Monday, April 13, 2009

What She Said

I’ve decided not to post a detailed trip report of the 2009 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge. I spent a fair amount of time paddling with or behind KiwiBird and KneadingWater, and we camped each night together. KiwiBird wrote an excellent day-to-day report on her blog KiwiBird's Adventures, so not much need to add to those details.

My previous post ‘EC Recovery’ gives a good sense of the emotional and physical challenges I endured. This year, except for camping and the first couple of nights and last day, I did more solo paddling than other ECs. I almost always lagged behind KiwiBird and Kneading water by an hour or two, and paddled the Everglades Wilderness Waterway completely solo each day and night. It was interesting being totally in charge of my navigating, sometimes a bit scary (at night after seeing alligators on shore all day), but not an unpleasant experience, and definitely added to the challenge and sense of accomplishment.

I’ve come to realize that my rib injury would have physically prevented me from paddling with a single blade, so in some regards it was a good thing I’d chosen my seakayak this year. However, this EC was certainly confirmation that my Kruger Dreamcatcher is the most comfortable of boats for the Challenge, and in every way. Packing is easier, access to gear easier, just getting in and out is easier, it’s completely more comfortable overall, it handles all the conditions needed, and nothing beats the ease of the single blade. I will most certainly do an Everglades Challenge again, Class 1 in my Kruger.

At one point in the race KiwiBird commented that she thought I might be faster in my Kruger. I’ve thought about this some. But I actually believe my speed is similar in both boats, however, with my injury this year, the comparison is not really fair. At home, on a day paddle of 8-12 miles I usually average 3.8-4.0 mph in either boat. During an EC, I’m all about pacing (not racing). For me to finish a day of 50+ miles, pacing usually mean s averaging 3.0-3.4 mph which includes breaks on and off the water.

I’ve no idea what next years Challenge in the “Dawn Patrol” sailboat will be like. Could be a fast 3 days, or, I could be rowing a 20ft sailboat for 300 miles!


Frank Ladd's Water Treatment Blog said...

Dawn the EC is in the Spring. There is very little chance that you'll go the whole week without wind. Most cruisers average 100 miles a day. I expect you'll only have to row in inlets and other tight spaces

Steve said...

sorry to hear about the weather at Cedar Island. From your Spot track it did look like your time on the water was abbreviated. Hope you collected some good information for the NC Challenge.
I have not seen those charts but will look in to them. My budget for now will have me stay with my GMCO chartbook of North Carolina. I think Bruce bought some of the blue water charts for his gps (which is much more advanced than mine).
I do like your idea of multiple glasses. I'll pack a third pair and suggest to Bruce that he does the same.
Hang in there on sailing. Get the feel for it before trying it on days with small craft warnings. Steve

Captn O Dark 30 and Super Boo said...

row row row your boat!!