Monday, January 31, 2011

Everglades Challenge Route

Here we go, the route of the Everglades Challenge. We start on Saturday, March 5 at Fort Desoto Park at the mouth of Tampa Bay.

Along the way we have to stop and sign in at three checkpoints. To keep it from being too easy (hah!) the organizers have made it so the checkpoints are placed as diabolically as possible. Oh, and did I mention there is a time limit?

The first CP at Placida is about 68 miles down the course from the start. It's up a narrow creek after you pass under a low fixed bridge that will require me to take down my 24 foot tall mast in order to make it. CP 1 has the most challenging time limit -- we have only 29 hours to sign in or risk disqualification.

CP 2 is at Chokoloskee, another 60-70 miles down the coast. This requires some tricky navigation through some shallow twisty channels through the mangroves. Tides and wind may not cooperate, so be prepared to row.

CP3 down the coast 60-ish miles from Choko is at Flamingo, the southernmost inhabited place on the Florida mainland. It's surrounded by miles of one foot deep flats accessed by a very few irregularly marked narrow channels.

And the finish at Key Largo is only 35 or so miles from Flamingo. But between CP3 and the finish is many more miles of shallow confusing water and narrow passes.

If all goes well, I hope to finish in around five days.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Holy crap, only 33 days more to go!

The realization has come over me there are only 33 more days until I need to be on the beach at Desoto ready to go. What do I have left to do? A lot, I'm afraid.

With this post I'm spurning myself to action. It's supposed to be nice this weekend, so I commit to pulling the boat out and start working on some of the details still undone.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Committed, or I should be...

OK, I'm now totally committed: I paid the entry fee for the 2011 race. I'll be going solo this year with the intention of running in an ad-hoc team with Lugnut and Plumbcrazy and maybe Root.

Am I excited? Yes. Apprehensive? Not so much about the race as I am about getting everything ready.

I figure I'll get there, though.

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