Saturday, March 26, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

Been there, done that !

big circle and check mark

This was the second time SOS has rounded Florida.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

SOS finished in 18 days 11 hours 24 minutes

At the finish line.  SOS with SandyBottom and lockbox.   All three were very happy.   Photo by PaddleDancer

SOS crossed the finish line at 6:24pm on Wednesday March 23.    Photo by PaddleDancer

Boat, SOS, awards, and Race Manager PaddleDancer  on the boatramp at the finish line  
Photo by SandyBottom

SOS set a new record in Class3:   18 days  11 hours  24 minutes
SandyBottom,  very proud of  "Son of Sandy"  (SOS)

photo by PaddleDancer

Kyle Giannamore made and shared these images of SOS as he entered the Mullet Key lagoon.  Kyle posted that  "Went out on the fishing boat and saw a unique rig.... Briefly met SOS a mile away from completing the Ultimate Florida"

photo by Kyle Giannamore 

photo by Kyle Giannamore 

photo by Kyle Giannamore 

the finish line

From 7:00am  to  6:24pm    ----a long day in light wind with chop and currents unfavorable

Day 19 -- Tough 36 nm from Anclote Key to the finish line

Wednesday morning March 23 at 7:00am,  SOS started the remaining 36 nm to reach the finish line.

Near Clearwater,  SOS reported that Sawhorse (Meade Gougeon)  sailed out to meet him for a brief sail together.

The warm winds are from the E or SE at 4mph and are forecast to increase to 8mph from the SE by noon. High tide would be at 1:00pm.

By 10:30 SOS was passing the Clearwater Beach inlet and had traveled 14.5 nm in 3.5 hours (4.14 kts).  At that speed, ETA at the finish line would be about 3:50pm.   However, at noon SOS reported that his first 18.7 nm had been up-wind in "not enough wind"  and that it was very choppy. Slamming through chop makes paddling difficult and hard work in the hot sun.

By 3:00 pm SOS was moving well with a velocity-made-good (VMG) near 4 kts.

SOS crossed the finish line at 6:24pm Wednesday, setting a new Class3 record: 18days 11hrs 24mins.

36 miles from Anclote Key anchorage to the finish line on Mullet Key boat ramp

Meanwhile,  LRock and CrazyRussian finished the challenge at 6:53 am.  Awesome!    Race manager, PaddleDancer,  was there to greet them and award their trophy paddles.

photos by PaddleDancer

Photos by PaddleDancer

CR:  "You never let me sleep!  En garde!"

LR:  "Wait! Seriously,  don't look but there is an SOS   right behind you!"

Day 18 -- Fowler's Bluff to Cedar Key to Anclote Key

From 5:00am on Tuesday to 2:00am Wednesday,  SOS paddled and sailed about 100 miles:  20 miles down river, 20 miles to Cedar Key,  and 60 miles on the Gulf to reach Anclote Key anchorage.

24-hour SPOT track as of 2:16am Wednesday  (Day19)

touch and go at Cedar Key

anchored for well-earned sleep at 2:00am Wednesday 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Day 18 the empire strikes back

SOS was the first challenger in the UFC to reach the Cedar Key checkpoint.  50 minutes later, LRock and CrazyRussian arrived on the I-20 catamaran.    In the open Gulf waters, they will soon be ahead of SOS again.

photo by SandyBottom

SandyBottom posted  "Another touch and go arriving about 50 min after SOS, but with quick run to the grocery so CR can buy a box of vino and cigarettes. CR says LR won't let him sleep."
photo by SandyBottom

photo by SandyBottom

By 2:00am Wednesday morning (Day 19)  CR and LR were closing in on the finish line with an ETA of perhaps 4:00am.

SPOT track as of 2:26 am.

Day 18 In the Gulf, arriving at Cedar Key

By 11:10am on Tuesday, SOS had reached the checkpoint at Cedar Key.  He stayed just long enough to resupply food and water for two days.

photo of SOS at the Cedar Key checkpoint  by  SandyBottom

Suwannee River (upper left)   to  Cedar Key (lower right)

Goodbye Suwannee River

SOS in the Suwannee at 7:01am  Tuesday with  LRock & CrazyRussian (I-20 catamaran)

Touch-and-go landing at Cedar Key
photos by SandyBottom

Day 18 Goodbye Suwannee River, Hello Gulf of Mexico

Tuesday morning March 22,  SOS is 19 miles  --roughly 5 hours--  from the Gulf.   SailFlow says early morning winds on the river will be light.   And then there are the 3-foot tides to think about ...

SOS started the day and was moving downriver by 5:00am Tuesday. By 8:30 am he was out in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

SOS at mile 19

Favorable tides for exiting the river are from about  2:03am to 8:42am

Monday, March 21, 2016

Day 17 Sailing downriver to Fowler's Bluff

Sunday night at his campsite at mile 92,  SOS took an hour to rig his boat for sailing.  Monday morning,  he was glad.  "Doing 8 mph right now!!!  Should have put it up ASAP. yesterday!"

Sailing and Paddling
Sailing downriver

photos by SOS

non-sailing mode
non-sailing canoe mode
expedition sailing canoe on the Suwannee River

73 miles down the river,   19 miles from the Gulf

From 7:30am to 11:00pm  SOS sailed/paddled from mile 92 down to mile 19

Most of the day SOS trailed by about 13 miles LRock and CrazyRussian,  who were paddling their classic aluminum canoe.   The gap gradually narrowed and then when LR and CR stopped at a Fowlers Bluff boat ramp (mile 16.8) to switch from canoe to I-20 catamaran.

LRock and CrazyRussian  switching back to the I-20 catamaran at 8:00pm

SOS caught up with LRock and CrazyRussian at 11:28pm

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Day 16 -- Suwannee River Paddling Maps

Looks like SOS is camped for the night at mile 92.

Here is a map set of the Suwannee Rive paddling trail from Fargo (mile 291) to the Gulf (mile 0).

Overview:   Suwannee River Paddling Map

Upper Section

Lower Section

MicroTom passing St. Augustine on Day 16

MicroTom aiming to reach the checkpoint at Ft. Clinch on Monday March 21.

Day 16,  MicroTom at the Castillo de San Marcos
Passing the fort at noon on Sunday March 20