Tuesday, September 29, 2009

WaterTribe's 2009 N.C. Challenges

I've been very busy.

The inaugural 2009 WaterTribe North Carolina Challenge and North Carolina Ultra Marathon is now one for the record books. A strong cold front over the weekend made the Challenge truly worthy of a WaterTribe event.

The NCC started with 5 sailboats (two solo), 9 kayaks (one double), and 1 sea canoe; the NCUM with 2 sailboats and 2 kayaks.
NCC finishers included 3 sailboats (1 solo) and 5 kayaks (all solo), NCUM finishers were 1 sailboat and 1 kayak. Finishers picture below.
There are lots of great pictures and video’s on the WaterTribe Viewer, and their should be lots of great stories posted on the forum throughout the week, results are here.

Unlike the shark and alligator tooth necklace award one receives in the Florida challenges, the NC challengers received 'Pieces-of-Eight' necklace awards, homage to NC's coastal history of pirates.

I spent the past year planning and organizing this new event with WaterTribe, and then ran it as Race Manager. Quite an interesting job; a big change from being a regular participant, yet certainly a challenge in itself. The weather made for some worry, having my husband and son in the race also added a bit to the emotional roller-coaster, but all the excitement and interest helped make it more fun than work.

We'll make some changes to next year’s event having learned so much this year. Bigger and better. First, we’d like to add a longer option, maybe a 50, 100, and 300 mile concurrent challenges. Special thanks to friends Frank, Maria, and Dave for their help and support over the weekend, and thanks to Chief of WaterTribe for help and support, you all really came through for me.

Now it’s time to get my paddle in the water for some of my own adventures.

And then I need to do some housekeeping on this blog. It seems to have reformatted and re-colored itself a bit. It's time for a new updated look.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Change of Plan

High winds and high surf required a change of plan last weekend. Not deterred from paddling, but outside ocean side was no longer a possibility.

Sunday afternoon was spent paddling on Snow’s Cut off Carolina Beach State Park, and then finding a small cove for some roll practice. Virginia’s finally got it. If you haven’t already seen this video she’s proudly posted everywhere :) here it is. I love the last second showing all the excitement and satisfaction on her face.

Monday we spent the day paddling the backside of Masonboro Island, enjoying the beauty of the salt marsh trails and mazes. We paddled over and looked out Masonboro Inlet and stopped at one point to walk over and check out beach side. Not the trip we planned, but I was happy to be in the salt. We made all the right decisions, we'll just reschedule.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Beach Weekend

Another beach weekend for me!

A play day on the water Sunday with no real plan per se. then a circumnavigation of Pleasure Island on Monday. Sounds a bit naughty. It'll be about 20 miles, half ocean paddling, and lots of tidal current when inside.

Pleasure Island is on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, north of Bald Head Island and Cape Fear, and home to Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher.

It's all part of the plan, paddling up the coast one weekend at a time. This will be trip #2.

Trip #1 trip report here.


Alan and Adam continue to work hard on the boat for the big adventure. Not much time left, only a couple months.

Pics below are of Alan on the mast, not what a Mom likes to know about or see.

Check out the adventure at Eye of the World.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Inner Islands

I've just started a new book, recommended by another NC paddling friend, "The Inner Islands" by Bland Simpson.

The front jacket reads:

"Blending history, oral history, autobiography, and travel narrative, Bland Simpson explores the geography and biodiversity of the islands that lie in eastern North Carolina's sounds, rivers, and swamps...

In each of the fifteen chapters in the book, Simpson covers a single island or group of islands, many of which, were it not for the buffering Outer Banks, would be lost to the ebbs and flows of the Atlantic...

Simpson also traces the ongoing forces of nature and the history of these islands, including inhabitants and industries, from colonization to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and periods of economic boom and bust..."

These Islands are prime paddling locations. Many I've already paddled to, or around. And many I'll now make a point to get to. Reading thier history is fascinating.

And if the name Bland Simpson sounds familiar, besides authoring a number of other books regaling NC history, and teaching creative writing at UNC Chapel Hill, Simpson is a member of the award winning "Red Clay Ramblers", an American folk band and theater performers.