Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fun and/or Adventure

At the start of my very first WaterTribe Everglades Challenge in 2004, my phone calls home to Paul each day began with “I’m having so much fun”. When I got to the 2nd Checkpoint, 245 miles later and 4 days into it, I dropped the word fun, and stated ‘I’m having such an adventure”. I even wrote an article about that first challenge, titling it “It’s not for the fun, it’s the adventure!”.

SandyBottom 2010 EC Finish

But truth be told, as I prepare for my 8th Challenge next week, it's all fun AND adventure.  It’s always an adventure, and it’s fun enough to keep me coming back. It’s also become quite a family affair, with my husband Paul (DancesWithSandyBottom) and son Alan (SOS) also racing in our sailboat ‘Dawn Patrol’ this year. This their 2nd EC together, and Alan’s 3rd Challenge.

Paul and Alan in 2009 EC

Alan and friends in 2008 EC

That first year, there were 26 boats registered, 13 were kayaks (the rest sail boats or kayaks/canoes with larger sails and outriggers). This year we have 72 boats registered with 31 in kayaks. Quite a large challenge this year.

This kind of event is not just about the race or challenge (depending on how you approach it); it’s also about the people. WaterTribers are special folk, certainly not your typical everyday boater.  There is a camaraderie and kinship that develops both on the discussion forum and during the event that lasts a lifetime.

It's all good.  This year I’m not quite as prepared as in previous years.  Life just got in the way and my training didn’t quite continue as I’d hoped.  Oh well, I guess it’ll be quite an adventure :)

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