lugnut right behind him). Very close to CP1. Dogs life has the endurance and perseverance of an Iditarod sled dog .... coincidentally the Iditarod started 2 days ago on Sunday.

And he said he was going to take it easy this race ..... Woof !

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Last edited by CaptnChaos on Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:22 am 
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Yes, Dogs must have pushed most of the night. Last year he pushed himself so hard the first couple days, he ended up in the hospital. I think he is in better shape this year, at least, he better be. He is doing great, and is now the leader of the Hobies.

TideTraveller (Josh) is resting on Camp Lulu Key about 9 mi from Chok.

AhMaChamee is moving about 6 mi further up the coast from TT.

BackwaterBob in a Tandem has made very good time during the night. It looks like he may be stopped on the south tip of Cape Romano, about 20 mi from Chok.

Pelican, who is doing the Ultimate Florida (circumnavigate FL) is moving just north of Marco Island, 10 mi behind BackwaterBob.

DRob & ClassyBoy in a Tandem are at the southern tip of Sanibel.

SeaSharkGo & SeaBasstard in a Tandem are much further up the coast and may have dropped out.

Update on the Hobie 18
Last night at Midnight, as I posted above, the Hobie 18 was on the move straight east across FL Bay--this is the shortest route from Flamingo (Ckpt 3) to the finish about 30 miles east. Well, they are a little more than half way across (about 17 mi out of Flamingo). It took them 8 hrs! The good news is that they are near more open water and can maneuver. The bad news? The winds are 30 mph on their nose! It is going to be a very, very tough slog.

With 20-20 hind sight, the Hobie 18 should have taken the southern route (50 mi). They would be finished by now. Instead, they are looking at another 4-8 hrs of hard, miserable sailing into a near gale.

The winds are going to be strong out of the east today through Thursday. I hope the Hobies recognize the problem of going straight east from Flamingo and do the southern route. The southern route with an east wind is basically a fast reach as they go south and then a reasonable tack as they head back up along the keys to the finish.

Another tactic, once they round Cape Sable and face strong headwinds, will be to sail all night when the winds are lighter.

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 Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:40 am 
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Chekika wrote:
The winds are going to be strong out of the east today through Thursday. I hope the Hobies recognize the problem of going straight east from Flamingo and do the southern route. The southern route with an east wind is basically a fast reach as they go south and then a reasonable tack as they head back up along the keys to the finish.
Keith


Keith, I'm confused of the difference between the southern route and going straight east. It seems to me going straight east will put you south of the finish (southern route?). Can you create a visual reference for the navigation ally challenged people like myself.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:16 am 
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Wow, I'm glad to see the Hobie 18 has reached open water and has tacked south. They are almost in position to intercept the southern route back up along the keys to the finish. They will likely be done in an hour or so.

Jim, the straight east line from Flamingo would put you north of the finish by a mile or 2. The finish is Bay Cove Motel--a "quaint" old FL motel. The coordinates are Lat 25.093105, Long -80.444478.

The southern route takes the sailor slightly west out of Flamingo, then straight south about 13 mi, then they would tack east about 10-12 mi where they will reach the FL keys. At that point, it is a 52 deg tack and 24 mi along the keys to the finish. They would actually get some protection and smooth water as they move up the keys.

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 Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:37 am 
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Thanks for clarifying that Keith.

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