Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ready or Not - Here we Come

It's almost midnight Tuesday, and Paul and Alan are still building the boat, and I'm packing us up as fast as I can. Paul and I will pick up KiwiBird at 5AM tomorrow morning for the 12 hr drive down to Tampa. We've got the kayak and Kruger on top, and the Core Sound 20 on the trailer. Alan will fly in to Tampa on Thursday afternoon so they can continue building the boat. Not too much left to do, just lots of hardware stuff.

As we did last year, KiwiBird and FlysWithKiwiBird brought dinner over (yum), along with all of Kiwi's stuff. Their Andrew is the cutest and sweetest little boy. Lots of excitement now!

I'm repeating below the posting with instructions on how to follow the Challenge.

My family (Mom especially) has always enjoyed following my progress in previous WaterTribe Challenges from daily reports that Paul always posted here. This year, Paul is in the race too, and she'll also get to follow Alan and Paul (SOS and DancesWithSandyBottom) sailing thier just finished sailboat. Mom, everything you need to follow along this year is explaned below.

Our contact person is Alan's roomate Mike (who also finished the EC last year as Team RAF (4 college students who build 2 pacific outrigger sailing canoes and finished in 3rd place among Class 4). Mike will take on blog reporting for us, and write-up daily reports on our progress (SandyBottom and SOS/DancesWithSandyBottom) on Alan's blog.

The very best way to follow all the action from home is to monitor the WaterTribe Forum and the Challenge Viewer link on the WaterTribe site. (Mom, the purple underlined words are links to those places, when you get there, save the link in your Favorites to visit often).

The Forum will contain official status reports (or log entries) on each racer once the race starts. These reports are posted by the racers land contact after phone calls to them. Contacts and status reports must be made every 24 hrs (except in the Everglades where phone service is bad) to avoid a call to the Coast Guard. These status reports or log entries will also contain a google earth map showing the location of the racer at the time of contact. The racer is depicted by a skull and crossbones. Zooming in and out in the map will let you see other marks on the map. The checks are the checkpoints, the triangles are the locations of the other racers at thier last report. Putting the mouse over these marks will identify the racer.

The Challenge Viewer will include video clips taken by the challengers and dropped off at the checkpoints. The idea is that challengers using a waterproof camera can drop off their SD memory cards and one of the race managers will upload the clip into the viewer. Currently the Viewer contains clips from the 2006 Ultimate Florida Challenge, once this years challenge starts, select "EC2008" from the 'Select Event' button above the list of clips to see what's posted.

A new feature is being added (if it's finished) to the Viewer, that will include a mapping feature similar to the maps you see with the log book entries on the Forum. But it will have the additional feature of showing a racer's track instead of just their current position. You will be able to select from a list of all racers in a particular class /division or all challengers in the race.

Then there are a couple of other great blogs worth checking on for additional race reporting as well.

Brian, a fellow member of Team Kruger (known for his paddling blog 'Capt'n of the "O" Dark 30), will be doing this year's challenge with his 11 year old daughter Marissa (Boo) in a double Kruger Cruiser. Boo's additional challenge is to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research. Her Mom has breast cancer and this is a way for her to do something positive and support her mom. Boo's blog, The Adventures of Super Boo, will have thier daily reports posted. Mark (ManitouCruiser), owner and builder of Kruger Canoes, and the most successful of the WaterTribe (having completed the most challenges), will be paddling along with the Capt'n and Boo.

KiwiBird is a personal friend and paddling partner who also has a paddling blog. She did the EC last year (we paddled the Everglades Wilderness Waterway section together). She has a friend who will provide some great daily updates on KiwiBird's Blog.

Another location would be the B and B Yachts Forum. This is an email forum for those who build wooden boats designed by Graham Byrnes. Graham, who is the current record holder for the EC, will be in the race, as well as a few other boats similar to Alan and Paul's. There is likely to be some discussion as they follow the race this year.

If you check in on all these reports and blogs, you'll be as busy as we are in Florida :) See you after the race.

1 comment:

mirage19 said...

Prayers and hopes you and your family will have a wonderful time.