Thursday, March 03, 2016

SOS and SandyBottom are headed to Florida

Dawn(SandyBottom) and son Alan(SOS) have left the building and are on the road to Florida after a flurry of packing and last-minute efforts in preparation for another WaterTribe adventure race.
This year their race is the 1200 mile Ultimate Florida Challenge  ---complete a 300 mile Everglades Challenge and then continue all the way around Florida.

This will be SandyBottom's third UFC.  She's bringing her A-game and a 17' Kruger Dreamcatcher.   For his second UFC,  SOS has designed and built a sloop-rigged decked Expedition Sailing Canoe. Both have also brought along tiny folding bikes for the 40-mile portage across northern Florida.  

WaterTribe races have two parts: 1) uphill out of breath working after hours to finally reach the starting line,  2) downhill sailing away into a great adventure toward the finish line.  Part 1 is expensive and may involve wintery paddling and sailing in icy waters, struggles toward improved physical fitness,  burning the candle at both ends,  and sleep deprivation caused by an insane boat-building urge.

Having made it to the starting line,  the participants feel a great sense of accomplishment.  The challenges of getting it all together are history.  The long drive south is done. The weather in Florida is better -ish.  Old friends are on hand and there is time to party  (for those who are not still building a boat).   And for some,  there is finally that opportunity to get in the water and see if the boat actually does float!  

So yes; the race is on.   It's been on for several months, weeks or days, depending on one's ability to procrastinate.  Around here the dust from Part 1 of the race is still flying.  There was a whirlwind of last-minute intense activity until a moment ago. Somehow all that stuff that looked like it would never fit into the van ...  it did.

Now this place looks like an REI that was hit by a tornado that scatter redundant gear,  unneeded dry-bags, superfluous items, empty wrappers and boxes, spare anchors and lines,  miscellaneous tools and materials,  notepads with checked-off checklists,  rejected containers of food,  unfinished ideas and abandoned non-essentials.

Dozens of WaterTribers from across the country are now traveling south toward that starting line on that beach in Tampa Bay.  They are all wondering what they may have forgotten,  hoping they remembered everything,  and calculating mentally whether they have enough --but not too much.  If they are lucky they can take turns drivng and catch up on all that lost sleep. 

This is Paul Stewart (a.k.a.DancesWithSandyBottom)  reporting for SOS and SandyBottom.    I will try to post updates as Part 2 of the race begins.

More to come.

1 comment:

Team Cat Fever said...

Best of luck to both of them and thanks for the updates.