Monday, March 06, 2006

Day3: 48 miles. Now 30 miles from CP2.

... as reported by "DancesWithSandyBottom"

On Monday 3-6-2006 SandyBottom launched from primitive campsite on Chino Island at 5:30 am. Bade farewell to the millions of no-see-um bugs that had visited for dinner. Soon passed under the Sanibel Bridge accompanied by ThereAndBackAgain. Called home at 8:40 am and reported feeling very good. "It's hot here!" Rather than follow the coastline, which is an arc, the plan is to take a straight-line route to Gordon Pass. At midpoint this line is 3.5 miles from shore. Winds and weather today are predicted to be favorable. Gordon Pass is an entrance to the intra-coastal route which comprises channels and rivers near Marco, Florida into the 10,000 Islands area which hides Checkpoint2 on Chokoloskee Island (key) at Everglades City.

On the ride down the Gulf the winds and weather were favorable, so SandyBottom decided not to duck into Gordon Pass for the "inside" intra-coastal miles; instead, she stayed on the outside all the way to Big Marco Pass (an inlet) at Marco, Florida. "AlaskanSeahorse" caught up with her and provided camaraderie for the last dozen miles. "Pelican" in his SeaWind with Balogh sail and outrigger system flew pass them a one point. SandyBottom and AlaskanSeahorse stopped for the day at 7:20 pm on south tip of Sea Oat Island in the inlet. From 5:30 am to 7:20 pm SandyBottom covered 48.3 miles. She is now about half way between the starting line and the finish line of the Everglades Challenge --which is Stage1 of the Ultimate Florida Challenge (UFC). She has completed about 12% of the UFC.

Along the way she had a favorable 8 knot wind at her back, coming over her right shoulder, and was visited by a big sea turtle.

At this point she is about 30 miles from Checkpoint 2. Those 30 or so miles wind around the well-marked labyrinth of inland tidal channels behind Marco Island to Coon Key Pass, skirt the 10,000 islands area and duck into Indian Key Pass to reach Everglades City and Checkpoint 2 on Chokoloskee (Island).

Here is an aerial/satellite view of Big Marco Pass where SandyBottom is camped tonight. Talk about some clear water! You can easily see the sandy bottom but you can't see SandyBottom.

The marking is a GPS waypoint on her route. Yes there is water under those boats. Very clear water.

1 comment:

ArcticDoc (aka Deb Walters) said...

It's great to see SandyBottom paddling in the Ultimate Florida Challenge - the sole female solo paddler, and even the sole female paddler! All of us gals are rooting for her. I see she is now ahead of where we were at the same time last year when I was part of the group SandyBottom had "collected" in last year's Everglades Challenge. Good work!

If any woman has the mental and the physical stamina to complete the UF Challenge, it's SandyBottom. You go, girl!