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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
It is amazing.

There are a few guys about 10 miles short of check point 2 that look to be camping for the night. They aren't going to extend the deadline, so if they don't get the message and run much of the night, they may be done. That would be a shame.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:27 am 
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Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Just a small correction: the Puddle Duck Racer was being sailed by a guy named Scott who I happen to know because he came here to participate in (and win) my little joke regatta that I host. He is from Georgia, not Texas, though his inspiration for building a PDR came in part from their performance and heroics in a recent Texas 200.

I called him yesterday when I saw a post saying he was capsized, since he was only an hour from my house. I was calling to offer help, but our conversation had to be cut short because of all the offers of help coming in from WaterTribers. He is fine, lost some gear and was kind of freaked out by it, he said, so withdrew. Sad to see him not finish after he went so far in that little thing, but impressive all the same. I suspect he'll be back in another surprising boat next year, probably after winning another Sun Cat Nationals.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:05 am 
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I went creek sailing yesterday afternoon just to experience some of these gusty winds myself. The resulting video:



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:13 am 
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Good morning everyone!

Josh (Tidetraveller, AI) is camped at Graveyard--He loved graveyard when we did our Chok-FLM trip this year. It is the most civilized of all the Everglades backcountry sites with a table, firepit, and johns (2). It is aimed to make powerboaters happy. The tides are terrible for Josh to get out this morning--he may not move until 10 am. Josh was 4 mi further south at midnight at Shark River, but he made a mistake going back to Graveyard--he should continued on a few more miles to NW Cape. Still, as I said, he loved Graveyard when we did the trip about 6 wks ago. Here is the link to that trip, scroll down until you find it.
[url="http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=180"]http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=180[/url]

ArdieO (an incredibly powerful kayaker) is camped at the Broad River. He is coming out from the backcountry because there is no short way to Flamingo from inside. So, he will come out on the Gulf until Ponce de Leon Bay, where he will go into Whitewater Bay and on to Flamingo. Because of the headwinds for the sailors, he may yet be the first into Flamingo today, and into the finish later.

Dogslife (AI) is camped on East Cape Sable--he stopped at 3 am last night.

Backwaterbob (tandem AI) is taking a break at the mouth of Shark River (where TT was last night.) No place to get out of your boat--knee deep mud. He must have sailed much of the night after experiencing some equipment problem at Pavilion Key.

AhMaChamee (AI) is moving again and making good time. He is near ArdieO and the Broad River.

lugnut and Karank in a small cabin cruiser are rounding East Cape Sable as Dogslife sleeps. They can sail continuously as one navigates while the other sleeps. As of 9:15 am, Mar 7, they were making fair progress against tough headwinds.

All sailors are going to face stiff headwinds once they round ECS. Winds are currently out of the ENE at 26 mph, gusting to 31. It is 11 mi straight east to Flamingo from Dogslife's camp. I'm looking forward to Dogs getting underway to see how he can do against these winds. It will be a measure of how the Hobies are going to fare today and tomorrow.

It is a shame that SewSew and his very fast tri is out of the race, at least for the time being. He punched his SPOT HELP BUTTON at 3 am last night. He was tacking along the FL keys only 30 mi to the finish. However, it means that the people above are vying for 3rd place overall. Today is going to be very interesting as we watch people get into Flamingo, and then do the treacherous crossing of shallow Florida Bay.

By my count, of the 7 lead boats, 4 are AI/TIs. Impressive.

I may go down to Flamingo, get some pictures, and give the fellows some morale support. Can I give them a piece of Key Lime Pie or is that against the rules?

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


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:02 am 
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Apparently Sew Sew's Spot has been malfunctioning since CP3. They are nortorious for that.

You can give the guys Key Lime pie, as long as it is not preplanned by the challengers. Better make it a whole pie each!! I'm sure they are hungry. lol! :D

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"When the going gets tough, the tough drink tea." Jon Turk


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:21 am 
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Josh aka Tidetraveller is moving! He is near Shark River mouth where he was last night at about 12:30 am. AhMaChamee has stopped not far from where Josh spent the night. AhMa was stuck on Rabbit Key out of Chokoloskee much of yesterday afternoon and evening. Good to see him make such great progress.

Backwaterbob is taking a break inside the mouth of Shark River--no place to get out of your boat there.

Dogs has not moved.

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: Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:49 am 
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Now it's getting really interesting. Josh (Tide Traveler) is looking to make up time and I believe avoid the headwinds by going through Whitewater Bay. I'm looking forward to watching his track throughout today. Looks like Paul (Dogs Life) has the wind directly on his nose.

Pelican looks like he's still stuck on Marco Island waiting on parts for his AI.

One of the saddest tales I've heard is that Paul (Dogs Life) lost his camera with all his video and pictures. He really was taking a lot of video this year ... probably because of past popularity of his video logs in previous years events (Which I loved). So unfortunately we won't be getting those great video logs from him.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:11 pm 
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Bummer! Wrote a post up an hour ago, but omitted sending it. Oh, well, it is tme for an update anyway.

Everybody I am watching is on the move, except for Backwaterbob in his tandem. He has stopped in a rather strange place and his SPOT has sent a HELP signal. Interestingly, 3 boats, Bob, Cwolfe, and AhMaChamee were converging on the same place just inside Ponce de Leon Bay. At one point they were within 1000' of one another. It is possible that Bob could not see them and vice versa. In any case, he has not moved, and they are moving into Whitewater Bay, away from him.

