Saturday, March 03, 2007


The EC'07 has begun!

SandyBottom called in at 6:53am to report that she was ready to launch when Chief said Go! at 7:00am.

[ UFC '06 ]

She said she "I think the boys will be okay." No doubt she, the rookies in Team RAF, and all the challengers were very glad to have favorable winds and mild weather for the start.

[Lake practice]

ManitouCruiser reported in a few minutes after the start that ... The winds shifted overnight to a northeast heading and are about 10 knots. He is moving at 5.5 mph under sail. "Perfect" was the response to "How are things going"? He is just behind "CrazyRussian" And can just make out "SandyBottom" far ahead.

[Lake practice]

He also reported a few "Skinny Kayaks" are overturned in Tampa Bay but all had their self-rescue well in hand.

SandyBottom far ahead? Well alrighty then! This is certainly a new EC experience for her, but well deserved. She has loved to paddle a steady 3-4 mph. A very recent convert to a Balogh sailing rig, she still finds flying along at high speed new and unnerving.

SandyBottom called in at 11:00am to report that she was having fun and enjoying the ride. Her typical speed was 5.5 mph, and her maximum speed had been 9.7 mph. Across 4-5 foot waves in a Kruger Dreamcatcher, that must have been exciting.

She was near the Sarasota Bridge having covered about 24 miles in 4 hours. Team RAF had recently flown past her hiked out on the akas. She snapped some photos of them. She said they were doing well. KiwiBird was well back behind her.

With seas rolling into the bay from the Gulf, Tampa Bay was rough with 4-5 foot surfing waves. Very exciting. But at 5.5 mph, done with in 1.5 hours.

After that, being in the protected "inside" waterway, and through Sarasota Bay, was a much smoother ride.

It is hard to stay warm when sailing and not paddling. With air temperatures in the 64 F to 74 F degree range, water temperatures near 70 F, most cloudy overcast skies with little warmth from the sun, and continual spray punching through waves, SandyBottom reported that she had done some paddle/sailing just to warm up. Staying warm is much easier when paddling and not sailing. That's a trade-off: better speed while sailing and fighting off hypothermia -versus- slower speed while just paddling and staying warm.

SandyBottom's report by phone lasted 3.2 min --which is fairly long for a report during the EC. She was happy to report that she thinks she will make it to Checkpoint #1 today! It is about 70 miles from the the starting line to CP1.

When she arrived at Venice Inlet at 3:14pm today, SandyBottom reported that she had covered 41 miles in about 8 hours. (Average of 5.125 mph.) That rate of speed could have put her at CP1 before 9:00pm today.

She had to stop to remove the sailing rig to pass under the bridges near CP1, and progress in that area was slowed by shallow water, "it was too shallow to have the rudder down."

SandyBottom arrived at CP1 at about 10:00 pm, tired and ready to camp for the night.

Water temperatures along the Gulf coast.

[DancesWithSandyBottom reporting.]

1 comment:

Kelvin said...

Hello from down under in New Zealand. I was surfing the blog world when your blog popped up. You have some really great photos which are worth sharing, so I have mentioned your blog @ #316 on my blog 21 21 21 Great Blogs To Read