Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday March 10

SandyBottom at CP2
(Photos by Amy)

NDK Explorer Kayak

Some Blisters

Path into CP2

Path out of CP2

As of Tuesday morning, the current forecast for the remainder of the week: more mild weather, headwinds, more headwinds, and even more headwinds in the 5-10 knot range. Gulf waters were described and predicted to be a "light chop".

SandyBottom began the day in Goodland Bay, 23 miles from CP2. SandyBottom, KiwiBird and KneadingWater all left the campsite at 8:50 AM. KB and KW were shortly far ahead. Rather than feel frustrated, SB stopped on a key for 30 minutes and then resumed at her own pace with no kayakers visible on the horizon. Consequently, SB reported that she had a great time paddling the 23 miles in the Gulf waters at her own relaxed pace.
Upon reaching Indian Key, SB rode a fast tide on the inland waterway into Chokoloskee Bay. The SPOT tracks show that she hit at least 5.4 mph coasting along on the incoming tide. She made a bee-line for Everglades City (arriving at 3:00 PM), in order to purchase a permit for using the Everglades National Park. KB and KW were also at the Park headquarters in Everglades City buying their permits.

She called home at 3:39 PM from Everglades City and reported that she is planning to take the "inside" route via the Everglades Wilderness Waterway. She will be camping with KB and KW at a very nice campsite called "Darwin's Place" that is about 20 miles southeast of CP2. She also reserved a double-chickee campsite with them on the Joe River. Chickees are raised wooden platforms.

After calling home, she paddled the short 1-mile trip along the north side of the causeway to the island of Chokoloski where CP2 was located. She arrived at CP2 at about 4:48 PM. Coming to the island from the north side means landing at CP2 on a paved boat ramp; whereas, most sailboats arrive at CP2 on the south side and wade ashore through a gooey mud beach that is 20 yards wide.

............ .......

SB is ahead of her own schedule due to having paddled at the pace of KB and KW instead of paddling at her own pace. She has some chafing from her back-rest, some blisters, and that sore rib. Taking some recovery time at CP2 might be wise, but SB has reported that she good to go and is leaving CP2 soon.

Hey, SandyBottom, don't rush off. Stay for dinner before you go. I hear they have real food at Choko.

The "Darwin's Place" campsite is on the ground rather than up on a wooden platform. Easy landing and launching for kayaks.
According to SPOT data, at about 5:50 PM SandyBottom started her 20-mile trip from CP2 to "Darwin's Place". She reached the campsite at 11:50 PM. KB and KW had left CP2 earlier at 5:00 PM, had took a slightly different route, and had arrived at the campsite at 9:40 PM.

SandyBottom's Route from CP2 to Darwin's Place

What an experience, paddling 20 miles through the Everglades at night, perhaps with a little moonlight.
Here is a campsite map. Camping here is popular. (Darwin's Place is #10.)

By the end of the day (literally), SB had paddled 23 miles from Goodland Bay to CP2, and another 20 miles from CP2 to Darwin's Place.

SB had reported from Everglades City that the cellphone reception is not very good over on Chokoloskee and that she may not get a signal out until she reaches CP3 (Flamingo). Indeed the signal from Everglades City was not entirely wonderful. Whereas cellphones use cell towers, the SPOT uses satellites. The reliability of the SPOT system has been demonstrated, thus far, in the Everglades today by EC'09 challengers.


Ginger Travis said...

Sounds like she's having the mildest weather for an EC in a while -- better than the last 2? Hope it holds.

Michael said...

Thanks for the update Paul. I got so excited following the SPOT track that I got out the Challenge DVD from a few years ago when she went the whole way around. Everglades City area certainly does have some interesting tides. I got to rescue some guys boat off there once when it took off by itself!

DancesWithSandyBottom said...

Ginger, Mild weather yes, but almost all the winds this year are headwinds.

Michael, SPOT is fun to follow. And reduces worrying.