Saturday, April 01, 2006

Day29: Sprinting South to Finish Stage5 reported by DancesWithSandyBottom

Saturday (Day29) there is little or no time for resting. SandyBottom and DrKayak are doing all they can to meet the goal of reaching the finish line at Fr. DeSoto by noon on Sunday.

After leaving Mermaids' Landing on Friday and after evading the fishing fleet Friday night they stopped once on a sandbar to rest/sleep in their boats for 3 hours. At about 4 AM Saturday, they resumed paddleing. SandyBottom called in a report at 11:30 AM. At that point they were about 53.5 miles south of Mermaids' Landing, 26 miles north of Anclote Key, and about 67 miles north of Ft DeSoto. In her report SB said that she was concerned that were only averaging about 2.5 mph. She said so far the winds have been headwinds (I'm guessing from the web-based forecasts that this means 5-10 mph in the day time and something less than that at night) and they were wondering when / if that bit of north wind might kick in as predicted in the VHF weather reports. SB was concerned that traveling the remaining 67 miles at 2.5 mph would not get them to the finish line by noon Sunday. She was hoping that a tailwind would arrive to give them a boost.

Assuming they had 67 miles to go and 23 hours to do it in, then they will have to paddle at least 2.91 mph (=67/23) nonstop for 23 hours to arrive by noon. If instead their best average is 2.5 mph over those 23 hours then they would arrive at 3:48 pm.

We can't really know what can happen until we try.

The cellphone connection was scratchy and the report was brief. These are the facts as I understood them. Cellphone coverage and signal quality should be improving at the kayakers approach the finish.

At 2:10 PM DrKayak called in a report to Sanddollar. Based on that report from DrKayak posted by Sanddollar, it appears that DrKayak and SandyBottom have averaged 2.932 mph during 11:30 am to 2:10 pm. What does that mean? It is good news when compared to my earlier guesstimate that "...they will have to paddle at least 2.91 mph nonstop for 23 hours to arrive by noon."

Standing by for further news.

I will be on the beach to warmly welcome congratulate these intrepid WaterTribe challengers.

No comments: