Saturday, February 03, 2007

Getting Closer

Have you been following Team RAF, their latest posting has a picture of the newly painted hulls. Looks like they are going to come right down to the wire getting their sailing canoes ready for the 2007 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge in 4 weeks. School has really ramped up for these guys, they're running out of time, and ran out of money a long time ago.

Picture of Mike, Chris and Matt, taken by Alan last October on Lake Jordan when they were still thinking about the possibilities.

These guys are going to need quite a bit of gear to meet the Challenges required equipment checklist in order to participate and finish the Challenge. They don't even have canoe paddles, much less paddling jackets and dry bags! They have been lent some used paddles by Great Outdoor Provision Company (GOPR), but unfortunately these will not do for the Challenge. All different sizes ranging from 52" to 65" , quite heavy, mostly plastic bladed. Two of them look more like oars they are so long, I think the other 2 can easily work as spares. They will need better paddles if winds require 40 mile paddling days.

With no time to really think about gear, I've offered to help as much as possible (begging and borrowing). I can easily make their first-aid and hypothermia kits, and consult on navigation (Mike's their navigator and has already done quite a bit of work on it), and food, and help with some of the other logistical planning of getting them to Florida and back. Helping them gives me some piece of mind knowing they are fully prepared, and I've got to work on all this for my own Challenge anyway. What else would a Mom do.

There's a cold front moving in through NC this weekend, great winds, unfortunately car problems kept me off the water Saturday, so I used the day to get organized. The boys are planning a float test on Sunday, and were needing some cold weather paddling clothes. Luckily I've got a garage full of old stuff I think they can make do with for the day.

Paul, Tana (home from school for the weekend), and I drove over to Raleigh in the evening to hook up with Alan. We checked out the newly painted hulls , dropped off the gear, and then went out for a family Birthday dinner for Paul. The boats are looking great, and Paul should have the seats finished next week. Next they have to make the sails and hopefully spend the next couple weekends on the water. It sounds like Chief of WaterTribe is also behind schedule building his Tridarka Raider and may not even get any water time in the boat before the Challenge.

I'll be spending all day today on the lake getting in my own training. I hate to miss the big launch, but I'll be waiting to read all about it on the Team RAF's blog Monday morning. I can't miss out on this wind as I continue to learn to sail.

Partly sunny and windy. Highs in the upper 40s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph...increasing to around 20 mph this afternoon. Gusts up to 35 mph.

P.S. Happy 21st Birthday Matt and Cris (RedBeard and BrownBeard).

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