Monday, March 05, 2007


(Be sure to check out the new photos in the "Day2 Photos" section below.)

Monday (Day3 of the EC'07) started at the campsite just inside Wiggins Pass where SandyBottom, the NatureCalls Team, and KiwiBird had sheltered from the heavy seas of the night before. All broke camp and moved on at 8:00 am, sailing SE and aiming for CP2 about 33 miles away.

SandyBottom called home at about 8:00 am and said she was sailing along the Gulf coast with the NatureCalls Team. KiwiBird was out ahead. She said that shortly after getting started, one of her amas partially detached but NatureCalls came to the rescue and easily reattach it.

The North winds at 10-15 knots were favorable down to Marco Island. They bypassed Big Marco Pass and entered the Caxambas Pass which is on the south side of Marco Island. By 12:46pm they and exited Caxambas Pass and were entering Gullivan Bay --the Ten Thousand Islands area.
From that position near Helen Key ( N25°53.802' W81°39.471' ) she called home again.

At that point they were 13 miles from Indian Key which is the gateway to the tidal-flow canal that pulls boats from the Gulf into CP2 -or- pulls boats from CP2 into the Gulf depending on the tides. SandyBottom was hoping to catch the in-bound tidal flow at Indian Key and make it to the Park Headquarters Office to buy a Wilderness Permit before the officed at 4:30 pm. (In summer they stay open until 5:00 pm.)

However, her E.T.A. at Indian Key was about 3:00 pm and high tide at Indian Key is at 1:47pm. (Low tide at 8:37 pm.) With time and tide against her, she and several other challengers ended up camped on Indian Key in the afternoon. 4:30 pm came and went and the office closed until 8:00 am.

But then the thought of camping at CP2 rather than on Indian Key was tempting however; as, CP2 has electricity for recharging batteries, showers food and good camping spots. So SandyBottom decided to paddled from Indian Key to CP2 even though most of the 9 miles would be against strong current. As she averaged about 1.8 mph in the worst parts, she said she thought 'What was I thinking?'

She reached CP2 at 8:00 pm and called home again. The work-out was probably a good warm up for paddling through the Wilderness Waterway, and she should sleep very well through the night. (EasyForMeToSay --my other tribal name.)

[DancesWithSandyBottom reporting]

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