Saturday, January 06, 2007

Change of Plans

What a beautiful day on the lake, unseasonably warm, perfect winds. I took my Kruger Dreamcatcher out for a 25 miler, paddled into the wind then sailed back with my downwind PAS.

My plans were to get a good workout, and spend the time thinking about how best to do the 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge (EC) in March.

Family and friends have been encouraging me to consider entering in the kayak/canoe sailing class. I've done the EC three times previously, twice in my NDK Explorer, and the last time as part of the 1200 mile UFC, in the Kruger Dreamcatcher with Pacific Action Sail.

This year I plan to include the Everglades Wilderness Waterway (WW). This adds an additional 30 miles to the challenge and is a 99 mile inland water route through mangrove forests, advertised as a 9-11 day canoe trip. In WaterTribe, doing the full WW during the EC gets you an additional trophy, the coveted alligator tooth.

Then Stan Hanson (aka Etcheman or Canoeist144, one and the same), fellow Watertriber, Kruger paddler, and friend, offered to lend me one of his SeaWinds with a Balogh sail rig. Stan has been encouraging me to experience all that a Kruger canoe has to offer. Kruger's really aren't kayaks, and they're certainly not your standard canoe. They are really unlike any paddle craft you've likely paddled, yet as comfortable, efficient, seaworthy and convenient as any canoe or kayak that has ever been paddled. Paddle/sailing with the Balogh rig is just another example of a Kruger canoes incredible versatility.

I'm gonna do it, 2007 EC in class 3. I'm off to Illinois next weekend to pick up the SeaWind and start learning to sail. Look out Bill (aka SnoreBringGator)!

Isn't it amazing how generous and encouraging Kruger folks are. Verlen would be so proud. Stay tuned for more about Stan in a later posting.

On a different topic. Alan came home this evening to celebrate his 21st birthday with us. The boys from Team RAF have packed up their tools and almost completed hulls and are returning back to school (NC State). They still have some work to do to complete their Wa'apa sailing canoes, and prepare for the EC. They'll be pretty busy over the next 2 months. They did a great job keeping their blog updated with their boat building activities over the holidays.

Sigh, it wasn't so long ago...

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