Saturday, March 03, 2007


From 7:30 am to 10:30 pm Team RAF covered the 67 miles from the starting line at Ft. De Soto to Checkpoint #1 in Placida, FL.

They crossed Tampa Bay, sailed the length of Sarasota Bay and the intracoastal waterway to Venice Inlet.

Venice Inlet

At the inlet they switched to the "outside" route in the Gulf of Mexico down to Stump Pass.

Between the start and Stump Pass, they averaged about 6 mph. Maximum speed in the Gulf was 11.5 mph.

Along the way, in the "Fall" boat captained by Kotzebue, one of the two prongs of the fork on the end of the boom broke off.

Rather than take on the risks of a surf landing, they opted to make a quick temporary repair while out on the water. Avoid the surf and surf landings: wise choice.

It was dusk when they reached Stump Pass and they decided to duck into the inside route there. At about that time the leeboard broke on the "Fall" boat.

Team RAF was able to land "Fall" and "Rise" on an island in the middle of Stump Pass.

Captain SOS reported in for the team by cellphone at 7:15 pm. He reported that they were expecting to put on warmer clothes, make a repair to the leeboard and then finish the remaining 7 miles to CP1.

On the island, other challengers were camping for the night and camping looked tempting to the tired sailors.

In a split decision Team RAF decided to leave the island and come on in to CP1. They made it to CP1 by about 11:45pm.

It was a rough time as "Rise" had to tow "Fall" under sail some/all (?) of the 8 miles from Stump Pass to CP1. When close to CP1 and going under the low bridges, the masts were down and paddling into a 5-6 knot wind was required. Going the 7 or 8 miles from 7:45 to 11:45 they must have averaged about 2 mph.

The Team arrived at CP1 tired and ready to sleep.

Check Point #1 [stock photo]

Under the bridges into CP1

The landing at CP1 [stock photo]

[DancesWithSandyBottom reporting]

1 comment:

Dan said...

Super awesome posts by the way DancesWithSandyBottom! It's super neat to follow the guys and SandyBottom herself too :-) Keep up the great work!!!

You have any pictures of the broken parts? Not following what exactly broke or why the guys had to tow because of it ...

How many miles total so far? Sweet pics! G'luck on day 3 to everyone!