Tidetraveller is in Whitewater Bay about 10-11 miles from Flamingo (Ckpt 3). Dogslife is 2.5 miles out of Flamingo on the coast sailing directly into strong winds, but doing well. AhMaChamee is just entering Whitewater Bay--he is about 18-20 mi from Flamingo.

SewSew's SPOT was malfunctioning and sending out help signals, but he is fine and tacking along the keys to the NE.

I'm going to go down go Flamingo and hopefully meet Dogs and Josh.

Talk to you later.

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: Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:32 pm 
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I saw Tidetraveller and Dogslife In Flamingo. Both were in excellent spirits. Most people (others are on their way in) will stay overnight and head to the finish tomorrow. While the Hobies beat most into Flamingo, tomorrow may be a different story because they will have a strong headwind and little room to maneuver. I recommended they take the south route (50 mi) but they wanted nothing to do with that. They are taking the east route, a little over 30 mi, but straight into the wind. On the mud flats with narrow channels east of Flamingo, that could be a major problem.

We will see tomorrow.

I met ArdieO's wife, Sherri. ArdieO is the very strong paddler who has been holding his own against the awsome Hobies. She said he is doing the Wilderness Waterway so that he can say he went the longest distance--he will be the first paddler to Flamingo. Strong, strong paddler. I would not be surprised if ArdieO is first into the finish tomorrow.

TT, Dogs, Sherri, and myself enjoyed the crackers, hummus, strawberries, and Key Lime Pie I brought down. Sherri made some excellent coffee. A good time was had by all.

Mosquitomagnet is doing very well. AhMaChamee & CWolfe will be in tonight.

Regarding Backwaterbob
Tidetraveller passed him in Shark River early today. At that time, Bob said his mast frame had broken--I don't know what part. There will be no on-water repair. Bob may pedal all the way in to Flamingo unless some good Samaritan stinkboater ties him on and tows him. Hobie needs to get this break-prone, tandem mast frame straightened out. Backwaterbob was running an excellent race until the structural failure. Tidetraveller offered Bob food and water, but Bob said he was in good shape. My worry would be that Bob might damage his Mirage drive on some oyster bar in Whitewater Bay--then he could be in trouble. Still, everyone is aware of his situation, and, in case of a life-threatening situation he could press the "SOS" on his SPOT.

As kayakers and sailors stack up in Flamingo tonight, the stage is set for a dramatic finish tomorrow.

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 08, 2012 7:06 am 
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Dogslife is going to be first to the finish today. He is 10 miles plus ahead of everybody. He must have started at 3-4 am. Yesterday, when I said "You and Josh are going to be vying for 4th place," he said, "All I want to do is finish." Yeah.

Dogs is nearing deeper more, open water and will tack SE to the keys and then tack back up to the NE to the finish. He will be in by noon.

Josh aka Tidetraveller will be next in if ArdieO the superpaddler does not beat him. ArdieO will be able to take a more direct route.

These fellows are actually vying for 3rd place overall. SewSew aka Randy Smyth in his very fast trimaran was knocked down yesterday along the keys. The police came out w/ flashing lights and ran over his submerged equipment--he is probably out of the race for good. He was doing the Ultimate Florida (circumnigate FL).

So, this is going to be an exciting day. Dogs is well in the lead, Josh is 4 mi ahead of ArdieO. Cwolfe in Kruger w/ Balogh sails/outriggers is slow through the mud flats. ArdieO and Toby & Crew have passed him.

The real race is on. Everyone has serious headwinds. Currently, they are east at 19 mph, gusting to 22.

Keith

PS Backwaterbob (Hobie AI tandem) with a busted sail is making headway toward Flamingo (pedal, pedal, pedal....)

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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 08, 2012 7:26 am 
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ArdieO, the superpaddler, has shifted into another gear. He has closed the gap with Josh to .6 mile.

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 08, 2012 7:39 am 
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ArdieO, the superpaddler, has passed Josh. Amazing. I don't think he can catch Dogslife, but who knows. The guy is amazing.

Josh has slowed. Headwinds are tough, I'm sure.

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 08, 2012 8:42 am 
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Wow, what a race between ArdieO and Tidetraveller--one a superpaddler, the other a rookie on a Hobie AI. ArdieO started an hour behind Josh, but the then caught up and passed him--I thought ArdieO would challenge Dogslife who had a 6 mi lead but has to tack south. To my surprise, the lead has changed again. Josh has passed ArdieO and is stretching his lead. What a race. ArdieO has slowed greatly--pulled muscle?

Headwinds are about 17 mph, gusting to 25.

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 08, 2012 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:47 am 
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Quite an exciting finish ! I wish I could have joined you yesterday at Flamingo. Thanks again for the interesting commentary Keith.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:50 am 
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Does anyone know what is going on with AhMaChamee? He hasn't turned on his SPOT, and still shows he is in Flamingo at 2:37am.

This is an exciting finish. Also, bit props go out to Sandy Bottom and SOS, who made a high speed run down from CP2 to CP3 and are now catching up to the rest of the group after being waaaaay behind.

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